Don’t Ask If You Don’t Want It

The Lord is faithful. He cannot deny His character and He can only act according to His character.

Under this reality I rejoice. Under this reality I tremble.

I ask the Lord to show me His glory. Show me Himself. Show me ‘great and wonderful things that I do not know.’

OH bless my heart.

The Lord shows me. Little by little. night by night. 25 cents by 25 cents of surrender. In the mundane, in the hard, in the dirty dishes. Not in places I thought great and wonderful things lived.

When you pray ‘great and wonderful things’ don’t you think of majestic images and beautiful places and crowns and perfection and just well… wonderful!? At least I do.

Instead, the faithful Lord takes me through. through valleys. through sleepless nights. Through His Word. Through the washing of the Word over my dark, dirty, dingy, dry, drab.

And just like a baby cannot stand! getting his face washed, my immediate reaction is to flail back, to resist, to cry against the Lord.

Sadness. Guilt. Hurt. I know He only meant my good. Why did I resist? Why did I turn my face away? Why didn’t I want to be washed?

Y’all, sometimes the process is hard. Empty to fill, like Scripture says. Like Voskamp in her book reminded me. Like Nancy Leigh DeMoss in my current read shared from her life, from her lessons.

Right now I am reading a trifecta by DeMoss – a single woman called to full time itinerant ministry which has involved much revival. The book is entitled, “Brokeness – Surrender – Holiness.”

When I relayed this book’s title to someone, she easily replied, “Well, I can see why that’s a downer.” My response “Well, the good things in life are hard.”

Bless my heart again.

Yes they are, little miss. Little miss quick to talk.

We’ve come back home. We are beginning the fourth full day. The first three, easy. Leland a bit fussy, but one can understand. We have fun. He sleeps well. We are all happy to be in our own beds.

Then last night, he cried – it felt like the whole night. It was a good bit of it.

When Leland is crying I cannot think straight. I overthink and rethink and think every thought I every have thought must be absolutely ridiculous. Who are these people that make the methods and rules for babies!? Have they listened to MY SON cry!?!?! How come Tyler can sleep through it!? Why can’t I sleep through it…

I DON’T want to sleep through it! Leland, pleeeease stop crying. Lord, please make him! stop crying! Should I go in there? Should I wait? Relaxing isn’t an option.

Who knew that this would be the Jacob and Jesus appointment between Jesus and myself? I wrestled. I tried to rest. I slept for a few hours.

And in the morning, a little bit earlier and a little bit brighter than I would have liked – though still singing “Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory GLory!” over Leland – we all wake. We eat breakfast; he’s a hungry boy. Maybe he was hungry in the middle of the night!? Could I have solved this…

(Aren’t we always thinking that if we have just done the other thing or been in a relationship with the other person or lived in the other place that we would have evaded the ((inevitable)) suffering?)

Tyler and I fold over cinnamon crumble banana bread. As its baking scents fill the house, we play with our happy, healthy, whole baby. We remember that the Lord is good. That he is sufficient. He knows our needs and He meets them, hour for hour. minute for minute. Grace upon grace.

Leland naps. We enjoy lattes and fresh, hot, homemade bread together. mini-dates, is what I call it.

And then I read Psalm 103 to us. This has been my psalm, my song, my subconscious humming throughout our summer.

It reads…

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
(Psalm 103 ESV)

Go back and read it aloud if you sort of silently skimmed over it.

How the Lord ministered to my little body this morning. David starts out strong, willfully, remembering all that the good Lord has done, salvation comes from the LORD! And then he writes in the middle of the psalm that our bodies are dust; our frames, weak.

And I cry. I am dust; I am weak; I am small. I am the Lord’s and He knows me. He knows I am His child; that Leland is a baby. Leland has been given to me, a weak little. We are just children. We are so small. We are practically helpless. And bless the Lord o my soul for He has SAVED ME. He offers salvation to Leland – who I pray fully and furiously joyfully accepts Christ at the earliest age possible and grows in the full knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ winsomely and wisely – and we are here, under the sun.

I just didn’t think when I started out life that it would be through one of my most inward bubbling biggest desires that the Lord would melt away the dross; refine my heart; purify my soul; renew my mind; offer up my body a living sacrifice to Him. I saw happiness and laughter, which we often experience, with no tears and hardships. I didn’t realize that in even the tiniest bits the Lord was there, making me new. making me His. For the time when we will join Him over the sun.

This morning, with our bread and hot drink. With our hands summoning the ends of the earth and the heavenly angels and all of creation to STAND and to SING and to SAY

BLESS THE LORD O MY SOUL.

Surrendered. Surrendering, alive.

IN HIS PRESENCE IS THE FULLNESS OF JOY FOREVERMORE. Psalm 16:11

{If you’d like to enjoy the cinnamon crumble banana bread, here’s the recipe}

{And if you would like to read a hard to read-good to read book, here’s where to buy DeMoss’s book}

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