What is it about a new year? Of all things it inspires hope...hope in new beginnings. I ran across some notes I made the first few days of January 2011 in my devotional last night. Man...God was faithful to a tee. Not in the ways I expected at all...but in the perfect ways.
Father knows best for sure.
This year was a really good one...a hard one in some ways, but hard in the best way. It has had, among other things, some questions from me over issues of direction...I had just been so sure God was leading me in a certain direction for years, only for Him to abruptly interrupt that. It's a little confusing, but I think I was likely a little obstinate and even presumptuous about the vision I had been operating under..and what is so funny is the new circumstance is so similar, but completely different. And it isn't a vision...it's where I AM.
It isn't a vision, it's a reality.
So often I think we ask God to bless our plans. Or maybe we even get a glimpse of what He is doing and we run with it, manipulating all along the way as soon as we take control. And maybe we forget to look around at where we ARE, what our reality is that that moment, and see Him working. Or maybe we are so sure of what is coming, we pass up what he has for us today.
As I glanced back through my devotional journey last night, I noticed just weeks before this "new direction" took place, I had written these words...
"I embrace the Blessed WHATEVER"
I don't really remember what was happening in that moment, but I do remember I had listened to a sermon where that phrase, "blessed whatever," was used. I think it was Beth Moore, but not positive. But, what I am pretty sure of, is that I was probably frustrated in my "vision" to even embrace that phrase and meditate on it.
The Blessed Whatever. I just love that.
I was telling a sweet friend today that lately God has laid a visual on my heart that has really resonated with me. I keep thinking of an infant...still tiny, but to the point that it is ready to be soothing itself to sleep. Does anyone remember that episode of Mad About You, when Paul and Jamie were trying to get through Mabel's first night of putting herself to sleep, and they huddled by the door holding the baby monitor? They were crying together, wanting so badly for her to settle. Their hearts were breaking, because they knew she was afraid she had been abandoned. They wanted to rush to her side, but knew in the long run, this was for her best.
I often feel like that infant. Alone in a dark room, absolutely panicked because I'm afraid I have been abandoned, that terrible things have or will happen, that no one really loves me or is ready to fight for me. Feeling as though I have been left...
When I haven't been left at all.
Feelings aren't truth.
All the while the infant cries and panics in it's crib, the mother is outside the door, preparing it's next meal or washing it's clothes....buying all it's needs and preparing for it's future. While that baby lay there, screaming and sure it has been abandoned and deserted, it's loving parents are readying all it's needs. The baby panics...for absolutely no reason. It panics because it thinks something terrible is happening...but that isn't the truth. The truth is that it's loving parents are preparing for everything it needs.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
I am so often that infant....assuming the worst as my God prepares for my best. That baby kicks and screams and pitches a fit...while it should be resting peacefully, completely confident that it is wholly and perfectly cared for...today and always.
One of my goals for 2012 is to embrace the Blessed Whatever. To rest peacefully, and let God work the rest out. When I panic, when I kick and scream, when I give in to fear, or believe I am alone or abandoned, I'm robbing myself of the peace and comfort that is mine in Christ. Fear and anxiety are never from God...it is NOT what He intended for us...
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.
-2 Timothy 1:7
When I am sure what I think and feel is right, assuming I know all and I know best, I am robbing myself of the peace and comfort of resting in God's perfect will. When I am stubborn, and stay in my sin and deception, I am robbing myself of the comfort and peace of resting in God's arms. When I fight God and His will, I will end up exhausted, spent and frustrated.
And...again...I am not trusting God. I am not trusting God with ME. He will leave me in that crib until I rest in Him peacefully. In God's world, our calm is a force of action. It's peace that makes things happen. That is truth. God doesn't honor my panic, attempt for control, or manipulating of plans.
And when I find that rest in Him, I am readying myself for His perfect plans over my life.
...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
This year, I am embracing the Blessed Whatever. Last year was full of adventures and curve balls, truths and treasure, sanctification and tons of grace and mercy. And it was chock full of blessings. This year, I am embracing whatever God has for me...no strings attached. No anxiety, no fear, no obstinacy about what I want or believe is best for me. I am waiting with excitement and gratitude for the blessings of God because I am confident in His love, and that He gives good gifts to His children...and He gets to choose. Have thine own way, Lord.
The Blessed Whatever.
Ephraim just keeps on coming. Thank you, Lord.
Happy New Year...