When it rains, it pours.

20 Apr

The past week and a half have been ridiculously busy. Mostly because we got a new dog who isn’t completely potty-trained but also partly because I have had dinner dates, church functions, and job interviews to attend.

Without going into all of the boring details, I will just say that there have been several days with things that have gone wrong, taken forever, been frustrating, or days that just seem so jam-packed with stuff to do that I don’t see how it will all get done. When I am not being anxious or angry, I am actually sort of excited about all the stuff going on, the trials, the challenges, and the anxiety because it has allowed me to put my theories about the Christian life and walking with God to the test. Kind of like, how do they withstand trials and struggles?

Well, I’m happy to say that the truths are true. They’re just impossible for me to practically follow. It’s amazing how in the times when everything is going fairly smoothly and I’m happy and peaceful, trusting in God seems easy and I feel like I am actually doing it. But when the road gets rough and things start to fall apart, that’s when I stop trusting God. The times when I need God most are the times that I turn from Him. Does that make ANY sense at all?

This is what I wrote in my journal this past Sunday morning: “I’ve been saying lately that the Christian life is simple and yet impossible. Trusting God for everything–validation, security, comfort, provision, identity, etc.–is where we find joy and peace, yet it is the hardest thing for humans to do!

“Upon first thought, it seemed like God had designed us to be completely incapable of being good and relying upon Him, even though the result was more sin on our part. Is God more concerned with our reliance upon Him than our sanctification? Verses like 1 Thess. 4:3 seemed to contradict that.

“Then I thought of Jesus, who was holy and perfectly dependent on the Father. So reliance on God is God’s way of sanctifying us. It is only as we rely on God that we become holy. Relying on God and being sanctified are one in the same thing.

“All of our sins are failures to rely on God–to find everything we desire and long for in Him.”

The Christian life is really so simple. We walk through every day in communion with God as we trust His sovereignty and wisdom, His goodness to us in all circumstances, and accept everything from His hand. But that is definitely easier said than done!

Last Thursday morning, I was at my breaking point. Charlie had peed inside the house AGAIN, I was frustrated and impatient with her constant need for attention and decision to get up at 6 am every morning, I had another interview that afternoon (which I was dreaded since the one I had had on Tuesday went horribly), and I had another full day ahead of me. I felt pulled in a hundred different directions, with no time for me or rest or reading or fun. I was ready to blow a gasket and was wondering, “Didn’t God say that He provided grace in the time of need? Well, I need grace. I’m asking for grace. But I don’t feel Him providing it because I am just barely making it through today.”

During my coffee time with my friend Cathy, I asked her what God’s practical provision of grace looks like. I explained to her my situation and on the verge of tears, told her that I didn’t feel God’s grace because I just wanted to crawl back into bed every morning. She told me that just the fact that I haven’t thrown in the towel, haven’t crawled back into bed and abandoned my responsibility is God’s strength to me. Just like in exercise, we have to burden our bodies with almost more than we think we can handle in order to grow stronger. You don’t grow stronger by lifting manageable weights.

As soon as she said that, the tears started falling. I felt God saying to me, “I am growing you through this.” I felt burdened beyond my strength but I hadn’t given up. The next day, I read this in Elisabeth Elliot’s Keep a Quiet Heart from Lamentations 3, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.” I am humbled once again by how quick I am to accuse God of abandoning me when He has been carrying me through the trials of my life.

As much as I have struggled with being busy, I do see the Lord’s mercies to me in this season. I just found out yesterday that I got a job as a Marketing Communications Copy Editor! (Praise the Lord for His provision!) So those early mornings with Charlie? Preparation for going back to work. Having a lot to accomplish in one day? Preparation for having a full-time job again. God is slowly easing me back into the working world, one trial at a time.

I am so utterly grateful to God that even though I continue to doubt Him and question His ways, He continues to give me grace, insight, and understanding sufficient to continue on in faith. My impatience and anger with my dogs this past week have stood in stark contrast to God’s infinite faithfulness, patience, long-suffering, and love toward me. I am so humbled.

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