Every time I turn around lately I am reminded of one thing: God’s grace is sufficient. He is MORE than enough.
We don’t need to bridge the gap, because HE does. Every time we ask Him, and so many times when we’re too clouded by a given moment to make the request, He does. There is nothing–not any one thing, that is too big (or too small) for Him. And what we see, from our vantage point in any situation, is such a microscopic, limited view of a much, much, much bigger picture. This is such a hard truth, but a good one to tuck in our back pockets.
In these past few weeks (months?) I’ve worked diligently at getting quiet. If you know me, you know that I don’t have a history of being good at this. I am not a quiet person (what?!), and I’ve never been a “no” person. As a result of this dynamic duo, my life has rarely been quiet. For a long time, I’ve kept a schedule that is louder than loud. Too many directions and too many commitments at the expense of too many things. The heart behind it was never bad (at least intentionally), but conviction has merit, and in my case, the conviction to strip down my life has finally grown louder than the way I’ve been living. Imagine this: God can get louder than the lives we’re living, and if we ask Him for input and give Him a little room, He’s going to get right down to it. He’s going to call us to things, and call us out on things, and love us mercilessly through the hard and the stripped down and the brokenness of the process.
I have a love/hate relationship with this reality, but mostly love. Why? Because I’m not in control anyway, and when I’m not listening for God, I’m just pretending that I am in control and trying to figure out how to run my own life from my very limited point of view. It’s fairly exhausting.
In some seasons I’m better at remembering that I function better with God’s help. But I’m stubborn. I like to have the answers. I want to be able to make everything just right, and on top of it all, I’m human. I’m also learning. The more I make room for God in my life, the more He makes room in my life for the things that should have been there in the first place. It’s not always the type of room I expected, but it’s the best kind of room.
And sometimes the packaging is strange…
I wake up in the morning, and all I want to do is go back to sleep. I went to bed too late (again), but I know that if I don’t get up, I won’t get a shower in before all of the crazy begins (and I’m not a very nice person if I haven’t had a shower before all of the crazy begins). So I talk myself out of sleeping longer by weighing my options. And I ask God for help. Since I’ve started making more room for God again, I crave my time with Him. Akin to my need for a shower to make my day right, I need some time with God, too. And I’m not very productive in that time if I haven’t showered. You get the picture: I wake up in the morning and I ask God for the time I need to take a shower. Then I ask Him for more time to spend with Him, in the quiet. Before the kiddos wake up. On my part, I just have to get out of bed.
The packaging is strange, because the time I’m getting rarely looks like I expected. This morning, it was Henry and me, side by side on the couch, reading Psalms and 1 Corinthians together. Strange, because my three year old is obligingly listening to an NLT translation of the Bible aloud, and I’m finding time for God even after the littles have entered into the mix. Beautiful for the exact same reasons.
I don’t share this so anyone reading feels guilty about the time they did or didn’t spend with God today. I share this to say I wasn’t doing it, and now I am doing it, and it’s only by the grace of God that that’s happening. I play a very little part, truly.
This is apparent all over my life right now, and it’s catching and glorious and scary and wildly attractive. God is giving me space for the quiet. Not only that, but He is cultivating an even greater desire in me for solitude. I drove 30 minutes home tonight in the car by myself, and I didn’t once think to turn on the radio or call someone. I can’t remember the last time that happened. I say “no” to things all of the time these days, and that power isn’t my own–not at all. And it’s not to offend or isolate or exclude. It’s just the thing that God is calling me to right now, and He’s giving me the ability to do it.
In my life, in this season when things should otherwise seem quite loud and busy and maddening, I feel peace. It’s not my own. But God can use it. And I know He will.
Please be encouraged by this and not discouraged. We are reminded as Christ offers His peace, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So many people I love are hurting right now, for reasons grand and small. When you’re in the trenches, it can all feel insurmountable, no matter the scale. I understand this deeply. I am getting quiet on your behalf, friends. Please let me know how I can pray for you. Email me, call me, drop a note in the mail. I really, really mean it.
take heart, dear ones.