Ten years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that by God’s grace has not progressed, been symptomatic, nor could I get a second opinion confirming it. Recently, however my bloodwork is indicating a progression, that in whatever form, my body is fighting against itself. Just as I did ten years ago, I’m opting first to try and stave off illness by eating a plant-based diet.
I was dreading the thought of becoming a gluten-free-vegan. The last time I ate like this after my diagnosis ten years ago, I felt deprived and unsatisfied. It’s difficult to eat like a rabbit, particularly when the other rabbits you live with get to eat donuts and bacon. I decided to start my herbivorous lifestyle January 1st, but in the weeks leading up to the new year and eating habits,
I was angsty.
Last weekend I spoke at a retreat with worship leader and recording artist Gretchen Jester. She sang a song she’d written about God’s grace. It was inspired by a friend who loved her husband and always worried how she’d ever survive if anything happened to him. After her husband passed away however, this friend realized losing him wasn’t nearly as torturous and painful as all the years she had spent worrying about losing him because God’s grace, as Gretchen reminded us, isn’t for the hypothetical:
“There no grace, for what hasn’t happened yet. So, I will let go of fear of future things.”
“There is no peace for what hasn’t happened yet. So, I will rest in you when I cannot see.”
“So, I will hold onto to hope for future things. He gives me grace, for only this moment.”
Whether it’s eating kale, sending my kids to college or my dad’s heart attack, Gretchen’s song is true. Anxiety is, on many levels, worse than actuality. It’s what Corrie Ten Boom’s father told her in the midst of persecution from the Nazi’s:
“Tell me,” her father wisely responded, “when you take a train trip from Haarlem to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”
“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”
“That is right,” he replied, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our wise Father in heaven knows when you are going to need things too. Today you do not need the strength to be a martyr. But as soon as you are called upon for the honor of facing death for Jesus, He will supply the strength you need—just in time.”
What are you worrying about that hasn’t happened yet (and in reality, may never happen)? Except for fried cheese curds, I don’t miss what I used to eat. By God’s grace, I’m adjusting well (most days) to my nest emptying. Instead of dreading what hasn’t happened yet, I’m trying to hold onto hope for future things. I’m trying to trust God will provide immeasurably more…
Just in time.
For more on Gretchen Jester (she’s AMAZING!) go to www.apprenticeministries.com