And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
It is 5:30 am and I awake in the gray light of my bedroom to the smell of strong coffee. I can hear the sounds of my husband as he putters around the kitchen – laying out breakfast for our teenage sons, making sandwiches, packing lunches. I smile. It is the welcome sound of a household – routine that gives comfort – a reminder that in these four walls – all is well. I know I have about 30 minutes more of rest and then I will stumble out of my cocoon to be met by a fortifying and steaming cup of coffee in my favourite Boxer Dog mug.
“Morning honey”, I will hear as he bends down to kiss my sleepy face and return to his overstuffed chair to listen to the morning news. It is part of his love language to me.
This is the beginning of my daily universe. It is normal. It is routine. It is perfect.
But then – life rises up and bites at you.
For the past several mornings this has not been the case. You see, my man suffered an accident recently and is recovering from it. It is I who is rolling out of bed at the crack of dawn to meet the day and prep for it. Thank God, he is going to be alright. But the incident and the subsequent changes in our household have given me a moment of pause and reflection.
Here is what I am learning:
When the accident first occurred – though worried I truly felt the peace of God holding me. It was though He was whispering to me, directing me forward, giving me His strength and guiding me in next steps. My husband needed me to make decisions for his care. Whereas other family and friends became very alarmed – the preternatural presence of God was very present and accounted for. God loves my husband more than me, more than our kids – more than anyone. He knew what was going to happen and was/is in the midst of it – always.
I have been reminded to be thankful for what God has given me and has prepared in advance for us. Is it a coincidence that I was supposed to go to my office that day which is an hour drive, but that I decided to stay at home and work at the last minute? Had I gone, no one would have been around to respond or help. It could have been very bad. God knew that.
In the peaks and wanes of relationships – especially marriages – spouses can start to take each other for granted. I know I do. God knew that too. This incident reminds me of listening to my favourite record, Moonlight Sonata on the player. When I am paying attention, the music grabs my heart, carries me along with the rising and falling of its vibrato…I can listen over and over – and though I adore it, I can compartmentalize and dually revel in its presence and at the same time – ignore its impact. Unless someone comes along and rips the needle off the grooves, I may never notice when the song ends.
When my husband suffered his accident – it felt like that needle scratched across all the music I had ever known. What if…. What if…. What if….
He has given us a reminder to love well and appreciate the little things and the big things (like my husband – who is a big thing literally and figuratively), and to stop life and “smell the coffee.” The situation at hand has been an inside out blessing in our family. Scary, concerning and for the convalescing hubby, aggravating…but truly a reminder that in the midst of peace or trouble, God is there – with His love language. I look forward to a future morning when I will awake to familiar sounds and strong coffee smells again, in the meantime, the aroma of God’s love for my husband and our family will cling to us. It is His love and provision that fortifies – and prepares us to meet each day and every challenge.
Once again, thanks be to you, our God. Amen and amen.