2 Kings 13:22-23 King Hazael of Aram had oppressed Israel during the entire reign of King Jehoahaz. But the Lord was gracious and merciful to the people of Israel, and they were not totally destroyed. He pitied them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
I have been “oppressed” all my life by a need or compulsion to do more than I could reasonably handle. I didn’t start learning the word NO until I was in my forties, and it’s been a hard lesson to learn!
This morning I woke up feeling oppressed by this blog, which startled me because it has been my dream child for years. As I thought about it and talked to the Lord, I realized that my instinct is to feel that I MUST carry out what I’ve committed myself to: twice a week postings, even when I’m traveling. Then this verse reminded me that the Lord is gracious and merciful. He knows what I can handle with freedom and joy. That reminded me of 2 Corinthians 9:7, “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that while I was in Mexico, I lost about fifty “But God” posts I had written in anticipation of the intensity of the fall travel. No one has been able to explain to me how this bizarre event occurred. The loss to me feels irreplaceable. It feels to me like the blog, instead of complimenting the book, is now in direct competition for my already-challenged time and emotional energy. I can’t count on finding time to write new posts twice a week.
What I’m coming to even as I write this is a decision to boldly say “God is gracious and merciful!” and release myself from the twice a week commitment. From now until Thanksgiving, I will with joy post when I can. And I will definitely post YOUR But God stories when you send them to me!!
Meanwhile, I challenge you to think seriously about how and when God has intervened in your life, and whether you send it to me or not, write it down! Re-read the very first post on this blog. Remember, and tell. Tell at least one other person, to the glory of God, the encouragement of that other person, and the strengthening of your own confidence in God’s concern about your wild and precious life (thanks, Mary Oliver).
And if you think of me, please pray for my emotional stamina through these trips and events with so much focus on Karis. It is both joyful and challenging. If you want to follow my travels, I’ll be posting from time to time on the All I See Is Grace Facebook page.
God is gracious and merciful!