Do we trust the Lord in dire times?

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Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV

Habakkuk ticks off six dire circumstances that he and his fellow Hebrews are facing. He doesn’t even mention that the Lord has announced his plan to hand over their homeland, Judah, to the cruel pagan Chaldeans.  Habakkuk reacts with horrified surprise.  Earlier he had pled with God to save Judah out of her very own wickedness.  He knows his people have broken God’s covenant time and time again.  So, he appeals to God’s love for God’s special people. 

But sending a cruel enemy TO Judah as part of God’s remedy is not Habakkuk’s idea of a rescue plan.  Toward the end of his dialogues with the Lord, he simply hands over the entire situation to God.  Communicating his ‘so be it, Lord’, he specifies all the conditions he had hoped would change for the better.

I decided to write my own version of Habakkuk’s prayer to communicate to the Father that I trust him even if he never provides, heals, restores or changes the issues weighing on my heart.

Though….

  • our retirement savings might not last us and….
  • We still live far from our 7 grandchildren, hindering the close relationships we long for and…
  • Our adult children continue to struggle with work, parenting and relying on God and…..
  • Mike’s mom is suffering alone on the other side of the country away from all family and….
  • We might not ever get to satisfy our desire to live overseas again and…..
  • Aging in these bodies doesn’t loom pleasant

Yet, will I consider myself blessed because I KNOW Jesus is with us. I KNOW for sure that our future with Jesus is going to be bright.

Wasteful nighttime worry

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Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Proverbs 19:21 ESV

The Lord had scheduled this verse in my reading this morning, for it hit home. 

I had lain in bed after ‘pee o’clock’ just thinking about various hypothetical scenarios.  You’d probably call it ‘worrying yourself sleepless!’ What kind of situations?

There’s my mother-in-law who grows weaker by the week.  She lives alone, but in a retirement community, about 2000 miles away from us. I foresee us making more frequent trips out to see and encourage her.

Another issue I spent time ‘planning for’ had to do with packing for an upcoming trip.  Then my worrying bordered on the ridiculous. Of all things, I started wondering just what I would do with my life if Mike died before me.  Yes, I know, all in the middle of the night.

I paid a price for giving into these anxiety projections – less sleep!

But it wasn’t a waste, for God redeemed it this morning by pointing out his truth, delivered by Solomon’s proverb.

How do those words help?  I’m choosing to draw a distinction between planning and preparing. Of the three topics that occupied my awake time, only one, Friday’s upcoming trip, involved an actual situation written on my calendar.  But as I had already written down some prep details during daylight hours, just what was the point in thinking about it at night?

But the other two scenarios, how Mom’s decline will play out and life as widow?????  I have NO business giving attention to them.  What prompted the latter worry, it can only have been Satan.  And about Mom, I was pondering her situation and our involvement only because she had been depressed that day when I zoomed with her.

Listening to her lamentations had led me to suggest two actions she could take the next day.  Other than that, for the time being, I can’t control her or supervise her to see that she actually puts into practice what I think will help her. I have to leave her in God’s hands and keep praying.

My imaginations, those speculative plans certainly won’t change God’s purposes.

Do you remember those ‘choose your own adventure’ books?  Here’s my application of that kind of authoring.  No matter how many possible ‘choose- your-own eventuality’ exist, until Mom’s story on Earth 1.0 ends, I know that God ‘has this all his hands’.  Furthermore, having experienced God’s creative solutions numerous times, I will not be surprised if how he has written the story is in a way I would never have imagined.

So, what’s the whole point in telling you all this?  Just that, in case you’re like me and occasionally fall prey to that temptation to lie awake worrying, maybe seeing the silliness in my preoccupations might help you see more clearly your own unholy imaginings. 

Let’s pray rather that we trust the Holy Spirit to give us supernatural power to resist the suggestion to start imagining an ending. God has got this!

Could trusting the Lord be this simple?

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Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. In this way, they traveled and camped at the LORD’s command wherever he told them to go. Then they remained in their camp as long as the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle. Numbers 9:17-18 NLT

Has God changed since he trained the Hebrews to follow his lead? Good heavens, no!  But functionally, we who proclaim to be followers of Jesus tend to act like he has. 

The other day, I saw this so clearly as I read the passage from Numbers. I started to put myself in the place of one of those Hebrew families:  ‘Why does Yahweh seem to be training us to look up each morning when we peek out our tent flap?  We never know until the sun is rising whether today will be a pack-and-move day or a stay- in-camp day.’

Surely, the night before they would have talked over their plans for the following morning.  One woman might have said to her neighbor, ‘Oh, tomorrow, I need to teach my oldest daughter how to press the olives for oil, so we can light the tabernacle candles.’  Or a Levite father might have intended to show his son how to take down the tent.

I’m no different. I keep a calendar.  I have in mind what I want to accomplish tomorrow.  I make a list of tasks around my programmed activities that I must attend to.

In the past year, though, I’ve been working on checking in with the Lord each morning and listening for his direction while I read the day’s appointed Bible passages and pray.

But this new mental picture of the body language of these wandering Hebrews has gripped me. Their 40-year-long camping adventure was one big dress rehearsal for the rest of their lives.  They learned to obey through repetitive daily practice.

In one sense, life was far simpler for them than it is for us in 2022 America. They were forced to depend on God for their daily needs.  Their food came from him, their plans came from him, their jobs came from him. 

Maybe if we were ‘reduced’ to that level of subsistence living, our functional atheism would be squeezed out of us. Through repetition, we would really come to know and trust the Lord as provided new mercies, met our needs for food, protected and guided us. In many ways, those Hebrews were blessed through their hardships because all they had was the Lord.

This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.” Isaiah 48:17 NLT

Get used to uncomfortable!

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But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. Ezekiel 16:15 NIV 

I’ve been reading Andrew Murray’s book The True Vine. Earlier this week I came across this strong statement:

“Self-confidence is…..a great evil.”

What do you think?  Do you trust yourself?  Probably for some things you do.  Do you have confidence in some of your natural talents?

We all do, to some extent.  But according to many places in the Bible, that is not God’s way. He doesn’t want us to trust ourselves at all.  We are to put confidence only in him.

If I look back over my life, I can spot the times when the Lord deliberately put me in situations where I had no experience or training to handle the responsibilities. 

The earliest one happened one day when I was a young military intelligence lieutenant.  My boss called me to his office and said: ‘I have a new additional duty for you. You’re to manage our battalion’s budget.  Here’s the file. Call the budget office at headquarters for any help you need.’

Did I have an accounting background?  Not at all! I had majored in foreign affairs and Russian studies.  No problem.  Lieutenants are expected to learn on the job.  And I did. Could I depend on myself?  Nope.

Similar situations followed.  Having a baby was one of those.  I had grown up as an only child AND my mom never allowed me to babysit.  I had zero exposure to babies.  Imagine the hospital handing me and Mike this 2-day old baby.  They never even asked us for proof of training or experience?  More God-directed practice in depending on him. And Graham survived.

One of the most uncomfortable of these God-ordained experiences was when I was hired by a Christian school. NOT to teach French, but to teach US history and government. Okay, that didn’t scare me too much, for I had taken some history courses in college. Not American, though!

What DID rock me were the additional two courses:  Informal Logic for 7th graders and Formal Logic for 8th graders.  I didn’t have a clue to what logic was.  All summer before that school year started, I struggled to study and understand logic. I fumed with frustration.  There was no one to help me.  Was that first year hard? You bet!  Did I cling to Jesus? Without a doubt.

What I am slowly absorbing is that God’s best plan for us is to depend 100 % on him.  But the hard part is that I don’t naturally gravitate to what feels uncomfortable.  I’m seeing that he, in effect, is saying: ‘Get used to uncomfortable!’ Like you, I prefer clinging to my idol of comfort.  In fact, when the next thing on my agenda is the habitual, I don’t even think to depend on Jesus. That framework is sin. Self-confidence is wrong.

Yet, culture blares the opposite message: Believe in yourself!  Trust yourself!

It seems that we are to be more like little children who only ever trust their strong daddy or reliable mommy.  They don’t fake being okay on their own.  As long as their parents are with them, they feel secure.  And they are content. 

I anticipate more ‘adventures with Jesus’ as he keeps training me to lean only on him.

Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children….Matthew 18:3 NLT

Living with Jesus is like being a substitute teacher

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We make our own plans, but the LORD decides where we will go. Proverbs 16:9 CEV

Have you ever been a substitute teacher or had one as a child? Then you know what it’s like for these stalwart men and women who never know when or whether they will receive that early morning wake-up call. When the phone does interrupt that last hour or two of REM restoration, they quickly dress, heading out the door to such-and-such school by the designated time.

That’s how I’m beginning to look at my life.  Even though I do all my work these days as a volunteer, I still have a schedule.  I’m learning to hold it loosely. Recently, I readjusted my week so I could fly out to Seattle to encourage and help my mother-in-law.  This family need trumped what I had penciled in on my calendar.

That decision altered an entire week. I’m also finding that the Lord redirects my steps not only at the beginning of a day, but in the middle of the day. I’m developing the mindset that allows me to hold loosely every plan I make. 

I see the life of a substitute teacher as a metaphor for how we family members of God are to live.  We are not the ones running God’s household.  But he’s included us in his family to learn and to serve, obeying out of love. We should expect the Holy Spirit often to change the schedule according to the needs of the Godhead.

Mike’s clients in his contractor’s job often don’t clarify what they want, making it difficult for Mike and his team to provide value.  He sometimes laments the murkiness of his job. He frequently doesn’t know what to expect.  How like the daily duty of a substitute teacher!  I remind him to count on the Lord to unfold his plan for Mike when he doesn’t foresee how he should proceed.

This approach is so like the one a sub has to adopt. She regularly has no idea what the day will be like when she shows up to a classroom.  But usually there is a plan, already purposed and laid out awaiting her. She arrives and carries out the regular classroom teacher’s lessons, following all the directions.  She doesn’t have a say in what she is to do.  She is under ‘orders’, so to speak.

I have found a certain freedom in anticipating God’s sudden changes.  There’s no longer a reason to stress.  For example, when I flew out to Seattle, I had to change in Dallas.  The margin was a mere 34 minutes.  Therefore, I packed a small carry-on bag that would not have to be gate checked, costing me minutes.  When the pilot announced a delay in our arrival time due to a headwind, I had to fight against anxious thoughts which attacked my peace.  Proverbs 16:9 was the weapon I used.  During the 2-hour flight, I wielded that promise about 6 times, finally reasoning that if I missed my connection, then Jesus had a good reason that would be better than making my connection. Anxiety finally gave up.

I’ll leave you a final thought connected to this idea of a substitute teacher.  A simple way of thinking of the grace that Jesus provided is that of a substitute.  He took my place as guilty sinner, deserving of God’s just anger and punishment.  What is more, his perfect life also substitutes for my fouled-up record.  A double substitution. Maybe it’s only fitting that I can sub for him as hands and feet in the part of the world he has placed me.  What do you think?

What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?

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And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 1 John 3:23 ESV

I lead a weekly ESL conversation class on Zoom. Typically, four of us meet for an hour.  The two women are Mexican and our one gentleman lives in Argentina.  They are strong intermediate-level speakers.  We have come to know each other and enjoy this mid-week hour as friends.  And I know they appreciate being able to practice their English.

As a language coach, I propose the weekly topic. Yesterday’s question or theme is the title of this blog.  ‘What do you want people to remember about you and how you lived your life?’ I wasn’t sure if my three friends felt put-off or startled when I sent them via What’s App the question to consider. They approached the subject with enthusiasm and we ended up learning a lot about each other’s cultures and approaches to death.

What’s interesting about this topic is that one of my sons is currently reading a leadership book for Christian men about creating a vision for oneself as well as for one’s family. He mentioned one of the suggestions was to do this very thing, to start with the end in mind. Just how DO you hope people will assess your life once you have died?

Happily, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel as Christians. The Bible provides many possibilities that are pleasing to God. The verse at the beginning of this post is one that continues to linger in my daily thoughts.

The way the apostle John condenses and communicates Jesus’ commands struck me about 2 weeks ago as a wonderful life purpose.  What pleases God is for us to rely on Jesus and love people as our Lord did while on earth.

Actually, the first part, ‘trusting Jesus’, is the main command. I am to depend on him for power to love people well.  Active love, how I treat people, is costly because it involves investing resources such as time, energy and money.  Added to that is my attitude, how I bring patient, studied attentiveness to someone in order to understand their needs and the manner in which they feel respected and valued.  I can’t do any of that in my own strength. That is why relying on Jesus is paramount.

I wish I had paid attention to John’s exhortation when I endured ongoing bitter attacks from a student at my last school. I tried to respond with love and patience, but out of my own reservoir. It got to me.  Many days I headed to school absolutely dreading French class with this gal. Her animosity and her dad’s displeasure with me lasted a year and a half before she graduated from the middle school. 

Five years later, I feel clear now on just who is my power source to obey. And in fact, I got to put my money where my pen is.  Yesterday, I realized that my mother-in-law who lives so far from us needs some TLC. At 93, she has been hit with one medical situation after another.  She said to me yesterday over the phone, ‘Maria, why is all this happening to me now?’  Thank you, Father, that your Spirit got my attention.  I booked a flight this morning for next week.

Wrapping up, what is it that I want on my tombstone?  ‘She relied on Jesus and loved her friends and family well.’  No, that doesn’t include ‘neighbors’ like my former student.  But I think that if I can mature in believing and depending on Jesus to love those who make up my family and my circle of friends, the spillover effect will extend to others the Lord places in my life.  That is my hope and my prayer.  

Do you resent or accept your ‘boundary lines’?

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The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely, I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. Psalm 16:6-7 NIV

Where Mike and I lived in Western North Carolina, we frequently would pop into a gift shop on Main Street called, Pleasant Places.  We bought our squirrel-proof bird feeder from these nature-loving owners and always enjoyed chatting with them.

This morning I was thinking of David, who joined the top ranks of ‘Who’s Who in Israel’s History’, who penned this Holy Spirit-inspired truth about his boundary lines. That led me to reflect on my life.

I started out my young adult life with a desire-fueled goal. At age 18 I already knew I loved learning and speaking other languages as well as adapting to new cultures.  I calculated that the most adventure-packed international career I could choose would be the Foreign Service, also known as the State Department.  I was fully aware of how challenging it would prove to be selected.  So, I chose to apply for an ROTC scholarship to help fund college, knowing that five years of military experience as an officer after graduation could make my candidacy more appealing

I even majored in Russian and Russian Studies to increase my value to the State Department. But my intended trajectory completely changed when I met Mike that summer after graduating and getting commissioned as a new second lieutenant.  He and I had been assigned to the same basic officers’ course for the Military Intelligence branch. Within 6 weeks I found myself saying ‘yes’ to his marriage proposal and we were wed in April 1980.

I chose life with Mike over my original career path, thereby changing the trajectory of the rest of my life. Do I regret that quick decision?  No, not in the least. Do I ever feel sad when I survey remaining longings for overseas living adventures?  Yes!

But I can say with heart-felt conviction that my boundary lines, much narrower than I imagined I could want, have been good for me. The Lord really does know what he is doing.

The most significant example of how God’s plan turned out far better for me comes from early on in our marriage.  We were 24 and were confronted with the gospel message for the first time. We might have heard what Jesus did in the denomination we grew up in, but not in a compelling way.  This presentation clearly and immediately drew us to respond with a hearty ‘YES!’ to God’s offer of salvation, lordship and forever fellowship.

I know that without Mike, I would have stopped going to church.  I never attended an Episcopal church my four years at the University of Virginia. Yet, there must have been a flicker of authentic Holy-Spirit desire in me, for meeting Mike who did attend church faithfully, intrigued me. I joined him each Sunday morning for church and brunch afterwards.  As long as I was with him, I went willingly.

But I know that had we only dated and parted as friends in December 1979, I would not have continued going to church on my own.  Services frankly bored me.

Furthermore, I would have likely continued along my self-centered, sexually-immoral, career-focused path with little thought about church or the things of God.

What would my life be like now, at 64? I do believe I’d be a believer as I am now.  But I am grateful for four decades of following (erratic as it has been for long periods) Jesus.  I don’t doubt that eventually God would have gotten my attention. Probably in a painful way, like an inconvenient, unwanted and shaming pregnancy. Instead, he had drawn me with ‘cords of kindness’ through that quick decision to join my life with Mike’s. 

I keep going back to my ‘pleasant’ boundary lines. I trust God, and especially when he has written in Psalm 84:11 ‘No good thing do I withhold from those whose way is upright’.

When those inevitable wistful dreams resurface, when I envy others for getting to live overseas and speak other languages, I remind myself that:  HAD IT BEEN A GOOD THING FOR ME, then the Lord would have ordained it.

Power dressing by borrowing Christ’s clothes

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And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:49 ESV

I lay awake for a long time the other night ‘thinking through’, (i.e., worrying about) Thanksgiving week when all five of our grandchildren and their parents will be with us.  I don’t ‘do grandparenting’ well.  I often feel insecure in my ability to plan activities and engage naturally.

I woke up tired, knowing that I’d be depending on the Lord for energy to serve at the pregnancy center this morning, as well as the day’s other commitments.

After reading the Bible selections for the day, I turned to my Andrew Murray book Abide. The next chapter following where I had left off the previous day dealt with Holy Spirit power.

I began to feel a bit energized as I copied in my journal one of Murray’s meaningful passages: ‘When Jesus strengthens believers, it is not by taking away the sense of feebleness and giving in itself the sense of strength….He actually increases our sense of utter impotence.’

Murray went on to explain that our feebleness and his strength actually co-exist, side by side.

Then this ‘money’ sentence hit me like a glorious two-by-four.  ‘….all our strength is in Christ, laid up and waiting for use.’  Now THAT was worth a sleepless night.  Here is what the Holy Spirit clarified for me.  Of course, I feel helpless, weak, ill-equipped as a grandmother, just as I did when I taught French in the classroom. That is intentional, so that I count on and rejoice in God’s power made available to me. Jesus brims with creativity, energy, joy, and knows perfectly how to engage kids.

Then another coin dropped, that God has intentionally given me some painful experiences that have led me to conclude that I don’t have what it takes to be a fun grandma. (It is given to you both to believe….. and to suffer….. Philippians 1:39). Furthermore, he perfectly timed my sleepless night to prepare me to receive THIS particular Andrew Murray piece about being clothed with God’s power.

Jesus in the Luke passage says we will be CLOTHED with the Father’s promised power.  It’s like a garment, a cloak of strength.  It’s not OUR strength.  We have to trust, count on and rely on the garment of Christ’s power. All by faith in the invisible promise of God.

I might not ever feel okay as a grandmother of young children. I might forever feel like I’m NOT enough so that my grandkids really sense that I enjoy them and that I make them feel cherished.

The good news, the GRAND news, is that God expects me to be enough, to be strong and capable and equipped IN the Lord. (Ephesians 6:10). 

Now, I have a concrete way to picture accessing divine vigor and creative abilities through slipping into Jesus’ power coat. I’m not meant to grandmother on my own. Or do anything, for that matter, in my own Maria strength.  So glad!

Does God answer all our prayers?

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You do not have because you do not ask God. James 4:2 NIV

This kind of verse can hurt.  We all have those people and situations about whom and for whom we have consistently prayed, often pleading with intensity that the Father would DO something! It could be a spiritual change in heart for a non-believing family member so that he feels compelled to turn to God.  Or maybe a cry for healing or way forward where there seems to be nothing but one obstacle after another.

But sometimes we haven’t even thought to pray, to bring a need before the Lord. Why would that be? In my case, I think Satan has blocked me from seeing that we could add a need to our joint prayers at night.  And it’s not because I entertain a kind of pious-sounding false humility that goes something like this: “Oh, I don’t believe in praying for myself.  That feels selfish. Besides, God’s got bigger fish to fry!” Have you ever heard that from fellow believers?

Let me give you an example of something Mike and I never thought to pray for daily. We’ve been talking about his upcoming planned retirement in a year, if that be God’s will. He loves recording books and doing voice-over work. About three weeks ago, we decided to include in our evening prayers a daily petition for more voice-over work right now.

What do you know!  Last Friday, Jen from ‘His Productions’ contacted Mike with the news that another pastor had selected him from all the other audio samples on the company’s website to voice this pastor’s intros and outros for his planned teachings on the entire Bible.

Boom!  Just like that, more audio work.  That sure encouraged us to keep praying.

Three days later, I heard the good news of another answered prayer. Mike’s mom had been lamenting that her daughter-in-law never seems to want to hop on Zoom during her weekly catch-up call with Mike’s brother, her youngest son.  My mother-in-law was wondering if she had somehow offended this gal.  Mike and I added their relationship to our nightly prayers.

Not 3 weeks after we started praying specifically for Mom and Eve to connect on Zoom, I learned that the Lord had answered our prayer. Mom had been able to chat briefly with her other daughter-in-law on the most recent Zoom call with Steve.

My theory is that God loves to respond quickly to many of our ‘small’ needs in order to encourage us to persevere in prayer, to NOT give up counting on him to handle all those burdens that we off-load in obedience. For sure, we all have been praying for months and years about many situations.  But you know, if you think about all the ‘moving parts’, all the circumstances and timing that God is coordinating, then you can see that arrangements can take time.  There is a ‘fullness of time’ for everything we ask for, whether the answer is as we requested OR whether God changes us so that what we thought would be wise or good and right might not really be.  

I have to remember that Satan strategizes to get me to draw a false conclusion about God, one such as:  ‘Oh, God doesn’t really care….He’s far too busy….you might as well give up…. you don’t want to be disappointed…..maybe you misunderstood the Bible….did God really say?’

Remember the persistent widow parable Jesus used as a teaching point? It’s a ‘how much more’ scenario.  Jesus emphasizes that indeed our loving and righteous Father will respond, unlike that unjust judge who just wanted to get that annoying woman off his back!

Friends, let us not grow weary in praying!  We have a good Father.

Our faith and His ‘pop-quizzes’

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If the three most important words in real estate are ‘location, location, location’, then the key three words for the Christian are ‘entrust, entrust, entrust’ all to Jesus.

Remember…(those)… who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Hebrews 13:7 NIV

If we are to ‘copy the faith’ of someone, that means we must be able to notice it. The text above actually makes that point.  The Greek word ‘consider’ means to behold.  What are we to observe? The conduct of believing Christians all the way to their dying end, through their journey toward the final portal into Life.

One’s ‘way of life’ indicates conversation and actions, how these mature believers interacted, how they handled affliction and upsets.

This morning, I read a different translation of 1 Peter 4:12 that compliments these thoughts: ‘When trials come to test you, don’t freak out.’ How clear!

Observing mature Christians who have taught us God’s word, mimicking their faith responses, watching how they think through and make decisions has a corollary. Just as we copy their pattern, that means others are watching us, too.  We aren’t always aware, but they are. 

But that responsibility won’t tax us if we recall our Lord’s assurance of supernatural, divine help promised to sustain us all the way to the end. God’s chesed, that is His steadfast love and mercy, is constant, never changing. Here’s to ‘not freaking out!’

**

As is my Father’s pattern with me, I can count on a ‘pop quiz’ to follow up what I observe in His Word.  Sure enough, He provided the ‘practicum’ just a day later while on our trip out to Seattle to visit Mike’s mom.

When I dread something, I will hand it over to You. Psalm 56:3 (my wording)

I had to repent this morning at ‘pee o’clock’.  Washing my hands, my head flew to the coming day and what I was dreading.  We have planned to treat Mom to a dinner out 3 blocks from her retirement complex.  My fears over the past few days have been: ‘What Uber driver will want to transport us that short of a distance and back?’ and ‘Will the ambiance and food please Mom or will it be too loud and unsatisfying for a 92-year-old?’  

So, as soon as I thought in the dark, “I’ll be glad when today is over”, He convicted me, clearing away the fog of fear.  “Oh, I have a heavenly Father!  I can hand this entire situation over to Him.”  And so, I did and fell back asleep.

Now, further into the day, I keep reminding myself that He has ‘got this’.  The grace we will need is already stockpiled. This event is meant for future praise.

PS: Well, it’s ‘the day after’.  And of course, God’s score card continues to be perfect. Not a single driver balked at the four-block trip.  We arrived on time.  There were ramps for Mom and her walker to use.  We were seated by ourselves in a spacious alcove with a view over Seattle.  Visibility was perfect. Our menu selection pleased Mom and we made it home with no hitch.  Our driver was in his early 80s, seeking always to be productive.  He understood Mom’s needs. 

Father, forgive me yet again for doubting your ability to come through. Thank you for your kindness to us and to Mike’s mom who delighted in being able to view her beloved city from the 14th floor.

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