When you buy several hundred dollars worth of candy for the West Halloween event, it causes cashiers to ask questions. It’s a great “lead-in” to tell people about West, etc. so I try not to “miss” those opportunities.
I was inviting the cashier to the Halloween event and she shared that her nephew, the person in her family that would be “of age” to Trunk or Treat, was having oral surgery and would be recovering so she wouldn’t be able to make it. She went on to share that they were going to be really intentional about making Halloween fun for him, however, and they were going to replicate what they did during Covid Halloween 2020 and decorate each room in their house. Then, he’d Trick or Treat from room to room. She shared that this would be a difficult Halloween, however, because her mom died last year the day after Thanksgiving, and she was the creative one in the family.
We talked for a few minutes about the death of her mom, the fact that Thanksgiving would be a challenge for them, and she said, “It’s ok, I know that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”
In those moments I really wrestle with what to say, especially to a complete stranger. It is not our theology (understanding and study of God) to believe that God “gives” us bad things to test or try us. But that’s a deep discussion and not one appropriate for a Target check-out line.
I decided I’d land somewhere in the middle . . .
“So, I’m the pastor of the church that I told you about. And I am with you in believing that God makes a way where there seems to be no other way. I will be thinking of you during this holiday season.”
She shared with me that her dad was a pastor of an AME Zion Church in Statesville. We joked about how our two “churches” are “kin” . . . and I went on my way.
Even if we disagreed a little on God’s role when horrific things happen in our lives, we both conclude the same thing.
God does indeed make a way when there is no other possible way.
That is what we must rest in and on when it seems the hurdles in front of us are far too much for us to cross alone. Believe it or not, all that we need to cross those hurdles lies within us. Because that’s also where God resides. Connecting to that power within us happens through prayer.
Saying, “Thanks!” will open us up to connecting to that power. Because when we force ourselves to find SOMETHING to be thankful for, God works in those open spaces and we are able to connect more deeply with what we have and what we need.
Facing a hurdle today? Remember, “God makes a way where there is no other way!”
“I am the LORD, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.” Thus says the LORD, Who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters… (Isaiah 43:15-16)
Grace and Peace,