Today in the car as we were on the way home from a grocery buying expedition, I turned to my husband and said, “How does anyone have energy to accomplish anything? How does anyone ever build a house or landscape a yard or plant a garden? How did Mother Teresa find strength to nurse the sick and feed the hungry? For that matter, how do evil dictators find the energy to take over countries and carry out their dastardly plots—think how much energy that must take? I'm so exhausted that I can't even figure out how to just take care of my home responsibilities, much less accomplish anything impressive.”
I lapsed to silence and stared out the car window. I prayed for help, and then scribbled the following words onto the back of the grocery list:
"There are no perfect solutions this side of Glory, but in the midst of every solution, at the heart of every outcome; there is God."
I came home and crawled into bed, still fully dressed. I was feeling that I'd always been exhausted, would always be exhausted, and despite the Lord's encouragement given me on our way home, my thought processes went something like this: "What's the use, why try; and really, who cares? All I have to do is to make it through this world and then head home to be with Jesus, which after all the Apostle Paul said, '...is better by far.'" I fell asleep and slept soundly for two hours.
When I awoke this Scripture was in mind, ""Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you" (1 Kings 19:7).
I didn't move. "I'm on a diet, Lord," I reminded Him.
Then, a bit nervous for speaking to the Almighty in a flippant tone, I said, "I guess You already knew that."
I pulled my computer onto my lap and found 1 Kings 19 at Biblegateway. The prophet Elijah is frightened for his life, discouraged, and exhausted. He flees to the desert and falls asleep, and an angel awakens him with instructions to eat.
And so I came downstairs, fixed myself a generous plate of leftovers from the fridge (keeping in mind that Elijah went in the strength of his angelic meal for 40 days, I assumed the Lord intends me to reinstate portion control tomorrow), and sat down in front of the TV. President Obama was just finishing his address from the Oval Office regarding the crisis caused by the oil disaster in the gulf, and I switched on the set in time to hear him say the following words, a quote from a former fisherman and priest regarding the annual blessing of the fleet of fishing boats that head out into the gulf each year, some of them for months at a time:
"The blessing is not that God has promised to remove all obstacles and dangers. The blessing is that He is with us always; a blessing that's granted even in the midst of the storm."
Tears began to roll down my face as I recognized the similarity between the thought that had come to my mind in the car on our way home this afternoon and the president's words. Sometimes I'm a little bit slow on the uptake. Today it took an affirmation of the Lord's words given through the President of the United States for me to get the message.
Thank You Lord. Thank You for being our future and our hope. Thank You for Your unfailing presence with us.
Scripture: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,'" (Jeremiah 29:11).