Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Take Time Tuesdays

I'm really ready to get this study started, but know we're still waiting for a few people to receive their books...As of now, I'm planning to share about the first Lesson on November 3rd! I hope you'll be ready too. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts and what God is sharing with you!

Today, I'd like to take a few minutes to share some thoughts regarding what a friend posted on his facebook on Monday...

Tim Keller: "We never imagine that getting our heart's deepest desires might be the worst thing that can ever happen to us."(via @challies) posted by a friend and local pastor, Darren Larson, on his facebook this morning.

And a response to it from Kevin Ferguson: "That for which we long for may not be that for which is moral nor good. That for which we desire and thirst for may cause us great pain in the end. That for which we love may be only a shadow to that which we need to love. I agree with Keller, we often can pursue with all our heart that for which is opposite of what a transcendent and yet intimate God would want for us. To lose may be truly to gain. To let go may be to embrace what is truly ethical and right."

When I saw Darren's status, it was actually a jolt to my system. Ugh. Wait. But, I thought...

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

It's a good thing. It's a happy, positive blessing that comes from delighting ourselves in the Lord. This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. One of my anchors and encouragements to keep on day after day...

To be honest, I'm not very happy about what Tim Keller said nor the response that Kevin gave, because it's messing up "my little world" and the thing that often keeps me going is "my heart's deepest desire" and believing that one day God may bless me in this way and I will achieve a level of contentment and peace in my life... You know where this is going, don't you?

Could it possibly cause a negative outcome in my life? Could what I desire fulfill my "self", but leave me feeling empty in not doing God's work in God's way or reaching out to those He desires with His love in a place I desire not to be? When these types of things cross my path, it makes me cross. It's NOT fair! Life is a struggle right now and it has been ever since we moved to this area. To be honest, I don't enjoy living where we are right now. We don't feel completely connected to our church. The people we live near, we just haven't been able to connect to on a friendship level, there are Hispanics that live nearby and listen to music too loud with a bass level that is irritating to me and many don't care about keeping their yards/homes looking nice, there are young black males who think they are 'all that' and can drive their cars fast through this neighborhood and listen to their rap music at insanely loud levels and the bass can beat its way into my home (and sometimes they sit in their cars by the park late at night and think they are so cool sitting there listening to their loud music and no one knows they are there... Oh yes, we do!), and commercial jets rumble my house and my brain (and I long for peace and quiet)... Oh, to live in the country on my little farm with Blaine and I running a sweet, comfortable bed'n breakfast inn (gluten-free, dairy-free, allergy sensitive and family friendly)! Can't you just envision it? Wouldn't you love to come and stay on your next vacation? Please, Lord!

All I've ever wanted is to "run away and live off the land". To learn to live in peace and harmony and be a good steward of the land; growing organic fruits and veggies and caring for a few animals. To create a place of peace for others to enjoy with us. Perhaps a lovely barn in a garden setting for weddings and special events. The ideas flow freely and easily, but when I think of here ~ in the city, in the noise, so many people... I just want to run the other way! And why does it seem that "others" receive great blessings and have been given an 'easier way of life', but not our family... To cope, I allow my heart to find comfort in my 'desires', but then God always interrupts those lovely thoughts with turning my head back to the city, to those who need the love of Christ shared in their lives, reaching out to those who can't help themselves; reminding me that there are those He calls to go out with His message and those He calls to remain here and be ready for the nations He is bringing to this place... To be His hands and feet in reaching out to others with His love, lending a helping hand, walking toward others when they cannot walk toward Him. How can I look the other direction and walk away?

And so, the battle continues in my heart and in my life. This ongoing tug-of-war between my heart's desire and letting go COMPLETELY and allowing God to have FULL control over my life. Possibly guiding me to places I won't desire to be. Perhaps blessing me, one day, with my heart's desire and perhaps not. Will I ever learn to be content? Will I ever learn to fully allow myself to "Bloom where God plants me" or will I always be looking for that next place that might be better than this one? And I ask myself, will I thrive in a place that God has not chosen for me? Is it not best to be exactly where God desires? This life is not about me, but about Christ living in and through me to reach the world with His love. Lord, please help me for I have fallen so short. I'm trying, but I don't seem to be making progress. Please give me a sign that I might know You are with me and encourage me with Your presence for today and in the days ahead. I don't want my 'desires' to be the worst thing to happen to us. I want Your life and love in and through me to be a blessing to all those around me!

And yet, even in my greatest weakness ~ God meets me there. He comforts me, encourages me, and blesses me in spite of my selfishness. I know I need to take some difficult steps in the days, weeks and months ahead. I need to make myself available to God's work, but I'm not certain where to even begin. Yes, I do know the answer. I need to spend time in His Word and in prayer for as I ask and seek and knock, He will show me the way... He is so good and His love endures forever.

I know He desires each of us to make ourselves available to Him ~ right where we are, in the midst of all that is happening in our lives; even when it doesn't seem like we have time. He wants to stretch us, cause us to grow and continually be transformed. I'm so thankful He never gives up on me...nor any of us!

In doing some research for this post, I stumbled across Quill Cottage (a blog I believe God guided me to. I love these posts and think you will too) - Bloom where you are planted: Part 1 and Part 2

Want to know more about Tim Keller - just click on his name...

Abundant blessings dear friend. Praying you dwell in the simplicity of Christ; knowing He is our HOPE every moment of every day! We are blessed to be a blessing to others ~ all because of Jesus and God's great love for all His children...

1 comment:

  1. Great post Joanie. I hear you. We at EBC are feeling growing pains as well and as Pastor Darren has said in the last month, we need to be Missional, be all about Jesus, put our personal prefrences aside and seek Jesus with boldness and honesty. In doing that it may mean we have to sacrifice and go into uncharted waters, a scary place to be if you don't like change! I don't! But as I've worked through this I am now feeling very excited for our church and for the Seattle area, God has something very exciting instore for us as believers, we just need to leave our comfort zone and step out in faith!


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie