Last week Jake and I rented a cabin along that Virginia bike trail we found in September.
Yay! We were going somewhere! The break I needed! The holiday I deserved!
I anticipated great joy.
Riding my bike.
Relishing the fall colors.
Reading a novel.
Working a puzzle.
Sitting in rocking chairs with Jake.
Exploring antique shops.
And eating good food, of course.
I did it all ….. but ….. I don’t know ….. it was just flat.
I felt the happiest when we were packing up to go home.
Life in a pandemic, I guess.
They were so sweet and poignant, the words I overheard 3 y.o. Little Pookie say. It had been six months of no indoor visitors and she was happy to be sitting next to an adult friend inside her house at their dinner table.
She said, “Meg, your being here makes me feel better.”
That’s gotta go on the list of memorable pandemic quotes.
Recently I’ve been asking people, “What is your favorite Bible verse?” I have tried to answer it myself but I gave up.
Psalm 18:30 is a special verse for me, ever since it was given to us on a wall plaque when our first daughter left us for heaven. “As for God, His way is perfect. All his promises prove true.” Such a comforting truth.
When we lived in Bolivia, where I first experienced the good news of God’s grace for sinners like missionaries, I loved Ephesians 2:8. “It’s by grace you are saved through faith, it is the gift of God.” Yes, indeed, a great gift I need over and over.
I call Proverbs 3:5 my Ethiopia verse. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and not on your own understanding.” There was then, is now, and always will be much I do not understand, but God was and is and always will be trustworthy.
Psalm 138:8 has long been a favorite. “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.” It makes me relax remembering that God will make sure His purpose for my life is accomplished.
At the Virginia cabin I was reading the story of King Rehoboam in 2 Chronicles 10-12. He was a king who made good moves and bad moves, good decisions and bad decisions, and in the end, his life was sadly summed up like this: “He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.”
I am like Rehoboam. Good and bad.
And there I was, in that cabin, realizing I had set my heart on having a perfect vacation.
Not on seeking the Lord.
I was busted — again — but as soon as I confessed my heart sin, God gave me His peace and joy.
These months I often feel flat and alone, and God’s Word has become life to me.
It’s true, what Martin Luther wrote:
“The Bible is alive, it speaks to me;
it has feet, it runs after me;
it has hands, it lays hold of me.”
I know God is omni-Present, but I am omni-Forgetful. His Word, speaking to me, running after me, laying hold of me — His Word continually reminds me that He is here.
And His being here makes me feel better.
Better than any vacation.