Recently, I received an email from one of my sister-friends. She’s been by my side for over 30 years – at some times closer than at others but always just a phone call away. She asked me about graduation plans – specifically about a party for our Senior and if she could host.
Tears stung my eyes.
We’ve had such a roller coaster of unexpected this school year, graduation plans just haven’t entered my mind. The generosity and normalcy of her question caused me pause. And I thanked her. Not only for the kind offer, but for the reminder.
“You are so super sweet and the only one who has even thought about a graduation party (WE haven’t even thought about graduation!!)” I emailed back. “It has been such an unexpected challenging year. I think we will be limping across the finish line – hopefully.”
Though this year has been disappointing and unsettling at times (probably more often than not) I keep encountering God’s goodness in it all. For me and I hope for our kids and for Jon. I have learned so much about embracing unmet expectations and about love – especially love when it doesn’t appear desired and most certainly isn’t returned. And this has opened a door for compassion to become empathy – which I don’t think is something I could have done myself.
But, it has also been an unnerving test of faith. This morning I woke up thinking about manna and the way the Lord provided perfect sustenance – nothing more and nothing less … with a clear directive to take nothing more – for the Israelites as they wondered for 40 years in the desert. And then I did what I just can’t believe I knee-jerk do – I actually thought: it was easier during manna times – the Israelites KNEW it would be there every morning and every evening; I don’t know. And then I caught myself, did you just compare yourself to the Israelites?!! (Oh my word, COMPARISON please leave the building!)
Then can’t help but ask myself, can I rest in daily provision? Really rest at peace knowing that today’s needs are provided. Knowing that I must move forward, put one foot in front of the other. But that I only need to walk today’s road – not tomorrow’s.
It’s so hard. The battle is in my head, in my thoughts. Can I make them obedient to and anchored in Him? Sometimes – yes. Lots of times, no. Then, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I don’t have to. He helps with that, too.
Have you ever read The Hiding Place? It’s one of those books I read about every 5 years – just as a reminder of who God is. Last night before going to sleep, I read the part about the little brown bottle of vitamin oil. Do you remember how the Lord diverted the guards from knowing Corrie snuck it and her Bible into Ravensbruk? That her sister Betsy was so sick? And that somehow that bottle had vitamin oil every day. Not just for Betsy but for the ALL of the other ailing women. One day a package arrived that had basic goods and vitamins. Strangely enough, Corrie’s vitamin bottle no provided oil. Until those vitamins ran out – then it started providing oil again. A miracle for sure. God’s truth in action.
Daily provision. Needs met. On a need by need basis. Never more, never less. Manna.
I’m not sure I like the tension that comes with daily provision. But somewhere along the way, maybe I prayed to God please show me who You are. And though my daily provision might not look like manna on the ground each and every morning, it is there. Not in plain sight, but always there. And I get to learn that He provides.
The further I travel down life’s road, I’m convinced that faith is one of the best gifts He has given us. Faith grows knowledge of Him. A level of intimacy unavailable outside of faith. I guess because we just can’t do it on our own. We know Him deeper as He works through us, because we can’t do it. So, in the most indescribable way – He does it for us. Which opens the absolute best gift – Grace.
Our 14yo daughter said the other day, as she was riding shotgun, “Mom, the things in life that are hardest to do, are the things that tend to be best when done.”
I’ve really enjoyed chewing on that little piece of teen-wisdom.
Thanks for walking the road with me.