A new word has crept into my vocabulary during these past few months: wherewithal. I mean, I knew the word before, but lately I’ve found myself using it on a regular basis, as in: “Lord, I just don’t have the wherewithal to…”
I suppose it’s the negative form of what I think life since Covid has been teaching me, something I learned decades ago from You, Lord, but have been forced to put into practice now. In fact the whole world has had to accept this: “Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I haven’t had the wherewithal to write much lately, just barely keeping up with the necessary deadlines that go along with getting ready to release a new book. As my readers have perhaps noticed, I haven’t had the wherewithal to write a weekly Letters to the Lord post. I haven’t even had the wherewithal to ask the lovely writers who have contributed before to contribute again.
Life has been all about staying in the present, juggling lots of mind-numbing details about life in two countries and three houses, our home in Rochetaillee, our place in Flintstone, Georgia, and my childhood home, my parent’s home, in Atlanta, Georgia.
I am not a gal who is great with administrative details or many details at all. I am beyond grateful for my two brothers and their business acumen as we’ve walked forward in settling Daddy’s estate and trying to see the way forward for the next season.
But it has left me with very little wherewithal.
Webster’s defines it as “means, resources”, especially of money or time. “Wherewithal comes from where and withal (meaning “with”), and it has been used as a conjunction meaning ‘with or by means of which’ and as a pronoun meaning ‘that with or by which.’ These days, however, it is almost always used as a noun referring to the means or resources a person has at one’s disposal—especially financial resources.”
But I’m not talking about financial resources. I’m just talking about mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional resources. Some days, it just feels like I’ve run dry.
But Lord, it’s okay. Because You never, ever run dry. Isaiah 40 has always been one of my favorite chapters in Scripture, and these verses are my favorite in the chapter:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.”
Isaiah 40: 28-31
That is the beauty of the Gospel, isn’t it? Jesus in us gives us access to that supernatural power, His power, to keep going. Yes, sometimes we feel so high with joy and praise, it’s like flying. Sometimes we can run through marathon days without collapsing.
But so often, the Christian life is simply accessing His strength in our weakness, so we can put one foot in front of the other, walking without giving up.
And as I do this, my dear Lord gives me the wherewithal:
To see the beauty and smell the sweet fragrance of His creation.
To delight in the dimpled joy of a baby:
And the trickle of water over rocks:
In ten days, Paul and I will fly back to France. There is much to do before then, and though I may not feel like I have the wherewithal to get it all done, I take a deep breath today, this morning, breathing in His goodness and asking Him for the wherewithal to trust to give me the wherewithal for each day, one step at a time.
How about you?
***For the foreseeable future, Letters to the Lord will come out every other Tuesday.
ELIZABETH MUSSER writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her blog, Letters to the Lord.