Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mostly Coasting

This summer I wrote a blog post about running the race of life. I explained that I want my run with Jesus to be a full-on sprint, running my hardest, giving my all. Not saving any strength or energy for the end, but relying on Jesus to give me strength when I have none (which is often). Often the analogy for this race involves arriving at the end utterly spent, having done and given everything, not capable of running a moment more and that's when you reach the end of the road. But I said I don't want that, because if I arrive at the end of this journey fully spent, then I'm still relying in my own strength, in my own understanding. I want it to be a roller coaster ride. Up, down, around, speeding in towards Jesus on His strength, not my own.

And this morning, I had a moment of realization...I don't want to run anymore. I'm ready to coast.

Not coasting like sailing by easily doing as little work as possible. Coasting like when you're flying down a hill on your bike, lifting your hands and feet from pedals and handlebars. Wind rushing through your outstretched fingers, whipping through your hair flying like a cloak behind you.

I'm ready to stop running, to stop relying on my own strength at all, to surrender completely to God, and ride the roller coaster.

It's no normal roller coaster, because the rails are invisible. There are ups and downs, and sometimes it just feels like we're falling. Those moments when your stomach drops and it feels like you're speeding down with nothing to stop you, nothing to catch you.

Sometimes it's hard to trust, hard to rely. It feels like there is nothing catching you, because the rails don't seem to be there and the feeling of falling is so real. But it is, He is. And slowly you start to realize that in those moments it felt like falling, when everything seemed dark, like your world was coming apart bit by bit, person by person, you were never falling. You were never alone.

And so slowly you learn to rest, rely, trust, abide. Even when you can't see Him, when it feels like He isn't there, God never leaves. And when you're surrounded in pitch blackness, your world is plummeting down, you can know and believe that He is always there, He never leaves your side.

I'm ready to just ride the roller coaster, resting fully in Jesus' strength, trusting Him through ups and downs, swirling around and upside-down, speeding on towards home.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Faultless Faithfulness for Flawed, Fickle Me

Man. God is so faithful, and I am so broken, and He is so incredible.

Seriously, though. I am one of the most fickle, unfaithful people ever. For all my talk of wanting to trust God unconditionally, for the literally hundreds of times He has shown me my need to surrender to Him, to abide in Him, I still lean on my self. I still try to do things myself.

I pray, I plead, I beg, then I barter, I try to make deals, and finally I just try to do it myself, without really giving God the chance to do anything.

But God is so good to be faithful and always answer prayers. It's amazing. He is so loving, so good, so kind, so compassionate, so merciful, so graceful. And me? I'm so broken, so messy, and so blessed to be shown it again and again so I can continue to see the amazing nature of God's unconditional love.

God really showed me that today, my astounding lack of faith in His plan and power.

On Tuesday I finally had a little free time and was able to call my mom. We talked about life for a bit, and then she told me some not super thrilling news.

My dad works for a very small construction company, of which he is the Construction Project Manager. It doesn't pay super well since it's a small company that isn't doing too well at the moment, but it's enough to scrape by, until now. As one of the managers he has been on a salary, but the company is doing badly enough that he just got moved to an hourly wage, and isn't being called into work very often. In fact, last week, he only worked one day. With a family of eight and a good number of various medical issues, plus insurance, food, and bills, that's a pretty bad situation.

Of course my response was to pray about it, as well as asking a number of friends and my church community to pray as well.

I found myself, however, as people asked me if I'd heard anything, thinking to myself, "of course's too soon for anything to have happened. God doesn't work that fast." Like God works on a schedule or something, like He can only do things over a long period of time, like He can't work miracles or something crazy like that.

And to be perfectly honest, as I was praying about this today, I finally realized I had a lot of doubt. I talked to God about it.

I think my prayer went something vaguely along the lines of, "God. To be honest right now, I know you can do anything. I really do trust that. And I know it, I believe it. But I'm having a hard time thinking you actually will. Believing you actually will. Like I know you can get Dad a job in a second, but I don't expect you to find him one. And I don't know why that is. And I don't want to be that way, but that's where I am right now."

Instead of believing God's good will be positive (by my perception), somehow I assume it will be negative (again by my perceptions as a broken person). Wait...what? Why am I like that?

I've seen God's faithfulness time and time again, yet my fickle little heart still assumes it's all on my shoulders, rather than placing it in god's hands and totally surrendering before even trying to do it myself.

Prayer should be my first step, not my backup plan.

But here's the incredible part: despite my inability to trust, God is still faithful to "meet all your my needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

I called my mom again today (I love getting out of class early and super long walks from the Mass Comm building, aka the ends of the DU earth) and asked her about Dad's job situation and how it was going. And wouldn't ya know? He's got an interview tomorrow! 

I was floored. Astonished. Overjoyed. Astounded at God's awesomeness. How great is our God? 

It's not a forsure job or anything, but it's a really good sign, and totally a God thing too that he got the interview in the first place. 

God is so good, even in my weak, doubting, sinful moments. I'm so thankful for a faithful and loving God, because I am such a mess.