Monday, November 22, 2010

Why Are You Striving?

This post first appeared over a year ago, but as I was strolling through my archives, I found some lessons have yet to be learned. So I'm reposting this one, with a bit of an update. I need to hear it again. I hope it'll bless you again as well. -enjoy!

The day rushes past, full of activities, trials and errors, maybe a bitter argument or harsh words, perhaps failed attempts. Every once in awhile, I can boast of a success. Boast. As if.

Taking my life into my own hands. Struggling to accomplish a never ending list of daily tasks. Racking my brain to figure out how to solve a problem. Banging my head when no answers come.
And in all this, when I've finally collapsed in a tired heap at the end of the day, having run out of myself... there He is. I feel Him. I hear His whisper, "Why didn't you call on me?"

John Eldredge said in his book, Walking With God that he often struggles with his own "driveness" that pushes and propels his life, and he says it comes as a result of "unbelief, from some deep fear that it's all up to me. Life is up to me. I've got to make as much headway as I can before the bottom drops out."

And that is how I often find myself thinking. It's not going to fix itself, so I better get after it. I. Me. The Master and Commander of my life. Yeah, right.

But He's good at waiting until I've run out of myself, my own energy, my own self-determination before he comes and his presence sits beside me, saying, "Why have you taken your eyes off me?"

I wanted to be a teacher. I sent out resumes, emails, visited schools, nearly everything I could possibly do aside from camping out in their office. Now I'm working as a substitute. I thought teaching was the right thing to do, maybe it will be eventually. But for now, He's put a burden on my heart to write again. To put everything I have into it. It's risky. So far, after three months, I've seen no return for it. Sometimes, I just want to throw up my hands and say, "What's going on God? I'm trying the best I can and look where it's getting me!"

The more I strive, the more I worry, the faster I come around to the realization that I'm going to have to trust Him, and the words He's spoken over me, His promises made. It's beyond me and I hate that. The human in me absolutely hates not being able to control this.

I have a feeling, that's exactly where He wants me, too. Because I'm going to have to learn how to trust Him. And the broken places in me are really afraid to trust too much. What if I don't get a job after all? What if I never sell a piece of writing? How will that make me look? How will I feel about that? And this seeps into every aspect of my life. Trusting Him with our finances. Trusting Him with our children, family. Trusting Him enough to step out in faith and do the things He's asked of me. What if I fail? What if I fall and skin my knee? What if that makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing? Which more often than not, I don't.

He wants to heal those broken places. Each of those shattered parts, chipped away from life's circumstances. Yet I try to hold onto my life, myself, fearful that if I stretch out my arms to him, all those fragments will scatter into a million pieces.

They wont, though.

Eldredge goes on to say, "The Bible says we can't hope to walk the path God would have us walk without the healing of our souls.... The path to freedom from all this pushing and striving involves both repentance and healing so that I can be made whole and holy by his love."

Jesus said in Matthew 13:15:

"For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart and turn,
and I would heal them."

Heal them. He yearns for us to turn to him, let Him heal us. Let Him have control. Don't be hard hearted. Don't walk with a blindfold on, and wax in your ears. Look to me. Hear my voice.

Father God,
Help me to connect my heart to yours. May I be able to stop and look to you for help, and to listen to the words you give me. I wish to walk in truth, with you by my side. Amen.

A friend shared this song with me awhile ago and as I thought about this article, it came back to me tonight. So turn off the sidebar music and I hope you enjoy "By Your Side" from Tenth Avenue North.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post, Jackie. Lots to chew on here. Thank you.


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