So after a long while of not writing or having a thought to scribble out, I came across this quote today, "Faith in God means Faith in His timing." Possibly, on a normal day I would look at this, think it was encouraging but then move on. Today I am clinging to the fact that when I trust in the Lord that means with everything and in everything. I can't choose to partially give my life to the Lord. I have to give it all. In moments of weakness or just the flesh I forget so many of the promises that He gives us in His word. "He works all things together for the good of those that love him and are called according to His purposes." Romans 8:28. Even if we find ourselves in the middle of a trying journey, he promises us that we will not only get through it but it will work together for our good. He is a loving father. He wants us to trust Him with everything that is within us.
Just yesterday I found myself talking to a friend at work. I think at times God puts us into a conversation to profess what we have learned and be able to see his goodness. I was the one encouraging her to pursue the Lord and give relentlessly to Him all that she even wants or desires, because He will take care of her. "The gifts and callings of God are without repentance." Romans 11:29. If the Lord has given you something, or even called you to something specific, we can give everything over to Him with faith that if it is ours then He will not withhold whatever it is from us. Psalm 84:11 tells us, "No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly." We can trust Him. We can wait on Him.
I say all of these things but as I am writing I have to believe these words myself. More each day I have to release and give and wait. I have many desires and wants and dreams. There are things I have hidden in my heart and asked of the Lord. He sees and hears it all.
No I am not speaking of the wonderfully composed first album of Adele, I am talking about me. Thursday I turned nineteen; a new milestone as every birthday is. At moments before the day came I didn't want to make the step into a new year of life, at other points I thought that the day could not have arrived any faster. It is a birthday. We all have them. As folks hit higher numbers the specific day seems to be dreaded rather than anticipated. Little boys and girls wait for their birthday as though their life revolves around it. Honestly, at that age it does. That one day of the year is the largest celebration for the first many years of their lives. The other day my niece began to talk to her mom and I about her ideas for her birthday party... Her birthday is in May. Then I believe the last category is that of the elderly that see another birthday as a blessing of good health and time with loved ones.
There appears to be some validity to each of these stories. Excitement is stirred up in each of us whether it is caused by a cake with candles in it or a desire fulfilled. Dread could be attributed to the realization that time is moving quickly. Though I think there is a lie that tells us that we are losing time. It is true, in some seasons of our lives we can think of a hundred other things we could be doing yet we feel stuck in the reality of a situation. Possibly the best heart behind a birthday is an old one that is simply grateful that someone would even remember that special day.
I am nineteen. I walked through many things since my last birthday but when I look back all I can do is smile. I am blessed above and beyond anything I could have asked for. I think the imagination of a small child is on the right track. I want to hope for the joy of what is to come next without the worry of how it will happen. I have learned that this simple task takes much faith and trust. At present, a difficulty appears far more daunting than it should. Human nature is what we have to thank for that. We are promised that there is reward when we diligently seek the Lord. Ephesians tells us that our Father can do exceedingly above and beyond what we could ever think or imagine. I can confidently say that this year before I turn twenty will hold many things: a lot of love, fulfilling joy, tried patience, heart-felt tears, unavoidable disappointment, childish excitement and learning through it all. It will be a year of overcoming trials and freedom.
Something I await is being able to look back and see the faithfulness of God. Happy Birthday to all of you January babies and every one that follows. I hope this year is one of nothing that you expect for the purpose of allowing the Lord to do far more.
Currently Listening: "Conversation 16" by The National
We are weak vessels made from dust. We carry no weight but vapor yet at times we try to carry the weight of the world. I am a guilty member of this party, as most of us are. Trapped in thoughts of times when things were easier or good keeps us from reaching better. The lyrics above are from a song by The Weepies. I relate to the simple composition of their words. I have seen days that have little hope, but I keep going. Even when we think we are at the end, we can make it further, by grace of course. The sooner we realize how little we can do on our own, the better off we will be. You and me. Whoever I might be speaking to at this moment, I know that you can keep going too.
In my weakest places I have found the greatest strength, because in those places I had to rely on my faith in the Lord and not myself. He will meet us. His arm is never too short.
Currently Listening: "Can't Go Back Now" by The Weepies
While reading a book that details the in's and out's of a young, American girl living in the red dirt of Uganda, my mind began to wander. She describes nights of turmoil in how she would be able to provide for a hundred or more children to go to school, none of which are her own. Without stopping to think about the disease that she would most likely encounter, she loves on the small coffee-colored children that are filthy from head-to-toe, mostly orphaned by sickness. She chose to be separated from any comfort she had known to follow the Lord. It seems silly for me to equate myself with the story of Katie Davis, but I feel the opposite is true. Surrendering your life to the Lord takes on many different appearances, as numerous as the number of people inhabiting our planet. God is not interested in us saving the world. Many times a story like Katie's could sink a reader's heart into their stomach with remorse over what they are doing with their life. In some ways, I believe that her story is one to spur on the deeds of servant hearts. In other ways, I see the goodness of God to feel some of the same things she expressed living an ocean away.
No, I have not adopted fourteen small girls to take care of as a single mother in a foreign country, but I do have to choose each day to surrender what I long for to the will of God. When I say that God is not interested in us saving the world, I want to express that we are held accountable for what the Lord has given us to be obedient with. I know someone that had to give up chocolate for an extended period of time because the Lord asked it of her. I know many people that would scoff at the idea and dismiss it as a semi-diet. This is where we as humans fall into the wrong. God looks for obedient children; children that will do whatever it takes to please the father. Sometimes, it takes a lot.
My heart is in no way to discount the large act of following the Lord to an African country, nor to exalt the release of a savored sweet, but to express a small slice of the knowledge of God's heart that I have come to know. He is pleased when His children choose to obey Him. He promises to bless that heart. However big or small it may be, if it separates us from His grace then we don't want it. In our aching, choosing Him brings comfort.
Currently Listening: "Hearts of Servants" by Shane & Shane