Closed hands vs. Open hands
I'm lying motionless on our bed staring at the whirling blades of the ceiling fan. Numbness and exhaustion have seeped into every quadrant of my body, dulling my mind and weighing my limbs securely to the mattress. I'm so tired. Tired. Tired. The word repeats in my brain like a restless leak, drip, drip, dripping over and over again until it's worn a deep path into my mental landscape. Tired. Tired. It pools, flooding out all other thoughts, desires, and priorities. Somewhere a soft voice reminds me of all the obligations looming, but it's too muffled by the steady drip to make an impact on my thoughts.
And though I'm too weary to move, or to plot the afternoon's chores, or even to cohesively think any thought to fruition, I feel God's persistent nudge against my heart. He's been saying the same thing to me over and over again these past few weeks and I have been too weary or lazy or wicked to obey. "Give me more," he says. "More time, more thought, more love, more praise, more money, more service, more honor." Always my response is a weary groan. Really?! More time when I'm so tired I can't move? More love when I feel depressed and angry? More money when money seems so scarce?
My fists are clenched, spiritually speaking, reluctant to open and give him everything. Though I cognitively love and desire God, my heart bucks at the prospect of a heavier load. I buckle and collapse just imagining getting up any earlier to be with Him.
Hence the core of the problem: I keep falling into the same sin, treating God like the manager and Christianity the job, making his love for me dependent on my performance. That's why his resounding "more" is promptly met with my "I can't! I'm too tired and stressed as it is!"
Although I know that he is my ultimate joy I live like my free-time holds true happiness. Yet the pursuit of myself never brings any comfort, peace, or joy.
And then, before the sweet blackness of sleep drowns out all the weary discourse he says, quite clearly, "but more of me IS rest. More of me IS wealth, and peace, and joy, and success, and satisfaction. All these desires of your heart are found in me. You keep settling for this desperate, miserable limbo in which you try to 'fit me in' to your schedule rather than give me all. I've given you time and money, a busy schedule and financial strains, and even pain and tiredness so that you would see how weak and feeble you are without me and so you would turn your heart to me."
He's so right. He always is. I thank you Lord for the freedom found in you and for the patience you extend to me and my stubborn, wandering heart.
"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. " - Phil 2:12-13
"My Soul Thirsts for You A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, 6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; 7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. 8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." -psalm 63:1-8