Okay, this is pretty sassy – mostly because I tend to speak sarcastically to myself, so, let me just be real about what I’m struggling with right now. But then, there are parts where it is sweet; it is a glimpse into what the Father speaks over you, and it’s all things I really need to hear – maybe you need to hear it too.
I’m out! I can no longer function on my own power! I am weak in the knees, both literally and figuratively, and my spirit is so, so tired. It’s as if all my striving hasn’t accomplished anything. Ha – that’s because it hasn’t. Me trying to make things work out for me has done absolutely zero. Okay, well, actually that’s not true. It’s caused a significant amount of stress, tears, and heartache. There, that’s what it has caused me. I’m so consumed with this way I want to be. This way I want to live. This perfect version of me who is exactly everything I’m trying to be. (Oh, and by the way, social media isn’t helping.) It’s honestly ridiculous how much I have convinced myself I can control – how much I have convinced myself that things will work out exactly how I want them to. And then, I’m reminded of what is written in James 4, “Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”
I forget that I don’t know when I will arrive Home, that I don’t know what the Spirit will ask me to do, that I don’t know how God will move His powerful hand to work in my life. I’m so not in control, but I’ve convinced myself that I very much am – which leaves me in an unfortunate position – surrender or stubbornness. Of my two options, one leads to fruitfulness, the other to disappointment and idleness. You can’t really be effective for the Kingdom if you’re consumed with yourself, huh? Especially since that’s literally the last thing the Kingdom asks you to do – be self-consumed and controlling. In fact, we are never asked to do that – I know, crazy. We are never asked to try and control everything in our lives. It’s quite the shocker – there is no command given anywhere by God that says we should control this all by ourselves – that we have enough power on our own. (Unless Paul is saying it sarcastically, which is a highly probable thing – Paul is very sarcastic; it’s quite funny). Anyways, the point is that we are not asked to control things. We are actually asked to surrender – in all circumstances – to a god who knows a lot more than we do. I mean, you know, because the God who transcends all time and space and has existed for all of eternity before us probably knows a few things about being strong enough. I mean, He knows everything about us, I’m pretty sure He can handle my worst days better than I can handle my best.
There’s another thing – I can’t even correctly handle my best days. I don’t normally just respond in praise, in reverence, giving Him glory because I’m too busy thinking that I deserve a good day, and yay. But those days don’t even compare to my actual best days. Because the actual best days have always been the days when I hang out with Him, rest in Him, praise Him, and rely on Him to take care of what needs to get done. Those days hold with them so much substance, so much goodness, such a sense of His presence, I often wonder why I don’t position myself to spend time with Him like that every day – He is always speaking, always moving, always calling me to be in sweet communion with Him, but for some reason I think Instagram could be a better use of my time.
That is literally the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.
I mean, come on – spend time scrolling through people’s life facades, which then puts me in a funk, or and here’s the kicker, I could spend time with the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of the universe who knows me intimately and understands exactly the best way for me to be living my life to impact my eternity for the better. Seems like an obvious choice, huh? Well, for some reason or another, it isn’t an easy one because seeing pretty pictures is an instant gratification thing and sitting in silence and surrender is anything but.
I am amazed at how much easier it is for me to crave social media than the Presence. I mean, come on, how addicted is our society when we have trouble exercising enough self-control to put our phones down and have a conversation?
But, then, at the end of those worst days – when I’ve been completely consumed by me, me, me, I’m reminded that His mercies are new every morning. Now, that’s not an excuse to continue doing that every day – that would be cheap grace. No, it’s a peace that He will give me grace to make it through the next day better than the last. He will give me grace to focus. He will give me grace to sit in His presence. He will give me grace to do what He is calling me to do. And when I fall short, He gives me grace then too. There’s so much grace in resting in Him. But there’s also a huge challenge – I actually have to submit to working with Him to overcome the destructive things in my life – like, oh, I don’t know, social media addiction, food addiction, pride, money-stress, I could go on longer, but I’ll stop there. I’m sure you can fill in the blank a few times over too.
Those two verses in James are followed with this one, “What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”
But I’ve forgotten.
I’ve forgotten what it means that the God of all creation knows me intimately and knows how to handle my problems – it’s just a matter of me submitting to Him.
I’ve forgotten that He is faithful. I’ve forgotten that He still does miracles. I’ve forgotten that He speaks. I’ve forgotten so much, and all that I ask now is that, in those moments of greatest uncertainty, if only for a moment, I would remember His faithfulness to me – His goodness. That I would remember that the God who sees me is also the God who knows me, the God who loves me, the God who holds me, the God who is in control, the God who understands me, the God who has the best plan and the best means by which to execute it. The God who is bigger than anything I can ever imagine and yet the most intimately involved in my spirit that anything could ever be.
He knows me. He knows you too. And He loves us unconditionally – our stripped down, broken, beaten, weary hearts.
You are not too small for Him. Your smallest problem is not too small for Him. He doesn’t have to divide His time to take care of you and everyone else. You have His full attention. You are loved, you are valued, and you are worth everything – I think Jesus would agree.
“You hung the stars and You move the sea and still You know me.” (Steffany Gretzinger)