We had this perfect plan, where I was going to shine in the marathon weeks of methodically packing and moving, and he was going to be stellar in the end sprint. Because that’s how we roll.
Except we didn’t factor in him coming down hard with influenza just about the time I was getting ready to pass the baton, in the last two weeks of moving.
One Thursday night, only four days before we had to be out of our house, Matt set out to help me. He managed to install a new doorstop in one of the bedrooms before I had to send him back to his mom’s house, to crawl into bed. This was the same night our son was flying in at midnight for his spring break.
So there I was, the exhausted marathoner limping through mile 26, left by myself to clean, pack, and repair our house. And I was very much the morning person, now in charge of the 12:00 airport run. It was a miserable, impossible circumstance in which I found myself.
My knee-jerk response, as Matt drove away, was to wail bitter words to the Lord–something about how life was unfair and, Are you kidding me?–but I immediately thought better of this (I’ve been practicing. Thinking better, I mean.) Instead of hurling at God my complaints dripping with self-pity, I purposed to humbly accept this trial and lean on the Lord to help me get through it victoriously.
Drying my tears, I asked God for strength to do the sprint for the evening. Next, I called my mom, the night owl, and got some good encouragement there. Then I picked up cleaning supplies and worked like crazy.
I’m here to tell you that God gave me energy (and believe me, I was on empty), to work from 3:00 in the afternoon until midnight. And I had the sweetest time with him.
I was not alone.
As I vacuumed and scrubbed rooms, God and I talked to each other. He kept me good company. His rich, empowering promises kept me from bonking. It was a very special time with him, and now I sing joyfully with the psalmist: “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” (Psalm 54:4 NIV)
If you want to find God, you have to look for him in the hard moments of your life. There is an intimacy to be found there, when you refuse to shake your fists at heaven and instead open your hands to receive all of its goodness. Will you look to the Lord as your help today?