I sat down this morning, Bible in hand, heart attempting to open up and be present. So much of me feels blurry; so much of this journey seems clustered. We are in the gray. Each day this week, I have come to the Word, come to the throne, and felt somewhat numb. It’s one of those times that I am not even sure what to pray for our family. This roller coaster of “answers, no answers, answers, wrong answers, questions, testing, possible answers” has left this traveler weary. After our doctors discussed our girls with a specialist in a particular area, we are now researching a previous condition that we thought had been ruled out. Our guts have led us in this direction throughout portions of this search, and something we thought we could breathe a sigh of relief away, even though instinct felt otherwise, is back on the table. Weary.
By the grace of God, we are traveling to the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, in the middle of December. We have been asked to participate in a research study they are doing for patients who are “medical mysteries”; the undiagnosed. The gray. I am incredibly grateful and humbled we have this opportunity, yet December 17th cannot come quickly enough. Between now and then, we simply wait. Potential answers wait at this appointment, but I am skeptical, guarded, and yes, weary.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”- Romans 8:26-27
I am unbelievably thankful for this truth. The truth that the Spirit is interceding for me in these moments; these moments in which I am frozen and unsure and not even capable of groaning my own thoughts or questions. He is working on my behalf, on your behalf. Thankful.
But where does that leave me? When I am sitting at His Word, looking for nourishment. When I want to pray about this season but just can’t find the words. What now?
See, that’s the thing. No matter what is going on in our lives, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And, I am convinced that while God cares about all the details of our lives, that these details are just details and ultimately, this whole thing is purposed to show us more of Him. Our stories are all unique but the point is just the same: for us to see our Creator in our midst. So, when we don’t know what to pray, when we don’t know what in the world is going on, we can fix our eyes on what we do know: Him. His character. What He has done in the past. His work in our lives and the lives of others.
“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!”- Psalm 113:3
As we approach the week of Thanksgiving, I want to exhort each of us to take our eyes away from the junk within and around us, and instead, fix our hearts on praising Him. We can praise Him for what has been, for what He has done and is doing, and ultimately, for His sacrifice on the cross that brought us life that we would have never gotten otherwise. With every breath, I want to praise Him. There is freedom in determining that I do not have to have all the answers. When you know the One in charge, and You know He is perfectly good in all things, you can rest in all things. Even in the gray. Especially in the gray. Because in fact, the unseen gifts are the most amazing gifts of all.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”- Ephesians 1:3
The true blessings are the ones that can’t be taken away from us. I don’t know what this week will bring you. For some, abundant food and family and happy moments. For others, work, loneliness, grief, and tears. For many of us, a little bit of both. What I do know, however, is that in all things, He is worthy of praise. And, when we don’t know what else to do, we can lean on what we do know: His grace is more than enough to sustain us. Whether we are in the depths or the heights, He is able. No valley is too low that He cannot reach down and pull us up; no mountain so high that He is not there. This life is simply too unpredictable to put our efforts toward anything else.
Friends, all is grace. In all things, He can be praised. We must praise our way through the gray, trusting that He knows exactly what He is doing. He is lavishing His love upon us in each and every moment, even the hard. Today, let’s look around us and thank the Lord for His plan and His purposes, gray and all. Let the name of the Lord be praised! He is worthy.