In the happy moment, praise God. In the difficult moments, seek God. In the quiet moments, trust God. In every moment, thank God.
- Robert Albert Wood
We’re at the surgery center.
Isaiah, our youngest son, has just had a procedure. Lonny and I perch on chairs near him. Isaiah is fresh from the recovery room. He’s groggy. Disoriented. Tired.
I reach through the bars of the bed and run my fingers through his soft, blond hair. A smile tugs his lips.
“I love you, Zay,” I say.
My little son’s eyes open. He looks around. He’s trying to get his bearings. He looks past me to the IV pole. He spies his father in a brown vinyl chair. He looks down and notices a robin’s egg blue, hospital-issue nightgown. I can see the I-remember wash over his small face.
And he’s no longer smiling.
“Mama,” he says in a whisper. “Get me outta here.”
I can relate to Isaiah’s plight. Several times in the past year I’ve run to my Father with a similar plea–not for release from a physical environment but from circumstances that make me tired, confused and hurt. Lord, I’m weary from working through a son’s turbulent teen years. Lord, I’m hurting over a broken relationship. Lord, I’m worried over a circumstance with one of my boys and I don’t see the end in sight.
Lord, just get me out!
Most of the time, I’m not promptly delivered. But I’ve learned, while walking through tough times, that the Lord is always with me (I will never leave you nor forsake you. –Hebrews 13:5), that he is gracious to send others to help (Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. –Galatians 6:2) and that each day there is a fresh amount of grace (The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. –Lamentations 3:23).
And eventually, when the timing is right, in God’s grace, I press on through.
“Did you hear me, Mama?” Zay asks. His green eyes are wide and round now. He searches my face. He wants his ticket to be free.
“Soon, son,” I say. “We have to stay a bit more. But before long, we’ll be on our way.”
Zay’s lower lip quivers. Then his eyes close, and he drifts back to sleep.
It’s not quite time for us to leave.
But I know we’ll make it out.
Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband Lonny have been married for twenty-five years. They have five sons and raise their bevy of boys in an old Victorian near the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. Their sons, Logan, Grant, Samuel, Gabriel, and Isaiah, range in age from twenty-one to six with Shawnelle home teaching the youngest three.
Shawnelle has been writing for six years, contributing regularly to Guideposts magazine, Daily Guideposts devotional and other inspirational publications. She would say that life with her men moves faithfully, on fast forward. But it’s her heart’s desire, her passionate prayer, to see God’s goodness and glory in the fullness of her days. She longs to see Him in the unexpected moments, unexpected places, changing the ordinary to extraordinary and bringing quiet, sustaining grace.