I take things hard. ALL things. But especially stressful things, things like my baby having a seizure.
Things (stressful things) happen... I get stressed out... And stress sucks the life out of me. And when I'm stressed out, and life has been sucked out of me, it paralyzes me... the weight of the world on my shoulders is SO HEAVY. Then invariably, I get physically sick. Every. Time. My stomach has hurt since Susie had seizures two weeks ago.
Ironically, I feel like I'm good the moment a crisis happens: when Susie had her seizures, I was calm and cool and maintained my composure and handled it. Until the pressure was off, at which point I feel apart, and yada yada yada, today I'm not sure I have the mental capacity to come in out of the rain.
But it's not just the seizures... no, since my adrenal glands have kicked into overdrive over the Big Thing, along with worrying about that, I lay awake and worry about one kid needing braces on her teeth (to the tune of $5,000) and what happened to Michael's favorite shirt that I CANNOT FIND (seriously, how do you lose a shirt? I've already checked the dry cleaners...) and then there's this REALLY expensive school they're going to, and it's NOT just the tuition, and what if one of our (older, paid-for) vehicles breaks down, and in only six years Katie will be in college, and how will we EVER afford that?
I mean, seriously. How will we afford college, when we have an ambulance ride and an ER visit to pay for NOW? We can't save for college if Susie keeps having seizures! Come on!
See how my mind works? One crisis happens, and I have NO idea what God's plan is or how we're EVER going to survive this, and I totally forget all the endless multitude of ways God has protected and provided for us in the past, as if it's all up to me now and I don't know what in the heck to do.
Just like those Israelites I mentioned here... Oh, how easy it is to forget and to grumble and to freak out when you walk outside and the manna delivery isn't RIGHT THERE. Because in six years, we'll need even MORE manna, and THEN what?
Am I supposed to get a job? And if I get a job, what will I do with Susie? And who will pick the girls up from school? And what will I wear to work, and oh gosh, I'll need to spend more money on work clothes and gas. And THEN what? AND WHY WON'T GOD TELL ME WHAT TO DO?!
So just when I had worked myself into a frenzy in the wee hours of this morning, after a long sleepless night of my mind churning about the very things I just told you about, I see that my Facebook friend Windy has posted this as her status:
My thoughts are not your thoughts. Where I see a limited amount of options, a handful or maybe even just one reaction to an event or circumstance, you are looking at hundreds maybe thousands of options...to put things in human words.
I am working with a few puzzle pieces at a time that will eventually be the whole picture. You see the whole picture ahead of time (like before the foundation of the earth) and only give me pieces I can handle. Even at that, some of the pieces you give me cause me to wrestle and struggle...a lot. But you give me what I need when I need it to encourage growth in certain areas of my life. I often want more information than I receive, especially concerning injustice or suffering. But what I often forget is that the exchange of knowledge before I am ready or spiritually mature enough to receive it would be too much...it would destroy me.
I once was shown a tiny portion of Gods love for a certain group of people and I felt as if my heart would stop beating...a tiny portion. Oh if we would cherish the portion that has been revealed too us, what Power that small seed would yield in our everyday life.
Oh my goodness, I read that three times. How I needed those words.
God holds all the pieces.
God sees the finished puzzle.
We can't see the end result.
And He never expects us to.
I hold a very few puzzle pieces in my hand that I can't make fit together into a meaningful picture, but the pieces have a common theme:
- God has always, always provided.
- God has always, always rescued me from my enemies.
- God has always, always shown Himself to be faithful to me.
I've posted this on the blog before, but all this reminded me of this poem Elisabeth Elliot quoted, and it seemed appropriate now...
At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'
Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.
Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.
Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing."
I don't know whether I'm supposed to get a job, or if Susie will have another seizure, or even where that darn shirt is. But I do know that God sees and will show me the next puzzle piece when it's time.
Meanwhile, I've got to go do the Next Thing... which in this case, is wrestle a baby and cook supper. And that's ALL I need to worry about.