March 11, 2010

Following After the Lord

Today is another beautiful Spring day here in sunny Arizona. The weather is supposed to be delightful (near 70), but I am still wearing jeans and a sweater (chilly am). We are getting ready to head out to our Orthodontist for the BIG REVEAL (my son is getting his braces off today!) I have a camera, though I have promised NOT to take any pictures until after we get home (well, after all he is 16.5 -- makes sense, right?)

Last night, I had a good night at AWANA. I love AWANA. I love working with the little children, especially reading to them and teaching them to memorize Scripture. I just love it when they tell me their little stories--each so important to them. I love them because they are so innocent and sweet (yes, even when the little boys are being so "little boyish!") I love them and love the fact that I get to spend time each week working with them, and demonstrating God's love to them. PTL!

On a related note (not thinking cello, but that was a good lead in...) I have finally gotten the "plans" worked out regarding my present situation. It has taken me some time to put all the ducks into their rows (you know ducks, they tend to waddle out of place when you are not paying attention to them). I believe that the Lord is calling me to move north, back to Illinois. I grew up here, and have wanted to return for some time now. I haven't really had a reason to do so, given that my parents and parents-in-law retired to AZ. Now, however, I am in a different situation, and am more free to follow after the Lord's leading. I have known that we will go at "some point" but have not known when. It has been "soon," as often it is with the Lord and His timing. Now, I know that it is "very soon," yet there is a catch, a caveat, a reason for the delay.

I have been seeking full-time work since before Christmas. My web design business was closed down (thank you, Jesus) and with my marital situation in such chaos, I honestly didn't know what to do. Going back to work made good sense. I mean, after all, if I am going to be a single Mom, then I have to work, right? The problem was that the Lord had clearly instructed me on what I was to do, plan wise, and that was to continue to home school my 11th grader, AND return to graduate school to work on my MA in English Literature (the goal being a teacher). Working full-time, then, didn't seem to make any sense at all.

Unfortunately, to everyone else...working made proper sense. I have been inundated with suggestions on work. I have applied to a number of jobs, all at the Lord's guidance, but none of them have come to pass (not even a word). So today, after another consultation with the Lord, He revealed His plan to me. He had told me previously that I would "do no work." He does that, you know. He will tell you something and you think "Ok, I get it." Then, you don't get it. It doesn't make sense. The reason becomes clear after some time -- you take His Word literally, which is a good thing in most cases (like taking the WORD literally). However, you must remember that sometimes His Word means something different, something that only He truly knows. We use our flawed and faulty logic to try and figure Him out, to parse His Words. Most of the time, if we sit and reflect, His Word becomes clear to us. We need to make sure we take the time to understand EXACTLY what He is telling us to do -- and not run off "half-cocked".

I am guilty of doing that all the time. I have applied to graduate school about four times (over the last 16 years). The timing, His timing, was not set for me to do this. I felt His pull towards it, I believed it was His will, but the timing was not set for me. It is now, and everything is working as it should. The problem was that I received His Word to me, and I jumped to conclusions thinking it was NOW, when in reality it was "soon." Remember that a day is like a thousand years to our Lord, so "soon" can mean a lot of different things. You have to ask Him to clarify and tell you if soon is now or three months or three years. God lives outside our time and space, yet He functions and intervenes within it. You need to know if His time is in our space or in His. If it is in ours, then it is a literal time like today or tomorrow or January 25, 2012. If it is within His time, then it is fluid and can mean many things like "when you are ready to accept this" or "when the resources become available" or "when you are prepared (like through a course of study or degree)". The issue at point -- make sure you clearly know what God is saying and that you have a firm understanding of His time frame.

I digress. It was this way with me. I was fixed on literal time, yet I knew that what the Lord was asking of me required His moving in my life. I simply could not bring about His will through my own efforts. I was "stuck in time" so to speak. I was ready to go, but didn't have the resources. I knew where I was to go, but not when. It has been a frustrating couple of months, but in hindsight, I realize that there was a certain amount of "acceptance" that needed to be agreed upon before things would change for me.

I have blogged about this before, that we often agree with the Lord's will without really accepting it. It is just like folks who agree with Jesus -- they believe (as the demons do -- quoting Scripture) in their heads. The acknowledge Jesus as Lord. The problem is that they don't accept Him as their Lord. It is a mental agreement (Yes, that makes sense), but not a heart acceptance of the truth of the matter. Mental ascent will not reward you with Salvation from your sin. It will simply place you in that latter category of being told "Depart from me, I never knew thee." Heart acceptance means that we not only acknowledge the truth, but we are willing to accept it completely. In my case, going through separation is a similar situation. Counselors will say that until you accept the truth that you to be separated or divorced, you cannot move on. It is as if everything comes to a stop and you are stuck. You cannot be healed completely, you cannot be restored. You cannot let go of your anger, your hurt or your resentment. Acceptance is the only way to let the healing of God flow into your life. It begins the restoration process, and begins to move you into the "river of His will." You are moved into position whereby the Holy Spirit of God can move you, can change you, can heal you, can help you. Until you accept the truth, you will remain stuck, like Lot's wife -- stuck as a statue.

Well, gotta run and get to our appointment. I will blog more later, but for now, I am rejoicing because I am no longer stuck. I am right in the river of His will and the water is moving all around me. It is like floating down a lazy river -- you just float while the current (God's will) takes you where it (He) wants you to go. Praising God this morning for He is so Good to me!

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