Every minute on the minute…is a killer workout. It also speaks about how I am learning we were designed to live:
Completely dependent on God. Every minute on the minute. Not when it is convenient. Not when we feel stressed and are praying for help parenting difficult kids. Or are completely strung out because of a relationship that is sending us over the edge. Or when we are hoping for a new house. Or our hubby to get a promotion. Not when it is safe or unoffensive. Like EMOTM.
I started thinking about life here and the desperate need that people have for God each day. He LITERALLY sustains life. So few can afford medical attention so they BEG God for good health–or healing if a child is sick. Many people have broken homes so they are aware of their needs as they feel so utterly alone. And their physical homes are barely keeping them safe or sheltered at night. Many, including several of our new friends, cannot afford food for their children–so they BEG God to fill their bellies with something. The needs are so obvious. The prayers for daily bread are LITERAL.
The reality is, God wants us all to live in utter dependence on Him. He wants us to look to him for comfort, for advice, for wisdom, for peace, for protection, for our next meal. He wants to be the sustainer and provider for us EMOTM. But we have gotten SO good at taking care of ourselves! We have enough clothing and food…we may thank God for them…but we don’t need him to provide. I heard recently that one of Faith’s enemies is Blessing. True. When we are abundantly blessed, and those reading this ARE, we sometimes lack a deep faith needed to depend on God. Yowchers. How often do I Iive my days moving from activity to activity unaware or thoughtless about inviting God in to the moment? Never mind willing to give up the keys of control long enough to truly depending on him–EMOTM?
I am not very good at being dependent upon anyone. I actually value independence. Isn’t that what our country was founded upon?
Side story confession: One day I woke up to a house full of head lice, a couple of kids with a stomach virus, I personally had a sore throat, and I had started my cycle! My hubby (love him) headed off to his Sunday duties which apparently took precedence to the train-wreck he was leaving at home– and he mentioned as he sprinted out of the house that he had a lunch meeting but would do his best to be home mid-late afternoon. (Did I really blame him?) Typically my M.O. is to rally and figure out plan A, B, or C and usually one of those will carry me through the trauma. This was a most humble day. In those early hours I just couldn’t figure out how I could get whiny sick kids (with all kinds of contagions) to the store…and myself back again?!? Gatorade, chicken noodle soup, throat lozenges, and feminine products were all at the top of the list needed ASAP. I gathered my courage and sent an S.O.S. email to about 4-5 very close friends knowing that it was Sunday and this was really going to be a long shot. (Honestly, I was too humiliated to call and relay the entire story to any one person, I just prayed someone might read it and have pity on our home!) By about 12 noon my fridge was loaded with fresh orange juice, produce, and Gatorade. My counters were covered with about a half dozen boxes of tampons, several different types of lozenges, and lice shampoo. (Clearly this was not the job of just one amazing woman.) One friend brought over a Z-pizza–bless her! Why do I live believing I am so alone and have to do it on my own? I want to stop and give kudos to those women–but I honestly watched as for one of the first times in my life (that I can remember)–I humbled myself and asked for help from others in a very tangible way. And get this, I watched God dump His abundance in my lap. It is as if through these precious friends He whispered, “Hey–you know it is okay to trust others (and in turn Me) with your world right?” And from there I feel as if for the past year I have been given humble opportunity after humble opportunity to see what dependence tastes like…and it just isn’t as bitter of a pill to swallow as I had once envisioned. It actually goes down better than I could have imagined.
We have gotten so accustomed to self-helping and self- medicating. We are awesome at masking our pain our need. So whether it be by shopping, a pedicure, a long run, or latte…we can handle the “hard stuff” and calm ourselves and de-stress enough to not “need” to ask anyone…never mind the Author of our lives how He might want the story to go? We have become the proverbial 2 1/2 year old that stomps her feet and yells, “I DO IT!”
WOW. Today my friend and I talked and discussed that Africa ruins you. In that ruined place of your life–the control over it–becomes simply a facade. We are kidding ourselves to think that a new sweater, ride on Space Mountain or a sip of soy latte will make our stress, pain, or emptiness go away. No self-help magazine or trip to the spa will erase our reality which is a desperate need to be utterly dependent on the God of the universe.
I think many many people on this side of the planet are better off in their understanding of their need. In Marilyn Skinner’s message I heard about Faith’s Enemy; she also explained Faith’s BEST FRIEND is Fire. (Fire meaning those who walk through hardship, pain, and eek…suffering.) Those who experience excruciating pain and somehow are still able to seek God with their whole hearts–those are the one’s who begin to befriend deep faith. It is imperative to know our need…because our need opens up opportunity for a most monumental relationship to occur. A relationship we were designed to have. A relationship that relinquishes the power struggle…waves the white flag and says, “Okay for REAL my life is yours.” Not part of my life. Not when I sorta feel anxious or hit a bump in the road. Not when my cute daily devotionals are emailed to me for inspiration and remind me to depend on Him. But EMOTM. Every minute of every day…MY LIFE IS YOURS. Period. My kids aren’t mine. My spouse isn’t mine. My house is not mine. We can’t control them and they will ultimately not complete us. My life is not mine.
I need to listen to this song and be reminded EMOTM! It’s just so easy to take back the keys of control.
Don’t feel bad if you have masked and self-medicated.
We all cling to some semblance of control in some form or fashion. Independence is a far more natural shoe to slip on.
Often we are fearful that letting go of control might mean God would stretch our faith and ask us to do hard stuff. It might look like an email to friends cause you have a house full of head-lice. Or it might be accepting meals after a surgery that laid you out longer than anticipated. Or it might mean that He is sending you on an extended trip around the world! The truth is He might just allow you to experience some quality time with Fire. But I am finding in those moments of dependence you also experience “the big dump”–where friends from 7,000 miles away fill your hubbies’ suitcases with the comforts of home and you see in real time not the work of your own hands–but the work of the Master’s generous heart. He doesn’t leave us when we depend on Him…He shocks us with His never stopping, crazy about us love.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed,