My Stretch Armstrong Devotional

God exists outside of time.
The Great I Am.
Who was and is and is to come.
He’s capable of being in yesterday, tomorrow, and today
without wanting to drive His car off the Newport Bridge.
I am not.
Which is why I’m agonizing over this Christmas season.
My kids are in their twenties. Healthy. Happy. Present. Planning to be with me for Christmas.
If I could let myself abide in the now, no one would have to hide our knives.
Instead, part of me is trying to return to the past when they were small, wide-eyed, and I could provide everything to make their Christmas dreams come true in bright packages and plates of frosted treats.


A foolish piece of my soul is clinging sharp-nailed to the memory of footie pajama mornings with squeals of delight, the scent of cookie-breath, and mountains of Legos amid scraps of penguin wrapping paper.
An equally witless part of my heart is anticipating Christmas’s to come when they’ll be off with their own families or when our table will be missing a grandparent or two, nursing an ache for a future near enough to appear in my windshield,
And like a hapless sailor with one foot on the dock and one on the deck of a parting boat, I am stretched beyond reason and about to take a dive into the salty brine of my own irrational self-mortification.
God points a finger in my direction
And moves it to indicate I should come closer
And listen carefully.
Then He reminds me that He is God
He was and is and is to come
But I am human.
I am now.
Now, my children are present, healthy, happy, here.
Now, my parents are with us, engaged, thriving.
Now, Jesus is also here
As He was before
As He will be in the days to come.
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Hebrews 1: 3a
He upholds the universe
And my heart.
Are you straddling time?
Are you trying to stretch yourself into a God-shaped version of yourself in an attempt to be in the past and the future as well as now?
That’s why you’re tired, loved one, and ready to snap.
I remember one Christmas there was a Stretch Armstrong toy under our tree.
Stretch was entertaining but he had his limits and one day he snapped when he was tested beyond his design.
Are you testing yourself beyond your design?
Be in the now.
It’s where Jesus is and where you were designed to be.

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