“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
by Tracy Papolizio
It was a dark and stormy…morning? What? Yep. I know, cliché. But that’s exactly what it felt like. It was a Friday morning, usually the best day of the week when we get to spend the “Free-form Friday” in our dress-down jeans with seventeen preschoolers who have finally succumbed to the last four days of our structured routine. This particular Friday, however, was anything but roses. It seemed that the earth had shifted terribly on its axis, causing its inhabitants to feel anxiety, worry, and stress. Literally, the weight of the world seemed to be rolling slowly, its sole purpose to crush one particular forty-something teacher right in front of a bunch of four-year-olds.
By noontime, I knew there was a desperate need for a Dunkin run. Collecting orders from my classroom staff (and principal-ok, yes, come on, this woman runs the entire school), I drove the few miles to sanity-a small (which should have definitely been at least a medium) chai latte with almond milk.
Spending the first four minutes decompressing, singing in my head to the radio, I spent the next three minutes praying. It wasn’t so much as a prayer, as a pleading to God. Where was He? Didn’t He see what had happened that morning? Did He care? I have to admit, so many days I begin the morning with a wonderful quiet time, reading and praying, and then before I know it the entire day goes by and while I may have acknowledged God, or even encouraged another friend to stay strong in Him, it’s three o’clock and I’m hustling to pack up so I can be out the door for the second half of my day, and I’ve forgotten all about the real Him. My real Dad (the omnipotent one).
As you can imagine, these particular three minutes in the car were like priceless gems for me. My thoughts and prayers quieted down as I still waited to feel Him, or for some miraculous sign from above that He heard me and still loved me, (knock, knock, God, You there?) I turned into the parking lot and happened to glance at one of the parked cars. There, glaring at me from the back, was a large silver cross that had been fixed to the rear of the car. Immediately I felt a wonderful peace and joy as I lifted my eyes and silently thanked God while exhaling a deep breath at His goodness. He had heard me! He hadn’t forgotten me even though I had forgotten Him in the midst of my dark and stormy morning.
After I ordered my five drinks I pulled onto the road and one of my favorite songs came on the radio. It was Casting Crowns’ “Just Be Held.” Another word from my Dad. My favorite verse of that song is when Mark Hall sings, “your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place. I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held.” Wow. Why is it that we (I) get so bent out of shape as soon as a little bit of stress is applied to our even-keel life, when God’s promised that He is always with us. All we need to do is search for Him during the storms of our day and stop holding on.
Does It Matter What We Think? I know you can’t tell me I’m the only one who’s ever asked God if He’s still there, if He hears me or if He’s listening. But if we meditate on those thoughts for too long, they can be destructive. God promises us He will never leave us nor forsake us. Instead of treading through the storm, wondering how on earth you will get through it, focus your mind on Him and let go. He is on the throne!
Tracy Popolizio works with young children as a preschool teacher. She writes middle grade historical fiction and blogs at www.whatareyouthinking247.blog. Her prayer is that her writing will continue to draw people of all ages closer to the Lord. She likes reading historical fiction and inspirational books that challenge her to soar even higher. In her free time, Tracy enjoys camping, running and taking walks with her husky, and spending time with her family. Tracy lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children and is blessed to be close to their extended family, enabling them to enjoy time together.