My heart and my mind have been in a turmoil for much of this year. There are many reasons, but here's what it feels like.
Suppose that I am in a burning building, on the 10Th floor. To leap out with no where to go except down is simply impossible. But I don't want to stay where I am, and below me is real safety. When I look down, out the window, I can see a ring of fireman, stoutly holding a net. Do I jump, or do I stay? I sit on the windowsill, and my heart is pounding in my chest. Jumping is simply not going to happen. I clutch the hard wood beneath my fingers, until they almost break. I pray with all my fear, shouting to God. SAVE ME, LORD!!! And then I hear a voice.
"Be at peace. I will save you. All you have to do is let go." Then, I let go.
The rest of the story doesn't matter. It's the letting go that changes my life. Letting go is the first step to surrender. Holding on is defeat. Obviously, I am talking about my relationship with God and my understanding that He knows better than I. We simply don't think the same. My thoughts are selfish, and perhaps, self-serving. God's thoughts are perfect and often contrary to what I want.
So, at that point, I have two choices: to hold onto my desires or to trust in Him and let go. Over and over again I have this struggle. One would think that I would be comfortable with whatever God wants, before I see the outcome. I've practiced being stubborn, and I'm really good at it. Each time, I do repent, and I always wonder why I doubted God's perfect knowledge. Yet, I repeat my pattern of sin again and again.
The Apostle Paul said it best in Romans 7:15-16...For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
Whew!! If that's not confused, I don't know what is! Yet, this passage of Scripture intimately illustrates the struggles of my very human spirit.
I've heard many a fellow Christian say: "Once I was saved, I never looked back, never faltered, never doubted, etc., etc., etc." This always annoys me. Because when they are looking at the perfection of their life, I am looking at the basket case that I often am. Sure, I'm going forward, but I'm stumbling all the way. In fact, I sometimes pick up the stumbling blocks, and with breaking back, I toss them ahead of me in my path, just so I can fall over them! At least so it seems.
Sometimes the way seems so certain. I can see the path that I want so clearly, that I mistake the difference between God's will and mine. I forget that God makes my path straight, as I step forward, trusting only in Him.
I don't know how some people live without God. Without even a desire to know Him. To seek. To find out. I don't understand. But, then, maybe they do look and desire, but they just can't let go of their naked desires. If only I could reach their hearts and tell them:
God reaches for us, as we are; not as we will become. He loves us in spite of, and perhaps in some way, because of our faults and imperfections. And He wants us no matter what. All you have to do is let go of that box of rocks that you carry around on your back.
It's true that letting go is the hard part. After that, letting God is easy. My struggle has been two-fold: my real fear for my country and my even greater fear for my daughters. You see, I've seen what God has done. He has done miracles in their lives, as well as mine. How can I doubt him? Why do I go to Him with my list of instructions? And why does He accept me back in spite of the same sin, again and again?
Today, I stand on the threshold of God's greatest blessing for me. He has fulfilled my dreams for my children, by fulfilling their dreams for themselves. Now, it is time for me to let go, and let Him make their path straight before them.
Father, I'm so sorry that I am so stubborn. I'm not submissive, nor am I the obedient daughter that You deserve. This day, yet again, I place my hopes and my dreams, my joys and my sorrows - past, present, and future - into Your loving hands. I understand that although I don't know the outcome, I can trust the One who does. So, Father, this is me, letting go.
Saturday, August 23, 2008