An empty plate

When it rains, it pours.

I found out that two of my favorite patients have opted for hospice care after battling cancer for several months.

I am making some huge financial decisions that have been a long time coming.

I also found out that my dad is in prison.

Over the past few years, I’ve become more friendly with my emotions. Rather than stuffing them, I just feel them and face them. For me, it’s healthier. Needless to say, there have been more than a fair share of tears shed lately.

Prior to getting all this news and going through these motions, I started reading my Bible more regularly. James and I decided to work our way through it one chapter at a time together, and I also started reading it more often on my own. I’ve been working through Isaiah again. It’s one of my favorite books. One morning, I woke up two hours early and could not get back to sleep. I decided to load up on coffee and God. I came across this verse in Isaiah:

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.”

Sometimes when I’m studying Scripture, I find that one word in a verse jumps out to me or appeals to me. If I follow that trail, I typically find just what I needed to satisfy some longing or answer a question I didn’t even know I had. That day, I started digging, and I discovered that the Hebrew manuscripts define “The Lord” here as “Your God has summoned power for you.”

Your God has summoned great power for you.

I didn’t know I would need this embedded in my heart, but I did. Over the past few weeks, those verses and that definition have come to me in my most weepy moments. My prayers have been desperate.

“In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” -Romans 8:26

What do you ask for on behalf of someone with terminal cancer?

What do you pray for when you learn that your loved one is imprisoned?

Several weeks ago, James and I spent the afternoon at Blanchard Springs, cooling off in the water and chasing down crawfish. Afterwards, we went to one of my favorite restaurants, Tommy’s Pizza in Mountain View. Every time I eat there, I get so excited about what’s to come while I’m waiting that I am elated by the time the food arrives, and it never fails to be the best pizza, the best slaw, or the best barbecue EVER.

That day, our waiter brought us four empty plates, two large and two small, and our silverware. As he sat them down, he smiled and said, “This is what hope looks like.”

So I’m waiting on the Lord, holding an empty plate.

He’ll fill it.

6 thoughts on “An empty plate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s