For When I Feel Behind

We leave just before the highest point of the heat wave last week. While the chickens are panting and the dog lays lazy on his side and sweat collects at the nape of my neck.

I had thought the mountains would provide relief – that the air would be cooler, but I was wrong.

The heat was a blanket that pressed in close even there.

The baby, she runs this year.  She runs everywhere and anywhere and the sweat drips off of her little nose too.

It didn’t matter though, I would lift her up and place her in the Ergo and she and I, in the shade and light of the forest trails, we would walk.

I am behind in everything it feels like – everything that I had placed before me at the start of the new year. Memory verses, books to read, lessons to plan, posts to post…they all have seemed to slow and the heavy mantle of expectation that I’ve placed on myself pressed in even closer than the furnace of the air around me.

So as I would walk and she would nod off in the pack on my back I opened up my little booklet that holds the words of that Mountain Sermon – dipped way back into the days of February and tried to start up again, realizing with fresh awe that the very Words of Christ were now on my tongue.

They felt familiar, as they should I guess. From the time I was her size I have heard them in some form or another and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were imprinted somehow on the grey matter of my brain.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill
cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14

But this time, the words didn’t just thoughtlessly tumble out of my mouth because there was just one little word that stopped me still.

I mother four little ones, I am wife to one amazing man. I am a Canadian from wide open prairies who has fallen in love with the inner city and the people here, but there are times that I still feel adrift…as though I am missing out on the details of the plan.

Three little letters though arrested my footsteps and I stood under towering cedars and received the truth of what He was giving.

Set.

The size of this word belies the riches hidden inside of it – and the Greek unfurls the beauty of it even more.

It speaks of things that quietly cover some spot – of a city that is situated on a hill.

As a metaphor, it is to be (by God’s intent) set, destined, appointed.

In the center of His will, I am found in the details of His plans for me…for us. In the middle of the mundane and the chaos with time rushing by on either side, I can easily become distracted, convinced that the movement of the moments is what I’m missing, forgetting that His Hand has set me here in place.



Time will always rush by – to be honest, I may always feel one step behind.

But really, behind who?

Phantom expectations that I have allowed myself to be led astray by,

or resting quietly, trusting by faith in the One Who has placed me here, in this time – this space.

It is in Jesus that I live and move and have my being – in Him I can’t be behind or missing out on what He has planned for me. There is a security in knowing that I have been purposefully placed, that His grace anchors me to Himself when it feels as though time is swirling out of of control.

The summer heat pressed in close in those days of last week, but it only served to press me in closer to Jesus and lifting a weight that I never needed to carry.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

I want to run this race, not because I’m trying to chase some illusive plan I’m convinced Jesus is withholding from me, but because I know this right now is His will and each step is bringing me closer to that moment when my eyes will see His beautiful face.

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