To Get to the Other Side

Most moms cry on the first day of school.

They watch their babies step onto that big yellow bus, faking smiles and putting on excitement for the sake of their children.  Then that bus pulls away and they pull out the tissues.

Not me.

I cry on the last day of school.last day of school

It’s hard to explain really.  I want my kids home and I long for summer all year.  I’ve never been one to celebrate with a mani/pedi that first day of school in September as if I’ve re-asserted my freedom from the constraints of children.

I cannot wait for summer to begin.

But somehow that last day of school for me is like the emotional upheaval of making it to the top of Mt. Everest and back.

We did it.

We survived.

Not just dragged our tired behinds across the finish line, either.  We had a great year and I’m so proud of these girls and all they’ve learned and how they’ve grown.

They bring home broken crayons, used gluesticks and a pile of awards and certificates and I just pray with this gratitude that spills out in those pesky tears like an emotional dam bursts and I’m just gushing:

Thank You, Lord.  You answered my prayers. You gave them great teachers, good friends.  You gave them success and helped them shine.  You guided them through a million tiny and seemingly not-so-tiny decisions and worries.

You brought us right on through and onto the other side and I am just so thankful.

Exhausted.

But thankful.

I’ll cry a bit.  And then maybe I’ll flop right down on this new shore and take a nap because this momma is plumb wore out.

Somehow this year we survived a new book, a new baby and a C-section recovery that took mom out of the driver’s seat and made dad the king of the carpool.  We made it through preschool three days a week, community theatre productions and a Christmas cantata, Engineering Club, a computer competition team, the school talent show, three girls in dance classes three nights a week with a recital to boot, and a steady stream of church activities.

There were times that I thought I could not make it if one more child brought home an unexpected project for school.

Could.

Not.

And I’ve discovered that I really do have a “look” that I flash whenever my child brings home a handwritten note in her best cursive writing asking for a playdate this Saturday when we have 12 other activities already on the weekend agenda.

But here we are.  The last day of school.

The last….day…..

I wonder how the disciples felt climbing out of that storm-tossed boat after fighting for their lives and stumbling in their faith right before the calm.

Did they crawl out of that fishing vessel, soaking wet, panting, dragging out one limb at a time and then stretch themselves out in the sand until they could catch their breath?

Or  did they hop out of there totally unflustered, like they hadn’t been screaming for rescue just moments before?Photo by Viktor Hanacek at PicJumbo

Something tells me they didn’t just shrug that typhoon off and move along.

Maybe they took the time to cry and thank God for salvation.

Like me today.

I knew we’d make it, though.  At times it felt like I was hanging on for dear life, but I knew He is faithful.

God’s grace does that.  It holds us up and carries us on, and our calling is never too much for Him to handle.

Too much for us?  All the time.

Too much for Him?  Not for a second.

So we throw the full weight of our survival onto Him, casting those cares over and over onto shoulders strong enough to carry them.

We trust in His promise.

Those storm-weary disciples could have done this.

Jesus didn’t invite them out for a pleasure cruise that day.  He didn’t tell them, “Get in the boat so we can sail around for a bit and maybe catch some fish.”

He gave them a promise of destination:

 Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out.  Luke 8:22 NKJV

Jesus never abandons us halfway.  If He makes a promise, we know He won’t abandon us in the boat.   He’ll take us to the other side.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

 

Weekend Walk, 08/13/2011

Hiding the Word:

Welcome back to my verse memorizing partners!  I’ve been working for two weeks on a block of verses in Psalm 145.  Here’s my text all put together:

The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.  
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
Psalm 145:13b-19

What a powerful reminder of God’s faithfulness to keep His promises and to provide for us and deliver us as we have need.  More than that, He is near to us even during the difficult times when He feels far away.

I came across so many powerful verses in my reading this week, but I think the new verse I’m choosing is:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7

My commentary says “humble yourselves” could be translated, “allow yourselves to be humbled.”  Humbling hurts and it’s certainly hard to submit to.  But Peter gives us two utterly powerful assurances—God will eventually lift us up and God cares for us.

What verse have you chosen to meditate on and memorize this week?

I use The Bible Knowledge Comentary, New Testament Edition, by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck.

Weekend Rerun:
You Have Stayed Long Enough, first published February 18, 2011

It’s official.  For the first time, one of my kids has strep throat.  I was sitting with my daughter today, waiting for the results of the strep test and she complained, “It just isn’t getting better, mom.  How long before I get better?”  Now, I know very well that after a few doses of the “pink medicine” her throat won’t be hurting any more.  But, when you’re the sick one, wellness just can’t come quickly enough.

Have you ever asked God—”How long?”  How long before I’m well?  How long before You rescue me?  How long before I see the fruit of my labor? How long before we receive what You have promised?

These aren’t questions unique to our impatient modern culture.

  • Psalm 35:17 How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions.
  • Habakkuk 1:2  How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
  • Psalm 13:1-2  How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?  How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Whether it is waiting for God to rescue us or waiting for God to fulfill a promise to us, it’s hard to trust in His timing.  We tend to tap our foot with impatience after a while and begin to think He must have forgotten about us.  I myself have prayed with the Psalmist, “Be pleased to save me, Lord; come quickly, Lord, to help me” (Psalm 40:13).

You can be honest with God and share with Him your desire for a quick intervention.  He created time and knows exactly what pressure time places on us.  Still, after we’ve cried out to Him to “Come quickly, Lord!,” then we need to trust Him to deliver us at exactly the right moment.  He doesn’t always intervene when we expect it or desire it, but ultimately He is always “right on time.”

In the meantime, do not give up hope that your deliverance will come.  As Psalm 27:13-14 says, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Notice that waiting doesn’t necessarily mean we are doing nothing!  Nor does waiting mean asking God for something and then feverishly trying to make it happen on our own.

While we are waiting, we need to “be strong and take heart.” Waiting itself is an active discipline of seeking God and investing more and more in our relationship with Him, making sure we are focusing on His face and not on our need.

About three months into their journey between Egypt and the Promised Land, the Israelites arrived at Horeb, where they camped out for about a year.

Really meditate on this for a moment.

The people who left Egypt eager for no more than a one-month trek across the wilderness to the Promised Land had already been journeying for three months.  Then, they arrive at this mountain and God doesn’t move them again for a year.   They didn’t keep their things in their backpacks or set off in the direction of Canaan on their own.  They set up camp and actively waited for God to move them on.  During their waiting, Moses went up on the mountain and entered into a covenant with God, receiving the Ten Commandments.  It was a time of great spiritual intimacy for the nation as they saw God’s glory displayed on that mountain in powerful ways.

But, they didn’t stay there forever.  In Deuteronomy 1:6-7, Moses says, “The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb saying, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain.  Turn and set your journey and go to the hill country of the Amorites . . .”

Only God knows the answer to your question, “How long?”   Just remember that waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing.  For my sick daughter, waiting means taking her medicine, doing what she is responsible for doing, and letting the medicine work.  If God has you in a season of waiting, be strong, take heart and actively wait for Him, using every moment of this time at the mountain to seek greater intimacy with Him and eagerly await the display of His glory.

And when He says to you, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.  Turn and set your journey and go,” then go!  Break camp and move on!  Don’t get so comfortable at the mountain that you neglect to continue the journey.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King