When you are sick you have a lot of time on your hands to just think. This past couple of months I have experienced the slowing down to a painfully slow crawl and at times a moment or two of complete discontinue of all human function other than rest and painful recovery with the brain’s refusal to stop thinking and retracing the current state of events.
In an attempt to stop my mind from playing evil games with me I started to read. Jacob has been the recent focus of my reading. I can really identify with Jacob. Jacob had a promise from God to be blessed and have the inheritance of his Father Isaac. However, in his inability to be patient for God’s timing he schemed and manipulated to get what he wanted and knew what was to be his. Like Jacob, I am a control freak. If something needs done I will find a way to get the job done or the problem fixed. If I can’t get it done myself I will seek out people to get it done. And please don’t get in my way of bulldozing or you may become a casualty of my desire to fix a problem. In some ways this can be viewed as an asset. In many other ways it is a weakness and has caused great harm to those I love most.
Unfortunately, this lack of faith also causes me grief from frustration, depression, and unproductive and wasted time of stress. During my time of illness from influenza and then pneumonia, I have been reflecting on how out of balance I have been between work and home life. This has really been on my mind for the past year. Nonetheless, this has been taking its toll on my health physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My frustration with several situations within my career has contributed to my distraction from my being an influencer of encouragement and growth to see team members achieve their greatest potential and coaching and leading the team to meeting their goals; rather, I have been focused on what has not been going right and the obstacles which have appeared to not be moving from our path no matter how much prayer I have been soaking into the problem.
Yes, I have been reading my Bible and asking for prayer from my family and prayer warriors to get guidance in this situation. However, God has appeared to be silent or saying not yet at the least. So remember I am a Jacob personality and really have been wrestling with my emotions and God as to why it is taking so long. Patience is not my virtue for sure!
The phone call came today which has really thrown me for a loop. I have humbly stated I would be willing to change my position for the best interest of the team and my family. However, this was never acted upon. Today I was given a gift. At first I wondered what I had done wrong, but then I remembered what I had been praying about all along. I wanted God’s will and God’s action to place me where he wanted me. He has done it at his timing. I have grown and gained strength in perseverance in praying harder and living in the moment rather than for the future. This is no easy task and I know I will have to continue to fight my urge to bulldoze through the next hurtle. I will have to log this experience into my brain’s computer for future reference to be sure I don’t forget; God is God, he will take care of the situation, I just have to get out of the way and let him put the players in place and the pieces together to make the perfect design.
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 The Message (MSG)
8-11 We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.
Romans 9:20-33 The Message (MSG)
20-33 Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn’t that all right? Either or both happens to Jews, but it also happens to the other people. Hosea put it well:
I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies;
I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.
In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody!”
they’re calling you “God’s living children.”
Isaiah maintained this same emphasis:
If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered
and the sum labeled “chosen of God,”
They’d be numbers still, not names;
salvation comes by personal selection.
God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name.
Arithmetic is not his focus.
Isaiah had looked ahead and spoken the truth:
If our powerful God
had not provided us a legacy of living children,
We would have ended up like ghost towns,
like Sodom and Gomorrah.
How can we sum this up? All those people who didn’t seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their “God projects” that they didn’t notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling. Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together:
Careful! I’ve put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion,
a stone you can’t get around.
But the stone is me! If you’re looking for me,
you’ll find me on the way, not in the way.