Wednesday, August 24, 2011
(day fifty-six) Dancing in the rain
You ever have one of those "off days"? Seems like everything that happens around you is just plain weird, and you don't quite know how to respond to it? Well, I have those every now and then and today was one of them. Around 5 am I was dozing in and out of sleep as I hear this loud pounding of thunder right outside my window. All I could think was, "could somebody please turn off the lightning i'm trying to sleep here." Then later today I found out about four people murdered, two of whom have gone to our church. Although the rain had stopped, the storm continued...
All day long I've been troubled by some big decisions in my life. I know any decision in this case will be a good one, it's just one that's going to determine the next several years of my life. I have had cool job offers in the states, invitations to live long term in several countries, and opportunities to use my passions for the Lord anywhere in the world really. The possibilities are endless. But for a girl like me, this can sometimes be my hurdle. I suppose it draws me even closer to the throne of Christ, because I couldn't possibly make a decision without Him. I also know that sometimes He lets us make up our own mind if it aligns with His word and will for us. A large majority of the world is happy with being in one place for a really long time doing one particular thing... whereas I am happiest serving globally, learning how to do many things, broadening my horizons culturally, and meeting all kinds of people. Nevertheless, I do grow weary. Sometimes I envy those who are content or have been called to stay put, but other times I feel as though that might drive me a little crazy. I suppose the grass really is always greener on the other side.
But I also wreckin' the grass wouldn't be so green if it weren't for the rain and storms. Sometimes on "our side" of the fence we can peer through the cracks and suddenly feel discontent with the yard we're standing in. We often desire the good or attractive things about someone else's life, but discount the storm they walked through to get there. I know that God has a particular design for each of our lives, but I also know that sometimes we settle for less than His desire for us because we find a comfortable spot to set up camp. But then again, you may be someone who is taking extreme risks all the time... but can't seem to find the courage to commit to anything. This is a hard realization I'm beginning to discover about myself. There has got to be a balance, right?
Is it possible for us (and I know it must be).... to be a "risk taker", follow the Lord in complete abandonment, be sensitive to His calling for you and your family, be content with our "yard" (life) while always seeking more of Him, rejoicing in other peoples "yards" without becoming envious of their landscaping (hahaha), and not being judgmental or gossiping neighbors but living in true community wherever in the world you may find yourself? Loving each other's journey's, and letting God be our consistent factor.
As I had all of these big decisions swirling around in my head today not really knowing what to do with any of them... I found myself just wanting someone to tell me what to do. That would be sooooo much easier. Like a husband or a boss or something. Then I felt God say to me... "Linds, just focus on being my daughter today." This immediately took the pressure off as I let go of the stressful burdens squeezing my heart and let Him figure it all out.
As I began to sit and be a kid.... suddenly the "storms" seemed to become a playground. I remember when I was young how much we loved when it rained. My sister and I would get our bathing suits on and go outside and just dance around trying to catch each raindrop on our tongue. The beautiful summer rain was such a relief from the miserable heat of the sun. We equated rain with play time, appreciating every single drop.
As adults we run from the rain...we tend to shelter ourselves from the way it might alter our hair, makeup or clothing that day. We see it as more of an annoyance rather than a necessity for growth. Without storms, we'd always stay the same... and we would never be challenged for more. With them we have the opportunity for change, insight, wisdom, and growth. Who really wants a dull, boring, dry life with dead grass? Not me! I know it's hard when you're right in the middle of the storm... but we must push through to His promises knowing He's going to follow through. Don't forget, the rainbows (His promises) are always there... we just don't always see them unless the conditions are just right and it's time.
B90: (Jeremiah 18- 30:24) "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for WHOLENESS and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and f ind me. When you seek me with all our heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord. " Jer 29:11-13
He does have a plan and purpose for it all... for us all. I pray that even when we don't exactly see what that is, we will see our purpose to seek His face. As we seek Him, especially through the storms, His plan for you and the world will begin to be unveiled to you. We must also remember that it's not about us... it's about Him and only Him. We are so blessed to be able to be used by Him every day, and to have a real relationship with a God who loves us so very much. Quick... run outside and dance in the rain a little while. Remember what it's like to be a kid, not care about appearance and trust that God will completely take care of your needs and your future.