Monday, November 7, 2016

Searching for Treasure

photo credit:
I will bless the Eternal, whose wise teaching orchestrates my days
    and centers my mind at night.
He is ever present with me;
    at all times He goes before me.
I will not live in fear or abandon my calling
    because He stands at my right hand.
Psalm 16:7-8 (The Voice)

35 days.  That’s how long it’s been.  My home has been a children’s sick bay for 35 days.  My kids passed a virus around from one to the other, with one or two down at a time.  Miserable does not begin to describe their experience and they made it known. This misery was as contagious, or even more contagious than the virus.  I found that as the kids got better, I felt worse. I didn’t get the virus, just the misery, and the fatigue.

At my breaking point one day, I could barely manage the normal challenges of life in my other roles, outside of ‘mother of sick kids’. Actually, the mothering role was suffering as well. Misery had moved in. Pain, old and new, was magnified in my heart and the weariness became a state of my soul. I had had enough and was willing to abdicate all my responsibilities, save that of keeping my children alive. No more working with clients, no more school, no serving at church. I quit! (though I know better than to act on these ‘decisions’ taken in such a depleted state)

The day after my pivotal ‘I quit’ day, I started a reflective practice called the examen.  I was recently introduced to the examen and it has helped me notice God’s footprints all over my days. It’s like rifling through a cluttered drawer for treasure. And finding some! My simple version of the examen goes something like this: 
  • First, I center myself and become aware of my loving Father’s presence with me
  • Then with Him, I look back over the past 24 hours, watching for His Hand or demonstration of grace. It’s always scary because I usually can’t remember much of the day when I start, but when I remember one moment and acknowledge it, another comes to mind, and soon there is a flood of memories, little touches and experiences of grace and mercy.  
  • Then, I look back through the 24 hour period for other times that were hard for me for whatever reason and talk with my Father about it.  
  • Then, we look together into the future, and I offer Him my worries for the day to come and listen for His thoughts.

On the day in question, I was bowled over by His footsteps, His arms, His voice, His comfort, His help. He was the Sustainer that day. Actually, He was the Sustainer over the course of the 35 days. He graciously walked with me, giving wisdom and courage and physical strength to navigate. His rod and staff did comfort me.  Refreshing waters and food, all there, even though I didn’t realize it. He is ever present with me. (Ps 16:8)

So, I can’t quit. I won’t quit. Because He stands at my right side, looking with me into tomorrow, and whispering, Remember. No matter what tomorrow brings, I’m Right Here

Can you see His footsteps when you look back through the past 24 hours? Trust Him to orchestrate the next 24 hours, no matter what comes. How loving and generous is our Heavenly Father!

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your presence with me today. Help me to remember that you are walking alongside, even if I can't see you. I pray that I will respond to your gently love and touches of grace by continuing to give myself to your calling, this charge to love You and love others. Refresh me today as we walk together into the next 24 hours..

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear that. I hope everyone's well now.
    This is a beautiful piece again, dear.