*****Disclaimer****** I started writing one thing, but ended up being a lot more transparent than I had intended. Someone probably needed this today, maybe me most of all…************
Some days the stream of thought in the mountain range of my mind has a more profluent flow than others. Today, I’m just taking a step back and giving the past week a glance and trying to cast a good strong vision for the upcoming week. As I was sitting here this morning looking around a the clutter that tends to accumulate throughout the week at our house, sometimes more than others, my thought was, “Well God, yesterday I did my best helping with Your house, so I’m really looking forward to You helping me with mine today.”
It’s a bit of an enigma to me. Every area of our lives seems to be coming together in a better way that ever before. Breanna performed for the first time this season with the PEAK team from Oasis, and Wendy and I were talking afterwards how remarkable she is. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but her ability to embrace a true empathy when performing makes it so much less like a performance and much more like an expression of the heart. I sometimes selfishly take hope in the idea that perhaps in some small way her life is proof that, in spite of all my screw-ups, I am doing something right. Wendy has become more ‘Wendy’ than she has been for years. To be around her is like getting sprinkled with some kind of magic fairy dust. She still has up days and down days, but that is part of the beauty makes up her life painting. Over the past year, I’ve seen the reemerging of her smile, and in my opinion, it should be the eighth wonder of the world. If you’ve ever been privileged enough to see it, then you understand that it’s like catching one of the first spring rays of sunshine on your face and feeling your skin come alive under it’s radiance. We have been blessed with another extraordinarily beautiful child, and we’re already trying to decide when we’re going to make our final attempt at having that boy that God promised me.
As I was helping with the PEAK performance yesterday, and I was thinking about the overwhelming blessings in my life and the people who surround me that personify the character and nature of God, I took one of those deep breaths where you just inhale the life saturated air around you. I was acutely aware that I was alive. Like plunging into a refreshing pool of water, I silently thanked God for His goodness that has permeated my life.
My challenge though, is that while we are surrounded on every side with God’s goodness, in the single area of work and more specifically income, we are struggling. It’s honestly difficult for me to write about it, because I know that there are people in my life who use this area of weakness as a weapon to attack me, but here’s the deal, I’m not perfect. I would think that if you have ever met me, that fact would be so blazingly apparent that it wouldn’t need to be written, but maybe it does. I find that there are people in life who celebrate and embrace the beauty of what God is doing in your life while praying for and encouraging you along the way as you work through your problems, and then I’ve also found that there are people who will focus on the one area of weakness and use it as a, “And-you-call-yourself-a-Christian” dart to throw at you. Truthfully, I aspire to be a Christian (to have a life that someone would say resembles and personifies the nature of my Savior), but until that work is finished in me, I fully embrace my life as a believer. A life where the lack of perfection isn’t grounds for termination.
I guess this isn’t what I intended to write about this morning, but there are so many people in the ‘church’ world who pretend that their lives are perfect. We act like God was some kind of magic potion that miraculously fixed every problem that we’ve ever had in an instant. I suppose that in the areas that are most significant, that is exactly what happens. Our sins and imperfections are immediately and forever forgiven. We are embraced with a love that sees the beautiful and completed work of redemption and salvation – even though that work is still being played out in our daily lives. As a 35 year old man, I’m supposed to have this all together now. I’m supposed to have a stable income, a little nest egg, and a solid retirement plan. Do you know how many of those I have right now? Big fat goose egg.
I think that part of it is because of the pattern of living that I talked about last week in a post, but another part of it is the season of life that we are in. Last year, we were looking at what would literally have been a million dollar (or more) business deal, and I was standing in the presence of the Lord during a worship service, and God told me that I had a choice. I could go after the money, and it would work, but I would lose my marriage in the process. Well, I have an amazing marriage right now, and a bank account that I think has about $2.00 in it today. So now, I’m trying to restructure my life in a way that I can provide for my family again.
We see the hand of God in the past so clearly, and the doors that He is presenting to us in our future are undeniable when viewed through faiths eyes. So my struggle is keeping all of that in mind today, when we are existing day to day by faith. My confidence, is that the amazing God who began a good work in my life isn’t going to quit on me. He is going to keep hammering out the surface and molding the shape of my character until He has a finished product. I don’t doubt that there are some people who might read this and lose respect for me. That’s a bit of a bummer to be honest. As a recovering people pleaser, I like to be liked. My hope though at this point is that maybe there are some other men out there who can relate. Men who genuinely want to be good husbands, fathers, and providers, but somehow seem to run into obstacles along the path. I know one thing for sure, His word promises that if we truly seek Him and His kingdom first, then every other area of our lives will fall into place.
I believe that God gave a word to me this morning during my devotion time that may be a blessing to you to. It is a verse about John the baptist in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 1 and verse 80 – “And the child grew and become strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.” What I heard the Lord telling me as I read this was that He was doing a work in my life at this stage that is preparing me for a time when that Divine promotion comes along. Sometimes, God has to work on us in the wilderness, which is a place of learning to trust and rely on Him and His way of doing things, before we can enter the destiny He has promised for us. Hang in there and don’t quit!