December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve!

Well, I have made it to December 24th, and it is a good morning here in cloudy, chilly, and rainy, Phoenix. Yes, the "weather outside is frightful," but inside it is so delightful. I am sitting here at my computer, thinking, pondering, and wondering about the next two weeks, and whether or not I will get my work finished! I had hoped to work all day yesterday on my dissertation (so goes the "best laid plans"), and instead, I ended up taking my Mom out shopping and then wrapping all our family gifts. By last evening, I was spent, literally spent. I ended up crashed out on the bed for the remainder of the evening. I tried my best to get up and to work on my project, but my back ached, and my body simply wanted nothing to do with sitting at my desk for hours on end.

So here I am today, thinking now that I "wasted" a whole day, when in truth, I really didn't waste anything. I chose a different option for the day, that is all. I hate it when my mind begins to play games with me, suggesting to me that I am a "loser or a failure" when the opposite is true. You see, this is my enemy, my enemy the ravenous lion that prowls about seeking lives to devour. While I am not entangled in sinful behavior or pursuits, he desires that I not make progress on this project because it is  God's work and not my own. My enemy is seeking to sabotage me at every turn, and since I am so tired, so worn out, I fall prey far more easily that I would normally do so.

I know what I must do, of course. I know that I must show up for battle in "battle dress" (Eph. 6). And, I know that I must have my head in the game, so to speak, and I must be ready to stand against his libelous and factious charges. I must stand in defense, and frankly, at this point in time, I am simply too tired to do that so I end up taking "one on the chin." Well, it is D-Day almost, and that means I must get down to business. It is Christmas eve, and I still have some shopping to do. What is more, I have to get our dinner from the store for tonight AND tomorrow, and I have little time to do much of anything. In all, this day, at 9:00 a.m. is already shot.

Bits and Pieces

It is a good day, therefore, to focus on the things above since the things below (the here and now) seem completely out of my control. I am struggling to maintain a semblance of control, but frankly, I feel this is such a losing battle. Thus, today, I am committed to faithfully resting in His abilities alone, and to seeking His solution to my mounting problem with time and progress. I know this is all part of His plan, so I must trust the process, and I must let Him drive this proverbial "bus." Lately, I have wanted to set the timeline, the calendar, and in doing so, I have tried very hard to tell Him what to do, when to do it, and even how to do it. As a result, I have suffered greatly. It is not that the Lord has caused me to suffer; rather, it is that He has allowed me to do so. And, His reasoning has been to teach me a life lesson -- always a life lesson -- and that is that I can either do things my way or His way. His way is always best, always best -- I know this is true -- yet, I still refuse to let Him have His way whenever I get slammed, pushed or shoved against the wall.

Today, however, since I am at my breaking point, I have decided to relent -- in everything -- so that I can experience His blessed peace and rest in and through my life. This means that I am giving up control of my dissertation to Him, and I am accepting my failure as leader to that of shortsightedness and inexperience. Yes, I am accepting the fact that I am not able nor ready to be in charge of such a major research project, and that I need help -- His help -- and I need His help now. I know what hangs in the balance, what is at stake, but I also know that in order to meet the deadline, to keep to the timeline, I must let go of this project now. I must let it go, and let the Lord have full control and authority over every single detail. He alone is able to pull this off, and when it does come to pass, all of it, I mean, then He will receive the glory and He will share it with no one else (myself, included). This is what I have asked for, prayed for, assented to, and now I must let Him do what He does best -- show up BIG TIME -- and pull that white rabbit out of the big black magic hat!

I don't mean to sound crass or insincere because this is not my intent. No, I recognize that what I need right now is some pretty pricey "fairy dust" and a whole lot of "happy thoughts" to get me through the next 24-48 hours. I need His truth to reach into the inner recesses of my soul and to set me free. I am held captive by my thoughts, my lingering doubts, and my unwillingness to let things be, and I need to be set free in order to do this work, to simply follow His lead, and to be faithful to His calling in and through my life. He has this all figured out, and I must relent.

Dear Lord Jesus --

I relent this good, good day. I let this go, all of it, the details, the process, the procedure, and the timeline, and I ask you now to take control, take lead, and bring this project through to fulfillment. May this project honor you, and make you receive the praise as a result. I let go now, and I rest in your capabilities and timing. I let all of my worry, fear, and doubt go as well, and I place my full faith and confidence in you and you alone! I ask all this in your matchless, merciful, and mighty name, amen. So be it, thy will be done! Selah!

In Closing

As I close this short blog post, I thank the Lord for His goodness toward me. He alone is worthy, and as such, I can do nothing in my own strength to please Him or to even meet His standard. I must submit my frail and fragile hands, body, mind, and ideas to His glorious plan, and I must accept what He offers me in return -- His peace, His goodness, His grace, and His merciful kindness. He is good to me, so very good to me.

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