Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If We Are Faithful, He is...Silent?

We live in a world of instant gratification. Here in the magical land of texting, email, twittering, and other mysterious forms of conversation, we are happily placated by our instant responses. Even some of the best marital arguements happen over text and the winner is the one who texts faster...We do not, however, live in a world of silence. Silence is foreign to our generation.

Lately I have been struggling with something between myself and God. It's His silence. Not silence in a "we've had a fight and are not speaking" but silence in the fact that I have prayed and looked to Him for answers on a topic and still am not hearing...which in turn makes me pray harder and listen to His voice with more intensity...As mentioned in previous posts, I am a self-proclaimed control nut....so as one might imagine, this silence and waiting period has not been the easiest for me. :)

I've done so much searching scripturally on God and his faithfulness, his grace, his voice...and feel as though I have come up either empty or guilty. In what I had initially found God tells us not to worry about food or clothing or shelter...He will provide. And he has. I have all of the above. Food...yes. Shelter...absolutely...Clothing...a shamefully embarassing amount. So why am I feeling guilty? Because there are things I have been seeking that go beyond basic need. Do I have a right to ask for those things? Do those things matter to God because they matter to me?

It would seem like the world is against me every time I get close to those things.

Exhibit A...Many of our friends know this, but in the 3 years my hubs and I have enjoyed marital bliss, we have yet to be able to celebrate a "real" anniversary. We have loved the things we had done in the past, because, no matter how inexpensive they were, they were expressions of love to one another. But this year, it seems like we have really overcome much larger hurdles in our relationship and we both had the desire to celebrate in a big way.

I have been putting money aside, in the hopes that a real romantic evening can be had, and if possible, something special...beyond our usual nights out. And yet, car batteries die and precious guitars mysteriously get broken...and so my "Romantic Anniversary Fund" dwindles before my eyes...

I spent yesterday so confused...I didn't understand this concept of Faithfulness anymore...We have made a concentrated effort as a family to be more faithful in our relationship with God. We had increased our giving, gotten more involved in church, brought friends and family...And yet I was brought back to this question of, "if we have grown in our faithfulness, where is He?" And then the guilt returned...I have basic needs...What am I asking God for? He has so many other people to worry about.

Two reoccuring things ran through my mind...a friend had once reminded me, in the 300 years between the old and new testament, God was silent. But it was in His silence that He was working on the greatest gift in the world...planning the life of His Son, who redeeems us all! Another thing were the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, "How He Loves Us" . The lyrics talk about God's love for us, how his love is like a hurricane that surrounds us...and in the combination of those things I am reminded of the silence in the eye of the hurricane...

See, what we fail to realize in our lives of instant gratification, is that we may be right in the middle of his love, silent but surrounding us...and while we wait on Him for answers, growing in our faith and patience, he is working all around us, caring about our tiniest detail. In all my scripture research, I never searched God and his love...When the Bible talks of God and his love for his children, that's where the outpouring begins...thats where the blessings go beyond basic need to a Father loving his children... The Bible also says that "You do not receive, because you do not ask." Simply because our heavenly Father knows our hearts desires doesn't mean he doesn't love hearing about them.

If you are experiencing the silence...listen to His love speak.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Living the Dream?

I had a crazy dream last night...usually Im known for them. I have learned that the unexpected weird dream often has subliminal meaning....for example, that dream we have all experienced about our teeth falling out will often mean we are afraid of losing control of a situation...weird, I know. But for me, it rings unbelieveably true...

I am a control freak. I make lists upon lists, I do my budget 3 weeks out, I create plans for work, and if I don't have tabs on myself and those around me, I feel the slightest bit insane...The myriad of post it's covering my work monitor are only testimony to my need to balance everything. I remember after I first had our son, I wouldnt take any help offered, out of the need to do it myself. Asking for help would be a weakness, right? and that meant I was a bad mom? After a few days, I waved the white flag of surrender and gradually opened myself to accept the help of loved ones.

Last night's dream seemed to define for me how I feel life is going. There are days I don't feel like Im living, I feel like Im surviving...In this dream, all around me Im walking. The scenery constantly changes, but its mostly me, walking and carrying this ever increasing pile of stuff...in the dream Im almost toppling over at the balance of everything, struggling not to drop anything as though my life depended on it. Then, to my side in the dream, this person appears...I think he was a man, but not anyone I knew...not my husband or a family member or anything like that, and yet I had a familiarity to him. He kept offering me his help, begging to let me give him some of the weight I was struggling with. I remember he was someone whom I had a fondness towards, almost a love, but did not want to put all of my "baggage" on him...Didn't want him to feel my burdens, or know just how "heavy" things had become. Most of the dream after that point was me, tripping and falling and stumbling, but clinging to the weight of my "stuff", while this person never left my side, and never stopped offering his help and support.

It was only after I woke up that I realized what the significance of the dream was...The stuff in my hands was everything I try to balance by myself in life...schedules, finances, relationships, healthy, beauty, friendships old and new, housekeeping, work...work...more work..., worries, fears...I think my fears were the biggest boxes in my hands. I firmly believe the person by my side was representative of a Christ figure in my dream, always by my side, but I had to be willing to share my burden with him, so he could make it light. He would never force me to give it over, but wanted me to know He was there.

Carrying these burdens in life is something we all do. We struggle and stumble and, like me, fail to ask for help, for fear of being seen as a failure or as weak. We think we can manage and do it all on our own, and the truth is, we can't. But that is when He comes alongside of us, supporting us, and helping us carry the weight.

It is only when we rest our struggle in Him, that we stop stumbling and start walking again.