God does this thing where He uses the most stressful moments in my day to show me just how much I need Him, what I very seriously need to work on, and in what areas I clearly need to let go and switch seats, so that I’m the co-pilot and He’s where He’s supposed to be.
Yesterday was a bit rough, which I think is rather silly since classes were canceled due to the “blizzard” that we were supposed to get. Snow in New York City is still an interesting sort of thing to me. In the Shire, 7-10 inches of snow would’ve been nothing, nobody would’ve changed anything; no classes would’ve been canceled, no transits would’ve been closed, no travel would’ve been postponed. But here, there’s nowhere to put any of it! It pretty much stays where it is, or people who are parked on the streets have one heck of a time trying to get to their cars 😛
Anyway, I spent yesterday morning skyping with Julie and talking some things through with her. It was so refreshing to see the face of someone from the Shire, especially hers 🙂
I’ve read through 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings, and now I’m digging into 1 Chronicles. I love how the Bible is connected and whole in itself, and how perceived contradictions are always worked out within its pages. The book of 1 Chronicles, I’m finding, is another account of David’s reign as king along with Solomon, I would imagine, but I’m not sure. I haven’t gotten completely through it yet 😛 The beginning of this book is the genealogical presentation of the tribes of Israel. I have to admit that this was hard for me to move through, only because I hadn’t yet taken the time to dig through all of the names and connect them. Of course, then I realized that there’s a commentary outline of the genealogies in the study part of my Bible.
Ahem. Anyway. After the genealogies, the author jumps into David’s anointing and describing his Mighty Men. The way these men are described, how many there were, and how they all banded together to help David is amazing 😀 The BEST part, however, is in chapter 12, verse 22, which says, “For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God.”
Like an army of God.
I’m going to take that as “there’s absolutely no way you can fail.”
One commentary says, “David did not have to seek these warriors; God was strengthening him.” God was strengthening him 😀 So, the gathering of all of these men of war, who were indeed very much prepared for war, bringing weapons and family and skills to help David in whatever way they could, “with singleness of purpose” (v.33, 39-40), was all a God thing. God was behind all of it.
So David had every reason to say “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love” (Psalm 59:16-17) 🙂
I spent the rest of the day doing homework and talking to God. Something was in the way though. I was growing impatient and frustrated and I couldn’t figure out what was on my heart that I wasn’t letting Him dig out and replace with His truth. I kept wanting to talk to my mom, but at the moment I couldn’t reach her for different reasons. I talk to her about everything (EVERYTHING), and she’s often the soundboard for a lot of my fears, not always giving me answers but always listening and telling me when I’m being a doofus head, and most times God uses her to thwap me upside the head and say “Hunter, look at Me.” Sometimes we just need a thwap in the head…I tend to need them on a regular basis, but God is good with knowing how to be gentle and when to be gentle and then when to be firm and stern and severe with me; He’s the Master in the art of knowing what I need when I need it, not being swayed by what I want and not being delayed or rushed by when I want it.
Eventually, when the day was finally coming to a close, I went to bed, couldn’t sleep, and I finally realized what the problem was: I’d forgotten that God knows me best.
Now, I know that I say this a lot, that God knows us inside and out, better than any human being ever will, and no matter how much time we spend with someone, they’ll never know us better than God does. But I had somehow forgotten that part of this truth is applying it, ergo, talking to God. How often did David, Asaph, and Korah come to God, afraid, frustrated, and uncertain, boldly and articulately and desperately pouring out their hearts to Him? Well, a lot.
I sighed and stared at the ceiling. And there we go.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether…For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb, I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you…” (Psalm 139:1-4, 13-18, ESV)
So, though my mom is wonderful, and God blesses me with her all the time, God is the One who really knows my heart, and I hadn’t realized that I’d been putting so much dependence on talking to her and other women about my heart that I’d forgotten how able He is to heal me and make me focus and remind me of how loved I am. Of course He already knows what I’m going to say, and He knew what would be on my heart today long before I was born. But if what His word says is true, then He wants me to talk to Him about what I’m afraid of, to inquire of Him, because He can do something about it. Of course He wants to hear my thoughts, my fears, my “what ifs,” my ridiculous perspectives. He wants to push me to be a better warrior, a stronger soldier, have more respect for Him and His children, walk in dignity, excellence, and wisdom, grow in Him and better trust, understand, and know His character. But I can’t do any of this if I’m not dependent on Him.
Therefore, I spent most of the night and this morning telling Him about everything I was afraid of, about all of the things that were floating around in my head that I’d been trying to just ignore. It was equal to having a deep cut in my leg and, instead of treating it, I let it be and ignored it until it became infected. And by the end of my talking to Him (which never really ends), or at least as I ran out of things to say because I’d said everything, His truth was so much clearer, and I was finally able to fight again, and I could easily figure out, through reading His word and talking to Him and writing to Him, where I was weak and where, again, I needed to let Him have control and relinquish the illusion of control I was so desperately holding onto. The focus had been too much on my own fears and my own vulnerability (or lack thereof) that I’d forgotten it’s never been about me, that it all comes back to who He is.
While there’s still a lot of fears to sort through, and while there’s no doubt some of them will come back and I’ll have to fight them again, and a lot of time still having to be spent talking to Him about everything, again, it’s okay, because He’s never leaving, and it’s in talking to Him and being in communion with Him that He puts my eyes less on who I am, less on who other people are, less on my enemy and on my faults and weaknesses, and more on Him, on His character, on who He is, on what He’s done, on what He plans on doing, on how much bigger He is and more powerful He is than my fears.
This upcoming weekend, all the College & Career people are going skiing. I will not be doing so, for a number of reasons. Instead, I’ll be babysitting Sam and Maria’s kids with Jenny and then spending the rest of the weekend with her 🙂 Friday I have a skype date with Jacob 😀 and then next week classes start over again, and another adventure begins.
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph.” —Psalm 77:11-15, ESV