Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Anybody reading this thing?

Ok, so isn't it crazy when life gets in the way? The past few weeks have been challenging. But I am an overcomer. That's what He says, anyway.

This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. - 1 John 4:3-5


The firstborn, type A, perfectionist in me absolutely hates that I can't just do things right the first time. It especially hates the fact that sometimes I am learning the same lessons over and over again.

I'm one of those women--maybe you are, too--one of those women who starts the race well. I'm running. Not too fast, not too slow. Just at a good pace, feeling pretty confident. I'm walking with my Lord, talking with Him throughout the day. There's nothing we can't handle together.

But, alas, (isn't "alas" a fun word? not at all Old Testament...) therein lies the problem. "There's nothing we can't handle together." There I go again, thinking that the Lord actually needs me to do His job. Now, I know you could interpret that phrase another way, and that God does actually use us humans to accomplish His perfect work on the earth. But, for me, that phrase is completely full of stinkin' pride. Full and overflowing.

And what's that Old Testament Proverb? "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov 16:18) That's just what happened to me.

You see, I was doing pretty well, I thought. Getting up early to spend time with God, staying up late to hear His voice, talking with Him throughout the day and actually hearing Him talk back to me. But then I started to walk a thin line between the humble "He's talking to me..." and crossed over to "He's talking to ME! Look at what a good Christian I am! You know, Suzie Q over there--God's not waking her up to talk to her...."

Yes, I am being real. Hope that's okay.

So what happens? Life. Vomiting children, broken washing machines. Children who forget that they're supposed to sleep through the night. Husbands who want to spend time with you--and want you to not be a complete hormonal disaster.

I am quick to blame it all on Life. "Oh, God--yeah, I hear you calling me to spend some time in your Word right now. But you see, I'm just so tired. You know, the baby wouldn't stop crying last night. And then my son woke up 2 hrs early, and I just don't think I can do it. Maybe in a few hours, after I get a nap." And a few hours becomes a few days, which becomes a few weeks.

All of a sudden I realize, "When was the last time I got quiet with the Lord? What was the last thing I heard Him say to me?" And I realize that it was not He who backed away from me. Indeed, it was my fault. I fell.

Now here is the crucial point where I usually fail: Do I completely ignore all the guilt I feel at not having spent time with God and just pick myself back up and start running again? Or do I think "He certainly couldn't want to hear from me now. After all my pushing away, I just know He's not ready to hear from me yet. I mean, I haven't been loving Him the way He wants. Look at 1 John 5:3: 'This is love for God: to obey his commands.' I haven't been obeying Him...."

But here's where it gets good, folks. Just look at the rest of this verse!! How have I missed this before? "And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world."

So, here I am. Picking it all back up and relishing the thought that the load is not heavy anymore. The weight of my "Christian duties" is suddenly lighter. And everything I've been longing for is found again.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30

What choice will you make? If you have been struggling with your prayer life--feeling guilty for not having one, or not spending the "right" amount of time praying--just pick it back up again. Throw off those hindrances and the sin that so easily entangles. I think you'll find the true rest you've been looking for.

3 comments:

Janet said...

yes, i just read it and sent you an email :-)

Laura said...

Yep, just read it. First, thank you for that reminder. I do struggle sometimes and don't just want to "run to Him" in the bad times.

Second, you are a great writer..has anyone ever told you that? I need to bookmark this blog as I hadn't or I don't think I did.\

Thanks for sharing your heart. God loves you!

Thankful Paul said...

Hello! :)