The words jumped off the page at me. Finishing up "So Long Insecurity" last week, by Beth Moore, I found myself pausing long and reading over and over how to deal with the fears behind insecurity. Just two words. Trust. God.
Do I dare? Is it possible to take my worst fears (failure? rebellious children? the future of our nation?) and lay them at His feet and TRUST?
The Coach and I have been talking a lot about this. And about being thankful. They go together, don't they? If we can lay aside our fear and take up trust. . . can we also set aside our disappointment and take up thankfulness?
This weekend I started reading Ann Voskamp's book titled, "1,000 Gifts". I like it. And I don't. It's wordy (I can relate). She uses more adjectives than my little girls with all of their drama. But she's real.
The good things? I find it easy to thank God for those. I love to write Thankful Thursday posts about all of His blessings. I never struggle to think of a list. . . it's just THERE in my head. . . always learning to notice and enjoy the "daily" things of motherhood and family and LIFE.
But the "bad" things? Can I really thank Him for those? Can I really trade in the fear for trust? Is it possible?
I didn't really want a chance to practice.
Saturday morning, the garage was open between an early hunting trip departure and our early morning run. About 30 minutes, we think. It was still dark. The light in the garage ON. A great deal of our extremely useful possessions illuminated for all to see. The house full of sleeping children (minus one) and the Coach and I tiptoeing around getting ready to head out in the wind to get our miles in.
The first thing we noticed was the missing leaf blower. Now, I won't hammer the point to death, but WE'VE GOT LEAVES. In the baddest of bad ways. It's not that we can't rake them, sweep them, mow them. . . but there are so MANY of them. That blower was the Coach's favorite tool/lawn equipment/toy.
Then gradually, over the weekend (at first thinking that only one thing was missing), we realized that a jacket is missing. A NorthFace that was a gift and has been handed down from boy to boy.
A backpack full of school-work, notebooks, books, pens, notes, etc.
Converse that we gave one of the boys as a birthday gift.
I have that heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's all "replaceable", I suppose. Nothing of eternal value, of course. But a huge inconvenience. A violation of our privacy and security.
The fear? Will whoever took these things come back for more? There's plenty of forgetfulness to go around with eight kids and two absentminded, easily distracted parents. Is there something else gone that we haven't realized, yet? Where there things in that back pack that our boy will not be able to replace? And he'll have to do without at school today, bless his heart.
And all morning that nagging thought, rolling around in my mind like an annoying song that won't go away.
Do I have to?
Lord, do I HAVE to?
Do I have to THANK You for this?
Can't I just offer you thanks for giving us safety while we were burglarized? Can't I just be grateful that the children slept unharmed while a stranger without a conscience took things from our garage only a few feet away? Can't I just praise you for what was LEFT?
Or do I have to offer you thanks for the bad, too?
The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach?
The Son who went off to school still trying to figure out what was missing?
The other Son who left here feeling so very badly that he left the garage open?
The Coach who still doesn't have a leaf blower?
Yes, I can be grateful we had another coat to meet the need. Grateful that we can save up and replace the leaf blower fairly soon. Thank the Lord for His protection, His provision, His grace.
But can I pray for whoever did this? Do I really WANT them to experience the grace of God, which they (and all of us) so desperately need?
Can I (gulp) FORGIVE them?
I can. And I will.
I will trust God.
I will thank Him.
And I will pray for those around me who are having to thank Him for much harder things today. Things that hurt much deeper and won't be resolved as simply. Things that can't be fixed or replaced. I will pray for those who are hurting, sick, dealing with chronic illness. Who are facing bad news and an uncertain future. Loved ones who are struggling through difficult relationships, unforgiveness, and bitterness.
I'll pray. And I'll seek to remember that my heart and the hearts of my children are way more important than stuff.
Either God is in charge or He isn't. Either He's big enough to handle the things we face, or He's not. Either He's sovereign and I can trust Him, or He's not and I can't.
The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph 5:20
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thes. 5:18
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful until Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4
And there you have it.