When God doesn’t part the waters, so that you can cross safely to the other side and the storm around you rages on relentlessly pounding against you.
When the mountain just won’t move and all words spoken as mustard seeds drop to the ground and nothing is thrown into the sea. When light feels like it is fading.
Jesus says, I am in the boat with you. Don’t give up.
This past week, He said to me: Stop asking to get out of the fire!
There are things we might not be able to erase from our lives, but we can write over them.
I would like to write over some things.
Some days, I long for a legitimate do-over…a re-start.
You know the days when the alarm doesn’t go off and as you groggily open your eyes, your awareness tingles with the realization that something doesn’t feel right. And when your eyes adjust to morning, you glance at the alarm clock shocked to see…the kids will most definitely be late…given that the first bell just rang at school. And then as you step from the bed, mumbling “crap,” that one errant boot your husband has left in the middle of the floor finds its way “”mysteriously in the middle of the path to the door.
As your foot hits the boot…which happens to be lying on its side, the uneven step sends your ankle thrusting to one side…followed by your knee, your hip and you find yourself hitting the floor with one feeble attempt to catch yourself on the bed.
And there you rest…arm dangling at a twisted angle above your head caught in the bed frame…half on your knees…not praying …no certainly not…but you are holding at bay very colorful language flying around inside your head…seething at the “man”…who “still” cannot put his shoes away!
I wanted a do-over, right then. I wanted to extricate myself from my unintended pretzel formation and crawl back in bed. Instead… I yanked my arm free and sat with my feet tucked under my knees and just cried.
“Is this part of the fire I am trying to get out of??” I got tripped up, literally, and in that moment, felt overwhelmed with frustration.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly, we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Choosing to not do what you feel.
It is first a choice to operate contrary to circumstances like this…the mundane annoyances disruptions to slow starts in the morning, or long line-ups in the afternoon. Small obediences make way for the major “tests” coming in the the earthly training sessions. If we cannot do the small things, how can we expect to manage through the major moments? We all have them… those training sessions where we are invited to act contrary to how we feel…with grace rather than disdain, with mercy rather than retaliation, with compassion rather than frustration. And in that momentary act of obedience to a “better way of being,” we become willing vessels that God can use to show His power in our great weakness.
That’s a good word, right there!
The Father doesn’t command us to do something, He does not intend to empower us to accomplish.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
My prayer is so often: I trust you…that though the waters are deep…I will not drown. Even as the mountainside seems to give way…collapsing and sending me careening down the mountainside, at times, you, Father,.. will break my fall. I trust you.
Our actions spring from identity. We aren’t what we do…we do what we are. When we know we are children of the most High God…adopted sons and daughters, our lives look like the grace, the compassion, the kindness, the mercy that we were born into. When we don’t have alignment with this kind of kingdom thinking, we step on the rocky places of disappointment, bitterness, anger, resentment…and the ugly need to control our circumstances. These dark areas of the heart are only exposed in the light… by the light. Get to the light.
Get to the light.
In His presence where I am fully known, fully loved, fully accepted, I can say, “it’s not that bad when you know who I know?”