Monday, October 3, 2011

The Answer - for now

When you ask God a question, expect an answer.      

This morning, I finally did it.  I asked the question lurking around in my melon for awhile.  

What is it I'm supposed to be doing right now because "resting" and "restoration" just don't seem to be enough?  

When I opened my devotional for the day, I found the answer.  Twice.    

First, a quote from the writer:  
God did not create us to trust and believe in ourselves, in our own adequacy.  No.  He longs to strip us bare and take us to the place where we must depend on Him, on His Spirit within us.  Then, by His Grace, He takes us by the hand and teaches us that we can trust and rest completely in Him, in His strength and power.
I get the being stripped bare.  I get the dependence.  I get relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us.

Apparently I have a problem with understanding that second sentence.  I have to repeat it for my own sake (because I read it about 50 times this morning and it still has yet to sink in fully).

Then, by His Grace, He takes us by the hand and teaches us that we can trust and rest completely in Him, in His strength and power.

Trust?  Rest?  That's what I'm supposed to be doing?  Lord, forgive me, but that seems so highly unproductive.

But wait, there's more.  

The Scripture was:  2 Corinthians 12:9.
One part just jumped out, in this translation I was using (GWT).  Didn't have to look far, just the first sentence.
"But he told me: 'My kindness is all you need...'"
I'm missing something here.  I asked about what I should be doing and, Lord, You are telling me what I need?  And it's kindness?

Much of the time I focus solely on the latter part of the verse.  You know, the part that talks about how God's power shows when I am weak.  I'm horribly weak all the time and have been for many months now.  I get it.  But Your power, Lord, shows up when I'm doing something...right?!

My desire to do for God, to be used, is noble.  It's good, but the timing is not.  Given that I have just come out of one of the most difficult & spiritually challenging seasons I might ever face, I'm in bad shape.  Sure, His power has been on display and as a result, my poor earthen vessel is worn out.  You can only use a broken pot with a bandaid on it so many times before you have to take the time to glue it up right.  

He has grown me these last months - stretched me to the point of breaking, only to sustain me enough to make it through till tomorrow.   But right now is not about stretching.  It's about working out the knots.  And to get a knot out, you have to have patience and kindness.  It is a slow, silent process. 

I don't completely understand how my heart, mind and spirit will get untangled, but it's clear that is to be my area of focus.  I need to be waiting and preparing.  On what?  

The Lord.  He is waiting on me to slow down enough to grasp the fact that He is ready to help me move on.  

Nothing that has happened to us is or will be wasted, but when was the last time I let Him be kind to me or even thought about it?  I maybe out of the spiritual shipwreck and rescued onto the cruise ship of kindness, but my mind hasn't processed that yet.  I do know that I don't want to get trapped in the pain - I want to live in the freedom of His rescue. 

I guess that is why I asked the question.  I really did want to know the answer.  It's not what I wanted or expected, but it looks like rather than focusing on being productive, I will pray this is a chance to understand what rest really looks like.  To enjoy normal life.  To get to know why He wants me to know more about His kindness.  It is a fruit of the spirit after all.  

God is good all the time - I already believe that.   Now, it seems, my job is to believe He is kind all the time too.   

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