"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms..." Deuteronomy 33:27 (KJV)
I stood at the ice machine down the hall from Mom's hospital room filling up her ice pitcher before I left for the night. I was tired. Actually, I was exhausted. I didn't know how much longer I could hold up to the daily trips that were 35-40 miles one way. Would it ever end? Would life ever resume to normal?
I wanted to be there for her...do all I could. Her condition wasn't so good, and at that point, we really didn't know how things would go. I determined to not have regrets should anything happen to her, and I was pushing myself beyond my own limits.
Life goes on in the midst of our trials. Dishes pile up. Laundry gets behind. Homeschool requirements and deadlines still have to be met. Love needs tended and nurtured. Marriage can never be sacrificed and put on the back burner....nothing in the world is important enough to let that happen...ever. Children need attention and reassured that all will end well. On top of all of everyday life, there were other heavy pressures weighing like lead on my mind and heart. Responsibilities that were threatening to crush the very life out of me. A load too heavy for me to carry...one step further.
I felt alone and weary beyond words. I was spreading myself way too thin....there were days I longed for a clone of myself...someone who could lighten the load...even just a little bit. Maybe take a day here and there to do what needed to be done...so I could stay home...and rest.
As I stood there, the tears welled up, but I felt too tired to cry. It just took too much effort.
Have you ever felt too drained to push the tears to the surface and allow them to fall?
I felt the need to pray, but there was too much commotion and noise and chaos...nurses and doctors scurrying to and fro, late-night visitors walking in and out of rooms telling their loved ones good-bye for the night. And even if I had been alone, I was too dog-tired to even attempt to pray.
All of a sudden, I felt the sensation of being lifted....like someone had come along behind me and picked me up. Like I was being elevated up...onto some one's shoulders. Like arms much bigger than mine had reached all the way to the 7th floor and picked me up. I stood there and paused wondering what was going on. I even looked around to see if there was someone behind me. Everyone was caught up doing their own thing. No one was near me or even looking my way.
All at once it hit me that this was not human aid or intervention at all. This was none other than my precious Lord!! He had come! He was near me! He was holding me...close....carrying me on His strong, broad shoulders...lifting me up above the pain in my heart, the exhaustion in my body, and the worry in my mind.
Had someone just lifted my name in prayer? Did someone care? Was someone, somewhere asking God to help me...to sustain me...to make Himself real to me? Or did He hear the cries of my own heart...the prayer that I was too tired and discouraged to pray...was He answering without ever being asked?
Whatever was happening, it felt wonderful. Soothing. And peaceful.
It gave me strength and new hope and renewed vigor.
I walked back down to Mom's room, and I knew that no matter what happened, I was being carried. I didn't have to trudge through this alone. God was near, and no matter what took place, it would never be bigger or stronger than the shoulders on which I was being carried.
A change took place that night. The battle still waged on. Days seemed endless and unchanging. Sometimes, I felt like I would scream, if that would have helped any. But, somehow, it was easier each time I remembered that feeling...of being lifted....onto His shoulders.
I knew in my heart that He would never let me down. I knew He wouldn't drop me or tire of carrying me with all of the weight I carried. I knew He was stronger than all of it and more than capable to take on whatever happened.
Talk about relief! I didn't have to shoulder it alone. I was being carried...continually...by Someone who loved me more than His Own life.
I love this picture of Zachary and Uncle Orville. You can't see it, but it was raining. You don't know it, but Zach was tired. We had been walking for a while, and Uncle Orville kindly reached down and placed him up on his strong, capable shoulders and carried him through the rain. I love this memory.
He lightened Zach's load. Zach wasn't afraid. He loved and trusted Uncle Orville. He knew automatically that if he was holding him, he'd be fine...even though Uncle Orville is tall and Zach was over six feet above the ground....he didn't feel fear.
My friend, we shouldn't either.
God will not let us go.