It’s 11:40 PM on a Sunday evening – my brain won’t turn off. It’s been a day of reflection, of rest, of mental struggle – but hopefully a day that yields much fruit.
Very few times a year can I simply be someone who goes to church and has little to no responsibility – but today was one of those days. I took an entire week off from the business at Cross Keys, and attempted to find rest and renewal. No meetings, no rehearsals, no planning. Also this week, I ended a 21 day fast of sorts, in which Wendy and I, and others in our church sought God’s will. But as I take inventory on this late Sunday evening, I find myself somehow dry and empty. Instead of answers, I find myself with more questions. Instead of rest in God, I find myself once again wrestling with Him. And in spite of it all – I somehow know that all will be okay, in HIS will and in HIS time. But oh, how I struggle!
My life has been occupied with our upcoming sale of our house (we’ll be listing in the next few weeks). Since Monday, Wendy and I have had 3 meetings with different realtors, numerous phone calls with lenders, and plenty of discussions about the future – what God has in store for us, where he wants us – the easy questions in life, I guess
A house that I had my hopes on now has a pretty solid contract on it – by another couple. It appears a house that I had my heart set on is now not going to be mine. I know and hear all of the cliches Christians use: “God has something else in store”, or “In His timing”. These are the same phrases I find myself so easily uttering when speaking of others’ circumstances. But then they happen to me – and suddenly those same phrases sound so empty, devoid of any meaning to my current situation. My head knows they are true, but my spirit rejects them.
I was able to be ministered to today as a simple worshipper, instead of leading others in worship. Even in this seemingly blessed opportunity, questions remain, both about God’s will and His timing.
I’m trying too hard in MY strength. I’m recognizing the great lengths to which I’m willing to push myself, before I rely on God to sustain me. We sang an older praise song today – “Open the Eyes of My Heart”, and I wept as I sang the familiar chorus “Holy Holy Holy, I want to see You”. I realize that I have taken advantage of His incredible holiness. I’ve diluted it to allow my persistent sins to reside and take foothold in my life. For too long, it’s been about ME – about seeking MY gratification. Instead of living out my faith with sincerity and devotion solely to Christ – I’ve been concerned with pleasing myself – and others.
Wendy made a poignant observation about me tonight. She rightly identified that I love constant challenges – I get bored without them, and I thrive in overcoming them. But has my overblown sense of accomplishment devalued the work of Christ in me? Where is the room for God to be glorified, when I boast in what I have accomplished? As Paul stated in 2 Cor 12 – “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
And I as I begin to rely on HIS strength moving in my life, I begin to understand that I have done nothing in my own strength that is worthy of being called righteous. This summer, Bekah (my 3 year old) and I stepped into a batting cage to hit a softball. I, of course, held the bat, took a swing when it was time, and directed the ball where it should. But everytime we made contact, Bekah jumped and giggled, because “[She] did it!!!” How silly we must look, puffing out our chests, when in reality, God has orchestrated all things in us, to accomplish HIS purpose.
And perhaps that’s where I leave things tonight. As I wind down the day, and reflect on the lessons God has yet to teach me, perhaps the idea to which I’m to cling is this: “yet will I trust Him”. He has NEVER done anything that wasn’t for my benefit, and I trust that He won’t stop now. The road I’m walking isn’t a series of arrivals, of resting points, but rather a journey that He has asked me to walk.
Greater things are yet to come, Greater things are still to be done – not by me, but by HIM. To Him alone be the glory!