I tend to view every glass half full and look for the bright side of most situations. If I can’t find a bright side, I will take a steel wool pad to it and try to scrub enough gunk off to find a shiny spot. I’m more prone to working it out than clutching my pearls.
But recently I’ve had my pearls in a death grip.
A family situation popped up and in a matter of minutes we were reeling in shock and moving toward terror. It was the sort of thing that comes out of nowhere, with absolutely no warning.
My first instinct was to act. I doubled down on steel wool, intending to make a bee line right into the heart of the matter, but the answer was “Not yet”. Eventually I was able to let go of my pearls and do some scrubbing. I couldn’t change a thing, only hold some space for my loves to process and deal with the “what if” and the “what now”.
Life demands that we keep putting one foot in front of the other, and they have and we have, but I became keenly aware of my death grip on those pearls. One hand was reaching toward God but the other was firmly attached to my fear.
For weeks, I have feared the worst and trembled at the thought of the potential damage. I’ve yelled at God and asked him how dare he allow it. And in case you’re wondering, he’s okay with that. He can handle my anger, frustration and grief. If you aren’t convinced, check out David’s rant.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
He listened. I’m sure of that, but I wasn’t hearing much from him. Crickets. And there were accusations from a dark place: “He’s forgotten you and your loves. He’s turned away – you are on your own and this is hopeless. This will not end well. You’d better start working on Plan B.”
The accusations are convincing in a vacuum. Sitting in the quiet, sorrowful and scared, you will hear and begin to believe the lies.
Where do we find courage to move forward when the ground is shaking under our feet and the future is uncertain and scary?
When you walk with Jesus, there is no Plan B. Faith is like that. It’s either all in or all out. You can’t just sprinkle a little faith over a situation. I have a great analogy that involves a litter box and a sick cat, but let’s just go with we either allow him to replace our unbelief with absolute faith in him or we wallow around in doubt because it’s familiar. The latter stinks.
One of my favorite Bible stories is of David defeating Goliath, that giant who terrified and taunted the Israelite army. David, a mere boy, saw past the Philistine’s threats and insults against the power and promise of God. David didn’t have confidence in his abilities or in the armor his brothers tried to drape over his slight frame. David’s confidence was in God and he put every bit of his trust in him.
The massive Goliath taunted and threatened the young boy, but David stepped forward in confidence that God had prepared him for this. Those long nights protecting and defending the sheep were his classroom and he was ready for what could be his final exam. He was fearless because he remembered God’s faithfulness.
I loosened the grip on my pearls. Really, God? You’ve got this? Because from here it doesn’t seem like you do and I’m terrified.
It’s okay, baby girl. I know you are afraid. When you gaze at a world that wants to destroy you or the ones you love, you will always be afraid. Look at my face. I’m right here.
Fear always has its roots in unbelief. Only God, when we remember his faithfulness, can make us brave. And until we are brave, we can’t hold space for hope for others. We have to choose to believe him.
I don’t know how this will work out, but I know this much for sure. God sees my family. He sees every one of us, from the oldest to the youngest. He is alive and he is pressing into every situation even when it feels like he’s looked away. He has not turned his head; he is right in the middle of all of it.
Let go of those pearls, He says. I’m going to show you a better way than steel wool and pearl clutching.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.
Wait for the Lord; then you will have courage and hold space for hope, for yourself and for the battle weary all around you.
His promises are true, friends, even when all we can see is a loud-mouth giant; when the noise of his threats and taunts wants to discourage and defeat.
Wait for the Lord.
Waiting in hope,
Please share your stories of waiting and seeing God come through in the comments!
 Psalm 13: 1-2 ESV
 Psalm 27:13-14 ESV