My family and I were just returning from a long trip: an extended family reunion in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. Plane flights and shuttle buses and car rides and lots and lots and lots of family.
July 4th was the first time we were riding in our own car in 11 days. It felt so good to be back in our old “friend”………. except for that moment that the warning light came on accompanied by a loud beep telling us that our rear tire was low. My husband and I exchanged looks. We had just paid a lot of money last month replacing the rear tires. We hoped it would be an easy patch repair job the next day, and we knew that it was nothing a little gas station air pump couldn’t fix for the hour drive back home.
From the back, my seven-year-old Noah began reminiscing about the one time we got a flat tire while driving on the highway to see a friend. It was probably two years ago now.
“Sometimes, I just get so worried that I can’t even say anything,” he diligently put words to what he experienced that day on the side of the highway.
Relief blew across my heart. He can name it. The battle is so much easier when we can name the thing that attacks us.
We talked about praying to God whenever we’re feeling anxious. I shared hope that as God reveals himself to us, and as we come to know him more, our worries don’t have the same power that they used to have. He felt he had grown some in the past two years.
In my head now a day later are the conflicting stories of the very real anxiety and nervousness that have found their way through my family’s bloodline, contradicted with the immense trust and hope in God that also seems to run like DNA through my extended family. Sometimes I worry about what my little ones will take from their bloodlines.
When worries like a flat tire or like what the future holds overwhelm, how I wish that we (my Noah and me) could know how God sees and knows it all and has such a beautiful plan for all of it. ALL of it.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:16-17
“You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 139:3-6
One of my dear uncles died on Saturday night. He was 86, so it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to us. It did, however, because the night before, he was leading us all in a wonderful time of prayer and blessing at a family reunion where about 90 were in attendance. And to think of the way in which God saw all of that from the beginning of time: that my Uncle Bob would have just spent seven days with all of his children and most of his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. That his heart did not fail until after he had the opportunity to lead our family in an impromptu time of connecting and prayer that was more meaningful than any of the planned activities of the week. That the Lord kept his heart working through all of his car travels and trips to the airport until the middle of the night when he was in his own home with the woman he loved for 62 years of marriage. That he was able to go from one reunion to a much greater one. We would have loved to have him with us longer to glean from his joy and his unashamed life for his Savior, but God had a perfect plan that he had worked out long before time.
So, little Noah, you’re worried about a little air out of a small piece of rubber? So, my heart, you’re worried the struggles your little ones will fight through as they grow? So what. I’m guessing God’s got a great plan for that.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24