I’m having a hard time today. I found I didn’t want to get out of bed and face another day filled with the same stresses, fears, and challenges we’ve been facing for weeks. I’ve been working hard to find the positive, and as a person of faith, to find the resurrection part of all this death we’re seeing day by day but it’s hard and it requires more energy than I sometimes can muster. Today is one of those days.
I have learned in the past several years the core truth that new life comes from death. Death to plans, death to relationships, death to dreams, death to jobs, death to expectation – God can and does work in those deaths to bring forth life that is more abundant, and better than we hoped. The key to this seemingly upside-down formula is trust and surrender. We lay down the things we hold most dear, we keep our trembling hands open, and God fills them with unexpected blessings. I’ve seen it work and I know, at least mentally, that we may be in the middle of that formula yet again.
But I’m tired of middles.
I want the end of the story. I want a sign or a surprise of God entering into this mess to let us know He’s still in charge and for our good. I know it to be true, but I want to feel it today. I want honey from the rock.
In my ‘One Year Bible’, the psalm that references ‘honey from the rock’ popped up on April 12. I read it the night before, on Holy Saturday, just before I went to sleep, and I exhaled with relief and remembering that ours is a God who can produce sweetness from what is hard. And not just water from a stone, but honey. The celebratory, Good Stuff we want. The supernatural miracle, the above-nature, seemingly impossible intercession of God into our details.
Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
Raise a song; sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our feast day.
For it is a statute for Israel,
a rule of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph
when he went out over the land of Egypt.
I hear a language I had not known:
“I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you!
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
“But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.
Oh, that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes.
Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him,
and their fate would last forever.
But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
I’ve called out and I know He can hear me. I’ve been tested and I’m strong. My mouth has sung His praises. I’ve raised a song or two or more and today I’m looking to God for honey. I have lots of suggestions for ways this might manifest, and today I’d take any one of them or something even better. Yes, please, Lord, and thank you.
The wind is whipping outside my window and I know our God is moving in all this craziness, but I’m also a daughter crying out to her Abba just needing to see something from Him today. Maybe that’s where you are today, too, in this Easter season that still feels like Holy Saturday, like we’re still holding our breaths and hoping that deliverance is on the way.
If so, you’re not alone. Balancing death and calling it by name while seeking new life, honey amid the pain, is hard work. Today it feels like it’s the work that matters most.