Five Minutes at a Time
~ By Darlene Franklin ~
How do I rest in God when drama occurs daily? Five minutes at a time.
I lived for many years with a daughter who suffered from borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD is characterized by pervasive instability—moods, relationships, self-image.
I struggled for twenty-four hour periods I could call good. Hours were easier to come by. Some days I settled for minutes and relished whatever time God’s love broke through the clouds.
That experience came to mind when I asked a cousin how she had survived the death of her mother and the breakup of her marriage, a month apart.
Her answer? “I.dont.know!” She begged God to bring her husband back, but she knew God never deserted her. “It was a time of waiting and toughing it out, sometimes five minutes at a time.”
Resting in God didn’t mean the absence of difficulties. Both Jan and I tried to tell God how to fix the problem.
What changed was we knew where to take our problems. Only God knew the details of our days. We talked to Him about we wanted, because only He could bring about that miracle.
In the process, we learned something else: we trusted God because He never deserted us.
Intellectually, few of us have a problem with that statement, but experience can seem different. I sat in the balcony of my church, mouthing praise songs I couldn’t sing for tears. In that holy, wordless place, God held me when I fell apart. He carried me through the years following my divorce, my son’s teenage troubles, my daughter’s lifelong troubles, the double whammy of my mother and daughter’s deaths, and more recently, my failing health.
My cousin learned a similar lesson when her teenage son nearly died in a traffic accident. She told the Lord that He could have Macon. Giving her child to Jesus was the hardest thing she had ever done.
While she waited, she could rest in God because she had learned to tough out the bad times, five minutes at a time.
Life in a nursing home involves a lot of waiting, and I hate it. Lately God’s given me tons to write. I have plenty of time
if I didn’t spend so much time waiting for help to come. Of course it arrives eventually.
When I’m counting the grains of sand in the hour glass, it runs in a continuous supply in heaven.
Early in the morning, I pull the call light. “Just five minutes.” Half an hour later, when no one has responded. I remind myself that God’s measuring cup is as full as ever. As the clock winds down to noon, I think, “Still five more minutes?” In the mid-afternoon lull, I tell myself, ”it’s only five minutes.” By the time I’m ready to head to sleep, I pray, “You’ll keep me for five minutes.”
God gets me through the day, five minutes at a time.
Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. Mermaid Song is her fiftieth unique title! She’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles.