Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; keep your foot from evil.
I have a really awful stomach ache this morning. Three days ago I arrived home for spring break and was home for an hour when we got a phone call that my Grandpa who had had a serious accident was now in critical condition. We packed the car, made it to the hospital, waited and prayed with family and friends. The next day, he had a serious surgery to repair his spine which lasted for several hours.
My entire extended family spent that day on our knees in prayer, joining literally thousands of other prayers asking God for healing and a safe surgery. God heard us. And not only did He save my Grandpa’s life, He also protected him from serious complications. Hearing the news that Grandpa was alive and okay gave us all the ability to finally breathe. We thanked God for His healing power.
Yesterday I spent the day at the hospital again and was able to talk with him for a little bit when he woke up while he squeezed my hand and signed “I love you.”
It has been an incredibly difficult week, but filled with constant reminders of God’s faithfulness and power. I have felt His presence close to me these past few days as He surrounded my family with His love and peace.
So why do I have a stomach ache?
Because honestly, reentry into daily, regular life after that kind of experience is hard. Yesterday, I found myself feeling much like I do today–overwhelmed with the responsibilities that the rest of this week holds, exhausted, and not sure how in the world I am supposed to get it all done to the best of my ability.
So, I took some time and I went down to the hospital chapel. I prayed. I sang. I poured out my heart to God. And I read His word. I read the Psalms out loud that spoke of His faithfulness, power, love, and sovereignty. And then I turned to Proverbs which seemed like the most natural place to go in search of some practical wisdom.
I don’t think it was a coincidence that I opened up to Proverbs 4 where the verses at the top of the screen come from. This whole semester God has been using these verses to convict and challenge me of my need to surrender all of me to Him, including my own strength and my time.
Sitting there, I realized that I cannot tackle every future responsibility in one day. I can only take on the one that is right in front of me. I left the chapel feeling more peaceful and focused on the present moment.
Today, waking up, I found my mind cluttered with a never-ending list of everything I need to accomplish in the next few days to handle my responsibilities well. Rather than committing my day to the Lord, I focused in on what I can do in my own strength. Hmmmm….this surrender lesson is going to take a long time isn’t it?
Even after writing all of this, I still have a stomach ache. I’m honestly still worried and scared about all that this week holds. I still feel strong emotions about everything that has happened this week. I’m exhausted. I’m drained.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
I am committing right now, in this moment, on this day to look straight ahead. I cannot change what has happened. I cannot know what will. But I can trust that in my weakness, His power is made perfect.
I am tired. I am weak. My stomach is filled with a million butterflies. I am anxious, afraid, and overwhelmed. I ask You now for Your strength and Your power to make it through the next few days. By myself I can do nothing. I need You. I’m sorry that I so often forget to include You in my day. When my eyes look away from You, I am never satisfied.
Thank You for the many ways that You have revealed Your power and love to my family and to others this week. Thank You that You still do miracles. Thank You for healing.
I trust You to guide me step by step. I am looking only at what is directly in front of me.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.