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!