Precarious. Isn’t that a great word? The sound of it even seems to suggest its meaning. The last few weeks or so have felt down right precarious. As if I’ve had to carry a tall Jenga tower with me wherever I go. But it’s not just when I’m out and about. Even when I’m home, I won’t set it down in the corner and allow myself to relax. Instead, I hold my breath and remain vigilant, as if to prepare for the inevitability of my precarious tower to crash.
A Strange Assignment
One Saturday morning when my kids were young, I recall running into their babysitter at story hour. It wasn’t unusual to see Sarah at the library, but it was a surprise to see her carrying a rather realistic looking plastic infant in her arms. Sarah explained it was an assignment for her child development class. She had to tend to this responsibility, this burden, every moment, day and night, for one entire week.
I remember thinking what a strange assignment? But to recall it now, some twenty five years later, it gives me pause. How often do I voluntarily take on so much more than a plastic doll for a measly week?
The answer is…
ALL. THE. TIME.
I lug around worries the Lord has asked me to yield and haul around hurts that aren’t mine to heal. I’m weighed down by assignments, He’s never asked me to complete. And I collapse beneath expectations that aren’t mine to meet.
No wonder things have felt heavy.
How exactly did my jenga tower become so unwieldy? Well, first we learned that Ian would lose his job coach support in 2022, jeopardizing the longevity of his purposeful work. Next came news of a major legal set back disrupting our plans to build a casita. Piling on more stress, Ian stumbled home showing scary evidence of his bad choices which grounded him for life… again. And the proverbial straw…the block that would topple my tower, was Becca’s positive covid test the day after she arrived home from Pittsburgh.
Looking back on it all, (and those are just the highlights) I realize it wasn’t one thing. It was many seemingly little things that added weight and precariousness to my tower. But just keep going I told myself. You’ve got this.
To fuel my perseverance, I kept my eye on the prize, a long awaited respite away from stress. Jan 1st, Becca and I would escape to Placencia, Belize, for a week of scuba diving, and adventure.
In hindsight, it all seems embarrassingly obvious.
Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
My Jenga tower crashed on Dec. 19th, when Becca tested positive. Because her symptoms were mild, I wasn’t all that concerned about covid, but I was angry and frustrated that covid had wrenched it’s way into our plans. AGAIN. Would Doug be able to preach on Christmas Eve? Would this ruin another Christmas? Could Becca get healthy in time to travel? Should I get in her face and hug and kiss her to get infected, in hopes of getting over it in time? Should I let go of our trip entirely and put it on the same heap where all dreams go to die?
As I picked through the rubble I had to admit, I don’t got this. I never had this. It’s a lesson I’ve had to remediate more times than I care to admit.
But Grace, who was born on Christmas, didn’t berate me for my forgetfulness. He comforted me and loved me and best of all understood me. Through tears of relief, I sensed His rescue. Trust me, I heard Him say. Christmas will come. Christmas has come.
Phil 4:7 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
By the time you read this, guess where I am?
But, wait. Before you discard everything I’ve said because of how things worked out for me, it’s important to notice the order of things.
We think that understanding is the precursor to peace. We think that unless we know how things will work out, peace is elusive. But that’s not how peace works.
The moment I gave up control and allowed my Jenga tower to topple, I was flooded with His peace. The peace that passes all understanding was mine, even though I had no clue if or how things would resolve.
With a light burden, I’ve held our coveted trip in an open palm, never certain if it would actually happen. And because of my complete and utter dependence, God’s ‘answer’ has been even sweeter. Of course, He gets all the glory. With many prayers and my well researched covid remedies, Becca recovered quickly and the rest of us, miraculously, have remained healthy and testing negative.
A New Year
Eager to start fresh, I enter 2022 with a renewed trust in my sovereign Lord. As I pray and read His word, I’m focused on what He wants for me in the coming year. Specifically, I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to direct me to a specific word and/ or scripture to provide intentionality and focus. Would you like to join me?
If you’re unsure how to proceed, dayspring simplifies the process of finding your WORD with this short quiz. Perhaps it will help you to get started.
Happy New Year, Debbie Hucke