when i don't just want to sit there...chapter 5 {the grace series}

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

it is not the nature of what you do that determines the 
spirituality of any action, but the Origin of what you do.
~ major ian thomas

ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you,

i don't think fast on my feet.

it always comes to me later in the quiet moments, when i've had time to process it all and sort through all the details - that's when i know what should have been said.

or, there are the rare moments that i say what i am feeling in that split second of time and i regret it for days following the incident...

there doesn't seem to be an easy middle.

i'm like that martha - all twisted up because so much needs to be done, but i don't know how to do it all...what starts out as joy-filled quickly becomes burdensome and suddenly, i'm more focused on what i lack than on Who Gives.

with that, i reveal what i truly believe about God and 
service and my own role in His story. i see myself as
irreplaceable when i think that the work won't get done
unless i do it. instead of looking to Him to provide what is
needed, martha rolled up her sleeves and took on respon-
sibility for things that may never have been meant for her.
grace for the good girl (pg. 63)

tony - his ministry involves many different facets and he seems to effortlessly move between talking with potential donors and sitting side by side with a child who is cutting and suicidal.  i respect my husband for many reasons, but it's this ability to connect with people at a soul level is one of them.

i'm the one who feels as though i'm floundering in these situations.

i found myself there today - 

found myself in that position where i'm sitting there listening to gut-wrenching pain. pain that i have felt - pain that i understand...hatred that i have wrestled with and through and her face is covered with tears and i begin to feel helpless because i should have the words...

if i've walked this path, then i should know what to say.

so i silently called out to Him,

Jesus, words! i need words! i need to know what to say! 



and her words kept coming and she kept trying to wipe those tears away and i kept sitting fidgeting inwardly there, trying not to become panicked when i slowly began to sense His answer...

just listen.

don't talk.

just be.

i didn't want to just sit and be and listen - i wanted to have the answers and the solutions and not feel so helpless...

but that wouldn't have been about Jesus - it would have been about me.

i don't believe martha simply chose cooking or housework over the Lord.
when she begged the Lord to make mary help her, what she was really saying
was "notice me Lord!" she wanted Him to see her. she longed for acknowledgment
and love, and was willing to do anything to get it...it isn't that she wanted to be 
working. it's that she thought she had to....
(gftgg pg. 64)

and it's when i think all those *i have to's* that i begin to become resentful - begin to question what He is doing. 

it's when i begin to think that maybe, just maybe, i know better than Him.

pride is such an ugly thing and trust flies out the window.

what would happen if we just let go - let go of all the trying and doing and just simply was before Him? 

i may never be as eloquent as my husband - i'm pretty sure i won't have the answers for children who live through hell...

i may spend the majority of my days changing diapers and making cheese quesidillas for lunch and simmering spaghetti sauce for the one millionth time for dinner this month.  the laundry will be never ending, the dust will keep piling and i will sit at the end of the day wondering what difference i am making in anyone's life, let alone the very Kingdom of God - 

but then He speaks my name - He speaks to the martha deep inside who so desperately wants to get it all right...

it's not about getting all the work done for Him on my own:

if what i do is done in complete dependence upon the 
Father, then it doesn't matter what that thing is, rather who
the one is doing that thing. is it me? or is it Him? Colossians
says that by faith, it is beautifully and mysteriously both.
"to this end i labor, struggling with all His energy, which so
powerfully works in me" (col. 1:29 NIV). who am i to decide
what is extraordinary? the Father has already decided. He
says He Himself is extraordinary. so anything i do as i depend
on and partner with the Extraordinary One, i suppose that is
extraordinary too.
(gftgg  pg. 61)

it's all about trusting that He can take the little I have and turn it into something that will bless Himself. it has nothing to do with the doing, but everything to do with the trusting. 

and this is grace - that He takes what feels like nothing and turns it into a faith that is active and strong.