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Uneasy. That’s the word I’ll use to describe the week before my surgery. I couldn’t shake the feeling, no matter how hard I tried.
We’d gone to the beach a few days before the screws and plate in my knee were to be removed, and I was hoping I’d find some peace there — that I’d have an “A-ha” moment with the Lord. We swam in the pool, fought the ocean waves, fished off the pier and ate out. It was a wonderful getaway, but my mind constantly kept reverting to the surgery and the sense of dread that I felt. I trusted God. I truly believed He could work all things together for good. I just couldn’t seem to “feel” it.
Yet God, being patient with me as usual, met me the last morning of our trip. My very perceptive husband knew I needed some time away, so he suggested I go for a walk on the beach before the kids got up. I gladly took him up on the offer. I slipped on my flip-flops and quietly headed out the door, talking to God as I went.
I stepped down off the deck, onto the beach and automatically began to scan the surface of the sand for treasures the tide had brought in overnight. I picked up a few things — a white pebble smoothed by the saltwater; a shell that used to be the home of a wonderful little sea creature — and then, I heard God say to my spirit, “Look up, Belinda.”
I answered, almost as if He were standing there with me, “But if I look up, I might miss a shell.”
He replied, “But if you don’t look up, you might miss Me.”
So I looked up, fully expecting to see dolphins leaping in the air or a beautiful out-of-place rainbow, but there was nothing. No “A-ha” moment, only waves for my entire journey back.
Yet, every time I found myself looking down to find shells, my mind and heart would remember what God had spoken to my spirit — “Look up.”
I am (and was that day) reminded of the verse in Colossians 3 that says, “Set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things, for you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Earthly things: surgery; sickness; cancer; loss; hurt; painful relationships; the list goes on and on.
Things above: Christ; His plan; His purpose in the hard things; His good plan for me; His heart toward me; thankfully, this list goes on and on, too.
You know, I never did have that “A-ha” moment at the beach...at least not the “A-ha” I expected. What I did receive was something even more precious — something that would carry me through a lot more than a moment in time. I received a reminder from the Lord to “Look up;” to keep my eyes focused on the One who makes everything right and has my good and His glory in mind; to keep my attention on Him, who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all I could ask or imagine; to faithfully acknowledge the One who is able to counteract everything life can throw at me; to see His possibilities and not my own helplessness. “A-ha.”
Prayer: “Thank You, Lord, for speaking to us through Your Spirit - for always nudging our hearts to look up at the heavenly things...for reminding us that the things we see here on this earth are but temporary and the things of You are eternal. Thank You for using these earthly things to produce in us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. Thank You.”
Steve and Belinda Kirk write the “Everyday Grace” devotional for the Johnstonian News. Reach them at 919-449-5745 and firstname.lastname@example.org