It was another impossible day in my normally impossible life.
I woke to Jayden's blood glucose monitor shrilly announcing a low blood sugar, one twin fiercely arguing with the 4-year-old about a pencil, the bunnies escaping from their cages and running rampant (and leaving little round "signs" of where they'd been) all over the room, and one 10-year-old shouting about the Warriors shirt she just had to wear to school today, but of course, could not find. I should have known right then it would be one of those days—a typical day in the Schalesky household. Welcome to my life. Maybe you've had such days yourself!
I leaped out of bed, threw on some clothes and raced past the dirty dishes in the sink, the pile of laundry in the basket and the multicolored blocks scattered on the stairs.
Next, I snatched up a bunny, broke up the fight and pointed to the corner of Jayna's shirt sticking out from under the couch—how it got there, no one will ever know. Then I hollered at Jayden to check his blood sugar with the meter (turned out the monitor was registering a false low from his lying on the sensor), hurried to pack lunches while making scrambled eggs and told everyone to get dressed quickly or we'd be late to school.
"Mom, I forgot to finish my homework. I need help with this problem."
"Mom, I was supposed to bring brownies to school today, remember?"
"Mom, I don't like pepper in my eggs."
I looked down at the peppercorn grinder in my hand. What was I thinking? What was I doing? This was absolutely, completely, 100 percent impossible.
"Mom, my monitor is alarming again."
And it was. This time, Jayden's monitor showed his blood glucose to be shooting over 300, and a finger poke confirmed it. A little yogurt was sending his number into the danger zone despite the exact right amount of insulin I had given him.
I walked back to my bedroom, sat on the edge of the bed and dropped my head into my hands.
Then I heard, in the din, a quiet whisper in my soul: "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
I didn't laugh. I cried. I sobbed great wracking sobs because with that one simple promise of peace God had uncovered in me all my hidden fear for Jayden's illness, all my pain from trying to do it all, be it all, for everyone. He showed me my weakness.
He showed me his strength.
I am not God.
All of this crazy life I live, from Jayden's type 1 diabetes to getting six kids ready for school, to bunnies and laundry and lost shirts—it's all too difficult for me. Too long I've believed the cultural mantras of "You can do anything you set your mind to" and "All it takes is a little hard work." In reality, very little of my life is actually within my control.
I can't undo past mistakes. I can't control what happens to me, or to my kids, today. I can't cure diabetes. I can't guarantee anything in the future.
I am not God. He is God of yesterday. There's nothing in my past that can't be forgiven, nothing I've done He can't redeem. He's God of today. Whatever happens is in his hands. He's the God of how I spend this day, this hour, this minute. None of my "now" belongs to me. It's all his. And he's God of tomorrow, of my hopes and dreams, and my fears. I can leave all that in his hands.
So in the realities of this impossible life, I'm finding it's not my job to make God's promises come true. It's not my job to grasp after what I want and despair when things don't go as hoped. Instead, I just need to trust the one who promises impossible peace, the one who holds all my days in his hands. The one who asks me, "Is anything—anything!—too difficult for the Lord?" (Gen. 18:14)
I need to but remember: He is the God who delights in overcoming the impossible.
Excerpted from Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timetable © 2016, Abingdon Press.
Marlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction whose articles have been published in many Christian magazines. Her latest release is Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timetable. She is the founder and president of Wonder Wood Ranch, a California charitable organization bringing hope to a hurting community through horses. Schalesky lives with her husband, six children and a crazy number of animals at her log-home ranch on California's central coast.
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