Today is my birthday and it started out in such a sweet way. My man woke me up by whispering “Happy Birthday” in my ear. He read the Bible to me, and prayed over me, we went to the gym together and drank our green smoothies when we got home. I mean, that’s a pretty perfect start — so what if the card he gave me was actually my Valentine’s Day card (he’d already written them both out and sealed them so there was a 50/50 chance).
But by eight a.m. my day was heading due south. Sam broke down sobbing (a first) about not wanting to go to school. He was devastated, saying it was too hard and no fun and “Mom, I’m begging you, begging you so hard, please let me stay home today. I’ll do hard work. I’ll work as hard as I can. Please, Mom!”
This after yesterday having a neck issue at his basketball game and only playing the first few minutes. For those of you who know him, you’ve probably heard how he pretty much threw up every Wednesday for a season (probably a year) because he had to wear a tie to school that day. I think part of it is psychological because eating ice seems to cure it, but anyway the kid cannot stand for his neck to be touched by clothing, and the anticipation of having something touch his neck used to set him off. Sadly, yesterday he was wearing two shirts, both crew-necked but evidently too crew-necked. Anyway, Sam and I walked home after the game, and he seemed better. Then on our trip down the mountain to get da brudders the panic about his neck–which makes him gag–returned. I had to pull over so he could unbuckle and tear his shirt off. He broke into an unprompted, heartbroken little prayer, “Please God, Please. please don’t let this last long!”
To be honest my thought process went something like this, “C’mon, God! Really! How could you NOT answer that prayer!?!?”
I imagine you can relate, but that is not the posture we are to have. You know why? Because God is holy. Holy. He’s perfect. I am not. I am so very flawed. I love Sam and his brothers with a crazed passion. I’m obsessed with them. I want what’s best for them and I’m dedicated to doing whatever I can to make sure they have it. But I know for a fact that I’d never choose one hard thing for any of them, not one. And even though I am very flawed, I am not so stupid that it escapes me that never facing hard things would be bad for them, very bad. Hard things allow us to grow, grow as people of compassion and character, and ideally closer to God.
So after I spent the first forty-five minutes of the school day with Sam, I left him there, heartsick but trusting that he’s in good hands.
At home I’ve had this song on repeat. On my knees I told God I know He is Holy. Holy. I hope you will be blessed by this song as well, that you also know that somehow all that matters is that He is holy.
The prophet Isaiah was changed by an encounter with God’s holiness. This is what he wrote:
I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
May I be similarly changed by reminding myself that “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty,” and despite life’s challenges, “the whole earth is full of His glory.”