What a whirlwind week it has been. Really, the past two weeks I suppose. The days all blend together after a little while. It has been a couple of weeks with the normal ups and downs of life. Most directly, I think I could sum up this time as dizzying. I would love to just chalk it up as exhausting, truthfully, but to do that would be to ignore the clear times with God just simply carried me through the day or provided in just really unexpected and humbling ways. Yesterday my roommate and I drove from Georgia to Baltimore with two toddlers. The girls were really, frankly, amazing. And it was still trying.
God will often teach me things through seasons of my life that I can really grab onto as overarching themes. Recently I have felt like every day there is something different He is either emphasizing, or adding to the teaching points and faith lessons that He is bringing me through. If it were not for my firm understanding that it is only through His faithful grace and mercy upon me, I do not know how I would have made it through, let alone processed the past two weeks—life events and spiritual lessons and all. It was just really too much for me, which happens to be one of the things He is teaching me. I cannot list the number of times just this week He has emphasized and impressed upon me the clear understanding that I cannot in my flesh accomplish any divinely appointed task. In fact, as someone even pointed out, if it could be done on your own, it isn’t divine. Or how about this one—anything that God calls you to will scare your flesh to death. (courtesy of Beth Moore) WHOA! Ok, here’s another: if you are being called to do something that you absolutely cannot do on your own, you can probably count on it being something that God is calling you to. Talk about a comfort zone shake up. Talk about a lot crammed into one week.
But that’s not all. Here’s just a sample of the other lessons and concepts that have been hitting me ever so gently: trust Me with your money. All of it. Forgive someone who will never know the full extent to which they ripped your heart out. Your ideals in your life fall so far short of what I have planned for you. Will you trust me with your future, even if that means it is NOTHING like what you have envisioned? Your definition of good is painfully distorted. Will you trust me to define what is meant by ‘better’? Yikes. I want to pray for His ‘better’. But what does that even mean? I would be scared to death, except He has brought me through so much that I am rather more scared to death to NOT believe Him. You see, I made a mess of my life once upon a time. I’ve seen what my life looks like when I steer the ship, and let’s just say, it ain’t pretty.
Can you trust Me with your pain?
Can you trust Me with your deepest desires?
Can you trust Me with everything?
Its an all or nothing deal, this trust thing. Trust is only really trust if it is complete.
A couple of days ago I was approached by a man who looked a bit like a Hare Krishna campaigner. He asked me, as I was hurrying into a Christian conference hoping to get a good seat, if I was a Christian and how I knew for sure. A bit dumbstruck I responded with great eloquence: “Well, when you know, you just know it!” It was brilliant. Not really, I felt really stupid. How did I know in a way that is communicable to anyone other than myself? When he asked me why I didn’t want to talk about it (because I tell you that I did not break my stride a bit), I answered truthfully “Because I’m late”. Then I wished him a nice day, not wanting to come across as hostile. Geez. I really don’t think this man was open to a genuine conversation about Jesus or salvation. But this was the best I could do? “You know when you know” and “I’m late”. The Scriptures tell us to be prepared to give an account for the hope that is in us. Sadly to say, even days after the exchange, I struggle to know what I would have said differently to that man if I had a do-over. Oh Lord, help me. I can talk to a fellow believer about the hope that is in me until the cows come home. But what do I say to someone who does not have the some foundation of knowledge or desires that I have? Truly, I’ve never really been awesome at this, but I was struck with this anew and am still reeling from it. I saw one sweet woman exchanging contact information with him. God bless her. I seriously pray that she offers him more than I did.
And what shall be the cherry on top of this disorganized spewing of thoughts? Oh, nothing huge. Just Revelation. Like, the book. All of it. I thought I was getting enough to process with my personal walk and challenges, when He threw in a little light teaching on the end of the world through a nine part sermon series on the entire book of Revelation. Let me just tell you, it is a long car ride from Georgia to Maryland. And it does tie in. really. If I live my life really believing that the world is likely closer to the end than it is to the beginning and if I really believe that Jesus comes back as King, why don’t I have a more solid answer than, “Well, you just know”? Then again, maybe it is that simple. At the end of the day you either choose to believe God or you do not. Through the pain and the unanswered hardships of life. You believe. You rest in your faith. But how does that translate to something one is able to communicate to a person who is unconvinced? I do not know…yet. But I have been praying. Maybe Mr. Krishna was a wake up call. Maybe he was a gentle way God was telling me to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is in me. I tend to think so since I feel completely incapable of the task. Oh, and it isn’t comfortable. So, I guess put those two together and it seems like just maybe this is something God is calling me to. Lord, you are going to have to equip me for this! But just two more things to follow this up…
In light of this realization that I am out of my league, He has been gracious enough to also bring to me two recurring Scriptures this week:
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory…
Daniel 2:28: but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.
Thank you, Lord, that I serve a God who is able. A God who from heaven comes near to reveal to me that which I cannot know on my own in power. Next time I have the opportunity to give a reason, I pray I have something a bit more substantial and God-glorifying.