200th post. Yay for me :)
Tara posted the following Oswald Chambers devotional the other day. I glanced at it initially but just read it in depth a few minutes ago. It’s worth posting here I think.
After Obedience – What?
And straightway He constrained His disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side. . . .” Mark 6:45-52
We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.
What is my dream of God’s purpose? His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process – that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.
God’s training is for now, not presently. His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience; we get wrong when we think of the afterwards. What men call training and preparation, God calls the end.
God’s end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now. If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.
I feel like we’re in the middle of the turmoil and chaos. We have had a lot of new/stuff fall in our laps in the last week. The thing that I noticed right away though was our response to it all. This time last year we would have reacted very differently. More stress, more trying to “fix” things, more trying to control them. What I’ve seen in us in the last week is a different sense of calm and peace and a willingness to do what we know we can, and ride it through. There are only so many things we can do about things like having our scooters seized by the police and dealing with the fact that our plans for the mission being looked after are different. We have done all those things and have our options lined up. And we can’t do any more than that. Other than trusting that God has it figured out of course. Some of the things in the last week have been news about people we love. We can’t do anything about it no matter how much we may want to. Our only option is to let it go and trust the process.
I like it when I see growth. I know that right now I feel exhausted. There have been tears, only because I’m so freaking tired. I look at myself in the mirror and wonder where the bags came from :) I am, however, despite all of the stuff and the tiredness and the wanting to leave right now feeling encouraged by how we’re moving through things right now. Normally one of the things that came up would be hard to deal with on it’s own, and we’ve got more than one going on all at the same time. I feel encouraged right now because we are better equipped to handle these things. That’s not us, that’s God in us because if it was us we’d be a mess right now.
Those were just a few thoughts that have been in my head over the last few days. I need to get to work now. Sigh. Long list of to-do’s today so I can put some stuff to bed and feel like the house is back to normal again. That’ll of course only be an illusion because tomorrow I’m planning on painting upstairs which means moving and relocating things, again :) I might as well just get used to the idea that things will never be “normal” here :)