Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Move

"Oh certainly....we'll be out by Tuesday! No problem at all. We've basically moved out now."

"Wednesday by the latest. Just basically stuff in the garage now."

"Thursday noon for sure. Just a couple truck loads."

"All done by Friday! Not a problem."

I felt used and frustrated. I'd moved down to California with the thought that I'd have a house and a job and everything would be great. But God knew that even a year in the Philippines wasn't enough time to teach me complete trust in Him. So, He sent....well.....I guess I won't mention names :)

As it turns out, I had neither house nor job for the first week of my life in California. Now that may not seem long to you, but for someone who thrives on lists and planning and getting organized, it was a near eternity.

My car was a disaster with miscellaneous household items, sleeping bags, and suitcases, all my things were in boxes stored in the shed, and I had no where to sleep.

For some moments I felt nearly frantic!

Allie does not live like this - disorganized meandering with things strewn hither and thither throughout the land! I like things to work according to schedule and to be done in a timely fashion.

And I thought I had learned to let God do things in His own time while I was in the Philippines!

But, apparently.....not.

Again the words of my favorite hymn played throughout the days of apparent chaos and uncertainty:

"Father, lead me day by day
Ever in Thine Own sweet way.
Teach me to be pure and True;
Show me what I ought to do!"
~Hymn 482

And so I wait, asking God each day for complete trust in Him - and that the restful, calm, and pliant spirit of a humble servant might be developed in me.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

White as Snow

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7
I looked out of the window and down 20,000 feet. The sharp edges of mountains, softened by a blanket of snow, slowly slipped beneath me. Where normally there would be the texture of streams and trees to define the landscape, now there were only hazy outlines, sometimes only flat snow miles with nothing visible to break the smoothness. All was covered. 
What does God see when He looks at me? I know what scars the landscape: unsightly tangles where I’ve tried to work it out on my own, deep gorges with things hidden in the depths, sharp edges that I am too weak to soften. 
Purge me! Oh wash me, Lord! I cannot be clean, I cannot stand in your presence!
And then the Father steps forward.
“No child, you cannot. But I am not looking at you, I am looking at my Son. He is spotless, and white, and perfect and He wants to give it to you. He has prayed for you, He has given you my word, He has claimed you as not of the world. And He’s asked that when I look at you, I look at you through Him.
So I do not see these things of which you speak. I see only my Son because you have claimed Him.”
And as we look, the gorges fill, the sharp edges are covered, and the tangles smooth under the blood of Christ. No longer can we see the disfigured landscape. Its white and smooth. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

God's Will

“Father, what now?” I asked quietly in the quiet of my bedroom. 
No voice, no clap of thunder, no inspirational Bible text.
I waited.
That evening, talking to my mother, I reflected as I had many times before of the blessing of having godly parents. I firmly believe that God has spoken through them more times than I can count. “Move forward with prayer,” she said, “and know that God will open and close doors as He sees fit.”
At some points during my life, I’ve believed that God had only one specific plan for your life and that if you missed that plan it was too bad for you. I still believe that, but with a different twist. 
You see, I thought that God had one occupation, one place to live, one church you were supposed to go to, one outreach opportunity in which you should flourish. (I am not sure where I got this idea because it wasn’t necessarily from my parents!) 
When people talked about “knowing God’s will” it was vaguely unnerving. What if I missed it? What then? Was I rushing down God’s emergency back-up plan for people-who-fail-to-figure-it-out?
I sat in my bedroom a few weeks after returning from my year overseas and contemplated my next steps. Opportunities swirled dizzily around me. Which one is God’s will?
“Move forward with prayer and know that God will open and close doors as He sees fit.”
No voice, no clap of thunder, no inspirational Bible text. Yet now I know. God does only have one specific plan for your life:
It is to reflect Him.
If we miss this, we will have missed God’s will.
Its not where you live, your church, your occupation but who you are as a reflection of Him. If we wholly desire to be a reflection of Him our church, our occupation, and where we live will reflect Him as well.And that is God’s will for your life. 
“Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him; and he shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth they righteousness as the light.” Psalm 37:4-6