Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

Wednesday's with Beth


Beth's topic this morning was entitled, "Getting along with Difficult People." It's confession time; I have been a difficult person to get along with lately. I am angry with my God. At first, I was scared to feel the anger, after all, He's God! Next, for weeks, I have quietly brewed, avoiding the honesty of my feelings with Him in prayer. Then, yesterday, when a colleague phoned me from Church, I spoke the words. When he asked me how things were going, I admitted the unspeakable, "I am mad, mad, M.A.D. at God!"

I imagine for anyone who stands in the gap or spends too long in the WAIT, anger is bound to show up. I like to think that I am a optimist, that I am a realist covered by His grace and love. However, I am also a mother who loves her son deeply and cannot believe that God is taking so long to restore my son. I know, I know, I know--the theology of it. But the reality of it is almost too much to endure. When his heart breaks, my heart shatters.

My son has made many baby steps of progress over the last months. For this I am thankful. And still, the roadblocks are painful; in spite of his efforts, nothing seems to work. Let me rephrase; nothing-in-the-average-sort of way--seems to work. He was hired at a Japenese Steak House to fill the carts for the Chefs to take to the table and because he does not speak Japenese, he found himself in a huge communication dilemma! After the second night on the job, he spoke to the manager (who had hired him) about his frustration, and the manager replied, "Yes, I thought this would happen, white, American's don't do well in this position." My son asked if there was another position, there was not. Does anyone else feel the irony--only in America can you lose a job because you don't speak Japanese.

Back to Beth. She asked this question: Do you know, really know, do you rely on the fact that God loves you?" Wiping the tears from my eyes, I must confess, underneath the anger that I have been feeling, this was the source of my pain. In my desire for my son's life to go well (I'm not asking that he win an award or be President--I just want him to feel the success of being independent and happy), the wait has become too long. I have begun to feel that God is not answering quickly enough--I have put conditions on God's love. I have become a difficult person! I am expecting God to love me in a way that is defined by my needs--not by His perfect, unfailing, divine love. This is what difficult people do.

Beth used an analogy of a canteen for our heart. Today, what works for me is I will empty my canteen of all my toxic expectations, self-serving desires, and innate, maternal expectancies. I am claiming Psalm51:113 as my anger verses: "Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." My canteen has been turned upside down and today, I will shake out all the contaminated water and ask God to fill it with His living waters. You see, as Beth points out, there is nothing we can do to prevent God from loving us. God IS love, as "I am a woman" is part of my DNA....so is God's DNA Love. I must know, I must rely on it: God is love. His love is perfect, it is unfailing. He has not failed me or my son. I am merely human and bring my heartfelt desire to Him, expecting an immediate loving answer. I must stop defining God by my humanness....and begin relying on His DNA.

"....we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint."

I'm filling that canteen today with His Word, His Hope, and His inescapable Love. Works for me!

19 comments:

bjk said...

Praying for you.....ain't it somethin though....to admit we get angry with Him and yet He never stops loving us......what an amazing God......

Sis. Julie said...

Bless your heart Sis!! I am thankful of one thing. You are willing to admit how you feel and what you are dealing with in your own heart. I can tell you this one thing....you must believe and trust that God is working in your son's heart and life. The thing is that God will not force us to do anything against our will. Until your son gets sick of himself and his life then he will not turn to God. God no doubt is trying to show your son that but your son is not listening and taking heed. Please don't give up. Yes...you are human and you will get weak in your faith. I did too when my son was out doing his own thing. But I stayed on my knees and stayed honest with God of how I was feeling and let the Word of God encourage me and keep me strong and finally...my son came around and now he is doing well. Praise His name!! Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD; be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." YOu are in my prayers!!

QueenBee said...

For you and for your son, I pray and claim Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'They are for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.'"

Diane said...

Diane, my heart goes out to you and your son. I'm praying even now for God to intervene on your son's behalf, and that he will get the right job and be encouraged to live for Him.

God Bless you and your family. :-)

Kristen said...

I can only imagine your frustration. I hope and pray every day for my children and for me that I will never be in the position to say I have a prodigal, but there's only so much as parents that we can do.

I'll be praying for you and your son!

kpjara said...

That totally works for me too! The most important part of our journey is to learn at the place we are so when we continue on we take that with us! Don't be too hard on yourself...you have newly gained WISDOM! YEAH!

Morning Glory said...

Diane, it's so hard sometimes. I, too, will offer prayer for both of you. How do we stop a mother's heart from breaking, over and over again? I don't know. But God is there and I know you are aware of that. I was re-reading some thoughts I had regarding learning to wait for my own prayers to be answered and wanted to refer you back to my postings of April 5 and 21. It's awfully hard to wait sometimes, and I must remind myself more than once that the waiting gives God full reign in doing it His way. Blessings on you today, friend.

great2beme said...

Diane you certainly have my prayers. You have often encouraged me along the way and I too have been angry with God, that is why it is so awesome that he doesn't hold grudges and he understands. He is closest to the brokenhearted, it says in the word and I know this is true. Sometimes it feels like we are in the desert and we can't see God but his love is there and you will begin to feel warm in the sun soon I pray. I know it is hard and I will pray for you both. Be blessed.

Heather Smith said...

Beautiful post. In our humanity it's easy to put God in a box. We limit Him and say, "You can only show me you love me if you do this..." But God can see the future. He knows what will happen and He has plans for us beyond our expectation. That's why me trust His love and know that His ways are best. But it sure it hard sometimes! If only I could get a peek at what is going to happen, I think it would be easier to trust. But I can't so I must learn. The hard way where I fall flat on my face over and over! I'm praying for you!
Oh, and BTW, I'm not an elder at my church! I'm only 23! But I do work with the youth, and they are my heart!!

MugwumpMom said...

Your post was beautifully honest. Thank you. It's not like God didn't know how you were feeling. That is the wonder of Him. He knows, and still wants you to trust that it doesn't make a lick of difference on how He feels about you and your son. I pray for you to be strengthened and grow even more intimate with your Father in Heaven, as you wait.

aggiejenn said...

Diane-You have blessed me today. I have so many "whys" for God. Why haven't you done this? Why did you allow this to happen. And on and on and on. A friend told me once to think of it like this: God is looking at a huge timeline and how everything fits together for all of time. I see only my little speck of time. I cannot understand why He does or does not do things (especially when I want them done!!). What I do know is that my God is Sovereign over life, death, sickness, health, and everything in between. If I believe He's sovereign, I have to trust Him for everything. Your honesty about your struggles is a blessing to others. Thank you for being real and letting us learn through you.

Glass Half Full said...

Ok - how weird is this!! I rarely watch "paid programming" shows but clicked to one this morning. It was a show with Beth Moore as a guest!! She was talking about God's love, etc. It was a great topic. So when I stumbled on your blog, it was right along with what I watched. Isn't God neat like that? :)

dawn said...

I totally understand! Waiting and watching is so hard. Especially when you get your hopes up and they are dashed ONCE AGAIN! I went to Morning Glory's April 5 posting that she referenced and found myself misquoted with the name of the book I've had in my mind for years (but haven't had time to write - I can't even get myself to write a blog!). Anyway, the title came about when a friend and I were commiserating about the tribulations we were facing with our prodigals who were in similar situations. It had been several years by now and I was exhausted. I said I wished they were still young so that we could control their activities, etc. She said, "But it's out of our hands." I said, "Yes, but it's still in my face!" We laughed as she said "That's a great title for your book - now you just have to write it!" I think there's a great difference in saying "It's in God's Hands, But it's Still in My Face," than in saying "It's Out of My Hands, But it's Still in My Face." To me that means I can't control it, and even when I turn it over to God, which I did and still do, I still live with the backlash and "stuff" caused by it - emotionally, if not physically. That's where I was coming from.

We had a shocking, but pleasant surprise this week with the physical return of our recovering prodigal. He left Teen Challenge 2 weeks earlier than anticipated and is now sleeping on my couch after a very long night of flying. It's a long story, but not one in which he strayed backwards, Praise God! He almost kissed the ground when he got off the plane - it's been a long 18 months. Please continue to pray as he looks for work and faces the "junk" that he left behind - such as what I referred to earlier! It doesn't go away just because God changes your heart and attitude!

Best wishes to yours, Diane. It's a long journey, one step at a time!

Brenda said...

Diane, you and your son are in my prayers. I know how hard it is to wait, and I'm going to take your advice and empty my canteen of my expectations and let God fill it with His promises.

Thank you for this post.

theresa said...

My prayers are with you as I am struggling in the same way you are just with a different issue. Only, you are more of a women than me to admit your feelings. Your tip/advice...is a lesson learned.
Thank you!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

I can only imagine your anguish.

I worry sooooooo much about my son's spiritual future. I know that although I will do my best to pray for him and teach him, I can not guarantee his future. THis is my most terrifying fear and stress. My brother, after a life as a Christian, turned from God. This causes me so much pain. To imagine my son turning from God is enough to drive me literally insane. Nothing matters as much to me as my son does and thus his spiriual destiny is everything to me. Perhaps that sounds too emotional and controlling, but that is how I feel.

I be praying for you and your precious son.

David said...

good morning - yes - not being bilingual can be a disadvantage - but Japanese? Arigato! Konichi-wa
Go zey- mas

Juliabohemian said...

I am sure your son could find a similar job with English speaking people. In situations like this I remind myself that God completes every good work that He starts.

Norma said...

A beautiful, honest post.