overlooked mercies

photo by Emma Elizabeth Tillman – a photographer I admire greatly. been itching to use one of her photos for a while and now is as good a time as ever.


“though the long path is uncertain, You are so faithful to shed just enough light for me to see the very next step. I now understand this isn’t You being mysterious. this is a great demonstration of Your mercy. too much revelation and I’d pridefully run ahead of You. too little and I’d be paralyzed with fear. so, I’m seeking slivers of light in Your Truth for today and filling the gaps of my unknown with trust.”

has God ever cut you to the very center of your being with words? broken your heart with a realization that maybe you don’t know Him as well as you thought you did? well, that was me last night as I read the quote above from Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited (not enough words for how great Lysa’s gift to communicate truth in this book is, you’ll just have to read it for yourself). as I read the words on the page my eyes filled with tears and I started to actually sob. my clenched fists opened and my heart hurt. in that moment, teary-eyed me realized that in all my trusting and “handing” things over to the Lord, in all my acts of what I thought was faithfulness and trust, I had forgotten to take a second to thank Jesus for being merciful enough to not give me what I so often desire: foresight.

foresight is defined as the ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future. YES, I think that we have the ability to see ahead to a certain degree, but it’s never with absolute certainty – our portion of foresight is just enough to keep us know-it-all humans humble. for the sake of trying to get my point across, I’m referring to foresight more so as the ability get a detailed look at what my life will look like 5, 10, and 20 years down the road. and to get this detailed look just for the sake of not having to worry and wait and trust that it will all work together.

even more so, trust that it will all work together for my good. whatever that is, I’m convinced I actually have no clue the more and more I’m allowed to make my own decisions on a daily basis.

this realization that my inability to know who I’m going to marry, if I’m going to marry, if we’ll be happy, where I’ll get a job, if I’ll live a full 90 years out on this earth, if I’ll be alive to see tomorrow, if I’ll get to raise children, if I’ll get to see the places that I want to see, if I’ll get to live a life that lives up to my standards of good, if it all works out – my inability to know the answer to every single one of those “ifs” “whos” and “whats” is absolutely an act of mercy by a God who, in His lofty wisdom, knows that the gradual unfolding of each “who” and “if” will be sweet. far sweeter when I can look back at each milestone and point back to Him. point back to the fact that my Creator does, in fact, know me far better than I know myself. point back with confidence that my God truly does work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are faithfully living out their calling to be caught up in His purposes every single day (the Bible uses the word “and” for a reason and I think the one in Romans 8:28 is extra important).

though I walk through what seem like really dark valleys – where each step I take is taken with trust that the path continues on ahead of me – I don’t have to fear, because He is with me.

we don’t have to know the details to know that we are deeply loved.

we can rejoice in the fact that our God is the kind of Father that loved us far too much to let us know too much.

we can move forward from our control-freak, impatient, clench-fisted ways together and into the joy that comes with not knowing what tomorrow holds, but knowing who holds it in the palm of His hand.

last night He drew me closer, but heres to never being close enough to the one thing about life that is stable and sure.

heres to letting go and finding freedom in the fact that our future does not have to be either of those things because our God already is.

and now that we know this truth, I think we can even better grasp what Lamentations 3:22-23 has been trying to tell us all along:

“through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”