You know how when you are supposed to say something, but you don't, then the thing you're trying not to talk about won't ever leave your mind?
Why haven't I written about it? Because it's my sadness and my emotion and my struggle. It's too much about my life, too personal, and I have trouble talking about those things.
However, I realize it's not so much my sadness I need to tell you, but rather God's word and comfort to me. To you. So....,
What To Do When the Thing You Didn't Want to Happen Happens
(probably the longest title ever for a devotion )
When our oldest daughter and her husband excitedly told us they wanted to move to another state, another city three hours away AND take our grandchildren with them I was less that pleased. Honestly, I was speechless and hurt. We are a close family, get along better than most, and our lives are happily entwined. Why would they want to leave?
However, they felt the call of God and made the necessary preparations. A job was found in the new city that "just so happened" to have a branch in our area, so Patrick could transfer whenever they sold their house. The house went on the market, was sold after several months, then they found a lovely house close to his work. For the most part, things just fell into place. It's hard to argue with the call and provision of God on someone else's life...no matter how it might make you feel.
When their house sold days before Thanksgiving last year, it was a done deal. They were definitely moving away.
Facing the inevitable, my heart was broken. I had to ask God, "Okay, how am I supposed to be? How can I do this? I need to - I want to - help, but the thought of them all moving away makes me incredibly sad to the point of feeling sick."
My kind, heavenly Father's word back to me was, "Be like David." That's all. Just be like David.
Be like David? Be like David? My mind rapidly scanned countless Old Testament stories of King David and stopped at this one - when what he didn't want to happen happened.
His little son was sick. Very, very sick. David prayed. He cried out to God. He fasted. Continually night and day for a week. His servants were worried for his own health, but he sent them away. After a time, the report came. His son was dead.
Baffling everyone, David got up, washed, changed his clothes, went to the tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. Returning home, he asked for food and ate. When questioned about his actions he replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22-23 NLT)
Basically, David simply made the effort to move on even though the very thing he asked God to prevent from happening happened.
This realization filled me with a level of peace in our situation that I hadn't known before. David moved on. I needed to move on and stop thinking about myself. God's grace enabled me to put a smile on my face, listen to their excitement, and not burst into tears. It was settled, the house was sold, and they were going to leave town. I was still sad to see them go, but no longer crippled with depression. I was able to face my daughter and son-in-law with a glad heart and willingness to help them accomplish their goal.
Part of helping them accomplish their goal meant they lived with us while they were between houses. Yes, their house here in town was sold, but they didn't have a house to move to! Oh, and did I forget to mention, their baby was due three weeks after the first of the year?
To make a long story short:
- They closed on their house here in town two days after Christmas and moved in with us a few days later.
- They closed on their new house on the baby's due date, January 18.
- Baby was born one week later (a thrilling home water birth!), January 26.
- The next weekend, my mom and I went to their new house to paint and clean.
- We helped them move to their new home two weeks after the baby was born. They had lived with us six weeks.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need.
My power works best in weakness.”
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT
God is faithful. When I chose His way rather than despair, I received more grace to do what needed to be done. When I admitted my complete inability to handle the situation, God gave me the strength to not only help my kids, but be an example for others.
May God give you more and more grace and peace
as you grow in your knowledge of
God and Jesus our Lord.
2 Peter 1:2 NLT
Yes, thank you, I will take it. How about you? Could you use more and more of God's grace and peace in your life? When have you experienced His help in a difficult situation?