“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” I came across this verse today and the memory surfaced of when I was “introduced” to this verse as a brand new Sunday school teacher. It’s remained a favorite Scripture of mine for many years now, but another remembrance also surfaced of an incident a few years ago. It’s an incident in which I believe I failed to exercise the measure of faith I’ve been given. It was when an MRI revealed a large “irregular” tumor inside the top socket of my tibia bone, and I allowed myself to be overcome by my situation.
I hardly uttered a prayer for my own healing, and I don’t even remember receiving any prayers in regards to healing—at least not any faith-filled ones. And it wasn’t as if I had never been through any hard things. As a young Christian I walked through a life-threatening illness afflicting my firstborn, and had I been legally married to her father, I would have been a widow just a short while later. But all these years later I seemed to lack the courage I exhibited through these earlier situations. Now, my behavior suggested these things were “too hard” for the Lord; obviously, they weren’t—they were merely “too hard” for me.
But I also realized that this is not the end of the story or the end of my opportunities to exercise faith and courage. If I did fail a test of faith, I don’t get a permanent “F”. I get a second chance. We all get a second chance. And a third and fourth and so on. Though we may fall (or fail) we are not utterly cast down. In fact, God lifts us up onto our high places. He trains our hands for war and our fingers for the battle. He infuses us with strength, with hope, with love, with whatever we need in any situation. All we have to do is ask.
But the just shall live by his faith. –Habakkuk 2:4
I used to say I had a “go” mode and a “slow” mode. And to most people (who didn’t see the rest that preceded my activities) it appeared that I “tore” through my day with determination to accomplish the task at hand. I’ve been the recipient of the command, “slow down” and “calm down” and I have to admit, I sometimes didn’t like being told those words. But things have a way of changing. These days I am having to learn to monitor my pace. What I once took for granted—movement, and fast movement in particular, now comes with care and heightened sense of awareness. What I once took for granted—movement with ease and movement without any pain or lingering side effect is something that now gives me much to consider—In a nutshell, I can no longer count on my own strength. I used to be able to dash (I was a master at dashing here and there), skip, leap, dance, lunge, and bend any which way I chose, but these days, at least for the moment, each step comes with much deliberation, which means to say my pace has slowed down. This “stop and smell the roses” pace is not of my own choosing, but rather, something my body is choosing for me. I have had ample time for reflection on my physical state of being and I am concluding there are perhaps things to perceive and things to learn that I didn’t notice before, when my body was “in the lead.” And so I’m transitioning into a new pace in life, learning to make adjustments where they are needed, but at the same time, not giving up hope that God can restore my knee, or better yet, give me a brand new one.
…In the meantime, the phrase came to my mind yesterday: “slow down, you move too fast” and I wondered, could it be God speaking to me (yet again) through song lyrics? Because I know I have missed God’s timing in my life more than once by jumping ahead of God when I was sure it was time to “Go.” And I know I spent my youthful years operating in my own strength (and “will” I might add). But I also know that God uses all things for good to those who love Him and to those who are called according to His purposes, even using what the enemy meant for evil and using it for His own purposes, which are always good. So for now, I am in a learning more how to savor the movements and notice things that a slower pace allows. Perhaps also it’s my opportunity to lean on the Lord more. And to realize that what He wants to accomplish through me might be slightly different than what I wanted to accomplish. At any rate, I am determined to learn what I am supposed to learn in all of this. I shared earlier the opening line of the song that came to mind yesterday; I will conclude with the final line, which appears to me as a modernized version of the phrase “all is well.”
“Life, I love you, all is groovy.” (penned by Simon and Garfunkel)
Yvonne Mutch, June 1, 2016
Discovering Heaven, one encounter at a time.