Friday, May 20, 2011

Job 14

Oh that You would hide me in Sheol,
         That You would conceal me until Your wrath returns to You,
         That You would set a limit for me and remember me!

Sometimes life is really hard.  The experiences I have are not what I expected or planned on.  The unfolding of my life does not match the map I laid out.  Seasons often last  much longer than I would choose and questions just are not answered.  I have wished to be concealed until that trying time passes - to just wait it out as an observer rather than a participant or subject of interest. 

I have wondered where the limits are, how to completely delineate and frame such an epoch - when I knew God hadn't forgotten me; but it felt like He had.   When He had given me understanding that it was to be an enduring time; the only hint I received was "it will take a while."  In the midst of such episodes of life, I experienced death.  Not like Job did with all of his children and possessions; but a dying to my plans, my expectations, my reason, my life, me.  I discovered the influence I had was none.  All I could do was join God's plan for my life and try to endure.  

But how I wanted a limit - to know that this would be for just so long (and not very long, at that) and then my life would return to me.   And, therein lies the rub, the lie.  That "my live" would return to "normal."  My life ceased to be mine when I, by God's gracious drawing, began to follow Him.  How would a mere mortal begin to describe what is "normal" for the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Sovereign King of the Universe?  How can one require limits from the unlimited God?

True my life couldn't return, as it died out somewhere along the sacred journey of God's plan.  In the emptying, silent seasons, that girl died, her plans, her deals, her arrangements... gone.  What was important faded and was reborn in a smaller, more concise package, containing almost none of the original components.  A serious reordering of life, priorities and passions appeared.  Only through the death could this crystallized purpose come forth.  And, through more death to myself will He continue His process of bringing forth that which brings Him most glory and, inexplicably, more life to me.

Lord God of All, I praise Your most precious and wise Name for the limitless way in which You rule and deal with me.  I praise You for You are Just and Perfect and Good and True.  Please help me to be brave, strong and courageous in those places where I begin to long for limits on You.  Help me lean into Your Grace as I am tempted to wiggle around or off the altar of living sacrifice.  You are trustworthy and Your limits are trustworthy, too.  Give me a heart for Your limits and help me die more to myself today.

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