Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The One-Arm-Army Crawl of Faith

Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” (Psalms 27:7, 8 NLT)

I am so stubborn.

I know that's a huge shocker to you out there (insert sarcasm here).  The last few days have revealed I am stubborn in every aspect of my life - relationship with Jesus included.

It all started Sunday, over brunch with my family.  I was commenting (really complaining) about how stubborn my 9 year old has been lately.  She has to have the last word in a conversation, even when she is wrong!  I said she takes after her father.  My brother looked at me dead in the eye and said, "Oh because you aren't incredibly stubborn either?"

(He would know.)

I give God the glory for the strides I've made in this area.  I am a much kinder, gentler Amy than I was 10 years ago.  I used to be out, loud and proud of my prideful nature, digging my heels in whenever I could.  Just because I could.  That was me, take it or leave it.

In the good work of sanctification, that has been slowly chipped away.  Or I thought so.  Apparently I am still just as stubborn, only I do it secret.  I outwardly project humility, when inside I'm bound up tight as a drum because and I need to continue to be so.

The specific scenario that brought this to my mind was baby care.  I am pretty particular about who I let hold her, feed her, etc.  That's not unusual for new babies, but I've not really let anyone other than Dave feed or change her.  I certainly haven't taken up very many of the numerous offers to help, including bringing us meals.  Never mind anyone else but me doing a night feeding since Dave has been back in Italy!  I know her noises, I say and no one else could sleep through them.  Or Thanks but we are fine!  We are leaving soon!  We can get it, don't worry!

(All said without a touch of the heavy weight of exhaustion I feel.)

It's because of my pride.  That's what stubbornness is, you know: the outward demonstration of the inward feeling.  I haven't listened to my husband, my mother, my best friends - and now, because I think I know best, I haven't been listening to God.

In my competitive mind-set, the race is on.  If I can just make it to the Bologna airport, I can fall into my husband's arms and everything will be alright. Because I'm treating it that way, I stiff-arm blessings.  I reject the love the Lord wants to show me through others.  In pretending to be Wonder Woman, I am in danger of not only crashing and burning (physically, mentally, spiritually), but also becoming a stumbling block.  It's more than possible the Lord has directed people to act on our behalf, but I'm preventing their obedience because.....welll, I'm stubborn.   

This is an opportunity to be filled with more of God's love, but I'm too full of my pride already.

Here I go being Martha, instead of humble, loving Mary.  I see Jesus shaking His head as He sees me, His willful sheep wandering off yet again into dangerous pasture.  But He is a patient and gentle Shepherd.  He whispered His will to me yesterday in the words of John 14:18: 

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.  (John 16:18)

I realize He has been coming for some time with the remedy for way ails me. I've ignored Him.  He has been waiting for me to put aside my pride.  I see Him standing there with the cup of cool, refreshing water of rest that my parched body and spirit needs.  But pride is a nasty and powerful adversary.  It digs in deep, till every fiber in my being wants to stay where I am, to keep doing things as I have been, just until I get to Italy.   

Only now I know the cost of staying put.  I am aware of the danger of rejecting what God offers, only because I've done it so many times before.  I can't go down that road again.  So, even if I have to pull myself to Him, army-crawl style by one arm, or even one pinky finger - through the muck and mire of prideful thinking - I will get there.  I want that freedom, only found in His love. 

(I have already asked my Mom to help, which she, of course, will without hesitation...but maybe a touch of irritation I didn't do this sooner.)

The first step is always the hardest. 

I'm coming, Father.  Be patient with me, a humble sinner, and wait for me to get there.  And by the power of your Spirit - I will.

1 comment:

Janice and James said...

I love you, Amy!!! You are a dear, honest, encouraging, and comforting friend!!!