Friday, March 3, 2017

Just Enough

List in hand, I got groceries yesterday with my husband.  Sometimes it feels pointless to write my list because truthfully, other than dinner ingredients, I buy the same things every week.  I always ask for requests and am careful to put down the things we've run out of that aren't weekly purchases, but for the most part, the list remains standard.

When I got home yesterday and was putting things away, the plastic container with my bulk oatmeal slipped out of my hand and part of it spilled on the area rug in the dining room.  Thankfully it wasn't all of it, probably only about half.  My husband lovingly got the vacuum, cleaned up my mess, and poured the remaining oatmeal into the tupperware container in the pantry cabinet.  I didn't get upset because it was an accident.  But knowing I don't intentionally waste food by throwing it on the floor, I was still frustrated because I wasn't sure then that I would have enough for the week.  But as I looked at what was going into the cabinet, I realized I likely have just enough for the next 7 days.

Through the years I have had a habit of doing or buying more than necessary.  It's easy to adopt the belief that if some is good, more is better.  I've done this most often with my quiet time in the morning and exercise.  With outrageous amounts of resources at our fingertips, it's pretty easy to overwhelm yourself with all of the good things you can do in an attempt to improve yourself.

But what if instead I trusted God the way He intended the Israelites to trust Him in the desert to provide just enough for that day so that I would have to go back again tomorrow?  We live in a world that preaches planning for the future to the point that we forget to live today.  We become consumed with the 'what ifs' we can't control and obsessive about the possible consequences if they happen.  It's a vicious cycle robbing us of joy, hope, and faith.

The reality is this is about control versus surrender.  Am I willing to trust God in His plan or am I going to white knuckle it through my days?  Am I going to openly accept distractions that derail my plans for His or am I going to push through with my own agenda irritated that something caused a delay?  I don't think it takes a genius level IQ to figure out which is the better option and which option will leave me irritated, frustrated, and snapping at innocent victims like my husband and kids. But for those of us that are Type A Control Freaks, this isn't an easy thing to do.

It only takes a moment to realize that the cross I inked on my wrist yesterday is still there this morning.  It only takes a glance to see what ultimate surrender looks like and then to understand that not checking off everything on my to do list really isn't the greatest sacrifice I can make.  Dying to self and selfish desires is a refining process that takes time and will never be complete until I reach heaven.  But the good news is, no matter how hot the fire gets, I'm never going to be in it alone.

Father, You above all people know how You chose to knit me together.  I don't for once think it was a mistake, even with all my little controlling quirks.  You didn't put any of them in me as a cruel joke but as a loving and grace filled way to increase my dependence on You.  It's not likely going to be easy to lay down my plans for Yours at any point in time, but I know that through Your strength, it is possible because nothing is impossible for You.....even overcoming my stubborn heart.  I praise You for Your pursuit of every part of me and trust that Your purpose is always going to be better than my plan.  Keep me in step with You, not running ahead or falling behind.  Amen.

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