Ah, Newport Beach, California. Happy Valentine's Day to you. Thanks to an unplanned turn of events, I'm sitting in a hotel this evening with my laptop as my date. I'm calling it the accidental retreat. God wanted me to spend sometime thinking and resting, I guess. So I am.
One of my old favorite Bible verses came up again tonight as I talked to a faraway friend. Isaiah 41:10. I first learned of the verse from one of the Adventures in Odyssey episodes I listened to at night. The kid was being bullied and was afraid to walk home, so Whit, the grandfatherly ice cream parlor owner, gave him the verse. Do not fear for I am with you. Be not afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you and give you help. And I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
The Lord's promise and presence. The two things that we can actually cling to as we weather through seasons and decisions of life. That's actually how we can praise Him in the midst of the craziness. We can praise Him because He is constant in the chaos and change.
This hit home particularly closely right now in so many areas of my life. Life is good, yes. But it is filled with a lot of walking through circumstances. Some are mine, some are others. But we're walking.
Even in decisions. I'm reminded on a regular basis by a good friend that regardless of where I go - whether to the right or left, He is there. But it's funny, isn't it? How completely ultimate some decisions feel? I mean there are pretty major decisions, but other than marriage, we have the opportunity to pivot. Even in marriage - as we learn and grow together, there is constancy in the relationship, but a whole lot of pivoting within the covenant. You grow and age and change and learn how to love that person as they do the same. Crazy. Do not fear for I am with you.
The steadiness of His hand too. Keeping us fast in the change. Sometimes we just have to sit down and stop stumbling around and fussing. Sometimes He just wants to move us, reveal Himself.
Anyway. My funny valentine(s day). Sitting at a hotel lounge. Listening to a guy sing John Mayer. And grateful for a few moments to remember that in all of the trials and the change, I don't have to fear because He is with me. He is my God. His promise is that He will strengthen and help me and uphold me with this mighty, awesome, never-shaking, powerful right hand - where Jesus sits.