I’m sitting in an empty, quiet house while my husband is in Pennsylvania with our three girls.
I hesitate to tell you this, lest you succumb to unhealthy, ungodly jealousy, but I guess I’ll take the risk for the sake of setting up the scene.
We bought a house two and a half months ago and almost every waking moment since then has been spent unpacking, shopping, organizing, re-organizing, and painting. My husband has been working so tirelessly that I have started juicing vegetables and making him drink them just in case the stress has been making him prone to cancer.
Sitting in the solitude has a way of making me reflect.
Recently, Pastor Bill visited from Iceland with three suitcases full of our belongings. Hidden between the books and the clothes was a small spiral notebook I had had in Iceland. I had kept it on a large window sill by my kitchen sink so I could meditate on Scripture while working in the kitchen.
For some time, it stayed open to this particular verse, Isaiah 14:24. I’m not sure why. I was having a tough pregnancy, culture shock and language learning was even tougher, and then we found out about Gracie’s heart defect. I guess reading this verse took the pressure off, like it wasn’t up to me anyway, so why should I waste a millisecond worrying? Things were happening like God intended, and I just needed to take a nap in the backseat instead of being annoying and controlling in the front passenger seat.
It sat there through the dark winter and eventually through the intense sunlight of the Icelandic late spring until almost all the words faded. When it fell out of the suitcase onto my lap, I could barely make out the verse and took a pen to fill in the nearly invisible words. It was like a miniature, pocket-sized memorial, capturing both the beauty and the asperity of the last few years.
Sitting here today it’s impossible to not recognize the sovereignty of God in bringing us back from Iceland under very stressful circumstances, allowing us to lack full-time work for fourteen months, humbling and breaking us….only to eventually provide an amazing job that would fit us in every way, grant new life in our family, and–finally–after looking for a year, provide a home that is just perfect…
…For such a time as this.
“For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him?
His Hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 24:17)
I think life is easier when we filter it through this particular lens.