As Anton Ego put it in the movie Ratatouille, "... you know what I'm craving? A little perspective. That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?"
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
iPray eVotionals exhorts those who pray. It's the glass of water held out around each month's turn for the runners who can use a quick and easy quench in order to finish strong.
Approx. reading time: 7 - 10 minutes
For the past two weeks I have been trying to put into words what God is doing in my heart. After thousands of words on a number of documents I decided I couldn't capture it. Today Ifinally said, "I give up."
Have you ever given up? Just threw in the towel? Lost hope?
I started to raise the white flag when God reminded me of a story from my past.
Imagine looking down at your wedding ring and the largest diamond was missing! That is just what happened in February of 2010 as I was dropping my son Frederick off at school. I looked down and it was gone, prong and all. My heart skipped a beat! I had to look away and then back again to make sure I was actually witnessing that giant void! I certainly was. Where could it be? Shock set in.
When I got home I went straight to my room thinking maybe it came off while I was sleeping. Stripping the bed I realized how impossible this task seemed to be. With all the millions of places it could have fallen, to spot that little guy in all the space of our world just seemed impossible. It would be like finding a needle in a haystack. A diamond in the rough.
"God, how on earth am I going to find this?" I asked as I sat down on my bed. "You know where it is, you can see it right now. But to me it seems impossible for it to just 'show up'". As the words were still on my lips I looked down and saw a little something on the ground.
A flicker of hope stirred my heart. I reached down and picked up a little fake diamond from one of my daughter's rings. Big sigh! A wanna-be diamond with no value at all. How ironic. "You do have a sense of humor, Lord." I placed it in the palm of my hand and spoke as if it had ears, "I've never seen you before." It could have been vacuumed, thrown away or in a corner somewhere but instead it was right there in plain view for me to discover at that exact moment.
I sensed God speaking to my heart, "Nothing is impossible for me. Your true diamond will be found."
"I won't give up hope," I said out loud, "I'll keep searching."
At first I was on a quest! Not a frantic one, but a diligent one! A pursuit in finding what God says is findable. But after exhausting all possible hide outs I found myself shifting, like the hunt was ending. Maybe I would just stumble upon it one day, hopefully before it is replaced.
Hope has a way of fading doesn't it? I mean I can anticipate, trust, expect and even wish for something unseen like a lost diamond, a certain job or a restored relationship. I can be optimistic, dream, desire and even plan for when the time might arrive... as soon as I find that ring... when I write that book... as soon as I am sanctified. But hope dwindles fast when the dreadful combination of time and human impossibility comes together. I am a woman of faith, right?Yet my time, devotion and focus can wander off. There are areas in my life where I settle for counterfeit identities and forget the promise of royalty that comes with being a child of the most high king. My lack of patience in seeing a promise fulfilled holds my faith captive again and again. My expectation of a diamond revealed turned into a not so optimistic plan to replace.
I was becoming okay with replacing my diamond when my doubt came face to face with God's timing. On a Sunday morning I reached into my cupboard for a small egg-making frying pan. Right next to the pile of pans, with the prongs still on it, was my wedding ring diamond! I immediately remembered God's promise that my true diamond would be found, "Thank you thank you thank you Lord!"
Poof! It was the same sensation you get when a good magician makes something disappear on stage. All doubt and despair that had crept in vanished! It was replaced with the realization that even with a promise I had slipped into trusting more in the seen and less on what is unseen. I was yet again humbled at how fast I could question what should be certain. I can doubt, fear and even plan for the worse.
Abraham tucked God's promise in his heart that from his line would come a Redeemer, a Messiah that would ultimately bless all nations on the earth. How many thousands of generations passed until Jesus walked the earth? The Israelites had to be reminded again and again. God's promises are real. Maybe that wanna-be diamond held no value, but the promise that came with it did. Do I trust all of God's promises or just some? Do I grow weary in the promises that are long-coming? Do I live in a way, everyday, that mirrors my trust and my faith?
We have a choice to resist the doubt urge, to lean not on our own limited understanding. We have a choice to live with HOPE. I was told once to never be afraid of an unknown future to a known God.
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:18
Protecting my HOPE
I slipped the ring back on my finger. It looked new, like the day I first saw it. I asked the jeweler how much it would have been to replace the diamond. Thousands of dollars he said. I asked how I could be sure this would not happen again? He told me to get the prongs checked regularly. There was a crack in the base that could have been found and fixed months ago.
To this day I never really feel like going to get the prongs checked. My ring looks fine and feels fine but a check up with the jeweler would have saved me the heartache of loosing it in the first place. The only way to make it a habit is to do it regularly. It was not suggested to me for my pain, discomfort or to annoy me. It was for my good; to save me from the consequences of a diamond falling off it's ring. After a check up, it is cleaned and comes back to me like new. I'm always happy I did it.
There is a Jeweler of life that I need to be in check with. He knows what is best. He blesses me with all kinds of diamonds and instructs me on how to care for them. But I don't always feel like following those instructions. I'm not alone in this, am I? God's ways are not always our ways, are they? We do not know our rings better than God. He sees the past, present and future. He knows what is best for us; what is for our ultimate good. He did not give us guidelines on how to live and commandments to obey for our pain, discomfort or to annoy us. Although sometimes our limited minds perceive it that way.
Check your life-prongs with the expert life-jeweler! That is the only way we know for sure if we have a strong and stable connection. The only way cracks in the base are fixed before disaster strikes. It keeps our connection with God in working order.
I want to have all the right words, to have constant clarity and perfect imagery of what God is doing in my life. Today, when I felt like my diamond gift was lost, I remembered God's faithfulness and my hope was restored.
iPray you will not give up or throw in the towel.
iPray that you will trust that God has hold of all your diamonds and in His timing they will be found.
iPray you will check in regularly to assure a strong God-connection.
iPray that God will remind you of lessons from the past where he has been faithful and fulfilled all His promises.