God Must Have Smiled
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 62:5, 6
The day I put my final manuscript for Treasures in Darkness in the mail, I reviewed the context of my life in which I wrote the book. I realized while the earth shifted beneath my feet, God held me steady through chaotic circumstances.
Early in 2003, I created a writing schedule with the goal of sending the final manuscript to the publisher by the end of August. I took into consideration the possible early arrival of our daughter’s twins along with all the other family and church needs. Some writers work for an hour a day but I typically will not work on a project unless I have big chunks of time. I don’t like interruptions so I reserved whole days for writing over the next nine months.
God must have smiled as I wrote out my schedule in permanent ink.
In spite of my well laid plans, stress took up residence in our home that summer of 2003. The earth repeatedly shook beneath our feet. To steady my emotions, I camped out in Psalm 62 and David’s words became my mantra:
God is my Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge. I will not be shaken.
The shaking began that spring. We looked forward to the birth of our daughter’s twins, due in August. We expected Heidi to go on full bed-rest in late May. The doctor sent her to bed much earlier and two of her children, Danielle and Benjamin, began to see our house as their second home. Along with enjoying our little grands, I kept meeting writing deadlines, feeling pretty good about my writing schedule and disciplines. I could do this!
And God smiled.
Early that summer, our son Dan and his wife Laura and baby Emma moved in with us, expecting their new house to be completed by mid-July. And I smiled, anticipating fun times with our little granddaughter. To accommodate them we reorganized sleeping arrangements and my office became a bedroom for two of the grands. Remember those large chunks of writing time on my calendar? Instead of early morning writing, I tried to write during nap times and often closed the computer wondering what in the world I had written. I couldn't remember any of it. I met my deadlines but felt inadequate and helpless, knowing I could not write this book. I wasn’t smiling but I think maybe God was.
Then the relatives came! Chuck’s nieces and two small children arrived for a vacation. Our household increased once more. Every space filled up with loved ones. A houseful of family thrills me and visits from our Texas relatives are rare. I wanted to soak up every minute with them. But that book. Instead of chunks of time I grabbed minutes. Meanwhile Heidi continued on bed-rest at home.
Sometimes it’s in the mundane that God gives us treasures designed to transform our response to daily interruptions that push aside our well laid plans. As I soaked in Psalm 62, my prayer for myself and our family started changing. In my journal I wrote:
You, oh God, are teaching me to take a deep breath with each new stressful event and choose to believe: You ARE my Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge. I don't need to hope You will be those things. I can believe that You already are.
God used that process to prepare me for an emergency phone call and race to the hospital. I pleaded for the lives of our preemie twins and safety for our daughter. I begged God to be our Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge. I remember exactly where I was when the Lord gently reminded me, “I AM your Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge. Face this crisis with confidence that I AM all of those things for you because you are my daughter.”
Tears streaming down my cheeks, instead of asking God to be our Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge, I repeated over and over again:
You ARE my Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge. Show me what that means in this crisis.
And I think God smiled.
Lord, someone needs these words today, right now. Maybe the earth is not shifting beneath their feet, but the mundane tasks of life are weighing them down, and personal goals and needs are going by the wayside. Remind each of us of the truth of Psalm 62. When we trust You we will not be shaken because You ARE our Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge.