Well, howdy. It’s been a long time. I dare say eons. I’ve been gone for many reasons, but it all boils down to one. An excuse, really. Fear.
Fear of unfulfilled promises. Fear of unanswered prayers. Fear of failing. Fear of giving up. Fear that I’ve been going in the wrong direction and somehow didn’t have a clue. Fear that nothing is turning out the way I planned or intended.
Like most of you, I had my life all mapped out. Or so I thought. In my little boat called Pride, which ironically only comes with one oar. And for those who are marine minded, you know that paddling a boat with one oar will only move you in circles. Maddening circles.
Here you are putting in all this effort, burning nine million calories, and you’ve gone nowhere. But in certain seasons, that’s what life can be like. And what’s even more maddening is that God will allow you to paddle in circles for a while.
He’ll even sit in the doggone boat with you. He’ll offer you an extra oar. Offer to help paddle – with the extra oar. Offer to take over so that you can rest. Offer to put a motor on the thing so you don’t have to move a muscle. And your response every time: “Nah, I got it.” With your one oar and a hint of agitation.
And then you look up and realize that the shore, and you, have remained stagnant. Moving exactly nowhere. And that realization can be both a fearful and humbling epiphany.
You suddenly comprehend that in order to move forward, you have to let go. Not just of assumptions or expectations of what you thought life would be like. But you also have to relinquish control.
But what no one tells you is that in order to lose control, something has to die. And that something is usually you. Your ways, your thoughts, your preconceived notions, your one-way prayers, your ego, and all those beautifully mapped out plans.
This process of death smothered my pride, and rather than feeling free I felt stifled. I wanted what I wanted, and watching my own desires die threatened to kill the faith I thought was so indestructible. Because when the plans you’ve made for yourself fail, it can alter how you perceive the love of Christ – even if He’s not the one who made them.
Despite how clearly I can see my hand instead of His in hindsight, when you’re in the midst of heavenly anger and doubt, pride never points the finger back at itself. But God never minds your pointing the finger at Him. Because acknowledging His presence, even in anger and frustration, leaves you open to His love.
I usually close these things with something super uplifting and happy. But this story isn’t over yet. I have yet to reach the other side of my anger and frustration. I’ve yet to really hand over control, even though I know the illusion of freedom it can create. But I know it’s coming.
When I get to the other side, I’ll write something cute and corny then. My hope is not crushed and Jesus still sits on the throne. So there’s that 😉
Until next time (and hopefully not months from now)!