Whatever your heartache, keep praying. You don’t know the end of the story. Charles Spurgeon encouraged, “Never must we cease to pray until they cease to breathe. No case is hopeless while Jesus lives.”
I gladly poured my life into knowing and loving our two boys. I read, taught, played, protected, challenged, lead, pursued—with the goal of shaping their hearts for God. I relished my time with them. The middle and high school years brought dark waves of concern that stretched our faith and stressed our hearts, but my husband and I clung to the hope that we would come out the other side by grace.
In other words, Jesus’ yoke is designed perfectly to fit our needs; it’s tailor-made so that we become like Him. “Light” means “light in weight, agile, not burdensome, or overbearing.” It’s not that Jesus’ yoke demands less of us, but His yoke is light because He bears the greater part of the load. We’re yoked with Him, not trudging the path on our own.
No matter what trouble or pain fear conjures up, Love is never surprised, never immobilized by doubt. When I am one (or both) of these things, He gently takes my hands in His own and calmly speaks short instructions, as though talking to a half-witted child: I’m here. Look at Me. Let Me hold you. Come to Me. Rest. Listen. It won’t be long now. Don’t be afraid. Trust Me. I love you.
David needed peace as he began to lead God’s divided people, and he needed help! God had chosen David to be king, so it’s not surprising that He offered David help and said so openly. But how reassuring it must have been to hear those words spoken! David could rightly say, “This I know, that God is for me” (Psalm 56:9).
I am caught by the sturdiness of the thought: Jesus cannot cease to love. It’s who He is. No matter my life’s circumstances or my weaknesses, He loves me. He has from eternity past, and He will into the future with no end. Nothing rests on me. Everything rests on Him. What a relief! This foundation of unwavering, devoted love is the root of all my hope.
Given the choice between 2019 and 2020, I would choose 2020, hands down. While 2020 has not proven to be a great year, by any standard, there is the sense in which, “we’re all in this together.” Of course, I could be wrong, but I think there’s something about this pandemic experience that bolsters our sense of shared humanity and community. For years to come we’ll start sentences with, “Do you remember when …” and we will all remember when.
The decision to move back to the U.S., made 6 months before, was not a particularly hard decision to make. Our reality and the needs of others were pretty straightforward, and the Lord seemed to be confirming His leading through it all. The process of leaving, on the other hand, was excruciating.
As my broken body and mind sat at the feet of the Savior that day I saw before me a huge football field full of deep, sticky mud. I was in up to my neck crying out for help. I sensed Jesus saying, “I will never leave or forsake you but I will not take you out of it either. I will walk with you in the mud and you will know Me.” In my picture, I saw Jesus in the swamp with me. Around me, clusters of flowers bloomed out of the mud throughout the field–places of beauty in the midst of my pain.