I’m been struggling to know what season of life I’m in right now; so desperately, that I half knowingly over analyze every “sign,” encounter and days happening, in an attempt to understand just what Gods doing right now and what he’s preparing me for.
My intentions are good. Honestly. But my instinctive, “Give me the steps and I’ll master it yesterday!” is a gene that both blesses and curses me.
I want nothing more than to be in Gods will and do everything within my ability, or that which he asks of me, to prepare myself to walk in it. My earnest desire and hunger to hear from God and know him more intimately is a good thing, but I have to remember that it’s not in what I can do, but in what has already been done for me…
“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” ~ Ephesians 2:8 MSG
In trying to make sense of it all, [ie: attempting to feel somewhat in control of something I have absolutely none over, while simultaneously learning to give God the reign of my life and love it… what an oxymoron that is!] I’ve done nothing but frustrate myself! Because the fact of the matter is, I’ll never fully understand God’s ways and he never promised to lay out the road map in full.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.” ~Isaiah 55:8-9
Today, after seeing my pointless frustration, God showed his mercy and kindness. He revealed a glimpse of where I am and where he’s taking me, through the life of King Solomon. I can relate so passionately to his personal lament and reflections on his life…
“I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless…I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world. I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!.. Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.” Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
Oh, Lord, this is me! This is the path I walked down for years, my very story and where you’ve brought me to this very day. From a young age, I witnessed the ups and downs of entrepreneurial life, living with my self- employed parents. While it’s rewards were joyful at times, they saw more hours of “busy” and “I can’t, I have to work,” that I care to remember. So I vowed to never go there, running far the other direction. I’d still make something of myself, but with personal pleasure as my mantra. But still it left me empty. No Party, shopping, drink or “friend” fulfilled me. There had to be more… So in vain I turned a corner, a new leaf of wisdom, I believed. There had to be more…So, I decided to conquer the world. I wanted money, influence, status and possessions. I chased accomplishments after accomplishment, always raising the bar and never satisfied. Around the next bend I’d find my identity, my worth and life’s true meaning. But still it left me empty, even more so this time round. For as much as I thoroughly love my work and can say every experience has helped shaped the person I am today, my pursuit was for something unattainable and ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Perfectionism, my friend is impossible. And everything we have, but love, will be left behind.
I knew in my heart, at the closing of 2012, I was at the end of me. It was time to fully surrender. To move beyond being a baby Christian, asking God what he could do for me, to a mature Christian, asking God what I could do for him! 2013 was my year to put my money where my mouth was, and allow God more than just my good intentions, but all of me- my heart, my will and my desires…
While he may not have revealed the entire blue print to my future, I can rest in confidence that his plan is at work in me. I have assurance I’m walking down the right path and so long as I keep my eyes cast upon him, he will make straight my path!
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” ~ Psalm 37: 23-24
“So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” ~ James 1:4
Though uncomfortable at times and unfamiliar, [the old me thrived on busy, bigger, and self-sufficiency] this season in my life is essential and God will surely use it to refine my heart and produce in me a steadfast focus on him and his good, perfect and pleasing will.
“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace” ~ Ecclesiastes 3 MSG
This is my time to…
- die …. to my fleshly desires
- tear down… the chains, walls and bondage that I’ve allowed to build up and keep me from all God has planned for me
- weep… for the pain my sin has cause and see it’s brutality in the light of Christ
- embrace.. . my weaknesses and my story, seeing it beautiful and useable for good by God
- shut up … listen more than I speak, to Gods promptings and the council of others who have stayed the course of the path I’m travelling
- search… for God with my whole heart earnestly and with persistence, like never before
But most importantly, this is my time to plant…. seeds of truth, love and light into my mind and heart, so that God’s promises and word can embed and begin to grow and expand into an unshakable, deep rooted system of nourishment and eternal life.
Patience, dear Kailey. In due time, his time, you will reap a plentiful harvest, abundant and free flowing.
“And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is good and acceptable- the perfect will of God.” ~ Romans 12:2