Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lilies Grow in Valleys

There was a time not too long ago where I walked in complete brokenness.
A time when I cried in the shower a lot.

I was broken. Severed. Cut in half.
And I wasn't even sure why. I had just reached a point where the proverbial last straw was put on the camel's back.

You see, my husband and I felt that the Lord was leading us to leave my husband's very high paying job. So we did.

We felt that God wanted him to take a job in another city (one we used to live in and LOVED). So we did.

We felt very strongly that He wanted us to move to this town. My husband had spent the last 18 months working two weeks away from us and then home for six days. We felt the Lord really wanted us to be together and that He wanted to bring us a fresh start. So we moved.
Even though, our house had not sold.

But as we prayed, we knew that God wanted us to trust Him to sell it.
So we did.

And He provided money for both our two bedroom rental and our house mortgage.

And then my husband lost his job.

It. was. gone.

And so I would cry in the shower.
And cry in the car.
And cry in my room.

I would say, "God, I thought I heard Your voice. You promised that Your sheep hear Your voice. But God, You told us to take this job. You led us to move here and uproot our family to this town. You told us to do this and now it is all falling apart. I was obedient, I followed Your voice. You owe me."


Did I really believe that in my heart?
I did.
I thought God owed me.

And that's exactly what God wanted to put His finger on in my life. Somehow I had developed this idea that "if I scratch Your back, You'll scratch mine." I did. With the King of Kings. With the Creator of the Universe. I thought I could have Him owe me.

Such silly nonsense.

I bowed my head, "Lord, I'm so full of pride that I would allow my heart to be angry with You. I created expectations that You would do certain things for me. You have only asked me to trust You--You never told me that moving here would make my life rosy, You only told us to move here and to trust You. Forgive me for putting false expectations on You. Show me what You would have me do next."

Worship Me.

Now, I know you are all thinking that I immediately started praising Jesus for all His goodness and all His attributes of faithfulness.


I yelled and pounded a pillow with my fist and say,"I don't want to thank You for the pit that I am in. You put me here, remember? OK, wait, forgive me for blaming You. But I hate it here. Why would I ever thank You for Your goodness when this feels so not good?"


"Ok. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for being faithful to me even when I yell at You. Thank You that Your kindness leads me to repentance. Continue to be kind to me, Father. Thank You that in the midst of this turmoil You will turn things for good and You will be glorified. Thank You...thank You...thank You."

And just like a bud on a tree blossoms, I opened up under the tender hand of God. Scales fell off my eyes and I saw something that I had forgotten.
He is faithful.

And if He asks me to follow Him then I will follow Him. The way of Christ is full of suffering among joy, peace and love. Anyone who tells you different is schlepping another gospel.

Christ asks us to follow Him. He laid down His life. He served, poured out, laid down all his ambitions and dreams to serve the Father's will. And He calls us to do the same. We're naive to think that that won't cost us something.

It will cost you everything.

But the pleasures of loving Jesus far surpass any dream, any hope, any thing I could pursue on my own and for myself. For He is lovely and worthy of all honour, glory and praise.

I love how Graham Cooke says it, "If you are frustrated right now, it's a sure sign that the real issue is your maturity...the issue with us is not frustration, it is "how much patience do I have? How much faithfulness am I displaying?" That's the real issue. If you feel frustrated, if you feel thwarted, if you feel that things are held up then you have the wrong terminology for the lifestyle that God wants to give you. God is not frustrated. He is patient. It's impossible to be frustrated if you are patient."

I can do that God. I can allow You to change my heart. To stop being frustrated and to start being patient and to allow You to produce depth of character in me.
I will submit to that...even in the shower.

[SHE SAID] I am only a little rose or autumn crocus of the plain of Sharon, or a [humble] lily of the valleys [that grows in deep and difficult places].
Song of Solomon 2:1, emphasis added by me, Amplified version

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