Thursday, May 3, 2018

Still Life

Psalm 71:3 (CSB)

Be a rock of refuge for me, where I can always go. Give the command to save me, for you are my rock and fortress.

Lord, there is a big difference between me knowing I can come to you and me actually doing it. But I know, either way, that you can save me, especially from myself. I want to turn to you, cling to you, run to you, but I don't. And the truth is, I have no idea why. I need new patterns to follow but feel helpless to decide what they should be. I want ways to hold myself accountable but fear becoming rigid and legalistic. But you know me and what will work. Help me to hear your voice on the things you would have me do that will shape me into the person you planned from the start.

That was my prayer yesterday when I did my adoration verse in the afternoon. That last plea, as soon as I wrote it, opened my eyes to a startling truth: I do not believe that I am the person God intended me to be.

But what if I am? What if, right where I live and breathe, I am exactly who God planned for me to be at this moment in time? What if my lack of peace over the things I wish were different are actually His training ground to get me to understand more of who He is, and that my quirks and imperfections, are what will help me respond? What if He is actually shaping me on His wheel but I keep trying to throw myself off and shape myself?

On April 22, I sent my husband this text. To give you context, it was 4 days after what I am going to lovingly call The Crash and Burn.

Why do I resist what I know is true? Why would I rather white knuckle everything
in fear, trying to control rather than trust? No need to answer, just putting it out there.

As I sit here, I look at those words, and would honestly love to hear my husband's answer to those questions. I think.

But here's the thing. From the moment that fire (or more accurately smoke event) started, I have felt like I am crashing and burning. I told a friend yesterday it feels like my body is shutting down at a rapid pace. Not literally, more metaphorically. Like I was running on fight mode for so long that the decrease in pace, activity, and stress feels like I am standing still and unable to move. Perhaps my control freak, type A personality has been more of an adreneline addiction than anything else.

But what if this crash and burn is exactly what God ordered to shape me? What if it really isn't about me doing anything, or coming up with a list of activities to track, but rather allowing the circumstances He brings to transform me, my thoughts, my heart, and my mind? What if the ashes of this mess are to be put on my head in repentence for resisting His direction, love, and truth, until something beautiful rises out of them?

The Danny Gokey song Masterpiece is on my Psalm 68:6 playlist. The lyrics at the refrain are:

You're making a masterpiece
Your shaping the soul in me
You're moving where I can't see
And all I am is in Your hands
You're taking me all apart
Like it was Your plan from the start
To finish Your work of art for all to see
You're making a masterpiece

If you know me at all, you know I can't draw worth a lick. And as I see those words, I realize I have a choice to make. I can either make myself and end up with what will amount to a stick figure or I can hand back the brush, pencil, paint, and canvas I took from God's hands and let Him make me into something He will put up on His walls.

It's not that we are absolved of any responsibility in becoming who God intended us to be. But we need to realize that sometimes the most productive and active thing we can do is quit resisting what He is initiating to accomplish His vision. All we have to do is look around us and see all the beauty He created and trust He is doing the same in us. We just need to be still long enough that He can add all the final touches.

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