I served lunch yesterday on behalf of our church, to sixty or so college students at the Baptist Student Union at our University. While composing mounds of build your own nacho/taco salads for hungry "kids" in their late teens and early 20s, a realization fell gently but heavily upon me: I'm a grown-up. It was like a light rainfall that's refreshingly welcomed, and yet leaves you dripping and soaked. The thought was lucid, as I recalled my days in their shoes, giggling and flittering about, believing the inconveniences of school, work, and relationships to be the most trying, most dramatic life choices I would ever have to face. I thought that then because that's all I knew. Life looked so different yesterday from the other side of the nacho bar.
The 15 years it's been since college has proved to be faith-proving, love-deepening, and foundation-crumbling, then foundation-firming. Yesterday's rainfall washed away any delusions I may have once had in my younger years, that life gets easier or more predictable with age. I'm a mom of five boys. I am married to a perfect and imperfect man. I am endeavoring to do what I love and to love what I do. There's not much time for flittering around these days. And, perhaps it's just me...but, life is not easier or more predictable with age.
The Preacher and I are in a season. It has been a time of waiting on the Lord for answers, for direction, for His voice to be heard and known clearly. It has been a season of putting one foot in front of the other and pushing on in doing what you know to do until God tells you to do otherwise. In parenting, in housekeeping, in schooling, in ministry...in all the demands of life that just don't let up while you pray and wait. If you've known times like these, you know the emotional climate to be sometimes unsettling, oftentimes wearisome, and on rare occasions exciting, as you trust the Lord to tie all the loose ends of your life together. Oh, to actually desire to be uprooted, unsettled, and insecure, that the Lord might be my security, my stability, my confidence! How I love the fruit of such surrender, and yet loathe the relinquishing of control it requires. As if I were in control in the first place.
“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us.” -A. W. Tozer
Dear friend, if you, too, have found yourself to be a "grown-up" and have discovered life's windy, rocky road still challenging, and your grown-up self still oft-times frail in walking the path of the Cross, I offer this encouragement:
He is not through with us yet.
We are not to coast.
The goal is not to arrive.
There are difficult choices to make, and pain in surrender
because He is STILL at work in us.
In spite of us.
Let's not be surprised when we face seasons of discomfort, of spiritual unrest, of the heaviness of the weight of glory...but to, instead:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
We are his workmanship, friends, and as such, are still being formed to his likeness. Praise Him today for his firm and loving correction, as well as his gentle faithfulness to bring us out of the deceptive waters of complacency, and into the clear streams of dependance. His streams never run dry.
But blessed is the man who trust in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:5-8)