"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
There's really only one thing on my mind tonight, and that's my husband's final physical fitness test tomorrow morning (hence every Christian's go-to "I'm totally freaking out" verses above). He's in the military and has spent the past two years in an exceedingly grueling and notoriously difficult training pipeline. Tomorrow's test is the final gate he must pass to graduate at the end of this month. Although it's been two years that he has been in this specific course, graduating will really be the realization of a lifelong dream. Everything hinges on tomorrow.
For the most part, my husband has been stalwart and unshakeable, rarely letting the unrelenting stress of the past two years show through, so much so that I've often times forgotten the scrutiny he is under and the difficulty of what he is undertaking. I frequently take for granted how mentally, physically, and spiritually strong he is, expecting this from him and not fully appreciating how rare a man I have found.
Tonight, I can see the weightiness of tomorrow resting on his broad shoulders like the overpacked rucksack he often wears on marches, but instead of worrying, he is simply quiet and introspective, most likely speaking with the Lord silently as I look on solemnly with great trepidation. There are no "do-overs" here. It's not an exam that can be taken again. There is no concern for him as an individual, and they will drop him for the slightest reason if given the chance.
He packs up his things for tomorrow, and I see that his PT gear is resting atop his Bible--the essentials of what he will need in the morning.
Although he will probably sleep well (he's a superhuman sleeper), I almost certainly will not. His mother and I will likely be up praying most of the night until we hear word in the morning.
It is a formidable thing being married to a military man. Although you do not go through the intense physical and mental challenges that your husband does, you nonetheless pass through your own sort of gauntlet--the fervent prayers, the burdens that must be cast at the Lord's feet, the endless waiting and seemingly endless separations, the illusion that you have any control or say over your life, stripped away (talk about a lesson in submitting to authority and God's sovereignty). If you don't trust in the Lord absolutely, know Him intimately, seek Him tirelessly, follow Him fearlessly, and rest in Him utterly, you'll be a complete mess. Believe me, I have learned and am learning this the hard way.
It is in situations like this, situations over which I would naturally most obsess and worry, that I am most helped by instead turning my gaze towards my sovereign, unchanging, faithful God and offering up some heartfelt praise. The Lord knows our situation; He has every detail in His infinite mind and omnipotent hands. He knows His plans and our hearts and what is best, and He is so good and so holy, so loving and faithful, I have nothing to fear as His daughter. What is His will in this situation? For me to pray for my husband, to draw near to Him in full assurance of faith, to come to Him, to love Him, to trust Him, for His peace to reign in me despite the gale. I can trust Him completely, regardless of circumstance, regardless of outcomes, suffering or blessing, sorrow or joy.
It's just like my favorite epistle writer, Paul, declared to the church at Philippi:
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Phil 4:11-14)
And the point of this particular set of unnerving circumstances we're facing now is not necessarily that my desires be fulfilled (although I do sure hope they are!), but that God would be glorified and His purposes accomplished. I'm learning that the point of pretty much everything, always, is God's glory. And to me, that is perfectly, completely comforting.