In your Highs and your Lows, God is satisfied

Many, many times after I write, I think I’m too emotional in my writing.  I woke up this morning thinking only of regret.  Too out there (sometimes.)  Too vulnerable (definitely.)  Too emotional and effusive.  It is not always easy for me to put myself so far out there.

I got to thinking of the Psalms and how much they reach me because of their free, outpouring or flowing emotions toward God not unlike what I often do.   And  I was thinking more specifically King David after reading something written by an internet friend.

David was such a mess, at times such a coward and a failure, definitely a letch, but at other times very brave and strong.  What he did well was lament and cry out to God!

I just get embarrassed at myself at times. And disappointed that I can’t just “be happy” like so many of my friends, who have crazy joy in the simplest of things. I have written before that I regret not being happy.  And others I see who model a raucous family life, full of delight and fun.  (I secretly want to be adopted in.)  Or even those that know their place is “home” whether that is their own or with their children, because it is so satisfyingly good to be together.

I have such longing for normalcy, but I don’t think it will ever come nor do I know how to create it, most days I’m stumbling around in the dark unsure how to be an adult child much less a Mother.  I believe at times might find a kind of peace and contentment, but I doubt I’ll ever find true joy.  King David’s life, reflected in scripture shows his highs and lows. 

I hope God is honored or at least pleased by our highs and lows.  If our faith is deep and genuine, I think we are strong even in our weakness; in our days hounded by our pain and in the days when it is enough just to hold on and to be thankful.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  — 1 Timothy 6:6-7 (NIV)

In this season of Advent, of active waiting, I hope that you find, in your high and your low moments, that God is satisfied with you for simply being you.  He knows you — made you — loves you and is deeply pleased with you.  No, you are not perfect.  May you learn this advent season how much our God just wants you to be — to ABIDE with him which means progressively to “await,” “remain,” “lodge,” “sojourn,” “dwell,” “continue,” “endure” with Him.

And of course I am preaching to myself.

Waiting? I don’t think so.

Waiting.   We hardly know what to do with waiting in our culture.

Waiting on things makes me frustrated and sometimes even angry.  I want doctors to be on time, fast food lines to be, well, fast, children to be efficient, packages in the mail to be on schedule — all of it irks me.  I cannot stand to wait.  I do wait.  I will wait.  I am learning but American culture seems to feed the beast of impatience.

Do I then bring this attitude to my time with God?  Do I have a low-level contempt despite all that He has done for me?  I am all too often anxious and uncertain — querulous within.  Doubting that He will speak, even though He has proven himself in the past.  How dare I feel impatient with God, when I cannot some days slow down enough to breathe Him in?

I waited patiently for the LORD;

And He inclined to me and heard my cry.

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction,

out of the miry clay,

And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God;

Psalm 40.1-2 NASB

What does it mean to know that God is willing by the Holy Spirit to speak to you?  Would you cease striving so hard to know this and that and open up your soul to God to work?

Andrew Murray, in Waiting on God said:

Would God that we might get some right conception of what the influence would be of a life given, not in thought, or imagination, or effort, but in the power of the Holy Spirit, wholly to waiting upon God.”1

Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God.

Zephaniah 1.7 NIV

Our waiting cannot be a ‘means to an end.’  But when you come before God and realize that all you want is His presence, then perhaps the spirit of knowing will come.  It will be nothing you have experienced before, where time slows and you are stunned, awed by the moment of being so full of Him.

” …humble the soul into a holy stillness, making way for God to speak and reveal Himself.

“Let everyone who would learn the art of waiting on God remember the lesson: ‘Take heed, and be quiet;’ ‘It is good that a man quietly wait.’ Take time to be separate from all friends and all duties, all cares and all joys; time to be still and quiet before God.

“Take time not only to secure stillness from man and the world, but from self and its energy. Let the Word and prayer be very precious; but remember, even these may hinder the quiet waiting. The activity of the mind in studying the Word, or giving expression to its thoughts in prayer, the activities of the heart, with its desires and hopes and fears, may so engage us that we do not come to the still waiting on the All-Glorious One; our whole being is not prostrate in silence before Him.

“Though at first it may appear difficult to know how thus quietly to wait, with the activities of mind and heart for a time subdued, every effort after it will be rewarded; we shall find that it grows upon us, and the little season of silent worship will bring a peace and a rest that give a blessing not only in prayer, but all the day.”1

Waiting.  Our mind & spirit in everyday life are constantly, impatiently even angrily waiting for God to work.

He only asks for “a quiet reverence, an abiding watching.”

“‘It is good that a man should quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ Yes, it is good. The quietness is the confession of our impotence, that with all our willing and running, with all our thinking and praying, it will not be done: we must receive it from God. It is the confession of our trust that our God will in His time come to our help—the quiet resting in Him alone. It is the confession of our desire to sink into our nothingness, and to let Him work and reveal Himself.”1

If you knew that God

through the power of the Holy Spirit would meet you, would be waiting for you, would go against the world and wake in the dark of the night to be with Him.  I have seen that a whole new life will come.

MHH

1 Murray, Andrew.  Waiting on God.