Friday, November 25, 2011

If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans

I'm not a list-maker.  I used to be.  But then I started feeling like my life was a checklist, a new list every day with all the same old tasks on it...homework in every subject, and I stopped finding joy in the actual living of it.  I think, instead, I changed out list-making for something more dangerous to my spiritual life...plan-making.  Part of what made it so dangerous was that I didn't even realize I was doing it.

I was sitting with my roommate a couple weeks ago, and she asked me if I had dinner plans.  Of course I did.  I always did.  Because I hate eating alone.  It's a great time to keep in touch with dear friends, but if I'm being honest, that wasn't my first priority.  Yes I know, so selfish.  Then she said, "Oh right, you plan."  "No I don't!" I answered.  "I don't even keep a planner, except for big events!"  She went on to explain that I don't make lists of things to do, but I always have a plan B.  I had already decided what I was going to do if she becomes an RA and I don't or if we both become RAs, or if by the crazy off-chance that I do and she doesn't.  I had already decided how I would handle a crush depending on how he responded to me.

And then I was sitting in OT coloring my pen over itself in a big blob of ink, and I realized that I don't trust God, not really.  I trust Him as my Savior and as Jesus Christ, but I don't trust Him like I would a heavenly father.  I was betrayed by a friend a couple weeks back, and ironically, how I felt then was how I often feel with the God of my heart.  I feel like He's holding out on me, that He doesn't want me to be happy, or that He will only be glorified through my pain.

But through last semester's pain, He showed me that He does know better.  He has a plan of sanctification for me.  He is GOOD.  How many times we sing this in church and space out about the rest of the day...He is good.  Sometimes my pain is the means by which I get to the good end, to the realization that He is good apart from circumstances.

One of my greatest desires is to be a wife.  Maybe it's a desire derived from culture, but for some reason, it seems to be coming from a deeper place.  Wise Christians would tell me not to count on this desire being fulfilled, for God doesn't always gives us what we want.  I know this.  But I also know my heart.  I know that it's easier for me to believe it won't be fulfilled because then I don't have to have faith that it will, and I can kill a longing deep within.  I don't want to live in the future.  And I don't depend on a guy for my happiness--I am happy, utterly blessed, and deeply loved.

Yet I think I need to choose to have faith, to trust, that God is listening.

So here's the deal...I'm not the first one with this problem.  In fact, I share it with the Israelites.  Over and over they couldn't trust God.  They said they knew a better way and denied His holiness, His providence.  Ended up with the wrong king.  I, like the Israelites, have grown weary of not trusting.  I'm tired of misplacing my trust, of putting it into people, and when they let me down, using plan B of detachment.  What if I gave up plan B?  What if I chose to trust first God, and out of my trust for Him, started really trusting people?  I shouldn't trust people not to hurt me because that's not really trust at all. No, instead, I could trust that they're trying their best to love me and just suck at it.  Same of me to them.  The amazing thing is that when they break my trust, God is there waiting for a cry, He's waiting for me to say that life is hard but that His burden is light, His yoke easy.

I know what it's like to be wildly attracted to a man following after God's heart, but do I have the wild abandon it takes to follow a God I can't comprehend, to trust His heart is good?  Herman Melville once said, "The reason the mass of men fear God and at bottom dislike him is because they rather distrust his heart, and fancy him all brain, like a watch."  Ironically, my God is outside of time.

Hear my whisper in the wind, Lord, and grow it into a audacious voice.
Lead me in the way everlasting. I trust you.  I trust.

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