"Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation."
Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation
And in that day you will say,
"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name,
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.
Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.
Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst in the Holy One of Israel.
(Isaiah 12: 2-6)
You would think that I would know better and so not be surprised. By that, I mean that I do know this truth - that God meets us where we are, and we suddenly see that He has been moving things toward a particular point - and yet, I am surprised when I see it in my own life.
Once again, I find that the sequence of verse passages for this Advent devotional meet me where I am. Even though the core of this sequence was selected two years ago.
Today, my heart is so filled with gratitude and thankfulness that joy bubbles up. God has worked through the loving hearts of many people to bring me aid. It is "salvation" in a way. I was distressed and anxious, and then God brought to me help. But not just help. He brought encouragement to me through all those who have reached out to me.
It really is like drawing water from a spring. This encouragement has been like drinking sweet water when I was seriously parched.
As I look back on recent weeks, I muse upon how a lifetime of walking with God has held me to trusting Him. For me, trusting God is rather like trusting gravity while walking on the face of the planet. It is always there. You know it will keep you grounded. I cannot imagine what it would feel like to live without it, even when I least know what God will do next. For me, the stumbling block is not being afraid. I don't like facing unknowns. I don't like facing situations where I don't know what might happen next. I want to be able to scope out the possibilities and options. I want to be prepared.
And of course, being prepared, or at least making preparations, was the theme of the second week of Advent - preparing for the Coming of the Lord.
But when I look into myself, I find that what I was calling "being prepared" was actually more a desire to be in control. And I don't think those are the same thing to the Lord.
The wonderful thing about Our God is that He doesn't give us demerits for making that kind of mistake.
This week, I was brought to a point where nothing I could do would address the challenges I faced. No amount of "preparation" on my part could improve the circumstances. I had to humble myself and openly admit that I needed help, and I was ready to accept it in whatever from the Lord chose to send it. I think it was the "unknown means" that was causing me the greatest anxiety: what was God going to ask of me in order to address my needs? Was I going to lose my current home? Was I going to have to sell whatever I could part with? The prospect of having to go down paths that would lead away from my heart's desire (that is, to be writing) was distressing me, but I was reluctantly accepting that possibility.
God's answer to my need has washed away much of that anxiety. In the midst of generous support have been some small jobs offered, and they are jobs in tune with my love of writing. They are an additional blessing to me, for they give me the opportunity to earn the support by doing something I love.
The Lord has refreshed my heart these last few days. He has met me in my need, and given me sweet water for my thirst. Given that He has done this much to bring me to this moment, I can indeed trust that He will continue to carry me forward. Yes, there are still challenges ahead of me. Yes, my need is not yet entirely wiped out. But every day, the immediate need is being met, making it easier to believe it will continue, making it easier to be less anxious.
God is indeed very good, and He comes to meet us where we are. All the time.