For quite a number of years now, 5:37pm has been my least favourite time of the day.
In the life of a family, this is a messy, grumpy, ratty, pressured portion of the daily routine and, I’ll be honest, I never seem to navigate it well.
Year Two homework is my undoing. Getting my voice loaded with light-hearted intonation that enables Mr 8 to meet me at the table willingly is one challenge. Creating a parallel activity of harmonious play in another space for his two siblings has me flummoxed regularly. And, in the case of Maths, just trying to interpret the homework questions requires all the discipline my mind rarely has at 5-something.
This particular night, all the typical events were in process. To the discordant sounds you can already imagine, add spaghetti pot boiling over, young puppy chewing new shoes and someone insisting we put Frozen’s “Let It Go” on repeat.
My homework partner and I both avoided maths and went straight to spelling list revision and my performance of calling out the word, placing it in a sentence for context and then repeating the word was as good as I remember my own Year Two teacher.
…and then a word in the list that stopped me.
Inventing a sentence for ‘though’ found me defaulting to the most famous ‘though’ in scripture.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
Though. Such a powerful word.
It’s a word that changes the direction of every sentence it’s in. When starting from a place of chaos this single word can transform difficulty to clarity. With this word, the hand of God will turn the lights off at every pity-party you ever had.
It’s a word that is bold to declare a reversal of imagined outcomes. Like in Psalms 37:24 “though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”
It’s a word that declares a trust in the illogical. Like when Jesus is talking about a mustard seed, “Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants.” (Matthew 13:32)
It’s a word to describe the incredible. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. “ (Isaiah 1:18)
It’s a word to claim the inequitable as Abraham did when he said: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes…” (Genesis 18:27).
So let’s go back and picture some disorder. I’ve moved on from my 5:37pm snapshot and I’m delving more into some self-doubt and fear I have bubbling away. I like to keep it away from others. It’s got no humorous edge or witty description so it lacks entertainment value. Yet here is where my new favourite word belongs; smack-bang in the middle of mess and disorder. Here God, in his beautiful mercy points at it and says ‘though’ that, I can pivot your circumstance and change the trajectory of your imagined outcomes.
It’s an incredible gift of hope for our future and it’s a powerful word in the testimonies of our past. Another reminder to be vigilant for circumstances where the logical progression of events sparks pangs of anxiety. ‘Though’ loves it there!
Welcome His hand to that place and wait and see what transformation is yours.