Do you ever have nights where you just cannot sleep? When you are riddled with worrying about this and that; or making to-do lists in your head; or just simply uneasy and have no idea why? I’m sure I’m the only one...
Tonight is one of those nights. My heart is heavy for my oldest son who has just zero self control. How do we fix it? How do we teach him? What are we supposed to do? Jake and I asked each other these questions tonight after coming home from church. Those questions, along with my to-do list that is 15 miles long, have my brain going in a million different directions and super awake.
So I began to pray. But do you ever pray and then get lost in your prayer thoughts? Again, probably just me... but from my prayers I began to realize how uneasy I felt. I invite you now into my rabbit hole:
•My new tactic of fighting those feelings is to go to my scriptures.
• “Scriptures! Oh let me look at my encouragement cards”
•Pulls out phone, goes to files>faith prints > encouragement cards. •Begins reading • Stops at verse from Haggai
This is where I begin to climb out of my hole. You see, sometimes I just look on Pinterest for different scriptures to hand letter, but other times I just flip through my Bible. I remember looking at Haggai 2:9 and thinking, “I really love how those words fit on a page. That was fun to write”, and moved right on. Little did I know that the Lord was prepping something for me to read this evening. From my encouragement card search, I jumped straight into the short book of Haggai. It’s a quick read of just two chapters but pack full of wonderful insight. Haggai was written probably around the time of after the capture of Babylon. Haggai ministered to the Jews who were permitted back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (see Ezra 1-2). Haggai wanted to motivate the people to rebuild. They were living in nice homes while the Lord’s home sat in ruins. At the end of chapter 1, the Lord sparked enthusiasm in the men who were called to rebuild (v. 14-15). The Lord then sent another message at the beginning of chapter two through Haggai which reminded the men to be strong and complete the task at hand. Haggai tells them that the Lord is going to shake the earth with His glory and in doing so will provide peace. You see, the temple rebuilding is a symbol for the Lord’s great desire to bring restoration upon the hearts of His people. The temple was destroyed when God’s people, yet again, turned their backs on Him. And now, we can read these words and find such great comfort in knowing that God never gives up on His people; because even after we walk away, he sparks us with enthusiasm to rebuild with Him.
Parenting is hard. Life is hard. But it would be a zillion times harder, and I believe, impossible without the Lord. What a sweet reminder from my Heavenly Father tonight that HE and He alone will be the one to provide peace in this place. This moment in time. This home. This heart. Just like Abraham, He gives us trials to test our faith and to prepare our hearts for the days ahead. After all, God wasn’t just preparing Abraham to father one child, but to father nations.
It’s amazing what a little bit of soul care can do for this momma heart. For this wife heart. For the friend heart. For Emily’s heart. Praying that I can continue to seek scripture when life gets overwhelming, and that I can find comfort and encouragement in seasons for refining and rebuilding. Praying that for myself and for you.
“I will provide peace in this place” Haggai 2:9
P.S. My challenge for you is to do a little digging when you come up to a verse that speaks to you. ESV.org has background on all the books of the Bible. Tonight I read Haggai then skimmed over the background information from the web. It refocused my heart and mind on the Lord and not myself, and then gave so much more meaning to the words. It takes a little more time, but now I‘ve learned something new about our God. What a praise.