One foot in front of the other. I leap over the one remaining stump on the property. And my muscles scream out in reluctance with each step. It's been a while, a while since I've jogged. But I've been thrust into middle age, and I want to be the best middle-ager I can be.
Every cell hollers, "What are you doing to me?" as they jostle around. "We need divine intervention," they cry.
Trying to lead, the sheep bump into me. They haven't quite figured out the follow thing, and I stumble to regain ground. This middle-ager thing has my joints crying out, too. In the last month, my pain-free legs have turned achy and don't pound the ground with steadiness like they used to.
The neighbor's donkey and goats stare at me as I pass, wanting me to stop. Eeyore's silky soft nose calls to me. Thank goodness for the trees, hiding me from plain view.
I turn the corner, pass the swing, and almost jump out of this middle-ager skin. I stop abruptly.
My daughter is sitting there, huffing and puffing. "I tried to catch up with you," she says, struggling to speak between breaths. Inhaling deeply, she continues, "I called your name, but you didn't stop."
She'd taken the short-cut to catch up to me.
I wrap her in my arms.
"I never want to miss your call."
Arm in arm, this middle-ager and teen-ager walk side by side. We break loose, proceeding to finish this walk, one foot in front of the other.
"Do you want to jog?" I ask.
She's still huffing and puffing. "No."
My mind is still whirling with the fact that she had needed me. She'd been calling out to me. I'd missed her.
But she'd caught me.
And I thought of the One who never misses my call. That very morning, only moments before the jog, God had answered my call. Not just my call. I'd been working on an article that was stumping me, knocking me down. I couldn't get the path, the plan. I had the information. But how can I make this the best it can be? How can I present this to glorify God? To honor the person it's about?
I slumped around the house all day yesterday. Sat at the computer and pieced together two stories, just a little different from the other. No good. "God, I need help." This usually comes fairly easy to me. What am I doing wrong? What am I doing differently? Have I been trying to take the short-cut? But this? Ugh. "Help me, God."
I share the information with my family, in hopes to get pointed in the right direction. Nothing.
That's it. Stop everything.
I write for help.
I'd covet your prayers for an article I'm working on. Sometimes it's so easy, but sometimes, like now ... it's just hard. And I beg God to show me what He wants revealed from this precious person's life.
Instantly, one person after another offers to pray. Prayed right on the spot. For me. For this article.
Lord, give Shelli eyes to see what you see in this precious person, and words to let the rest of us in on the secret. Amen.—Shirlee Abbott
I love your tender heart, dear Shelli.—Wendy Macdonald
You need divine guidance. I'll pray to that end.—Norma Wieland
So many more. I went to bed, pulling the covers up under my chin, in perfect peace, knowing prayers were being lifted on my behalf. I thought of It's a Wonderful Life, everyone praying for George Bailey. Peace. A smile broke out.
I woke up this morning with a plan. Didn't do a single thing, but ran into my office and began typing away. The article came together, like always.
It is finished.
Tears sprang to my eyes. And my spirit clapped for God, clapped for His people for faith, His people of faith, for the chance at faith.
Where two or more are gathered. Yes.
He will be found.
We serve the One who answers the call.
Can you share a time when you needed intervention?