Before I became a Christian I was pretty judgmental about the "Jesus freaks", as I used to call them. In fact, I vowed to never fall in with such a narrow-minded group of people that preached Bible verses and used big words to describe their holy walk with God. Somehow it just didn't seem real. I remember when someone in the church told me I was going through the “sanctification” process. I left thinking God was turning me into a saint! Like Mother Theresa! REALLY!
Nowadays I don’t do much better with the “jargon”, but find myself guilty of using it every now and then. It becomes habit. I am in a place some would call the “refiner’s fire”. I don’t like it (and frankly I am not overly enthused about the name “refiner’s fire” either). Just call it for what it is, a time of rotten events/crises meant to change us into better people. I want to get myself out of the fire…now! Yet, I know this is the best thing for me, right? Doesn’t God work all things for good according to His purpose?
Sometimes it is hard to have faith, hard to persevere. For me, it is hard to trust. I don’t like surprises and I prefer to have a plan to follow, in that respect I am very much like my biz partner. Let me ride shotgun high above the path in a blimp, versus down below in a beat up mini behind a giant semi.
Life is throwing me some curves. I am facing the biggest challenge I have had as a single mom and I am “forced” to turn it all over to God, forced to surrender. The crisis is too big. I am not strong enough. I don’t know when the curves will come and whether I will maneuver them well. I question if my family will end up “okay”, and I certainly don’t know if I can withstand the pain. It seems like I have been to this place before. Yes…fourteen years ago I visited this place, and many times since.
Then I didn’t have a faith, didn’t have a God. I was on my own, in control, and suicidal. It took me two years to fall on my knees in desperation, screaming for someone to save me. I didn’t know then that I was in the fire…that God was working all things for good…in order to bring me home to Him. During that time I never would admit that He had my back, heck I wouldn’t even admit He was in control. Funny, God takes you through it, even if you have no interest in experiencing it! During that time I came to Christ. Since that time I have been learning, growing, and often rebelling.
If I am truly honest, I can say that God has always been there for me. Maybe not with the answers I wanted, but he has always been there. It is during times like these that I need to remember the past, remember that I got through the trial, and remember that I am who I am because of my experiences.
This morning I was taking my son to school (he is grounded from his car) and on the way home Ginny Owens was on the radio singing “Be Still My Soul”. As I heard the lyrics, the tears began. Why is it so hard to be still? Why is it so hard to rest in God? I listened to the song and lifted my heart, and with it my problems, to God.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in every change God faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: your God will undertake
to guide the future, as in ages past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below
I don’t have the answers. I don’t understand the mystery. I don’t understand why this path or where this path is leading. I do know that my God will be with me every step of the way and He has a purpose in mind. On a day like today that is comforting, even if the pain remains. On a day like today…He is enough.