Running to Catch-Up

My mango tree in full bloom January 13, 2022 (Photo by Milly Moss)

Such an American thing to do. In American culture, we always seem to run to catch something. Writing this, I feel like I’m trying to catch 2022. So what happened? Let’s catch-up…

What indeed! Have you wondered where I’ve been? Well, me too. I barely remember turning over a new year. This is a good thing I suppose since it forced me to take time for rest, healing, and reflection rather than plotting, er… I mean… planning goals for the new year.

A few days before the new year, one by one, our household came down with a run-of-the-mill flu. Nothing fancy or exciting, just a few days of aches, pains, a cough and congestion requiring sleep and taking care of each other. Something we could handle.

On top of it, we had warmer than normal temperatures with rainfall. This had all the plants deciding it must be spring. It’s as if the green things were shouting; “Release the Pollen Ya’ll! Make ‘em sneeze!”

With all these forces in action, it took two weeks before we, the cave dwellers, started venturing out into the sunshine again. {Blink, Blink} Imagine my surprise to find myself in the middle of January rested and wondering where to start.

We ended up canceling our annual January trip to North Carolina. We could have gone, except I had an uneasiness in my soul and the only word from my Lord: “wait.” I really wanted to go but, something held me back. My husband and I prayed about if we should go.

I still wasn’t feeling 100% and my husband was starting to feel achy. While praying about the situation, I whined. “Why Lord, I haven’t been able to go to the mountains since last March! I want to go.”

No answer. Silence from my soul.

I kept searching for a solution and a way to settle my unease. I knew I needed to depend on the Lord and trust Him. So why was I having so much trouble with this? A simple thing like trusting His nudge, but it is oh so hard when I really want to do something. I found warning signs on the government websites and speeches. It looked like a lock-down might be imminent. Top officials yelling about death on Christmas day. I knew not to believe them. There was just that little four letter word, “wait,” between me and cool mountain air. When my husband and I talked, he simply said, “then we wait.” His simple faith encouraged me to trust.

God knows what he is doing if I listen. The day we had planned to jump on I-95 and head north, a major snowstorm hit the mountain areas. Later that evening we discovered people in Virginia and Washington DC trapped in their cars on I-95. Two days later, some were still in their cars. While the snow fall amounts were not huge and much of the snarled mess appears to be from government ineptitude, we South Florida natives would have been out of our element, driving into a snowstorm after dark that day. With no tire chains, might I add.

If I stop and pay attention, He leads me even when I don’t understand or get frustrated. In the last few weeks, I have had time to read and wonder where this year is going. I have pieces, but no answers. It is why I haven’t been writing much. Several times I started a post or a chapter, but could not draw the rambling together.

When I finished the Book of Revelation, I found myself drawn to a verse I do not understand: Revelation 19:7: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”1 The verse encouraged me. The marriage feast of the Lamb is in our future. It is exciting to think about. But I am confused by the phrase “made herself ready.” It makes me wonder what we need to do to make ourselves ready. I’m not sure I know what it means. This year I hope to find out.

At His leading, I started reading the Book of Isaiah. It is beautifully terrifying, if that makes any sense. I found the same phrase repeated three times in Isaiah Chapter 10: “For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.1 At first, I thought God was reaching out to His people who did not listen. But the reference to Isaiah 5:25 shows this is not the case:

Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.”1

Here, God stretches out His hand in judgment against nations. It is a terrifying thought for us sheltered in churches. I know God is love and mercy beyond my comprehension. It is hard to understand His power and judgment as God. Not as an earthly father or judge. The boxes I like to place Him in. But as God! The Great I AM. And He still cares for us.

Looking back over the last few weeks, God’s grace in my life is amazing. It can be something as big as road conditions I could not handle or simply finding comfort in a verse in my current christian fiction novel. There, I found a scripture for me today:

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;”1 [2 Corinthians 4:7-9]

Please pray with me:

Lord God Almighty, My Lord and Savior, I find myself perplexed by what I am learning. Today, it is beyond my grasp and knowledge. Guide us today in the way You want us to go. Our world spins out of control. Help us focus on You and make You first in our lives today. I love you. Bring us wisdom, knowledge, and understanding as we remain faithful to You. In Jesus’ name, amen. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.”

Remember, the happenings in our world perplex us, but He does not leave us in despair. Hold on to His Words today,

Milly.

Footnote 1: All scripture is from the King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

P.S: The novel I am currently reading is The Restoration by Wanda E. Brunstetter

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