I have one more good reason to take my rigid claws off of the good things that the Lord wants for me to have. Even with good gifts, if you beat yourself up and everyone else around you on the journey there, then by the time you reach it you have beaten up and tired people. You have no smiles and no giggles. You have resentment and mistrust.
I have said before that there are good biblical things that I want for myself and my home. I believe that the Lord desires them for my home. I have time right now to think through what I want for it to look and feel like at some of these milestones. Mostly, I want for joy to be present. I want for my husband to say, “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all (Proverbs 31:29, NRSV).” Stay with me here.
You know when you get a glimpse of a really good thing for your future? It might be something that God actually has in store for you. Example: God wants for my family to be in church. What if I was a woman who’s husband did not want to do this? The end is that God wants this man in His house.
As a wife, I know this, so what would I do about it? I have a choice. I can drag his beaten and harassed, barely breathing body to the front door of the sanctuary in his best business casual, or I could pray. I could let God weigh every thought of action that I have and conform it to His. I could let no discouraging or judgmental word fall from my lips. I could demonstrate only the love and desire of the Father as I daily offered an example of obedience by going to church and living in community.
Ok, so shake your heads (do it righteously for me). We all know this, right? Ok, so what about when your husband is wrong about a family issue. What is our choice then? Do we hold him accountable lovingly and biblically, or do we make him wish that he was as smart as we are because we can interpret the Holy Spirit in his life? Lots of women want their husbands to pray and read scripture more. Do you force this issue until he runs away from you and your bible? How about children? They make mistakes. They cannot see the future clearly. Maybe we shame our children until they no longer feel safe in our homes. Perhaps we let them see how much we disapprove of their father when he is wrong about something, or maybe he is right and we just don’t like it. Let me say one word, “money”.
I have come to see in the last few weeks how crucial “the process” is. It is the welfare of the souls and spirits of those around us by the time we reach our milestones that matters. The disagreements and the hurt, are they really worth it? Usually, it is my fear that causes me to lose it in times of uncertainty. I compromise relationships in my desire for security when really my security can be found in the health of my relationships.
Is there anything that Jesus cannot handle when relationships are His primary concern in the entire universe? That was His concern when He offered Himself for me. Relationship. He could have done all of those cool things from heaven, but no, he did them while walking through towns and homes. We have such a responsibility to nurture and love each other. We have to be the people who say, “WE will get through this. I am on your team, sink or swim.” Those words that we offer to our families and friends count more than any gift that we receive. Meaning these words means even more. You know what I am saying.
Most of the things that I think would fit perfectly in my pre-fabricated world, never reach my hands. The Lord has given me more. He has blessed me beyond comprehension. It is the moments when I am not feeling well, when I am sad and disappointed, when I am scared and unsure; those are the marks of my heart. These show me who I really am.
Have you ever gone through a situation and thought, “Wow, I can’t believe that I could handle that. I see where Jesus is working in my life”? Then there are times that demonstrate just how far we have to go. These moments tell us everything that we need to know. Jesus waits for the word of kindness, for the confession, for the forgiveness before He gives us another inch to the milestone. It is His to give and He is a heart guy. This does mean that the process is more important than the outcome. Complete obedience is important, and sometimes it is an absolute immediate decision. If so, skip to the prayer. A lot of times, it is a series of heart “yes”. These are when we prove our love for Him, our choice for Him.
Newsflash, in case you are stuck on the gift part; these blessings will not look the way that we want them to look. They will not be in our time frame. They will surprise us and derail us. They will take more and be more than we have in our composition. This should be our expectation. These are the milestones, the outcomes, which only lead to more milestones and outcomes. These are what we do not hang our hat on. You may know that we are headed in a direction, but don’t try to define it too much. You will only laugh at yourself later. Think of that next gentle word. Think of that next kind act. Let these be our focus and keep your eyes on Jesus’ face, not His hands.
Lord, thank you so much for your insistence on our “yes” heart. Let us see your face as we go through difficult times. Let us know your will so that we can prove our love and devotion to you. Make us focus on the process and not the outcome.