Wednesday, July 25, 2012

When Good is Maybe

I came home and wrote a hasty facebook update that said:

My hands are shaking from the amount of money the car guy told me we'll have to pay for my jeep to be fixed. I listened to faith radio all day today and they were pleading for child sponsorship. I ached to reach out to a 3rd child once more...decided to focus on the 2 I do sponsor and pour myself into that. But then the car. How do I reconcile all this lack and need with prosperity and having? And when my prosperity and having breaks down....and my hands shake due to fear of the do I reconcile all that?
I then heard the television on and turned my head to see the girls out in the backyard. Electricity on and nobody there to use it. Hot flashed to my face. Hands shook harder. I walked outside and asked them if they were out for good. The younger said yes. I told them what the problem was. And I faced my own problem.
You see, I wanted to cry out - not to them, but at them - I wanted to cry at them in fear and tell them how we had just lost a huge amount of money (in my mind) to my car being fixed and that we really can't afford to be throwing money out the window by leaving televisions and radios on when we are not using them. 
 And yet I also wanted to let them know that I believed and trusted God to provide. 
 And there was my problem: did I? Was I?
What came out was a paradox I am ashamed of which I said in haste and still-boiling irrational anger: 
"We just lost a lot of money in fixing my car and..... God will provide, we know...but what we do have we can't be throwing out the window by leaving the XBOX on while you are not even down there."
Older girl sighed sulky and younger looked down and mumbled, sorry
And as they walked back inside I had to look down in shame and mumble sorry because I had not said what I wanted to say, not modeled what I wanted to model. 
And Husband came in and I cried sad and shamed and leaned into his strength because I was too afraid to lean into His strength, too ashamed to even look up at my Father who I feared was so disappointed in me. 
 I let the world tell me my worth yet again. 
Husband listened and rubbed my temples, saying that maybe it is good for me to be wrestling with my trust in God. 
Because, he said, we have cars to worry about
and we have electricity that we can worry about wasting
and we have the ability to bring our car into a place right away should it break down
and we have a bank account of X amount of dollars to worry about it decreasing by Y amount. 
And I cried long and releasing as he continued to rub my temples lovingly. 
Speaking not in sharp, harsh tones, but in soft, gentle reminders to the girl lost in a current of doubt. 
I told him about the children I had heard about each time I got in my car and turned on the radio. How they lived in sub-sustaining conditions. They had no car, no electricity, no pet to worry about buying litter for. 
 How do I reconcile that? I asked him, tears rolling down cheeks easy. 
"Maybe it's good," Husband said...
And so I will sit here as Husband makes dinner and older girl asks to snack on ramen noodles and Husband answers, "but I'm making dinner right now" and he assures her that it won't be long and girl complains that she's hungry and I think about her lean frame and healthy weight and I think about too-thin, too-hungry children all around the world. 
How do we keep from playing the comparison game where we then feel guilty and burdened and then how do we accept the command to love the poor that Jesus has given us? 
  "Can I have a pickle? A teeny one?"
"Dinner will be ready as soon as I can make it."
"But Dad, I'm a growing teenager."
So I do not know how to end this post because there really is no end to the world's need, is there.
And I can imagine God thinking, "there is no end to my children's complaining, is there?"
And yet He loves us. And he continues to provide. 
We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . . .

~ "Gratitude" by Nichole Nordeman

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