Thursday, April 12, 2007

The rubber met the road today.

If you've been reading my blog since it began you know that my family may be moving this summer. Back in November we were 90% sure that we would be moving. Then one thing led to another since mid January we really have no idea what might happen.

We've had a small army of people praying for us on this one. I've been so grateful for every prayer.

God has been using this time in my life to deepen my trust in Him. It has been an opportunity to walk in the knowledge of His goodness towards us and to trust that wherever we end up it will be purposeful.

A few weeks ago on this journey of trust, I had a gigantic lightbulb moment about what Paul was saying when he testified to learning the secret of contentment. Its hard for me to describe but I'm going to try.

Prior to my recent lightbulb moment the Lord has had me focused on what it means to abide. It suddenly became important to look at abiding from a different angle. I have all kinds of experience with not abiding. But what does it mean in my life. What does it look like to not abide?

Not abiding, has meant using all that I know about God and all that I want in life and mixing it up into this place I now call "taking" from God. I was bouncing around between truly seeing what the Lord wanted and obeying and taking life into my own hands and just doing. So if this "taking" approach to God helps me give language to my version of not abiding. Then what is abiding? What I believe God is showing me is His desire for me to learn how to "receive" from Him. A friend of mind describes this same thing as moving from willfullness in my walk with God to willingness. I am here to receive from Him as He wills rather than taking from God. Huge, Huge, Huge lightbulb for me. I was driving people crazy with the joy I was walking in associated with this revelation.

So while going through this process of discovering where we might be living I would experience contentment if I could walk by faith believing and trusting that God in his goodness will act on our behalf to get us to the location He wants us to be. If during that process God called upon me to act then I need to be obedient and act. If God called upon me to wait patiently then I need to be obedient and wait patiently. I could rest and be free.

Today I woke up suffering from lack of strength and patience with God and our cirucmstances. I have been struggling for days with being very tempted to take matters into my own hands and start forcing some issues. I was losing my grip on contentment and choosing to be discontent. Completely aware during every moment that it was coming from a place of rebellion and willfulness.

Why the change? I'm human. I'm physically and emotionally tired. People we love want answers as bad as we do. I'm suffering because I want this part of my journey to be over and I wanted to stop walking by faith and take back control of my life. There it is again an inclination to "take" from God. Choosing to not "take" and instead to offer up my life in obedience to Christ is costing me. It is not painless.

The thing is that the Lord has allowed me enough of "taste and see that the Lord is good" and enough "miry places" created by my own willfullness that taking control wasn't really that attractive either.

I think what God has been saying to me today is that I want you to learn to be able to live with the pain of abiding. And because of all the work God has done on my behalf leading me up to today I was able to say through tears, "okay". The first thing I did was pray for grace and obedience and trust and patience and endurance and hope. By God's grace, I decided I am not going to choose rebellion. By God's grace, I decided I am going to choose contentment in all things. By God's grace, I decided I am going to choose to rejoice always.

So here's what God provided since that prayer this morning:

I picked up a book a friend gave me and the page bookmarked said in big bold letters, "Hope when you are depressed by the greatness of your problems."

My prayer partner and I ususally talk on Fridays. This week it worked out to be today instead. Our conversation and prayer time together was good for my soul.

My husband is on a business trip and we just had the best conversation over the phone about this whole ordeal. Even though God isn't working according to my schedule His hand is at work on our behalf.

I had time to take a long nap this afternoon.

Once again God generously met me with all that He is and all that He provides when I chose to believe Him and to call on Him.

I'm so thankful that God hasn't and never will give up on me. I'm so grateful for his graciousness to me today. I'm so thankful for friends and family who are His hands and feet to us. For those of you who made it to the end of this entry, thanks for listening.

Don't stop praying! I've got to make it through tomorrow and the day after that and ..... :)


Joye said...

Isn't He so gracious? Strength for today. That's the way He's always worked with his children. You're in my prayers.

Cheri said...

Thanks Joye. :)