Today I have been feeling discouraged.
Like I have a stone in my stomach.
I am so afraid of failing my children- of not being enough.
And I can’t be. (but I still try…)
I know that.
I can’t do it all! (So why do I keep trying???)
I am only me– a sinner saved by grace, weak and not nearly good enough at so many things.
I don’t want to pass on my bad habits.
My own weaknesses and struggles.
I can’t fix myself.
Can’t become the Mom I long to be, or be a willing vessel supporting God’s work in my children’s lives, if I am always seeking to control and manipulate based on my own wisdom and insight.
I can’t fathom the ways and workings of God.
Yes, I might acknowledge that truth in the abstract.
But I don’t live it when troubles come.
I cry out to God to fix it- and I think I know just how it should be done.
Even in my own life, I struggle with this assertion that I know how to make things work for our family, our children, I want to have the answers.
But these past several months, God has been loosening my grip (control) in a very painful way. Opening my eyes to the grand sweep of His plans compared to my extremely limited and often biased view.
Many times I want them to escape trials and difficulties instead of trusting God to use all things for His glory.
I don’t want to see them suffer.
So to alleviate my own fears and worries on their behalf, I try to tell God how to do His job. Even writing that- I feel so humbled and convicted to see those words on the page- but I know it is true.
That’s why I am so thankful that God does not answer all our prayers with yes.
Our view is so limited.
When we cry out, can we cry in trust? Can we say, Lord, I can’t see, I don’t understand, my heart aches, but I trust you?
When I meditate on God’s goodness, when I read Psalms like 139- yes, I can. I remember how much God loves me- and all that He has done for me- and I can rest.
But this world constantly stirs us up.
Makes us want to fix things our way- brings troubles that seem so huge and overwhelming- I feel like just standing by leaves me helpless.
I want to do, and to act– and yet sometimes the most powerful act can simply be to lay all our cares and concerns at the feet of our Savior.
Sometimes I get so busy doing- fixing– I forget to seek God first. To come to Him for guidance and strength- to hear what He has to say.
Sometimes the best thing that I can do is get out of God’s way.
The reality is- I never truly have control. And the longer I live clawing and grasping after it- I’m also living a life devoid of peace.
Instead of simply surrendering to my proper place, I have lived in a power struggle with God- sometimes shoving Him out of the way and saying, “I’ve got this,” through my words and actions.
Something is getting lost in translation.
In Hebrews 11, we are reminded of many who were faithful to God’s calling on their lives. Many suffered, never seeing the fruit in this life of the trials they bore. We see the same words over and over- By Faith.
And then Hebrews 12 comes with its glorious challenge and promise:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Paul is saying to us- now that you have been inspired and challenged by those who have gone before- do likewise! Be strong, have faith. Endure and strengthen those feeble arms and weak knees. Accept the Lord’s discipline with a grateful heart and become strong and wise in Him who grants wisdom to those who earnestly seek it.
Submit to His leadership. Trust in silent and peaceful obedience.
Step out of God’s way.
Oh Lord, I want to get out of your way. I want to surrender control to you and never take it back. To live this life trusting in You, even when I can’t see- when my fears are so big, when my failures overwhelm me. They serve as reminders that I need you. This life is meant to be lived with You, my Savior and God. When I try to do it on my own, I make a mess. In these years that I have lived, I see- life is better when I humbly submit in obedience. When I trust in your Word and believe all that you have promised. When I cling to faith in my doubts and fears as well as on my “strong” days. You are so amazing- your love, all that you have created, how you pursue us and patiently wait, longing for us to step into the fullness of life in Your presence. As we seek you Lord, direct our steps. May our hearts learn to love and fully embrace Your plan for us and let go of our own. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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