When you want time to go fast, it goes slow. When you want time to go slow, it goes fast. Ironic, huh? I have not blogged in over a month. To be honest, it just hasn’t seemed as important as others things competing for my time and energy.
We moved to Spokane to boost my resume for this one particular international scholarship that we felt we had the best chance at winning. So here we are, about one week away from finding out, once again, whether or not I am a finalist. Along the way, as exciting, adventurous, and scary this has all been, I lost a few things.
I lost some important things.
You can always play it safe as a Christian by never being completely honest with yourself. Most of us won’t really admit when we are struggling to believe whether or not Hell really exists, if tithing has any basis in the New Testament, if healing will ever come, or whether we have grown to despise God. Who has courage for such honesty, to stare into the abyss of the soul and face the truth of your inner condition?
The repentant words of David in Psalms 51:6 ring out: “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being.” Yes Lord, you do. You do, Lord.
For me, this is what I realized:
- After feeling so hopeless last fall about my family’s financial condition, once God did start providing (and quite miraculously I might add), I gripped it with clenched fists. We stopped giving as much. I made an inner vow that I would do everything in my power to never let my family get to that point again. What is the problem with this? After all, this sort of determination, will power, tenacity, and initiative is absolutely praised and idolized in our American society. The problem is this: Jesus is not American and takes delight in humility, dependence, interdependence (in community), a broken heart, and meekness. I came out of this time with the belief that though God brought us out of debt, it was now up to me to make sure we never returned to that place again. “It’s all on me.” “I am the provider of this family.” “I just need to work harder, save more, spend smarter.” I was wrong. Daddy is my provider, whether I have a financial cushion or not.
- The second unfortunate development in my soul is that after 40 or 50 or 60 application rejections/declines, I started believing that if it is going to happen at all, I simply have to become smarter. Again, the great enemy of God and humanity whispered, “See, it really is up to you.” I bit the fruit. I suffered. A human was never intended to bear the full weight of his or her own existence. This notion comes to us from the existentialists like Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus. That a human, in the absence of God and any outside help, is thrust back upon himself to rise up, in some courageous, Myth of Sisyphus manner, to make something out of nothing. Good luck. Humans are too smart for this. Our mind knows when we are playing a game that is only a game. I lost sight that God is truly sovereign over my family’s life and that after giving it my all, if I don’t get a scholarship, then it is Daddy shutting the door because that is not what He has planned for us. If you are a follower of Christ, doors don’t just randomly open and randomly shut. Daddy is at work. He is sovereign. I have prayed too many dangerous prayers for God to let me slide off course. Over the past few days, Jesus has poked and prodded and message God’s sovereignty back into my spiritual consciousness. I am aware, awake, alert. I believe again that He is in control of our every step, and that because we are surrendered to him (I did not say we were perfect), He is going to make sure we stay on track…His track.
I might add that by no means did I totally lose faith. In fact, my private time with the Lord and our experience in our new church River City Spokane has been absolutely wonderful. But, along the way, I and my family have taken some hits.
So who knows what is about to happen. I guess that as for as this blog goes, this is my confession. Tonight, you, the reader, are my priest. However, as for me and my family, I want us to come out of this “wilderness” leaning more heavily than ever before upon our Beloved (Song of Solomon 8:5). In the words of Mother Teresa, “I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.”
Yes Lord, yes. May we wait well.