Thad and I took a long drive last night-he drove and I got to enjoy the scenery. We listened to the radio and every few miles, I made him pull over so I could take a few pictures. We talked in a circle about ministry, the church, the dog, the kids, and the ministry some more. The more we talked, the more pictures I took. I was snapping away when he finally had had enough.
“What’s your deal?”, he asked. That was the wrong question.
“I’m trying to really love this place you brought us to.”, I snapped at him. That was the wrong answer.
Those few words opened the flood gates of frustration-on both parts. Just when I thought I was reaching my own “promised land” of contentment, I realized that I still have acres of hard, dry land to walk…or crawl. The method of getting there is still up to me, I think.
Contentment is a funny thing to grasp. I am very content with our home, our neighbors, my Wal-Mart (Ok, that’s not really true, but I’m trying.), the library, the dog. I am loving my community.
But I am still as lost as lost can be when it comes to our “call” here. I try not think about the details of our ministry because I don’t understand it all. I try not to imagine our life within the safe walls of an established church building because it makes my heart hurt. I wish the Lord could just show me a few mile markers down the road so that I would know whether to run or slow my pace to a crawl.
I’ve been reading One in a Million, by Priscilla Shirer and one sentence jumped out at me, so I backed up and reread the sentences that preceded the one that caught my eye.
” Your job as a much loved, highly treasured child of God is simply to yield to the wilderness because it’s often only in the wilderness where our runaway desires can finally be boiled down to this: One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple. (Ps. 27:4). The wilderness is God’s way of making us want the only thing that’s really worth having.
And the part I really liked: “The wilderness, my friend, is worth it.”
The wilderness is bearable, even welcomed some days, but letting go of my runaway desires is the part that causes me to stumble. And those desires are the very things that are keeping me in this tough spot.
It is high time to start letting go of all of the “what ifs” and embrace what may be. I have a long road ahead of me-please pray!
As we go into the weekend, I encourage you to search your own heart and begin the hard work of releasing all those things that keep you from embracing the life the Lord is trying so hard to give you. I’m praing for you.