You know when you haven’t talked to a real-live adult person in a while and when you finally get together you overwhelm them with thousands and millions of words and you barely come up for a breath and they want to run and hide? Well, that can also happen to me with blogging.
If I haven’t blogged in a while, I have thousands and millions of things spinning around in my head to tell you. So I start typing one thing and then another thing comes to mind then another. Then I START USING ALL CAPS AND EXCLAMATION MARKS because I’m usually drinking coffee when I write. Then I erase it all and start over. Or I tell you this kind of nonsense.
*Ahem.* Reigning it in. Reigning it in.
I’ve had a fairly slow, purposeful start to my year when it comes to my walk with God. I’ve been reading. And reading some more. And talking to God about it all. And being pressed in real life to see if I actually believe the things I’m reading.
The latest reading/conversing with God is often about a book I’m reading called Man Overboard! by Sinclair Ferguson. (Which, for the record, feels so good to say, “A book I’m reading…” Because if you know me personally you know that I’m not a big reader. I can read. I write books. But usually I read about 3 chapters of a book and then move to the next book. Not this year. Not 2015. No, ma’am. I’m turning to the last page, people. See my queue in the sidebar? –> Big strides.)
ANYWAY…Man, Overboard! is based on the life of Jonah. And it’s rocking my little selfish world every time I open its pages. Yesterday in my reading, Ferguson referenced Psalm 106. So I turned there all non-chalantly. And three little verses did me in.
I’ve been asking God to take me deeper in 2015. This life’s too short to stay where I’m at or where I was in 2014 or 2013. But going deeper means real life situations and struggles that stir up my own mess in order that He can shed more of me. Painful.
These three verses gave me a glimpse of those “deeper” waters. They hit me so hard because I don’t want that to be my story. I don’t want to demand things from God because the “wilderness” is too hard, only to find He gives the things I’m demanding while also sending a “wasting disease” into my soul.
But they soon forgot his works;
they did not wait for his counsel.
But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,
and put God to the test in the desert;
he gave them what they asked,
but sent a wasting disease among them.
(Psalm 106:13 – 106:15)
I’ve walked that road — receiving what I demanded. I’ve done that and have the t-shirt. Well, I shredded the t-shirt because it was stupid. It isn’t fun. God has given me things or allowed me to walk into situations where I’ve “taken the bait” only to end up with a desolate soul heading for Tarshish (for those who can appreciate a Jonah reference). And it isn’t worth it.
Bottom line, God’s plans are good. They’re usually hard. They’re usually impossible to walk apart from Him. But they’re good — in the eternal, God-glorifying, complete dependence upon Him kind of good. When we learn to rest there — communing with Him and then trusting Him to guide our feet even if it means walking a little longer in a “wilderness” — we experience the intimacy with Him that He created us to experience. When we’re not fighting against Him, but rather jumping into the river of His sovereign will, we get a small taste of our inheritance.
This life’s too short for mediocrity. It’s too short to demand my own ways when all the while God sees the beginning from the end, hears my prayers, and knows what He’s up to. He sits enthroned above it all in perfect, pursuing love and has plans for His glory and my good. Deep breaths. Open hands.
This year I’m asking God to take me deeper. Which means…well…I’m not sure what it means. But I know it means submission to His plans, even when they’re hard, rather than demanding my own way. And I know the end result will be the lasting good — the kind of good that human hands can’t measure.
Fill me, Lord…
What’s your 2015 “theme” or prayer?
Reading any good books these days?