Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Enough is Enough

I'm not quite sure why it is that children ignore the need to use the bathroom. I suppose they're just so caught up in what they're doing at the time that the hassle of leaving the room and taking care of business is just too much work.

I had an interesting conversation with Miss Kate yesterday about the importance of regular visits to the powder room. It went something like this:

Me: "Avery, I want you to be sure and go potty right away when you feel like you need to go." And, feeling the desperate need to include a consequence I added, "If you keep yourself from going potty, you could get an infection."

Miss Kate: "And?"

Me: "And we'd have to go to the doctor."

Miss Kate: "And?"

Me: "And you'd have to take some medicine to get better."

Miss Kate: "And?"

Me: "And isn't that enough?"

Miss Kate: "Not for me it isn't."

This girl likes her information, and she wants as much as she can get.

Lately we've been praying for several friends and family members who are struggling with illnesses, disease, emotional turmoil, and even death. It's been a season of aching as we carry the burdens of so many to the Lord. Miss Kate's little ears have been perpetually perked up to catch any details that she can. She's fascinated by specifics and asks us to tell her the stories again and again, especially if it involves a child. She wants to see the pictures, learn about the procedures, understand the process. A pat answer is never enough.

Hmmm. Sounds familiar. I've been processing Psalm 46:10 for months now. It's a familiar verse, yet the more I think about it, the more complex it becomes: "Be still and know that I am God . . . ." Upon first glance, I am comforted. I picture the gentle mother lulling her fretting baby, "Hush, my child. Mama's here . . . . "

Yet when I read the words in my New American Standard version, I find that it carries a very different tone: "Cease striving and know that I am God . . . ." I no longer picture the gentle mother. I picture the God of the universe with something that sounds almost -- dare I say it -- like a reprimand: "Stop trying so hard! Don't you know that I and I alone am God?"

And I know it's so. I'm trying too hard. I'm trying too hard to be good, to earn points, to keep my ducks in a row, to keep control of the situation. Like Avery, I'm given a single piece of information: "Trust me, child." And, like Avery, I'm not satisfied. I strive and ask, "And?" What else can I do? What else can I know? How hard can I try? It can't be enough just to trust.

But if I strive against the trusting, where does that leave my faith? I run the risk of living a life that suggests that perhaps God isn't to be trusted, after all. The work He has done, the things that He has promised, the words He has spoken . . . are not enough. I strive. And in so doing, I try to replace God.

This is a terrifying place to be.

I continue with the Psalm to gain some perspective, to get my feet back onto firm ground: "Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth." Do you see it? The confidence? The promise? "I am . . . I will . . . I will . . . ." Our God is not timid or passive. His glory and honor do not depend upon my acknowledgement or upon my trust. They will remain forever regardless of my actions. And I am a fool if I suggest that anything or anyone else deserves such exaltation.

The words of Spurgeon come back to me with a healing affirmation of that which I've always known to be true:

My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know,
but in what Christ is, in what he has done,
and in what He is now doing for me.

His track record is perfect. He is the God of the universe, and His desire is to wildly live and love through my simple little life.

I can cease striving. I can trust. That is enough.
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1 comment:

  1. Lately I've been realizing that our ability to be still and rest is the some of the greatest evidence for the resurrection. Thanks for this, Julianna.



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