rememberance and thanksgiving

For those who will follow this blog over the next days, weeks, months and years,- I must give a confession, or perhaps it is rather more of a disclaimer. What is written will be, I hope transparent, raw in truth, and grant a window in which to view the life that we experience on this journey of adventure and grace. There is no stucco facade adorning the construct of words that will be written here. No difficulty will be painted, primed or prettied more than deserving, neither will glory be stolen away from the incredible and amazing. I hope you are up for it.

These last few days, I must confess, I would classify myself as being faint hearted. My internal conversations with God continues to sound like something from the game show, “Let’s make a deal”. These conversations are nearly all one-sided, except for perhaps that still small voice that continuously beats to the rhythm of ‘trust in me’. I look at the calendar and feel a helplnessness for the time that slips away still yet without a day ‘pinned down’ for departure. I am a doubter. I am a questioner. Why the delay? Why is our house still on the market when others have sold quickly? What does this mean?  The slippery slopes of “what if’s”.  I can laugh at the providence of God, who has for the last 3 years provided me with a job which taught me how to diagnose and treat those with anxiety disorder.  I, considering the strong possibility that I get a tad bit anxious at times, and can only thank Him, for orchestrating and planning for the means of my own personal CBT treatment group (of one). Of course, at the time, I was asking the same questions, I ponder now, “Why God, why this job and not (the other job I wanted)” I fully recognize that I am going to discover in Heaven that God has a wicked sense of humor (all good natured of course), and I am one of his best audiences in which He practices such Divine comedy.  I think that if He were here sitting beside me, He would simply smile and say, “Trust me”, knowing how difficult and near to impossible that is for me to ‘simply trust’ and not try to figure out, conspire to discover, or beg for hints or clues as to what might come next.  (I am sure you have figured about now that I was a deviant child who would discover the Christmas presents well before Dec 24th)

“trust me”…. “Ok God, but…”

The trouble is that I am learning that faith and trust are both ‘full stop’ sentences. There can be no “but” if I am trusting.

The words of Hebrews are both inspiring and haunting to me these days, “Without Faith it is impossible to please God.”  I rebuttal (again) Can you cut me some kind of ‘they work in ministry’ slack here? We are facing a lot on our plate right now. Is it not ‘normal’, acceptable, understandable that my Faith might waiver just a little bit?  Is it really “impossible” to please you,- that is a little bit rigid don’t you think. I am sure I am pleasing you a little bit.

Without Faith it is Impossible to please God.

In home school we are learning about Noah. I often think of Noah and wonder how he paid for all that Gopher wood?  Did God give him more specific instruction than what is written in the Bible about boat building?  Did He begrudge working on one project for hundreds of years? Did Noah ever wonder at God’s plan? Did he ever lie awake at night in his tent wondering how the animals were going to show up on time?  Did Noah fear?

What do I fear? I ask myself (in self-therapy). Do I fear that He has forgotten me?

Deuteronomy 31:6

6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

That He has somehow overlooked the small but rather consequential details that comprise our lives in the next few weeks?

Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.”

Do I fear that He does not love me? That He is not with me?

“The Lord your God is with you, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” Zeph 3:17

Do I think that He does not remember that I gave away our winter coats thinking that we would have left for Kenya by early Fall?

I think perhaps, deep down, I fear that He does not know my frailty well enough,- for why would He desire to use me, one who is so feeble.

A wise man (thank you Ralph Merritt) noted to me, if you fill your heart with praise and thanksgiving there will be no room left for worry and doubt.  Searching the Scriptures, I see evidence of this idea. Psalm after Psalm is penned with complaints pouring forth only to end with worship and rejoicing.

The thing is,- I am learning that if I am going to trust my feeble efforts my fears are justified.  God didn’t ask me to trust the circumstances, to trust the details, or emotions or outcomes. He asks me to trust HIM.  His person, His character.

Maybe that is why God encourages us to remember. Remember what I have done for you.  Remember who I am, remember how I have worked in mighty ways in your life. Remember.

Ps 77:11-13

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord, yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways O God are holy, what god is so great as our God. You are the God who performs miracles, you display your power among the peoples. With a mighty arm you redeemed your people.”