Every day it seems I wonder about the tension between service and solitude. Between programs and prostrating ourselves before God. Between work and worship. I'm welcoming this season of quiet. While I've been through the season of frenzied service (stayed much longer than I'd like to admit) I'm now finding I miss the sense of accomplishment that comes with a full calendar.
I see that God is drawing me to a quiet, peaceful place. Deep down I know that He is here, that I'm not missing His call in any way. But the lure of the good stuff that fills up our days is tough to shake. I wonder, could I be doing more? Am I doing all I can?
Suddenly, out of nowhere, my heart aches in thoughts of not "doing" enough for God. Back to my knees in prayer, I find comfort in knowing that if God wanted me to do more, when I seek Him on this matter, He would clearly tell me to get to work. Instead, He says, "rest, my child." So, quiet finds me once again, and my soul is quieted by His peace.
It's funny how I deceive myself into thinking I'm not doing anything worthwhile. How easliy I can totally lose sight of the fact that I'm in seminary full time. And, that I'm teaching Sunday school. And, that I'm raising a son, loving a husband, and learning to create a home environment that is settled; learning to keep the chaos of the world from entering the threshold in any way. Yet, in the subtle ways of the enemy, my mind is drawn to the criticism of the clucking voices the world. The competitiveness of human nature. Fighting off the shortcomings of a frail esteem, looking to external validation instead of internal confidence in the One who overcomes it all.
In prayer, I've spent many conversations with God asking if I'm missing something. If I'm being lazy, quitting, or just disobedient. Yet, in His still small voice, I hear the Lord whispering to my spirit, "you aren't missing it, you're finally getting it!" Getting it. Thank you, Lord for helping me better understand who You are, and who I am in You.
Whatever I thought was important is laid aside to find what is most important to God. What titles, accomplishments, status and pride-driven plans were in place before are laid at His feet. Gladly. I'm quietly waiting for Jesus to take my best, mold it and shape it into His best for my life.
Yes, I pray there are certain roles He will allow to continue in my life. Particular projects and lanes of ministry. But to ask Him to bless what I've put in place seems tragic. Trivial, really. Why would I ask the God of all creation to bless what I, His feeble creation, could conjure up for grandeur? Sad, really. Yet, in the human mind, this seems sensible. Like something we not only deserve to do, but should demand of our God. As if He has any obligation to bless the work of man's hands.
No, I'm clinging to the truth that He will bless what is in His will. He will further His kingdom according to His perfect plan. All I ask is He allow me to come along. To follow Him and join in the work He is doing. Whatever it looks like. Whether anyone else ever sees the work of my hands, or if it is in obscurity. Because nothing is unseen to God, and He is the audience I crave.
What will that look like in my life? Sweetness. Perfect submission. Not a five year plan and a perfect business model, but obedience that spells out the next step of working out my salvation. Of following hard after God. Of a commitment that will work harder than I've ever worked, persevere at a level I've never gone, and love deeper than I ever thought I could.
And, of a life that has the gospel permeating every step. Of sharing the gospel through a peaceful life that is curious to a hurried world. Of a messed up, unpolished person who has the glow of a perfect Savior. A simple one who confounds the wise. One who has received grace, and extends that grace to others.