Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wrestling with God Part II

Have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children… God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:5-7, 10

Last week I shared about the concept of wrestling with God. If you didn’t catch it, you can find it here.

This week I wanted to share with you some of the specifics of my struggle. Some are embarrassing to admit. But this is who I am…God’s work in progress :-)

As I returned home from a week of no stress, rest, time, and fun, I did NOT want to go back to pressure filled days, to do lists that never get completed, and a constant shortage of time. I wanted to stay rested. I wanted to enjoy friends. I wanted to take care of myself.

I wanted things to be easy.

But I didn’t quite realize that at first. So God patiently walked me through each complaint.

I grumped about my inability to travel. I whined about the lack of time for caring for myself through regular exercise and making healthy meals. I wanted to have fun and feel good doing it. But then God challenged me as to my real motives. Did I not really want those things because of the comfort and pride and ease they brought to my life? Was I looking to those things as escapes to handle the pain of grief instead of working through the hard stuff with God?

I lost that round so then I shifted my complaints to my inability to walk forward into ministries and callings I know God’s planned into my life. God’s shown me future steps and I challenged his timing. How was what filled my days proper preparation for what lay ahead? Why grant me the glimpse if I just had to wait? I sulked and pouted until God quietly asked me if his timing had ever failed before? Could I not trust him?

Did you know it’s not very easy to argue with God? He knows all the answers and is always right.

But I still didn’t give in.

I held myself back, resistant to his love. He wooed me with amazing sunrises. I saw them only because the fullness of my days required starting in the early morning hours. He cornered me through friends as I shared my questions and complaints. They held up the mirror to my complaints and forced me to concede the doubts within. He triggered my jealousy as I witnessed my husband’s growth and peace having just emerged from his own wrestling period with God stronger and steadier than ever before.

And then finally he drew the line in the sand.

What is really going on here? Do you see how you and your comfort are at the root of every complaint? Do you recognize that what you are really craving is control? You don’t like the unknown and you don’t like discomfort. You are resenting the hard and wanting the easy. You want to be lazy. But you know and I know that’s not really what you want. You want to be strong. You want to be used. You want life to mean something.

You also know me, and know me well. You know that I love you. You know the end results of my plans are good. You might not know the details or the timing, but can you not trust me for those things? Will you not maintain your faith that I AM who I have proved myself to be? You had faith in the hard with Peter. Will you not keep that faith even though the hard now differs? I have not changed. Why have you?



As our key verses share, God loves me enough to be real, to be honest, to discipline. He knows what’s best for me and sometimes a mirror, truth, and a kick in the pants is what it takes to get me back on line :-)

So in this process, as God and I wrestled, he eventually pinned me down-but never by force. He simply helped me see the lies and offered me the truth. It was my choice to surrender to the truth of His Word and who he is. Yes, I bowed my knee to His love.

Some would say that God was the winner…because I was the one to submit. But that’s what’s so amazing about the grace of God. For when we surrender and accept His will, we are in the best place possible and on the best path possible for our lives. When God wins, he makes us the winners, the reapers of the reward.

Never do I want to be apart from God, shutting myself off from his love. Thankfully, God promises to do everything necessary to keep me there, even when it’s my own self centeredness that gets in the way.

Wrestle hard my friend, when the doubts scream loud within. But don’t quit until you have rightly stepped off your throne and invited God to reign. It’s once you both are back where you belong that the fun part of life can begin.

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