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Moments for Mom February 2006

By Elisabeth Corcoran

I'm just now getting the idea that my definitions are not the same as God's. Things like rescued, carried, peace --- they mean different things to him than they mean to me.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8, 9)

I want to be rescued. I want someone to save the day. I want someone to show up. I want someone to intervene, to fight against evil and my enemies on my behalf, to alter my circumstances. I want someone to stop the pain.

I want to be carried. I want to be given strength that supersedes my norm. I want to rise above, to lean into, to glean all I can from any given situation. I want to feel like I can let go and things will still be okay. I want to feel taken care of.

I want peace. I want relief from thoughts that won't stop invading my mind. I want hope that all will be well, and that it can all be well right now. I want to hold my head high, to move forward in confidence, to make a difference despite my current circumstances.

God says he'll rescue. The timing, the means and the scope might not be what we would want, or even what we think we would do for someone if we were in God's shoes. It might be an intervention at just the right time, but it might not. It might be taking really horrible circumstances and tweaking a few things here and there that make them slightly less horrible, yet that could have only happened at the hand of God.

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God says he'll carry. It might not feel like he is, but he is. His love is carrying each one of us. It is holding us up. He is not letting go and he never, ever will.

God says he'll provide peace that is unexplainable to man. And maybe I have been getting it. It might not be a feeling, though sometimes it just might. It might look like a day filled with tears. It might be looking back on a day, thinking it was going to suck and realizing at the end that it didn't as much as you expected it would. It might look like simply having the energy to do what your life requires of you when you feel like staying in bed for the day. It might just look like being able to catch a glimpse of hope, even for a moment - and not even hope for a better today or tomorrow, but a remembering that at the end of all tomorrows, this will look like just a sliver of time, just the tiniest bit of sorrow.

But here's the thing --- and doesn't there always seem to be a thing? --- God doesn't owe us anything. He's not required to undergird us with a rescue, a carrying, inexplicable peace. He's not obligated to fill our lives with good things, to make joy and hope and love flood our souls and minds. These don't come automatically with the package of being human. All the good we experience - grace. All the bad things we're spared from - mercy. All the horrid we have to walk through - just a part of life. All the divine intervention we see and don't see - unfathomable mystery.

We might just go through our entire lives without feeling rescued, carried or peace-filled. That is our reality. To quote author Brennan Manning, "Mercifully, the certainty of faith in the indwelling Presence doesn't depend on the rise and fall of our fickle feelings." But that is completely what faith is about --- "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see {or feel}". (Hebrews 11:1). We may not see God or feel him here. But we know, we are certain of, we are sure of this --- God is carrying, God is rescuing, God is peace-providing. He doesn't have to be and it may not feel like it, but He is, He is, He is.

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© Elisabeth K. Corcoran
Elisabeth Corcoran is the author of "In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother's Heart (2005)" and "Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom's Weary Soul (2001)". She is wife to Kevin, and mom to Sara, 11-&-1/2, and Jack, 10. Her passion is encouraging women and the Church, and applying her gifts to eradicating global poverty, as well as local and global AIDS, one small step at a time, which she hopes to fulfill through her writing and speaking, and her connection with Open Door Clinic in the Fox Valley area and her church's partnership in Bo, Sierra Leone. You can learn more about Elisabeth and her ministry at elisabethcorcoran.com.


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