Thursday, June 30, 2011
I apologize for the serious tone to my recent posts. I do not intend to be a Debbie Downer, but lately I have been weighed down by worry. It feels like being buried alive - the feeling that everything is on top of you, you are gasping for breath, and the more that you try to claw and climb your way out the more dirt falls on your face and the farther down you slide. How do you get out of this cycle? How do you finally get your head above ground? This has been a struggle for probably the last year, but especially the last 4 months. Health stuff, family stuff, financial issues, personal and spiritual problems have all come to a head at once, and seem only to get worse with each passing day. It feels like there is no relief. We feel out of control, totally helpless in all of it. And I think that is precisely where God wants us. He wants us to realize that EVERYTHING comes from Him, and that we are capable of nothing apart from Him. We can work our fingers to the bone, but we cannot make the paycheck come. We can do our best to be healthy and proactive, but we cannot sustain life. We can give but we cannot determine the return. I think He wanted us to realize how incredibly powerless we are, and how much we have relied on ourselves, our talents, money and people when He is the only true source. I think He has been trying to strip us bare of all of our stuff - including our security, priorities and plans - to reveal to us our basic need of Him and Him alone. Just this past week I realized that I had been holding onto our home - feeling like there was no way God would ask us to give this to Him, or not have a home. Then, I remembered when Patrick and I bought this home. We were so excited. We felt so blessed and we dedicated our home to the Lord. We believed that He had given us this home and wanted to use it as a ministry to others in hospitality. We told God to do whatever He wanted in our home. Now, a few years later, I was telling God that He could not have the home I had already given Him. Wow! Talk about conviction! Suddenly I saw my home differently - not as my entitlement, or a requirement for my family to survive and thrive, but as a blessing that God had given us at His discretion. As my loving Father, He has the right to take it away at anytime if He feels so inclined. And while this may sound scary - God possibly taking away your home at anytime - it is actually true freedom. Letting go of that pressure and grabbing onto the promise that God has me in His hand is real freedom. Now I am not owned by my home, or the mortgage, or debt, or anything else that tries to grab at me. He has me and He will provide. This does not mean that I do not have a role to play - no! Just the opposite. I have a huge role to play - obedience and submission. I have to do what He has called me to do, go where He has called me to go, and give the outcome to Him. I have to trust that He is good, that He loves me and that He is in control. This is no easy feat. It requires faith, which requires hoping in things you cannot see and often lots and lots of waiting. We feel like we have been waiting far too long for an answer, but the truth is that God is never late. He knows exactly what He is doing. So, as we feel paralyzed by our circumstances and at a loss for what to do next, we wait on the Lord and trust that His ways are higher than our ways, that He is invading every aspect of our lives with His love, and that He will bring the relief at just the right time. We are now seeing that we are being buried in His grace and mercy, and that relief comes in the surrender.
at 7:13 AM