I just thanked God. For all the “delivery systems” of His grace and love in my life… Even in the midst of the changes that scare me, and the doubts… As I watch the child who was the “baby” for 7 years seemingly come unanchored from all the certainty that made her the John in the parable of our relationship – the one who rested assured of the love of Jesus Christ for him… Loved ones who have observed us have asked aloud whether the former “baby” will become a “Lost Child.” Which is a nightmare, it should go without saying…
I have to listen, my heart breaking, to my children as they call out for me…before they remember that it’s Daddy whom they want now; because, he is the one who tends to their needs now. He’s the one who makes the lunches, as I recuperate from my Emergency C-section, hobbling around with my 3-5 month “pregnant,” deflating belly 2 weeks later. He waits outside with them for the bus and makes their meals and answers their incessant demands – the ones I miss now that they have been detoured away from me to my partner.
And my partner is tired of being primary caregiver to 4 children and a nagging, sickly wife. Even though I do blame him, in all honesty… Also, in all honesty, if it were the other way around after 2 weeks, I would go outside somewhere and leave my cell phone behind. Just so I could breathe and get a good whiff of freedom… I’d have to get away and pretend for a little while that things were normal, too.
Because we have not achieved that new normal yet. We’ve barely managed to keep our heads above water on this part of the water ride, y’all. But there is a glimpse of hope on the horizon that we follow doggedly, almost against our will. Christ in us must be pulling us toward that light the same way the new baby’s cries convince me to feed her again – through the pain.
And people bring us meals. They bring us gifts. They spend time with us and take the kids on fun missions that don’t focus on the new baby. They agree to take The Littles to activities that they otherwise would have missed. These acts of generosity and friendship and family represent the system by which God delivers His grace. His love… And they staple our transition wounds back together. They tape the openings closed where infection could otherwise seep in. These people that God has given to love and to care for us are one way that God heals us.
14For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. 15Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Hebrews 13 (New American Standard Bible.) That’s what came to mind as I thought about how, even as I doubt and fear for the future, I thank God – sacrifice of praise. I always feel like the speaking of what I know about God – even when it doesn’t feel good – changes my reality. So, I praise. I worship. I pray.