Almost by Marcia Lee Laycock

“Tell me your story,” my friend said.

I smiled and warned her that we might be there for a while, but she said she wanted to hear all of it. And I was excited because I love telling it, not because it’s my story but because it is, from beginning to end, God’s story. It becomes obvious to those listening and even more, to myself, that God’s hand of protection has been over all of my life. There were so many times when I could have/should have had disastrous things happen; times when I almost died.

As my husband has said, “You walked into the fire and right out of it again with hardly a scratch!” Well, the smell of smoke often lingered, but he’s right. I can relate to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

There was that day I should have drowned but was saved, that night I could have been raped and even murdered but was left alone, that time I ingested a poison but it left no effect, the times I trusted strangers who could have been demons but turned out to be angels. Over and over again God protected me.

Oh yes, I have had my share of tragedies and trials, but even in those circumstances, God was there. There was the moment when I heard those mind-numbing words, you have cancer, the days when the chemo treatments were almost too much and others when I almost could not make myself walk through the doors of the clinic where I would lay on a table and allow radiation to burn my body. There was that day I was almost overcome when I realized the child I carried would not be born alive and the day I got the phone call telling me my father had died. There were those years when the pain of the circumstances almost drove me to curse God.

In all of those times it was God’s presence, and above all His love, that kept me sane, kept me going, and kept me in the shelter of his wings. It was Jesus who kept me from going beyond ‘almost.’

I love that old song that says, “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are safe.” The words are true. The name Jesus keeps us safe, even in the midst of the fire or in the midst of a raging storm – not always safe from pain, but safe from separation from Him. And that is the only agony we would not survive.

These words are also true: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed” (2Corinthians 4:7-9).

That is our testimony, our story as believers in Christ Jesus. When we have Him we will always have that word, almost.

 

Just like Him by Marcia Lee Laycock

Smiley Barbeque

My eyes fluttered open to the sound of howling wind. More snow, I thought, and thought about slipping deeper under the covers. But I was awake so I headed to the kitchen to make my usual cup of coffee and start the day. I expected there would be another few inches of snow on our deck and the thought didn’t make me happy. Coffee in hand, I wandered to our back door. Yes, there was another thick layer of the white stuff, but there was something else that caught my eye. A smiley face, grinning at me. There, on the side of our barbeque’s cover was a perfect smiley, eyes and all.

It made me laugh out loud. And then tears came to my eyes. You see, I’d been feeling a little blue lately, a little “under the weather,” as they say. I’ve been chalking it up to the grey days we’ve been having lately, combined with the fact that I’ve had some health issues that haven’t been fun to deal with over the past while. I tried to talk myself out of the ‘funk’ by reminding myself of all that I have to be thankful for. That helped, but the grey mood still lingered. So I asked the Lord to lighten my spirits a little. He knew just how to do it.

As I stood there grinning back at our barbeque, I thought of all the other times He has done something similar. The time he made a tiny flower glow with the promise of hope in my living room as I lay on our couch aching from chemo treatments; the day he showed me a perfect rosebud that had just bloomed in a Papua New Guinea garden when I was struggling to walk after being hit by a debilitating virus; the day he showed me the delight in my three-year-old nephew’s eyes when he saw a cluster of blue irises for the first time; the morning my mom woke my brother and I so we could see the marmot that had taken up residence in a pile of logs beside our house. These were all ‘smiley’ moments – moments of delight sent by the hand of God. It’s  just like Him to know exactly what we need at exactly the perfect time.

We shouldn’t be surprised. The scripture tells us He delights in delighting us. “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory” (Psalm 149:4).

The Scripture also says “because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam.3:22,23).

And “great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them” (Psalm 111:2).

Are you a bit “under the weather” these days? Ponder the works, the love, the faithfulness of our Lord. And don’t be afraid to ask him to lighten your spirit. It’s just like Him to find the perfect way to do it.

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flatecover(98) Marcia’s novella, An Unexpected Glory is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo

 

 

Missing Christmas 1600

Marcia’s short story, Missing Christmas is available on Amazon