Shaky Feet, Steady Ground: understanding and mercy when my best isn’t enough

For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest…let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin.

-Hebrews 4:10-11, 14-15

Oh Lord, help me today to do my best to enter your rest. Help my heart to trust that your work at the cross is complete, just as your work of creation was complete, and so you have invited me to rest with a clear conscience.

It occurred to me this morning that Jesus faced the test of starvation. My High Priest can have informed understanding and compassion on hyperemesis moms. He gives mercy in our weaknesses. He can guide us to success and victory and hope. I beg for that.

We’re still working on getting the Zofran pump dose dialed in so that I’m not losing my meals. I’m having irritation all over. At every site that the needles have transferred medication, I have red, raised, painful welts. I don’t have that much of a baby bump at only 17 weeks, but I’m already finding creative ways to avoid bending because of these angry, swollen spots all over my abdomen.

It’s challenging to hold my wiggly son close. I’m so thankful for the pump…and I’m having a hard time adjusting to it. Tears of relief and overwhelm threaten at the same time.

Oh Lord, be bigger in my heart this morning than the 23 weeks I have left.

Thank you for the gentle language of “do my best” in the sentence that calls me to enter your rest. Thank you that I can humbly confess I do not excel at this. Thank you that you are merciful and gracious in my need, in my struggle, in my suffering, in my testing, when my best isn’t enough.

You lift my shaky feet to steady ground and lead me to your rest.


Cries From The Clay: I do not start at the truth, I am led to it.

“And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.”
 
Isaiah 64:8

I do not, this morning, have a gentle, submissive attitude that praises you for your wonderful works. Today, I’m upset. These are cries from the clay in the messy and pressure-filled work of molding.

I’m frustrated by this verse because as you formed my body, you allowed this genetic flaw that would make every pregnancy miserable. I’m nauseous. I’m hot. I’m tired of throwing up. I’m tired of how little control I have over whether our travel plans will actually work out or constantly need to be re-worked. I’m tired of the countdowns.

Countdown to second trimester? Done! So what? Other people get to bid the nausea good riddance and enjoy the extra energy. I throw up and spend my days in bed just the same. Countdown to going home? Meaningless. Travel is so tenuous now, it could all fall apart at the last minute. Countdown to the baby? It will mean no sleep and a torn up body.

Every countdown just feels like counting down to more problems that I do not have the capacity to take on.

We do not get to just enjoy your gifts. They are fraught with difficulty and brokenness at every turn. Relief is coming, but it is so far away. And I am living and trying to stay encouraged here and now. I am struggling to find tangible joy and hope for my tired hands to take hold of.

I’m crying out to you, my Maker. You, who have carried me through these waters before. You, who have set me on solid ground and given my heart new cause to rejoice. Forgive my angry outcries and restore my soul. I am breaking here and I do not understand your ways.

Outward, always outward I am reaching and searching for a source of delight and satisfaction and strength, but you use these moments of unrelenting hardship – not just to teach me to endure – but to teach me how you endure.

You, my light and hope and source of lasting contentment, you endure untarnished by the harsh realities I am walking through. May my heart be humble and wise enough to take you at your word that your grace alone is sufficient for me, especially in the frustrating moments when I do not feel it.

You gave your life for my freedom. It’s the message for all time, given at just the right time (1 Timothy 2:6). Freedom from condemnation, fear and worry. Freedom from the need for control. Freedom to surrender.

Oh Lord,

Help my heart to surrender to your care and rest, even in my disappointment, even in all that is uncertain. Lead my heart to contentment in you, Oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer. I do not start there, and when it gets rough like this, I cannot find the way myself.

But I can come to you and pour out my soul. I can admit that the truth doesn’t feel true and confess my need for help with my own heart, and you will faithfully step in to lead me. When I am blindly groping for a foothold, you are a faithful guide who makes my shaking feet sure, and you gently help me to believe again that you are a trustworthy potter. That what you are crafting is worth every second of the wait. And that in every moment of my difficulty, you hold me carefully in your hands.

“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5

Matchless – by Beka Burns

“So I’ll hold on for dear life, you are worth all it costs.”