Monday: Psalm 79-80; Numbers 18.1-20; Hebrews 7.26-28

From: Kori Zachrison

Dear Church,

I’m going to get vulnerable with all of you this morning. I tried to write a reflection that didn’t go there, but the reflection assignment finds me at this particular time and place with God—and I can only reflect as far as I can see right now. Which is not terribly far.

One of the things that has struck me in our reading of Numbers is the way in which the Israelites are repeatedly dissatisfied with where they are, and how they want God to meet them on their own terms. They want meat. They want to go back to Egypt. And they repeatedly failed to recognize—let alone appreciate—God’s provision for them. Reading this has helped me see where I have done the same. 

We had a miscarriage two weeks ago. I have never felt more empty or alone.  Perhaps I felt alone because Eric was in a different city.  Perhaps I felt alone because I had already started to dream dreams for the little spark of life inside me. And I know that I felt alone because I felt abandoned by God. He’d given us this amazing promise, a hope for the future, and then he let it be dashed away. I didn’t really feel like talking to God, and if it had been any other time, I’m sure I would have wallowed in self-pity. But when it happened I was with my best friend getting ready for and then celebrating her wedding. So I knew that I would need his strength to get through the events—and not just to ‘get through,’ but to truly celebrate their marriage. I attributed my tears to the joy of the wedding and by God’s grace, was able to fully support my friend and celebrate with joy.

But as it ended I still felt alone. Abandoned. Forsaken. I wanted God’s presence; I wanted resolution of my grief; I wanted His transcendent peace—but I didn’t have it. 

I’m seeing, though, how I’ve behaved like the Israelites. How I’ve failed to recognize God’s provision through this time. His provision of the strength to joyfully celebrate a beautiful wedding; His provision of a husband who got on the next flight to be together; His provision of my triad friends leaving me prayers via text and voicemail, sending dinner to our family, and enveloping me in their love; His provision of the Psalms to be my prayers when I had no words of my own; His provision of a precious baby boy to give me joy when my smile felt otherwise empty; His provision of a church family to love and support us through the pain.

There has been a refrain running through my head over the last two weeks. I can’t recall the last time I actually sang this song, but it is a reminder that I can only attribute to his provision: 

He gives and takes away
He gives and takes away
My heart will choose to say
Lord blessed be your name

And Psalm 79 reminds me of the same this morning in verse 9:  “Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name.”

In this moment of desolation, I bless his name and trust in his provision, for the glory of his name.

I am an emergency physician and researcher at MGH, wife to Eric, and mother to Zeke. We’re running our own version of Chopped out of our home in Charlestown and would love to have you over to break bread.