I know something you don’t know

In two days, my son will be getting four teeth pulled…and he doesn’t know it yet. We had this appointment scheduled a month ago,  but there was a miscommunication with the dentist, so we had to reschedule. The week leading up to that appointment was torturous for his anxiety-prone little mind. So, this time, we’re opting for telling him the day before, to eliminate stress…for all of us.

I feel as though I’m being a little bit dishonest by not telling him, but I know what he went through last time. I know that this is truly more comforting for him. He doesn’t need to lose sleep, work himself into a panic, or become as jumpy as a late summer grasshopper. He hasn’t asked, so I’m not lying…and I won’t lie to him if he does ask.

Our family is in a waiting season currently. Several transitions are looming in our future, and we’re not sure which ones will affect us in what ways. Being in this place of uncertainty has driven me deeper into Bible study and prayer, for which I am thankful. I am confident that my faith has deepened in this time.

That said, having this ‘omniscient’ perspective on Brady’s upcoming surgery has given me a new understanding of God’s timing. He doesn’t reveal his upcoming plans to us completely to protect us from overreacting, overthinking, or overdoing.

Though He was leading them out of slavery in Egypt, the Israelites balked when they saw the plan God had involved the Red Sea…and they wanted to return to Egypt. (Exodus 14)

While Moses was on the mountain, receiving guidelines from God Almighty about living in peaceful community, the awaiting Israelites grew impatient…and built a fake god to worship. (Exodus 32)

The fall of Jericho wasn’t enough to convince Achan that God was in control of the future of Israel. He had to take some of the spoils of the battle as treasures, which was in direct defiance to God. (Joshua 7)

Eve couldn’t trust that God’s plan was infallible, so she chose to listen to evil guidance. (Genesis 3)

Lot’s wife wistfully looked back at the debauchery of Sodom and Gomorrah rather than following God’s gracious exit strategy. (Genesis 19)

Even the Pharisees couldn’t imagine the forest of God’s mercy for the planting of their self-righteousness. (Matthew 16)

This is not a crowd I want to hang out with. I don’t want to be listed with these of little faith. I want to learn from them, but not repeat their haste and misdirection. Knowing that God has something better ahead than what I can see now needs to give me the faith to hold on until He demonstrates his plan.

My faith, tiny and tired though it may be, is the ‘substance’, the shred, the sliver of light that directs me to the things I hope for…says Hebrews 11:1. He’s not showing me all of the plan right now because I might mess it up in haste to make it happen faster. I could greedily snatch unnecessary treasures…or sample forbidden fruit…or stroll toward unhealthy decadence… If I knew what was ahead, I might avoid it, change it, or rush it.

I am not God. I am not omniscient. And anytime I try to be, I detract and delay His good work in my life…and even for the lives of those that I love.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.                ~Psalm 5:3

Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God.

                                                            ~Psalm 38:15

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.                ~Psalm 27:13, 14

 

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“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried,                                                             but you’ve actually been planted.”                                                                                                                 ~Christine Caine

 

 

 

It’s broken, AND it still works…

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I dropped my phone and shattered the screen on May 3. I know the date because I had just sent a ‘We’re on our way’ message to a friend who was hosting my husband’s surprise 40th birthday party. I sent the message while I was standing by the outside trash can in our driveway; then, I turned around and dropped my phone face down on the asphalt driveway. After muttering something unbecoming, I picked up the phone and examined the damage. It was indeed shattered. I closed my eyes, mumbled several other sailor-like phrases, put on my smile and headed inside to gather the family to depart for the party.

On the way to the fiesta, I tried texting…and found it worked! I checked my apps, and they worked! As bad as it looked on the outside, all its inner parts seemed to be working just like new. Praise Jesus! I’m not addicted to my phone, but it has replaced my landline, and that makes it kinda vital. I really didn’t want to pay, well, anything, for a new phone. So, it was relieving to see everything functioning as it should.

Over the past few months, the smashed condition of the phone has been an interesting conversation starter. In check out lines, in store aisles, at work, at church…people have asked numerous times, ‘Why haven’t you gotten it replaced?’ And my response has been the same each time, ‘It still works!’

I realized the other day how awesome this mantra is…It’s broken, AND it still works. I’m a broken person, AND I still work. I’ve made some raunchy choices…I still do…AND I’m still working on improving that. I’m worn and torn in some spots. My heart has some dents and dings. My psyche turns funky colors sometimes. AND I’m working on that.

Friends, it doesn’t matter if you’re broken on the outside…if you have scars of past battles or wounds from present ones. It doesn’t matter if you’ve pitched fits in anger or thrown threats in selfishness or tossed your cookies in fear. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been tripped up, stood up or knocked up. What matters is that you’re still working. You’re a functioning, useful, helpful, capable being. You add to people’s lives. You contribute to others. You are worthwhile.

Don’t get discouraged if you’ve been smashed or shattered. You’re still capable of doing great things. Impressive things…because people wouldn’t expect something broken to still work. But you do, and you will.

PSALM 30

1I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me.
    You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you restored my health.
You brought me up from the grave, O Lord.
    You kept me from falling into the pit of death.

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
    Praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.    

When I was prosperous, I said,
    “Nothing can stop me now!”
Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain.
    Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.

I cried out to you, O Lord.
    I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
“What will you gain if I die,
    if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
    Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
    Help me, O Lord.”

11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
    You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!