Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dear Lord

I feel so... stretched.  There is so much going on, so much change, just a lot of "new" and challenge and we both know I am not a big fan.

There are things I know you have asked of me (commanded?) that I am having such a miserable time with, but I submit because I know it's not about how I feel, but rather about whether or not I will obey in spite of how I feel.  I'll be honest (which is sort of funny to say because You actually know better than I do what I am thinking, feeling and intending, but I digress...) I keep waiting for a reprieve.  I know Lord you have asked me to do ________ for the sake of ___________ , but I'm not feeling any better about doing what You've asked, I am actually feeling worse.  And I know You have asked me to make it about worshiping You, and and loving You, and loving specific "others" but my heart isn't in it.

I really don't believe there is any reprieve on the horizon, but I am watching for it anyway.

You asked me almost a year ago to focus on two things-- living open-handed and to remember that Your grace is sufficient.  You asked me THIS right after You directed me to go back to school after a 22 year hiatus.  You asked me to go back without any plan, but I knew you were asking me.  And now people say, "What are you going back for?" and I can only answer, "I don't know, I'm just doing it because the Lord asked it of me."  And let's be real, to a large percentage of people, even in my world, that sounds a little nuts.  But when you gave me the addendum of open-handedness and Your grace's sufficiency, I thought you meant regarding school specifically.

That hasn't turned out to be the case at all.  In fact, the whole open-handed thing has had a LOT more to do with life beyond school.  And my impression that it meant holding loosely because things would be removed was accurate, though it stretched much further than I could anticipate.  But it also meant to keep my hand open for things you wanted to place there even when I didn't want you to (refer to paragraph 2 above.)  Sometimes it feels like holding something heavy in my open hand.  I'm tired, I don't want to, but the choice isn't to just hold it or put it down, it is to obey or disobey, and the truth is, I know there is only one right answer when I look at it that way.

School, by the way, isn't as exciting or new as it was when You asked me to go back.  So now as I hear you say "stay" and "press on" I feel the tilt of the hill increasing, and yet-- I STILL don't know the why or where of the journey you have called me to.  Perhaps that's why Your Word says "the STEPS of the righteous are ordered by the Lord" rather than the journey or the destination.  I feel like a soldier instructed on a "need to know" basis, and You have so far determined, I do not need to know.

I guess that's why I keep thinking back to things you have spoken before.  Like, that I am to trust Who you are rather than what you are doing.  When all I can think is "I just don't get it," You don't try to make any explanation of yourself at all, you just want to know, "Do I know Who You are?" (And in context remember who I am not.)  And "do I believe that You are good?"  These are the only questions I really need to concern myself with.   And they are questions I really need to have answered in advance.

(Deep sigh.)  I know Who You are.  And I know that You are good.

That's what I have to turn back to when things are hard - not just my things, but much bigger things in the lives of those around me.  Loss, sickness, death, loneliness, hardship.  You are still God and You are still good even in the midst of them.

That means I know that being in places I don't want to be, and doing things I don't want to do or at least don't understand, and even going through hard times, and hard things-- if you have asked it of me, it must be ok.  You have a purpose.  You are God, so you always have purpose.  And You are good, so if that's true, there must be some good you will bring out of it.  Not that that eases the process, but it offers the glimmer of hope in the darkness.

I love you Father.  You are better to me than I could ever deserve.  I know in my heart that this life will always be full of challenges and difficulties because I am not where I belong... and I am not yet who I am meant to be.  It's not about skills or opportunities, but it is about your chisel in my life, chipping away the things (the big giant chunks of me) that don't please You, don't bless others.  Sometimes it hurts like hell, but it really isn't anything like the hell you rescued me from.

Help me get my focus on Who and What I know.  Help me get it off my circumstances, especially those that displease me, and help me get it back on on pleasing You.  Not because it gains me favor, but because I love You-- for Who You are, and because You are good.  That's what I know on this "need to know" basis.

I press on,  in Jesus' name.