Oh I’m such an incapable human being.
I just have so much to learn. But thankfully God is patient with me.
This morning I woke up, ready to take my sister to her dentist appointment. When I read chapter 9 of Acts this morning, when Saul is blinded on the road to Damascus, converted to the cause of God, I realized how pathetically human I am and how incapable of understanding anything of any importance and ah! I sat back and realized that while reading theological books is a great way to better my mind and grow me in one way, God’s goal for my life isn’t to be smart or to know the history of the origins of Calvinism, but His goal is for me to know Him, to know Him and tell other people about Him…it’s always been about other people, never about books or feelings or smarts (though these things are important), but about people. Oh I feel so silly. So, so, so inexplicably silly.
I drove Gracie to her appointment, sitting in the waiting room with my journal and a pen, writing to God about how silly I am. I thanked Him for writing, for good, wholesome writers who give hope to humanity and inspire good in others, for good pens and strong ink. I thanked Him for rainy days with cups of good coffee and good tea, warm blankets, and nothing to do. I thanked Him for staying with me, for bringing out the best in me, for making me better, especially during a time when I just have so much to learn and so many mistakes to make.
Once Gracie’s appointment was over, I drove her back to school. While we were driving, my heart was stirred to talk to her about her growth in her relationship with God. She’s in that stage where she’s a cool teenager and doesn’t need advice, so I felt like even trying to talk to her about my God was a lost battle.
God: Hunter, you need to talk to her.
Me: About what? If electronics and boys aren’t in my speech then she’s not going to listen.
God: Who knows her better: Me, or you?
I asked her what she thought about first thing in the morning. From that question onward, God led me to talk to her about what it means to be a daughter of the King of Kings. I asked her what she thought of when she thought about a princess. I explained that I was trying to live like a princess, like a lady, like a soldier of God, wearing a tiara and representing Him with passion and love. And at the end of our conversation, I challenged her to do the same, to think about what life would be like if the first thing she thought about in the morning was what it means to be a princess, a daughter of the King.
And the world didn’t fall apart 🙂 The nice thing is God pretty much did all of the talking. He was the One who wanted her to know who she is because of Him…realistically, I had nothing to do with anything, but I feel kind of special to know that He wanted to use me to talk to her 🙂
After I dropped Gracie off and talked to some of my old friends at school, I went to Wal Mart to exchange some things and buy fruit, thinking about the events of the morning all the while. After that I went to the library for an hour or so, reading Knowing God by J.I. Packer and North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell.
Reading Knowing God, I was reminded that God is the initiator in all of this—my relationship with Him, the world, you name it.
“Knowing God is a matter of grace. It is a relationship in which the initiative throughout is with God—as it must be, since God is so completely above us and we have so completely forfeited all claim on His favor by our sins. We do not make friends with God; God makes friends with us, bringing us to know Him by making His love known to us.” —J.I. Packer
I was also reminded of this wonderful bit:
“God does not exist for our comfort or happiness or satisfaction, or to provide us with ‘religious experiences’, as if these were the most interesting and important things in life.”
That hit me right between the eyes. I know that this is true: I know that, in the end, in the everyday and the mundane, none of it is about me, even though my ridiculously fickle humanity seems to be under the unfortunate impression that the world revolves around me, but sometimes I just forget. It’s days like these that make me remember.
I just feel like I’ve been in such a haze! I’ve been so consumed by so much emotional nonsense that I’ve totally missed the point of everything, which is to know and love God, showing His love to others through deliberate obedience to Him and determined application of His truths to my life. Duh!
After reading for so long, I left the library to go meet my friend Alex at Gilligan’s for lunch. We met up, talked about life. I was able to encourage him (I hope) and he was able to remind me that I’m a clumsy, awkward individual. He’s a good friend 🙂 Afterwards, we went to visit his mother at work. I’ve never met her until today, but I’ve talked to her many times over social media, and it was wonderful to finally talk to her face to face 🙂 The three of us sat and talked for some time, and I left feeling encouraged and refreshed.
I picked up Gracie and Jimmy from school, ran them home, then went to pick up my mother from work and to take her to get her passport. We were able to have good conversation, and I continued to learn many things about respecting and loving her.
We spent the rest of the evening doing paperwork, reading things, talking, and spending time together. The four of us (Mom, Gracie, Jimmy, and I) watched the movie Mighty Joe Young. This is one of the few movies during which I sob. This evening I had the opportunity to choose patience over impatience, love over irritation, and excitement over dread, all because I just got out of the way and gave God the responsibility of taking my words away from me when I had nothing good to say, showing me how to love my siblings and my mother the way He would want me to, and pushing me beyond myself into a place I’ve never been before.
It’s amazing what happens when I just let God do what He’s wanted to do in my life all along.
Mom and I ended the night with watching Emma, staring Gwyneth Paltrow. During this, I wrote a letter to Hannah and worked on my novel. Mom fell asleep, eventually waking up some time later and leaving me to go to bed. I watched Emma on my own, my heart warming at the pure, tender romance. It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way towards a story, and it was nice 🙂
I’m learning with surprising quickness what emotions are good and what emotions are bad. God does this thing with my emotions…when I let Him take hold of my heart, when I trust Him to take it forward, I’m able to no longer be afraid of my emotions or of being controlled by my feelings, but my emotions are stabilized and put in the right place, on the right things, given to the right people at the right time. And it’s in this place where I can really feel wonderful, where I can really love and not be afraid, because God is the Keeper of my heart, the Protector of its secrets and its desires, the Stabilizer of every melodrama that tempts me to take it back from Him. He has it, and there’s nothing to snatch it from His hand 🙂
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” —John 10:28, ESV