these hard weeks have taken their toll. still i trudge along carrying the discouragement just below the surface. an hour spent with a handful of 4th graders and long division leaves me in tears i fight to hold in. but when their teacher asks how it went out they all come. oof. embarrassing. i knew i was a bit fragile, and i’ve no problem with the tears-just a problem with the current context of their appearing.
i pick up my lone 6th grader who has stayed after school. we talk well in the car he and i and he shares all the ways he’s been having that sick dread feeling in his stomach and all the strategies he’s used to cope. i want to just listen, he is an amazing strategiz-er. my heart just hurts at him dealing with it all by himself. we talk deep and pull in to a parking lot. It was only 5 minutes ago that I’d been instructed to drive here to meet up with grandma and my other two. mid conversation he interjects; “can i go play at the park?” so that’s that and out he hops, bounding over to the playground my eyes had failed to see tho we’ve been here countless times. i watch him-there is a spring in his step-the day is far behind him, the park is up ahead. for a moment i sit in the car thinking deep thoughts, but then that Wonder of a Counselor whispers; “join him”
i hop out and walk over and take him all in. wonder fills my heart at this child who hasn’t let the struggle of the day rob him of the joy of monkeybars and climbing up the outside of the slide. i marvel at the last-minute and unplanned steps that brought us here-to this very place at this very moment in time. the park and parking lot is abandoned and quiet. the sun is beginning to set. and if for only 5 minutes we are both free and free to drink deep of the joy.
we swing side by side to see who goes higher. he almost turns completely upside down; “you should try it mom, it feels really good”
we jump off-he lands farther.
when our time is up, deep has called to deep, deep joy has called to deep discouragement, and we are refreshed.
really, this is how it seems to go for me. discouragement piles on, and i can’t climb out of it on my own. But God….oh that glorious ‘But God’, He leaves me in Wonder at the ways He lifts me out-even though all the things remain-He restores Wonder in my heart and it makes such a difference.
i’m tempted to pray that when the children are all grown and i’ve no more 11 year olds to invite me to the swings on a hard day, i’ll have the wisdom to go there anyway. do you see what i do there? i try to discover the recipe and take control, removing the very Wonder of a God who Knows Everything. my prayer shifts and instead i ask that i would keep my eyes open and have the wisdom to see.
O my God, my life is cast down upon me [and I find the burden more than I can bear]; therefore will I [earnestly] remember You from the land of the Jordan [River] and the [summits of Mount] Hermon, from the little mountain Mizar.
[Roaring] deep calls to [roaring] deep at the thunder of Your waterspouts; all Your breakers and Your rolling waves have gone over me.
Yet the Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
psalm 42:6-8 amp