Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Perfect Gift

In One Thousdand Gifts, Ann Voskamp makes the point that everything we get from God is a gift. While we might not look at all the gifts equally, God does. Whether it's something we would prefer to receive or not, he always has a purpose in giving it.

Understanding this concept makes the application of Nehemiah 9:13-15 a little more daunting. "You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses. In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought water from a rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them."

Because here's the thing: God gives exactly what we need to attain and maintain what he has determined we are to have.

Read that again. God will give you EXACTLY what you need in order to help you get and keep what he wants you to have.

This includes a diagnosis. This includes an unexpected bill. This includes inconvenient interruptions to your schedule.

And why would he do this? Love. He loves us so much he will give us whatever we need to remember our complete dependence on him and in the process remove whatever is hindering it.

But what's even more disconcerting than the words in verses 13-15 are the words of verse 16 and the beginning of 17. But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them.

If we know God will seek our hearts at all costs, why on earth do we refuse to acknowledge what is happening as his attempt to get us to submit to his leading? Why do we insist on continuing on a path that is leading nowhere good, beneficial, or productive? For me? Pride....and arrogance.....and stubbornness. Sound familiar? Apparently I am much more like my ancestors than I thought.

So this morning I was still reeling in the news of my latest lab results. The number went up higher yet. My frustration has been mounting since last night when I found out because I don't understand why the medicine that worked so beautifully 9 years ago isn't doing a thing for me right now.

And then I come to these words in Nehemiah this morning and this phrase in the she works His way devotional app written by Liz Patton," need to slow your roll right now. This woman needs you in this moment." And I stopped immediately. Could it be that God has called me to these circumstances because he knows full well I am not going to stop my roll unless he all but renders me incapable? Could it be that he is actually telling me to care for myself the way I would naturally care for others but rarely consider necessary for me? I mean, I'm not a genius, but it seems like maybe this theme started over the summer with the concept of rest and perhaps I should have paid a bit more attention to the trumpet call to stop.

We all have situations and circumstances we wish were different. I could easily list about five myself right now. But to refuse what God is graciously giving because he is trying to increase my dependence on him instead of continuously swimming upstream thinking I can do it all myself, not only is insulting but pretty selfish. My number one assignment in life to reflect his goodness and glory and if I don't want to accept what will make that happen, I'm not doing my job at all.

So instead of resisting against what we've been given, let's start embracing what God is using to draw us closer to him. Whether we agree with his methods and thoughts or not, they are always higher than ours and will never fail to help us attain and maintain what he has determined we are to have.

~Side Note: As much as I hate this flare and how I am feeling 90% of the time, this is still a 100x's better than a broken foot and not being able to drive.

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