Love is on the way

As soon as it was mentioned last winter, I knew I would be going.

This year instead of spending my final week of summer break preparing for the coming school year I would be heading to the south side of Chicago to do some inner city mission work. I would have to spend some time organizing my classroom a bit earlier than usual, but I thought I would be up to the challenge. After all, it was months away.

Fast forward to this past Sunday.

My daughter’s sweet family had just left on Friday after spending three wonderful weeks with us. Putting school work as far out of my mind as possible, I enjoyed every minute of their stay. I did manage to squeeze in a morning or two at school, but for the majority of the last month I chose to soak up family time like a thirsty sponge.

Now it was Sunday afternoon and the reality of what I had to get done in a week’s time began to bear down on me.

What had I been thinking?

I would not return home from Chicago until the Saturday before school began on Monday. Although Monday was a designated teacher day I knew it would be filled with meetings from the beginning and end with an introduction to my new students and their families at our Back to School Night. There would be no time on Monday for lesson planning or preparing materials for the open house.

Panic-stricken I began to melt like a sugar cube dropped in a tea cup. A few hours of work at school on Sunday afternoon had only intensified the pressure. I’d begun to realize there was NO WAY I was going to get everything ready for school and the mission trip. So I did what I always do when I am feeling completely overwhelmed.

I sat on the floor and cried.

And then I prayed.

Slowly, peace came.

Determination followed.

So now the words of Jude 1:2 from the Message Bible are resonating in my heart. “Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way.”

Joy fills my heart. The cavalry is coming! Love is on the way.

As the school year begins I will enter encouraged and prepared.

The mission work accomplished on the streets of Chicago will be a blessing.

No longer is there fear or worry in my heart.

His grace is sufficient.

Love is on the way.

A Bump in the Road

On an unseasonably warm January day I headed to the park for a walk. As I strode down the wooded trail I spotted a small boy seated on a bike at the bottom of the hill. Trying to get over a hump in the road he was furiously pedaling, but going nowhere. Seeing no adult in sight I was inclined to stop and help. However, as I came closer I caught sight of his father standing on the path to the right. He had been obscured from my sight by a hedge of bushes lining the paved path.

The boy’s face was contorted in anger and frustration as his father called out to him. Walking past them I heard the dad call out to his little boy, “Do you need a boost?” I had to smile as the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “Sound familiar?” How many times have I struggled to get over my own bump in the road refusing the help that was available? How much easier would it have been if I would have simply acquiesced to the Father and allowed Him space in my situation? I remember the words of Jesus when he calls to us saying,”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. I don’t have to keep spinning my wheels trying to get some place fast when my Father is willing to carry me there!

It’s so easy to fall into the thinking that I can navigate this world on my own. Why ask for help when I am perfectly capable of running my own life? However, when the incline becomes steep and my little legs cannot pump fast enough to move up the hill I become very aware of my need. I am thankful for the reminders that God puts in my life, like little boys on bicycles and patient fathers on the path. And ultimately, the knowledge that when I hit that bump in road I can look up ahead and be certain that my Father is there, patiently calling out to me, giving me the boost that I need.

Thank-you, Lord Jesus for your ever-present invitation to find rest in You. Help me to remember that You alone are the truth, the light and the way. And when I struggle sometimes to find you remind me that I need only to call out and You are there. I love you, Lord.