Tuesday, October 9, 2012

When You're in Denial about the Hard Stuff

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Oh God, I feel it. I feel the ache and the gnaw.

I have disappointed you.

You called me and I knew I was a chosen servant

Isaiah 42 (NIV)

The Servant of the Lord
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
     he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
    who gives breath to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles,
 to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
 “I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not yield my glory to another
    or my praise to idols.
 See, the former things have taken place,
    and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
    I announce them to you.”

So God, I say to You now...your servant has fallen. Not fallen at Your feet during the time of trail, as we are supposed to do, but my spirit has fallen. I gave up when I was not supposed to. I let the enemy win when I could have fought more. 

For that I am sorry. 

And yet I ponder Ann Voskamp's words from today's blog

"When did I start expecting successful Christian living to be smooth sailing instead of stepping out of the boat in the middle of a storm?"

Why am I continuously surprised when trials come my way? When children misbehave or, sometimes worse, make such poor decisions that you fear for them? When spouses fight and don't understand. When you yearn for the old life yet know very well that you are right where you are supposed to be, for "a time such as this" (Esther 4:14)?

Lord, I know better. I know that there will be suffering and trouble (John 16:33) and I even know what purpose that has. 

So why do I spin and spit and sob and rot? Why do I get caught up in the I-don't-want-to's and that's-not-fair's? Why do I question - no, argue - your plan for me?


it is hard.

And we humans don't like doing the hard stuff. 

And I dared to pray that dangerous prayer: Lord, bring it on. 

I knew what my call in this season of life was. It was not what I expected nor what I particularly wanted, but I said Lord, bring it on!

As though I was the karate student in my stepson's class when they get too tired and want to quit. The instructor has instructed them to yell out, "Bring it on, sir!"

And Sir, I did say to bring it on. 

And You did. 

So why am I surprised that life is a daily struggle and has been for a while?

I know you are doing a fantastic work in each of us, yet I still squirm and wiggle, moan and complain. 

I have to do this hard stuff. I can't give up nor ask my mother to sign a note to my gym teacher excusing me from doing the high-jump because I am too anxiety-plagued. 

It's time to do the hard stuff. 

So Lord, I am sorry that this heart is prone to wander, prone to leave the Father Almighty who I love so much. I am sorry I put humans' opinions above Your own. 

I am sorry for regressing. 

Head up and eyes toward Heaven, I am ready for the day which begins tomorrow. 

Nothing extraordinary planned, just another day. However, it is a day where I can start anew. 

That's the joy of You, Lord. I mess up on the hard stuff tonight, but I know you love and forgive me; I know you recognize my repentance and love for You. I mess up on the hard stuff tonight, but I know that you give me the new day tomorrow. 

Hard stuff will continue to rain down, this I know. 

Seal my heart, Lord. Seal it to Thy courts above. 

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