The Gracious Word

Given the right space and time, I’d like to think that I am capable of just about anything. But often, there isn’t enough space, nor enough time to do what I would like to. It’s like the house I live in now–every inch used up, with no excess.

It’s how my mind feels these days, too. Filled to the brim with possibilities and anxieties, a concoction of my plans, dreams, and fears. And it’s in that realization that I step back, take a deep breath and move outward to look at it all from His perspective.

It reminds me of the view from a camera lens that sees the whole expanse of a wilderness. Where the trees part, the path is illuminated with sunlight and the shadows of the leaves dance across rocks and dirt. And where the trees are thick and full, there’s nearly nothing to see beneath it. It’s blocked by the giants of the forest, and I imagine the earth beneath it is a little darker, a little unknown. All I see are treetops. They look nice from above, for I know how foreboding it looks below.

Faith is like this and not like this at all. It’s like a wilderness within a wilderness, and beyond that I can’t fully understand. The mysteries of God are such that I will never comprehend, and being content with my inability to see it all like He does is another wilderness on its own.

Today it is not easy to see ahead. Faith feels like work, and the Bible reads like a foreign, backwards tapestry. God is not easy to understand, because He is mysterious and all-knowing, and I am often wondering where in the world the wilderness leads, and if where I’m going He has already been.

The other night, we gathered around the TV to watch videos from the past four years. Bits of our life and our kids and the wonders of how children grow and change. It’s true when they tell you that these people you bring into the world are like your heart outside your chest. It made me ache and long for more memories and more reminders of everything we’ve ever endured.

And as we watched, and my boys laughed at the things they did as babies, toddlers, and just yesterday, I found myself praying that God would be kind to me when I got to heaven. I can never remember every detail of my life this side of eternity, but Lord, I hope you have a way to show me every moment that falls through the cracks that I have forgotten. Just so I can remember for a moment who they were, who I was, and how our life became whatever it became.

The wilderness is so heavy some days, and some days it is so light and easy. At times, the path is illuminated with the sparkling sun and the shadows of the flowers and leaves dance across my path like a triumphant display of His faithfulness. Other times, the path is covered, dark, as though the last person who walked through it has long since passed.

The faithfulness of God and the reminders of His provision for us has not been lost in these days. Going back and remembering is like balm on thirsty skin, and I feel healed and more whole as I gather myself again to start moving forward.

He is good. My Jesus, You are good. You are ever faithful and true, and I’ve never regretted You. I don’t think I ever will. Like dancing shadows and sparkling light, You are joy in wilderness and growth in the dark.

Published by Janelle Delagrange

Wife to a graphic designer, mom to three young boys, and writer of the soul.

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