Last month my 8-year-old son had an unprovoked seizure in his sleep. No immediate cause could be determined. Today we report for more testing and a consultation with a pediatric neurologist. In preparation, the specialists required we deprive Christian of sleep and wake him at 4am. Which resulted in another mini-seizure near 6am.
And perhaps never before have I been more clear that NONE of this is in my control. We pray for answers that will help us know how to make necessary adaptations to eliminate future events.
Yet all I can truly do is to place my son in the hands of the One who made him and trust His breath into Christian’s body.
So this is my Word of the Week (WOW): “In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10
Fight or Flight. Science tells us these are the two responses to a threat.
Fight. Attack. Stand your ground. Throw a swing or two. Defend yourself. Don’t back down. Like the lion in The Wizard of Oz, “let me at ’em!”
Flight. Run away. Avoid conflict. Tuck your tail. Hide. Abandon hope.
It’s a natural assessment of a situation. Can I take on this threat, or do I need to get away? But what works for predators surprised by prey, leaves me weary in the real world. Which is more exhausting — fighting back or running for the hills? It’s hard to answer while gasping for air.
Scripture gives us a third choice. Defer.
As the Egyptians chased the Israelites into the desert, things began to look grim. The recently freed slaves began to complain. They knew they couldn’t fight against trained warriors. At the edge of The Red Sea, there was nowhere to run. Game over.
But Moses tells them to do the unthinkable. Don’t attack. Don’t flee. “Just stay calm.” Why? Because “The Lord Himself will fight for you.” And God did the impossible. He split the sea in two and made a way through. While the Israelites did nothing.
No fight. No flight. Defer.
So as I focus on Exodus 14:14 as my Word of the Week, my mission is to let God take the lead. Stop setting a battle plan when I hear the war drums coming over the hill. Stop looking for an escape plan when defeat seems sure. Just stay calm.
And have a front-row seat to what God Himself will do.
January has been cold. Bone-chilling temperatures and heart-jarring events.
Unexpected goodbyes. Health scares way, way too close to home. Days with far too little sun both at my window and in my soul.
I’ve been hanging onto GRACE with chapped hands and a dampened spirit. I’m so, so very hungry for it break through the ice of these days and block the wind of heartache that won’t stop stealing my breath. I know that God is here — even in this season. But it’s so much harder to feel Him with the layers piled on to try and stop the cold. And it’s been so very cold.
The only way I know to warm myself is with the Light. To let the Scriptures strike as flint in my spirit. And to return to the embers over and over, fanning them with Amens until the spark becomes a flame impenetrable by winter’s short days and long, damp nights.
GRACE is my word for the year. But the WORD is my fuel for a life.
So I set my attention — my intention — here. To return each Sabbath for a fresh Word of the Week. For the God-breathed pages to come alive in a phrase or two on which to spend a 7-day feast. To dedicate myself to remembering the words throughout the 168 hours of a week. The cold ones. And also the sunny ones. The ones filled with laughter. And any met with tears. To speak God’s Word when He feels far away. And also when He’s so very close.
For as many of those weeks as I am able, I will post my Word of the Week here, along with any reflection on its selection. As God often likes to do, He will likely bring here those who might also be blessed by meditating on that particular scripture throughout the week. Or maybe He will use it as a springboard of thought to inspire you to find your own. I would love for you to join the Word of the Week (WOW) discussion by adding your selected verse to the comments … or reflections on any scripture reading.
It’s feeling warmer already.
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (Colossians 3:16)