If you are up, like me, at 2 a.m., wrestling with questions that do not seem to have answers, tired of trying to drown out your own thoughts so you can finally get some sleep, welcome to this post. Get up and join me at my kitchen table. It is soooo quiet. I just got here myself, made a pot of tea, grabbed my Bible, a journal, and a pencil. I am hoping for about two hours before the baby wakes again… So take a breath, sit with me, relax, grab a mug, and let’s talk it over.
Life is hard. It sometimes feels like those bad dreams where you show up to take a math test and realize that you have skipped so many classes that you have no idea what in the world the test is even about. It is hard enough to just figure out you, isn’t it? (Do you feel that way, too?) Throw a husband and handful of children into the equation, and you have an exam with exponential questions that you are just hoping turns out to be multiple choice.
All the big questions.
Sometimes, I feel like I am squeezed into a tiny corner of my own life, without the kinds of choices I really want to make. I am limited by my own resources or my energy levels or by the consequences of choices I have already made. I feel like I need breathing room. I need a quiet place to go and think. I need to figure it out. Because there are just so many things that aren’t working.
Are you feeling this with me, 2 a.m.?
I am staring into a brick wall. And it will not budge. And I can’t see what is on the other side. But I know I need to get there. I am literally six inches away from seeing these prayers that I have poured into journal after journal, day after day, week after week, year after year, answered. But when? And how? And why do I have to wait so long to see this hope fulfilled? And will I ever even see what is on the other side of this massive wall?
I am asking these questions in the 2 a.m. kitchen, because there is not another time I can hear my own thoughts clearly enough to articulate them into words. Life just doesn’t slow down. Ever. Where is this all going, God? How useful can my life be when I am constantly trying to figure out how to make every single day work for us?
I wait. I breathe. I sip my tea. I feel something like hope start to rise up like a bird when a phrase forms in my mind. I scratch it down in my journal before it flies away.
I want to tell it to you. Because you are up with me. Maybe it will mean something to you, too.
You are standing in the space between here and a miracle.
I am letting it sink in.
I want to get on the other side of this wall. I want to know the answer to this question. I want to see the future. I want to know how to make plans. I want to know that all of my children are going to be ok. That they will have everything they need. That they will be planted in the garden where they can flourish. I want to know how to do this high level math that I somehow never studied. I want to know that we are doing what we were created to do. I want to see doors open wide that we are meant to walk through.
But right now, I am standing in front of a great wall.
I am standing in the space between here and a miracle.
There is no way that I can climb it or go around it or go through it. I have tried everything.
I have come to the end of my own thoughts, ideas, and resources. And that is a good place to be. Because that is the space between here and a miracle.
In life, anything can happen. There is always hope. There are always miracles, great and small. Yes, the wall is real and solid and I am standing on what feels like the wrong side of it. But look at all the beauty on this side, even in the little corner of my own life. The miracle of the eye that reflects light back to my brain and allows me to read these words. The miracle of flowering trees and the color and fragrance of a robust black tea. The miracle of finding a quiet time to sit at this kitchen table and have this conversation with you. The miracle of motherhood, of children moving through my body and being born into the world. The miracle of laughter. The miracle of finding out you didn’t really need what you thought you couldn’t live without. The miracle of friendship and resources that spring up from unexpected places. The miracle of light. The miracle of belonging to God, who owns everything and knows every answer to every question and discerns our deepest needs. This is the great expanse on which we build our lives. That every trial, every question, every restless night has meaning and purpose. And that when there is no way forward, a life that is fully surrendered to the will of God continues to trust Him. Because this is faith–the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
This is how we walk through life–by faith, not by sight.
Tonight, it doesn’t matter what is on the other side of that wall. I may be looking at something that is currently impassible, but look behind me. I have come so far, by miraculous grace and everlasting mercy. And this wall is not the end of my story. I am living in the great expanse of a life that is surrendered to God. There is no possibility that is beyond his calling. I can go back to bed and sleep in peace. Because I am resting in the space between here and a miracle.