I’ve been struggling to lay down my desires and will to the Lord for the last month or so. It’s been this up and down thing – trying to surrender control. On one level, I know that the Lord’s plans are the best. His wisdom is right, and any pain and piercing is because my own attitudes are not right before Him. But, oh man, based on my actual feelings and actions, the other level shows I don’t truly believe that enough to just give up control.
It’s one of those battles that I find myself foolishly fighting often and find myself needing the constant filter of the Lord’s word to just take my daily steps. James 1:27 says Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. I recently did the Beth Moore Bible study on James, and she impressed on me how it’s so true that we are surrounded by the polluting sin in this world. I have this vivid picture in my mind of a large city with acrid fumes rising into the sky and a yellow-green haze obscuring 10 steps in front of the people. That’s sin on this side of heaven. All we can do to keep ourselves from being polluted by this sin is constantly using the gas-mask filter of God’s word to take in the clean air. For me, where I’m at, and how easily I breath pollution, I find myself need to constantly listening to sermons, read my Bible in the morning, pray in the morning and listen and sing worship music. If I’m not doing these things every day throughout the day, how my heart wanders and how I am tempted in my attitudes to take up control in my arrogance and pride.
Good grief, how I struggle. Even more now that I feel like, for the first time in a decade, I am walking in better obedience and fellowship to the Lord. It’s been scaring me that Moses would anger the Lord by only striking a rock or that David could so easily sin against the Lord after being installed as king. It’s so easy to wander, and it starts (for me anyway) with attitudes about control skewed to the side.
Although I know that I have been having this struggle, as a mom, it’s so easy to set it all on the back burner. The days are so busy, full of so many demands it is so easy to do. Recently, I found myself on vacation, with the family, with no real time to devote to my usual morning Bible reading and prayer, so when we landed in church last Sunday, the quiet and stillness I found in that morning’s songs just broke over me and I started bawling. One of those, “I know I can’t do it, Lord, you’re going to have to help me,” prayers.
And, we’re sitting in the second from the front row, and I’m bawling. The kids are intrigued by my tears, and making a bigger deal of me crying by being kinda naughty (not sitting down and staying put, drawing more attention to our family there). So, there I am, one who is not usually embarrassed by making a scene, making a scene with myself and my kids, and getting embarrassed on top of it all.
And Noah, a few days later, asks me again why I was crying in church. “Well, I had been disobedient to Jesus, and He’s telling me some things that I’m not sure I want to obey. You know how you felt when I told you it was time to go home and you didn’t want to?” (He had had a time out 10 minutes before this conversation for that).
“That’s how I was feeling. And I don’t want to disobey like that and it makes me sad. So I was crying.”
To which Noah replied, “I get sad when I talk to Jesus, too.”
Good grief, and Lord have mercy!