Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Still so much to learn

I really enjoy the well-known pastor Chuck Smith and when I can find time I like to tune in to some of his sermons. Lately I've felt like that free time to listen is few and far between but I managed to sneak in time last week and as usual his message kicked my butt. During his message he shared a story that really hit home.

"When he was seven months in the womb, his little sister had, by all accounts, died. One day, after battling spinal meningitis for some time, the virus sent her little body into violent convulsions and when they ceased, she was no longer breathing. Somehow, her mother knew she was beyond medical care at that point since the doctors had done as much as possible for her. So she whisked her daughter's limp body up the street to a church. Chuck Smith implied their family was, at the time, unfamiliar with church and said of his mother, "But she knew they knew how to pray". His pregnant mother, bearing three lives at that moment, entered pleading, sobbing, crumbling. Please help my baby! Please help my baby! The pastor said to her, "Young lady. Take your eyes off your child and put them onto Jesus."

WOW! Think about that for a second....your baby is laying in your arms not breathing, would you take your eyes off him or her for even a split second? What an unthinkable request..... And yet sit is exactly what we should be doing on a daily basis. At every pressure point. Every sickness, injustice, accomplishment, argument. We need to turn our eyes to Jesus and keep our focus there.

I realize I don't have children but I have SOO many other distractions in my life that keep pulling my eyes from Christ. Family, friends, work, even Honduras. I can spend hours dwelling My consuming love and dedication to those things has a way of blinding me and keeping me from seeing God's story. Far too often i forget that my job in life isn't perfection.....yet I live like it is which means I believe it. I live like inching towards balance and harmony is our end, and I struggle to defeat this belief all the time. I am not called to solve all the worlds problems and heal all its hurts. I am not called to pursue perfection. I am called to follow. When I follow the Lord's leading, tuning into His plans for my day - every day - then I will end up solving some problems and healing some hurts, of course. But He is in charge, and knows there is a lot more going on under the surface layer I'm trying to manage. Ultimately I am a character in the story He's writing, not the other way around. My lack of perfection should keep me following closely behind the one who has no lack. But does it?

That's where the fork in the road lies: Do my failures urge me to ramp up and just try harder, or do they bring me down to humbly accept my place of dependence on the Lord? I am not wallowing in guilt. I'm saying I can't do this alone. I exhaust myself when I walk down the road of just trying harder. At this moment, I'm backtracking to the fork, and taking the other route. It most definitely has a happier, healthier destination for myself. I need to take my eyes off the distractions of this world and put them on Jesus. He is the only one who can bring me peace and wisdom in every circumstance.

So Chuck Smith's sister lived. God chose to answer their prayers with a "Yes," bringing breath back into her lungs and opening her eyes. What an exciting chapter of their stories, all revolving around a mother at her end. A mother who was helpless, and chose to depend on the Lord's strength.

I have to ask myself, How can I expect God to be at work in my life when I often live as if He needs my help? It is always when we come to the end of ourselves that everything gets still, space is created, and the Lord has room to act. He normally won't barge in. It's like He says, "Looks like you've got everything under control. I'll just sit back and be here, just in case you really don't. (And you REALLY don't)."

He will wait, patiently wait, for me to remember I can't do it alone. When I start in with the end-of-myself Please help... prayers, he lifts my head. He looks me in the eyes, smiles, and says, "Daughter, I thought you'd never ask."

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