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Every Minute

Have I told you my “every  minute” story?  If I have, I apologize and you can be excused.  If I haven’t, I think it’s worth telling.

The day after Steve’s diagnosis, I sat in my favorite chair in my office at home and tried to convince myself the room wasn’t spinning.  It wasn’t the room, it was my life.  My hope.  My expectations.  Everything was spinning.  And spinning makes me feel sick and scared.  In that moment, I was worried about everything.  Steve.  Money.  Kids.  Ministry.  Friends.  Everything.  And it seemed like one fear just naturally led to the next fear and then there were three more waiting in line behind that one.  Finally, I let myself do the crying I had been staying away from for 24 hours.   In the middle of that storm, I could only hear Jesus saying one thing, over and over.  It was faint at first and then it got louder and louder until finally I opened my lap top (yay, Old Blackie!) and started writing those words:  every minute, every minute, every minute.

I wondered what they meant.  Maybe that He would be with me every minute?  Nope.  While I knew that was true, I also knew that wasn’t what He was saying.   When I set my fingers on the keyboard again, the words tumbled out:  “I have already been to every minute you will ever face.  I have been to your future and back and I have built provision in every minute where you will need it.  You won’t see it now, but it will be there when you get there.”

I thought about that for a bit and then realized:  I had everything I needed right then…in that minute.  So,  I wasn’t worrying about that particular minute, I was worrying about all the minutes that would come.  And I realized:  He goes before me, so I never go anywhere first.  He already knows where the days will lead and how the road will turn, and He has placed all the supplies we will need along the way.  I’ll see it when I get there.

Now – two months later – I’ve run into some of the provision-minutes and I can see the obvious evidence:  Jesus has been here…and He left His fingerprints all over the place.

Loving the God who goes back to the future,



April 14, 2011 - 7:26 am

Rene' Bogue - So good. So true. I remember watching a story about a young boy years ago, who was dying of cancer. He would ask his mom, “am I dying today?” and she’d say, “no, not today.” And he would smile and go play.
That changed my life, and I remembered it one day on my way home from one of my first chemo treatments. I was headed home to my 4, 6 and 8 year old children, being watched by a neighbor. Then traffic backed up. I started to panic, which snowballed (as you know) into all the big picture panics I had.
Then I realized: it was a beautiful day, I had classical music playing, and I was eating my post-chemo treat of a pack of Rolos I’d bought at the hospital pharmacy while getting my at-home chemo pills.
I was ok right then. In fact, pretty good. So hard to stay there always, but a really good reminder. “Am I ok right now?” has kept me from panic many times. What you have written here is a much more true, much more significant reminder. Thank you.

April 14, 2011 - 7:28 am

Moe - How true this is Bo. God bless you and Steve, and the family. He is always there, and has been there before us. Thank you for being strong in Him.

April 14, 2011 - 7:38 am

Louise - thank you, Bo. I love you, who God created. I love how He speaks through you. thank you for saying yes to Him.

April 14, 2011 - 7:42 am

Holly Taft - WOW…. wonderful word, packed with truth, hope and promise…. Thank you dear friend…. you are in our prayers and we are with you in the wonderment of what God is up to….
Besos y abrazos!

April 14, 2011 - 7:53 am

Jean West - Thank you

April 14, 2011 - 8:20 am

Susan from Nebraska - Reminds me of the quote from Elizabeth Elliott when asked what to do when you are stressed out and have so many thing pressing down on you…”You just do the next thing and the the next thing after that!”
We need to look at the big picture sometimes but many times all we need to do is the “next thing” and live in “that moment” and rest in His provision!
Thanks for the story.
PS so love being with you this week!!!

April 14, 2011 - 8:57 am

Steve Stern - He leaves finger prints behind – love that!

April 14, 2011 - 10:53 am

elisa joy - ah, Bo. I love you! “You won’t see it now but it will be there when you get there.” Matt. 6. Oh, the faithfulness of our Jehovah Jireh. Such hope. Such provision. Such forsight, hindsight, midsight & vision. PRO-vision. You have given me a vision, my friend, w/o which I felt a bit “perishing.” (“Without a vision…”) I’m looking for His fingerprints from now on!

April 14, 2011 - 12:51 pm

Jess Stern - Absolutely LOVE this post. The past 2 years have held similar revelations for me–there have been so many situations in which to fear, ask why, misunderstand, overanalyze, or be offended by. But I just have to keep looking for AND recognizing His fingerprints.

Love to you all!

April 14, 2011 - 1:21 pm

Cathy Wood - Bo,
What a great picture for us to grab hold of. God knew we would face “worrying about tomorrow” and told us to live today. As you said sometimes it is easier said than done. Can’t wait to see His hope and future in your life…and mine, too.
With love and prayers,
Cathy Wood

April 14, 2011 - 3:08 pm

Danielle - Wow! Bo… Thank you for sharing this today!

April 14, 2011 - 4:59 pm

bo - Oh, Rene’- I haven’t been through anything like what you’ve been through in the fight for your health…but this comment struck such a familiar note with me. The days when my favorite coffee mug is the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen…and your Rolos are my Twinkies. This is beautiful and so encouraging. Thank you for sharing and – yep – I am definitely ok right now. 🙂

April 14, 2011 - 5:00 pm

bo - Thank you so much, Moe!

April 14, 2011 - 5:01 pm

bo - Louise, Holly & Jean – what a lineup of beautiful comments by the lovely ladies of Westside and Westside, south campus (heh! I love you, Ms. Mexico!)

April 14, 2011 - 5:01 pm

bo - Thanks you two Sterns. You’re good people, you know? I love you both.

April 14, 2011 - 5:02 pm

bo - Elisa – your email address makes me both laugh and cry…joy in the mourning…yes. He is so good in both. I love you, dear friend.

April 14, 2011 - 5:22 pm

Jenn Hoff - Needed this.
Embraced it.
Passed it on.
Friend needed it
And embraced it too.
Thank you, beautiful heart.

April 14, 2011 - 7:45 pm

Jane Williams - Right now, these days, your words, Bo, (and Steve) have become my Twinkies — comforting, inspiring, eagerly anticipated and strangely familiar like an echo in my soul — all wrapped up in a comforting little package of tasty goodness. Such a welcome treat (and RE-treat) for my thirsty soul. Thank you for writing. Seriously, thank you.

April 14, 2011 - 9:33 pm

Jean Nelsen - Boy did I need that right now. Thanks Bo.

April 14, 2011 - 9:51 pm

Karen - You always make me cry. Thank you Bo.
Sending cyber hugs.

April 15, 2011 - 4:47 am

Julie Sims - That is such a great picture of God’s amazing power in our lives! I love how simple God’s phrases to us our and yet the meaning is so complex! Thanks for sharing!

April 15, 2011 - 8:49 am

Carol - What an awesome perspective! Being a bit of a germ phobe, I’m frequently wiping off fingerprints from surfaces in my house. I will never again clean the evidence of someone’s presence without being reminded that God has been there first. Thank you for the beautiful word picture.

April 15, 2011 - 4:11 pm

Angela Cheeney - I can’t tell you how much this helped me through my day today! My mom was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in December and I have been her caretaker ever since. After I read this message I just sat in amazement and recalled all the “horrible times” lately that I have encountered and I have to tell you there has been numerous times where something happened in the “knock of time” to make that minute just a little easier. These fingerprints have been anything from a dinner on my doorstep after a horrible night to a huge blessing of being able to stop working and take care of my mom while my husband works. Sometimes it’s hard to take the time to sit down and say ” I know things are bad right now but what is going right…” and then look up to heaven and say a big thank you to the one that carries you through it all!

April 15, 2011 - 4:13 pm

Angela Cheeney - “knick of time”….. Sorry I didn’t proof read before I submitted…

April 15, 2011 - 8:38 pm

Aimee Hawtrey - I am bawling while reading this. I have so many things to say, but at the same time I am speechless. I love you and miss you & Steve.

April 16, 2011 - 5:41 am

Rachel Hawtrey - Love you, Bo. Thank you so much for sharing this. You are still blessing our family even across the miles. We love you guys. Your testimony of the love of a family with a face towards heaven and hearts full of love and wisdom for God’s people shines brightly. You may never know all the minutes of blessings you have given to others. 🙂

With much love from Nashville,
Rachel, Aimee and Renee

April 16, 2011 - 7:17 am

bo - Oh dear Hawtrey family, thank you so much for the comments – you are a wonderful reflection of God’s good gifts to us. May you find Him in every minute.


April 18, 2011 - 12:02 pm

Brian Rake - Bo,
I know we don’t know each other, but I attend New Horizons with your parents, after getting to know them I can understand why you turned out to be the exceptional person that you are! Your dad shared this post yesterday in his message, it spoke to my spirit and encouraged me!

You and your dad did a very nice job of preaching together. 🙂

Thank you for your ministry,

April 18, 2011 - 12:16 pm

bo - Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. How fun to be quoted in a message by my favorite preacher!



March 22, 2012 - 8:41 am

Sharayah Pranger - Wow, what a beautiful way of looking at things. Thank you so much for this encouragement. It is WAY too easy to worry about tomorrow even when today everything *really is* okay.

March 22, 2012 - 2:54 pm

Trish - oh wow, another tearjerker Bo. What a wonderful wonderful revelation from our wonderful God. I will treasure this story when life’s moments are seemingly overwhelming. He truly is all we need.

March 24, 2012 - 8:42 pm

Kathy Joyner - Oh—how these words spoke to me even through the tears that flow down my face right now as I try to be strong but I am filled with fear. I have been worrying about the minutes, hours and days ahead of me as I see my husband laying in a hospital bed with such a weak heart. Thank you Vangi for reaching out when I needed this most.