Originally published Monday, 25 February 2013.
In life, when looking at something from a distance we often cannot make out what we see with exact clarity.
"Circle, hand, flag, stable, cross..." Emily stated as she labeled each picture for the nurse administering the vision screening. The stable, really a cup, was discussed more closely and even revealed to Emily, but as she covered the other eye and read the symbols from right to left this time, she continued with, "cross, stable, flag, hand, circle."
Perhaps it is the same with us adults? We see a situation looming in our near future or planted square in front of our noses and we have this ominous presence of anxiety about that which may happen.
Uncertainty can be a ferocious devourer of peace.
For five months we have welcomed Little E into our family and hearts. We love and understand him more and more with each passing day, as he us. Recent progress made on the part of his family lead us to believe we will have him for only two months more. Right now we have many questions and concerns for him, for our children, and for ourselves:
How will the transition back to his own home and family affect him? How will it affect our children? What amount of time will we need a break before we invite another child into our home through foster care? How do I cope with the guilt of looking forward to some relief as a parent of three back to two and yet handle my own mixed emotions about losing the little one I have come to love? What if we need several months "off" before we are ready to again become the orphan's advocate that foster care requires?
These questions only target this one facet of our lives...we know many more people and situations that require constant prayer.
The anxiety levels can build as we look at the mess and needs around us. Its presence can pervade our days without our expressed knowledge but rather a feeling, a heaviness, that we desire to be freed from.
Thankfully, as both the nurse and I clearly saw the stable was a cup, God sees the struggles in our view as whatever cup they may turn out to be:cups of grace and mercy, deliverance from or deliverance through, or cups of pain and purification for His glory and our ultimate good.
He who was born in the household stable came to drink the cup of God's wrath on our sin so we wouldn't have to. Lord, please give us eyes to see, as your Son, the cup poured before us and let us say as He did:
My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.
My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.
~Matthew 26:39, 42 (emphasis mine)
As we pray the Father's will let us also claim His promises found in Philippians 4:6-7:
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be make known to God. And the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.