Before I start this blog I would like to say that it’s really a huge accountability act for me. It’s actually a declaration of my belief system…because you don’t know what you really believe until you write it down and because being accountable for God’s will for us is what often takes our faith to the next level. And I’m ready to climb higher with my Savior. Having said that, let me confess this….
It’s one of those nights when I’m chasing sleep and it’s definitely winning. This is a brand new season for me. I hesitate to use the H word (hormones) but there, I did it anyway. I never lived the perfect life or anything like that but I would say that I have spent a considerable amount of time figuring out ways to muscle the circumstances that kept me from FEELING like things were spinning out of control. Did I say “control”? I am a fixer. There’s no medication for it but it does need a cure. Enter God’s plan to make me authentically usable. (Which, by the way, often looks amazingly like bonafide weakness).
God is teaching me that He is enough. I crave restful nights, productive days, and a well attended to family but He isn’t giving me those things IN THE WAY or IN THE MEASURE that my spirit is demanding. I admit that I have complained to Him on more than one occasion. He isn’t the only One Who takes the hits either. My sweet family is feeling awfully close to MY struggle. Take for example my 26 year old married son who stops over to pick something up, finds me in three day old pajamas with matted down hair and a sour look on my face. Special, I know. It’s always the ones you love the most that have to deal with the less than best you. I had been dealing with a myriad of various personal illnesses for several days. He just very tenderly asked me “are you ok”? I cried. I mean it was a fairly simple question but it made me just bust up in my soul. I wasn’t okay. Hadn’t been okay. Didn’t see “okay” on the horizon.
But God sees the sunrises for eternity. He remembers every time the sun has ever rose and set for about six thousand years. He is faithful about it too. He has made a predictable pattern and His power keeps all the heavens in check. The planets orbit on a precise axis just because He said so and He has the first and last and all the in between “says”. Bad grammar. But you know what I mean.
I mean to say that my sleepless nights and my fatigued days and my mom-deprived family does not have Him worried. He isn’t trying to concoct a plan for survival for me. He already did that. It was called Golgotha. My rescue prescription is called The Cross. My Rescuer is Jesus Christ. My Father sees and knows and hears and nothing is about to change with that. I, however, need to do a little changing. Like speaking truth. Out loud. Singing and making melody in my heart to The Lord. Maybe even a little shout in’! Because I know my Redeemer liveth! Come on now!
We are going to have rough days, trying seasons…maybe even a few thorns in the flesh…but we do not have to surrender to discouragement. We do not have to submit to having our joy stolen and crushed beyond recognition. We do have to allow God to be our strength though…keeping joy and walking in faith is not a work that the flesh can ever be sufficient for. It must be His Spirit taking control of mine. It’s true that I must yield but even my yielding is an act of grace that He has bestowed upon me. I once read something that said “never doubt in the darkness what you have known to be true in the light”. I wish I could give some wise soul credit for that statement. It’s true.
It, however, is a huge temptation to do so. To doubt, that is. To recoil…to wince…maybe even kick and scream? What He longs for me to do is to yield my body as an instrument of righteousness. His righteousness. He tells me clearly that first I must be fully dedicated to Him…body, soul, and spirit. The Scripture puts it in these terms: “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
I conform to this world (the things that I want) when I set myself to be the lord of my life…the lord of my health…the lord of my family…the lord of my schedule…the lord of my sleep. I am transformed when I immerse myself in Who He is by getting into His Word and allowing it to wash away all my expectations of what is good and acceptable and perfect. My mind is renewed when it gives Him complete Lordship and the right to say when, where, and how. My life becomes “presented” when He is the Will Maker…the Will Keeper…the Will Sustainer.
Is this easy? As my 18 month old granddaughter would say “no way”! Living sacrifices are prone to crawl off of altars. That’s why under ceremonial Hebraic law the sacrifice had to be tied to the horns of the altar. Bound up there so when the knife and the fire and the dying began that sacrifice wouldn’t get away. That’s when things get tight. That’s why He says in the New Covenant “present” your bodies. Maybe presenting is a little like dying to self. He isn’t interested in fighting us. He doesn’t market coercion. He loves us to do it out of our love and our trust of Him. When we KNOW WHO HE IS and HOW HE LOVES then we will not crawl off that altar. We will want to. Let’s be honest. Deep down in our humanness we will want to flee quickly! We will have to hear His voice to have the courage to stay there. But God even gives us all the necessary staying resources. It’s all a mysterious act of grace that our minds can’t fully comprehend.
I don’t know how many more nights of chasing sleep I might have…I have no idea if or when or how I will minister to my family in the ways I desire to…I cannot predict what a productive home will really look like for me right now…but I know Whom I have believed in and He is able to be the Keeper and the Master and the Giver of every good and perfect gift. I am only the “presenter” by His merciful grace.