Can I just tell you that last week was one of the most difficult I’ve walked out in a long time?
A close friend had a health crisis that only God could avert, and He did. I had the privilege of walking out some of that with her, her family, and our other friends.
There were issues with the boys. And with their school. And with the boys. Yes, I meant to say that twice.
As I put out fires and sent messages to people who needed to know some of what was going on, I struggled against the urge to escape.
Sometimes, I need to be still, to handwrite out all that’s burdening my heart.
I found myself wishing I was living a different reality. One where the boys didn’t push back on every consequence, on the things that Hubs and I know are good for them.
A reality where everything was going as we want at the boys’ school.
A reality where there was rest and time to do the things I wanted to do.
I wanted to run away. Only all the “stuff” would still be here when I got back.
Because of course I would come back.
As I wrote, the Lord showed me I was asking to not be present.
Would you think less of me if I may have slightly nodded my head to that assertion?
There are times when I would rather not be present.
And then I felt convicted.
I threw myself a little pity party, but I wasn’t trusting the Lord to be present with me.
But He is.
In every heartbreak. Every frustration. Through every hurtful thing said and heard . . . my Father is with me.
Even when it’s hard to be present with our sons, in their teenage willfulness, I’m called to be there. Not to be a doormat, but to be love with skin on.
I can only love well when I’m leaning hard into Jesus…on the One who is always present with me.
I know this passage discusses Paul’s physical needs being met. Could it also apply to some of our internal needs?
When I long for escape from my reality, I’m looking to meet my needs somewhere . . . in Australia, as I sometimes joke. Or in a good movie or book. Or in doing things I don’t normally allow myself to do.
I’m searching for contentment outside myself. Ultimately, even if I do watch a chick flick in the middle of the day, or spend hours reading a great book, my problems will still stare me in the face when I complete my distraction.
When I want to escape rather than be present and work through the current “hard,” my focus is in the wrong place.
Paul learned how to be content in every circumstance. He learned how to set his eyes on Jesus and not on what people said or did, or didn’t say or do. He found contentment when he trusted his Savior to provide for every need.
That’s where I stumbled. I focused on the pile of “stuff” burdening my heart all week long rather than at the One who’s working in the midst of each situation.
When I look to Jesus to strengthen me . . .
. . . to give me what I need to walk alongside my friend during her very challenging life-change
. . . to give me love and the right perspective when a boy is defying me
. . . to fill me with His peace when emotions run hot
That’s when I have the willngness to be present in the current hard.
That’s when I develop the strength and the energy to be what He wants me to be for the people in my life.
What about you? When have you sensed the Lord’s presence? What helps you persevere when many areas of life seem to be closing in?