Deep despair deeper grace.


There are some nights when sleep eludes me and the thoughts of all I’ve left undone enlarge themselves until the pressure of their weight heats me up to the point that I have to throw off my bedclothes. Then in the bathroom I run the cold tap ’til it’s icy and drink straight from the spout. Last night was like that, my winter pj’s were stifling and my eyes spilled my frustration at not being able to sleep along with the fears of being overwhelmed by what I have committed to do. I’m trying to be as quiet as possible so as not to disturb my husband and when he whispers ‘Are you alright?’, I answer ‘Yes’.

Partly it’s the constant choices one has to make that are wearing, wearying, worrying. When I’m not trying to make the right decisions as one of the parents responsible for the four young lives in this house, I’m trying to figure out how to balance the bit of freelance work that comes my way along with childminding a couple of other people’s children and volunteer work at school and church ministry. In the middle of this I’m wanting to be a good and loving wife. The housework and upkeep of the garden is always last on the list so an unironed school shirt at 9pm or pile of dirty dishes in the sink is enough to turn me really nasty.

Aren’t we are all the same, juggling a million balls, trying to keep them all nicely timed and up in the air? It takes a moment to recognise which balls ought to be eliminated from the group so that the rest can be caught each time. It should be easy to know which are the most valuable, most of the time it is. Maybe the problem is I’d like to believe I am more able than I actually am sometimes.

Lately I have been thinking more about Sabbath rest. I know it is extremely important, that it brings rejuvenation and life, that the worship it incorporates is fundamental to the core of who I am. There are many days though when the scent of it is an elusive odour that I am chasing around corners. It’s always my fault then for doing the chasing, for not stopping to realise that what I am running after was here with me all along.

This morning I realised that God is far bigger than the box I had Him in yesterday and that He continues to bless me in unexpected places. When my friend gave me flowers I cried again but I wasn’t able to fully articulate all that it meant to me.  She wasn’t to know the timing of her gesture or a deeper significance of flowers right now that I haven’t explained.

What I know is that it’s always when I look to Him that I see more clearly who He is and then who I am through His reflection. ‘Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.’ 1 John 3:2 When I read these words I am amazed, that we should be like Christ! What mercy and love has been shown to us, the depths of it are impossible to fathom but ours to plumb; as deep as we dare and way deeper than our despair.

I believe in a blessing I don’t understand
I’ve seen rain fall on wicked and the just
Rain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us

I believe in a peace that flows deeper than pain
That broken find healing in love
Pain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us

I believe in a fountain that will never dry
Though I’ve thirsted and didn’t have enough
Thirst is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

Lyrics from ‘Open My hands’ by Sara Groves

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4 thoughts on “Deep despair deeper grace.”

  1. Thank you for sharing that with us Liberty, beautifully described as to how I feel most days, and my babies are grown up, but the work still piles up…. I’m forever chasing my tail which sometimes seems a million miles away from me. Ahh but I think busy people will always be busy and thats just our nature. We thrive that way, or at least I do. I’ve been missing for a while here, so I have a lot of reading to do to catch up with all your beautifully written posts.

  2. How I could so relate to this post, especially when my children (now grown and gone) were younger. I remember feeling that I didn’t even have time to think about organizing my time! But it is imperative that you have strategies and personal boundaries, or you may miss very important God-moments and opportunities. Please do prune your tree.

    1. Liberty On the Lighter Side

      Thank you for your encouragement. I like the pruning image, it’s something that is necessary for better growth but always leaves me feeling slightly bad about doing.

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