“She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night.” (Proverbs 31:18, NAS).
My lamp wants to.
Go out tonight.
But my heart refuses its dimming. Not because I don’t need it to; I need some rest. But rather because I have a stirring that forces my thoughts. A penned up feeling that has surfaced today; the first of its kind, at least as it pertains to this child. My second child. A boy who’s grown up too quickly and who, in two months time, will throw his cap into the air and declare his finish to his childhood.
I’ve been waiting for this feeling to surface all year, but for whatever reason, it waited until today to erupt. I was unprepared for its arrival and yet completely willing to entreat its sway over my mind and my emotion.
Flutters of worry. Flutters of anxiety. Flutters of anticipation. Flutters of exultation. Flutters of “what’s next” and flutters about “how I’m going to walk this one through.” Flutters of all manner of feelings, rolled up into a few moments of pause.
It brought me to my knees and my tears accordingly. To my prayers and my hopes for how this thing … this future that remains to be seen … is going to shift my season, yet again. Two years ago, I walked this road with my first son. It was different then. Harder in many ways. Time has developed my trust for the process, especially because that time has been seasoned with good decisions and good provision that have grown us all in very good measure.
My gain has been very good. All those years of seeding the soil of my eldest son’s maturation have blossomed into a budding harvest of manhood. I imagine the same for my second son. I hope for it; I pray for it; I long for it to walk in similar and smooth transition.
It seems that it will, at least for today. Today, despite my flutters, the future seems to be narrowing—to be falling into sharper focus as to where my son will further his growing over the next four years. Four of the five colleges to which he’s applied have laid some ample offers at his feet. Good offers. Financial packages that we couldn’t have imagined for him on the front side of this process.
On the front side, we couldn’t see a way. With an older brother already in college and with us living within the budget of our single-family income, we couldn’t imagine how we would be able to afford him the education at the school of his choice. So I didn’t.
On the front side.
Instead, I simply left it in God’s hands.
Good hands. Hands that are completely capable and willing to hold the trust and faith of our hearts.
And now, on the backside of a strenuous and lengthy stretch, it seems that we will be able to afford them all. And the mighty woman in me, a woman longing to be found worthy of a ruby’s bestowing, is sensing a very good gain through the hands of a very good Father who understands the needs of his children and of his provision therein.
God has moved on behalf of our household, friends. And when I discerned it today, when I began to see the prayers of my long and deliberate trust beginning to unfold in our favor, all I could do was fall prey to my fluttering. From one emotion to the next until I found my knees and my subsequent thanks.
God gave me more than an answer today. He gave me the gift of faith … of seeing how my believing Him on the “front side” of an unknown can be walked in peace and assurance until the answer arrives.
Rarely have I done that. Rarely have I fully trusted Him with my prayers. Rarely have I believed that He was truly and faithfully going to work it all out. But this time—this season of trusting God with my son’s college outcome—was my rare exception. This time, I chose expectation over doubt. Faith over fear. Peace over panic. And tonight, from the backside, it seems to me to be a very good way to walk a journey.
In full assurance of a good gain because a good God stands at the helm.
Long ago and many seasons before this one, God lit his lamp within my heart. I’ve spent the better part of forty years tending to that wick. Some years have walked brightly. Some dim. Some pure. Some tainted. But all have walked with the possibility of a brilliantly lit faith. Today, my faith burned with a radiance that surpassed them all.
Today, faith grew, and tonight, God’s wick within me is flaming with a peace that has rarely been my portion. God has stoked my heart with a night’s burning that will remain, despite this body’s need for rest.
I can take that rest because my Father is faithful to tend to my all in my stead, on the front side of tomorrow … on the backside of today. My times are in his hands. So are yours. And that, my friends, is a good gain all the way around. As always,