All my devotionals are telling me that this is a time for self-control, spine-straightening, and steadiness. No surprise then that those concepts feel to me in this season like castor oil and I’m the child who will not open her mouth. I know enough to know that my will does not always lead to contentment; on the contrary, I learn over and over that God really does know better. He is for me, and he wants my straight path for my happy and abundant life. Still, it’s a broken world and the road from my will to his is never without suffering. I know peace will come just past the point of my reluctance. Still, I persist.
Experience has taught me in times like this to ask for a change of heart and mind, even when I don’t feel like it. Like, ‘take these empty, half-hearted words and help me mean them’ or ‘take the tattered flowers I throw at you and make them a garden’. It works. Yet, here I am, unwilling to close doors shut and start looking for windows. I wonder why. I know better than this.
I have a clenched fist that needs to be an open hand. I know the minute my fingers uncurl and I let something fly away, something good will take its place, even if I can’t see it right away. Until then, I need God to wrap himself around me until my thoughts bend and change their color. My mind and all of my experience lead me to this truth, but somewhere deep within me (the most childish part, I guess) is saying… ‘but can’t I just get my way, anyway? Can’t I have one moment of reckoning before I close the door?’
I ask this question honestly, even though I can guess at the answer, and it makes me sad like the young, rich man who walked away from Jesus that time. I don’t wish to walk away from him, and I can’t. I need him like I need breath, so what now?
When I offer God all of my needs and imperfections, even my ugly stubborn streak, I can depend on him making something good out of it. Red to white, anger to calm, death to life. I’ve seen him do it before and I need him to do it again. But not yet.