I am up way too late tonight. I couldn’t go to sleep. That usually means there’s something on my mind that I need to get up and pray about, or God just wants a little extra time with me so I’m prompted to get up and read my Bible. Sometimes He has something for me to write. I don’t know which it is tonight. (I guess since I’m getting ready to post this, it’s the latter.)
It feels like I’ve been through a war the last few months. New obstacles jumping out at me constantly, new demands draining what little energy I have. The only choice to keep going. I’ve learned that I can’t go back. Sometimes I want to. Or if not back, I at least want to retire from what I’m doing and just have something easier. That’s apparently not in God’s plan for me at the moment.
I’ve learned before that ease is the enemy of growth. I know this to be true, but I sure don’t like it. Especially when I’m in the middle of hard. At the moment hard is taking a break and I have been gifted with renewed joy and awe at my Father. I can’t put into words how much I needed that, and how grateful and thankful I am that He has given it to me.
I can’t even say now exactly how or when my mindset changed. That’s probably not a bad thing…I would try to put it into some sort of formula that I could then pull out and use the next time I think I need it. Formulas don’t work with our Creator. Rituals and traditions and all that tend to miss the heart of the matter. So when I cried out to Him…again…this time I got an answer. He poured joy over me and I’m still sloshing around in it.
I learned something though, through this season of yuck. I learned that He is faithful to His promises. He is faithful to me, even when I am not faithful to Him. I learned that every single time I have asked Him to renew me, to stir my soul, to breathe life into me because I was drowning, He has answered me. It may not be when I expect Him to, or want Him to (meaning at that exact moment), but He does it, every time. Isn’t He awesome?
When I’m at what I believe is the end of my ability to endure, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, He gives me a boost. He shows up and shows out. He showers me with His love. He reminds me who He is, how much He loves me, what He’s already done for me, and truly does breathe new life into me. And lo and behold, my whole outlook changes. Because I stop looking at me, at what’s wrong, what I’m dissatisfied with, what should be changed if only I could, and I start looking at Him.
He knows I’ve dealt with this issue of perspective before, and since I’m still dealing with it, I’m likely to many more times. It’s a tricky one for me. One I tend to forget easily. So around and around we’ll go, and I’ll come right back to this place and have to learn this lesson all over again. I’m so thankful He’s patient with me.
But it’s so marvelously wonderful to pull my head out of the sand and genuinely look at Him and know that He has not failed me. That He has supplied my needs. That He has met me where I was and pulled me forward, onward, upward. To look back over previous times where I was unfocused and find that He has done the same. Each and every time, He has supplied what I needed to keep me going towards Him.
I hope that the next time I start down the dark and winding path of trouble I will remember that He’s there, He’s not letting go of me, He’s going to get me through it. I doubt it, but I can hope.
We’re so immediate, aren’t we? Whatever is in front of us is all we can see. Whatever is hurting us at the moment is always huge. Whatever problem we face is the biggest. We’re reactionary creatures. We react instead of respond. That’s always been a big failing of mine. And my reactions tend to be explosive. Oh but our Father fathers us so gently. He fathers us with an eye toward the future. He fathers us with intent, with purpose. He moves us where He wants us to be, He helps us see what He wants us to see. He doesn’t react; He responds.
I’ve gone from day to day over the last couple of months in a constant state of complaint, discontent. What a waste of time. I can say that now, now that my perspective has changed and I’m focused on how good Jesus is, how loving my Father is. I can also say that I didn’t change my perspective, He did. Lovingly, gently, He turned my gaze toward Himself.
He is the only One who can truly content us. See none of my circumstances have changed. Nothing is different in the day to day of it. The only thing that has changed is what (or Who) I’m looking at. He hasn’t miraculously changed anything to make it easier. He has changed me to deal with it. The saying comes to mind that sometimes He calms the storm, and sometimes He calms His child. I’m the child He’s calmed while the storm blows.
He gave me gifts over these last several days, gifts of joy and delight, gifts of His presence and His strength. He gave me some rest and relaxation in His arms. I’m not going to think about the storm that’s still thrashing around. I’m just not going to. I’ve thought enough about it, picking at it and trying to fix it. I’m going to think about Him, about Jesus my Savior, about my Father who loves me, about walking and talking with Him. One day I’ll be home with Him and all of this will be a blip.
In the meantime, today I know He’s holding my hand and smiling at me and singing over me. That’s enough.