I began the day telling a friend in a crisis of faith to remember the stories of God’s work.
But when the phone rang and my son told me that he had misunderstood the time of his college chemistry final and had missed it, I momentarily forgot that God so often uses mistakes and dire situations to remind us that He’s working in our life.
I cried–I felt so bad for him. I fumed–how does that happen? I finally prayed–“Lord, we need your help.”
Prayed that somehow, someway that God would make a way for my boy. At some point the prayer turned from pleading to peace. I’m not sure how that happens. I just know that so often it does. There is that moment when it seems God just lifts the weight and says that He’ll carry it from this point on.
It’s entirely possible He’ll carry it in a way that you’ll be surprised by. Maybe even shocked. Horrified. Yet you’re so relieved to have the heaviness lift that you release it. Release it into hands that make you feel both terrified and calm all in one breath.
I felt it this morning when I read the email from a friend whose daughter lay in a hospital bed, pained and failing. It was present in the phone call with my sister and her broken heart. Again later, when another friend hobbled her faith into my living room on crutches, nearly lame. Later yet, when another young woman sat in my chair grabbing at hope for her future that on most days feels like trying to catch vapors. I am terrified that God will meet each of these loved ones in ways that will feel to them like they’ve entered the wash in a pocket unnoticed. Yet calm, because I know that God only allows the spin cycle for purposes of shaking off things that are best washed away.
I reminded myself of this for my boy. If he failed the class it truly would terrify his efforts and his ego. But isn’t that what God’s trying to do in each of our lives–bringing us to the end of ourselves so we’ll ask Him for help. Letting us find ourselves desperate enough to risk His potentially terrifying solutions, yet entering the calm of His presence…and finding that–His presence–to be enough?
A few minutes ago, I spoke to the boy. They let him take the final based on his plea for help. His last words, “This was a faith-building day.”
Sweet words to a mother’s heart. Sweet…and faith-building.
God has been at work today. I’m just telling the story.
What story do you have to tell?