That boy of mine graduates in three days, and my mother will be here in 13 hours. The sheets on her bed are still dirty, and I haven’t dusted yet, although she promises she doesn’t care what my house looks like. You know how it is, though? So if you’ll allow me to pull up this short blog from the archives today and extend it with an encouragement for right now.
I played the piano in the Alzheimer wing at the nursing home today, a little music while the residents were being set up to be fed. I tried not to take it personally when one woman started crying while I was playing (I didn’t think I was that rusty) or when the woman to my left started snoring. Tough crowd. But one woman was very coherent, and they wheeled her up close to the piano. She had a huge smile the entire time I played. After every song she clapped and told me how beautiful the music was. She was frustrated when she would try to clap, though.
“I just can’t clap very loud. I wish I could clap louder,” she said. I looked at her fingers twisted from arthritis.
“You’re clapping loudly enough,” I said.
“Not for the way I feel, though,” she said.
Yesterday I came into my morning quiet time with the Lord carrying the stress of finals week on top of checkbook balance on top of baby graduating on top of dirty house. I read a simple verse that said the Lord is my help, and I meditated on the truth that I’m not living life alone. The Lord helps me with school. He provides for the needs of our family. He will be with me through this heart-squeezing weekend of graduation.
The thought of having help eased away the tension and made me feel loved.
“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” (Psalm 47:1)
I walked away from my quiet time wanting to clap my hands, except I couldn’t make a sound loud enough to express how it felt to know the love of Jesus and to experience his presence.
So if you are in the thick of a stressful time, please remember that you don’t have to do all of this alone. Jesus is right here, at the ready. Doesn’t the thought of help make you want to put your hands together?