Tuesday, August 21

taking it for granted

This week I've been thinking. (I know, some of you are gasping in shock at that thought) I've been thinking of all the things I just "expect" to happen - I expect the car to always turn on, and carry me safely to my destination. I expect that the fridge will keep our food from spoiling and that there will be hot water when I take a shower or wash my hands.

As itty bitties, we expect to grow old, to be married, to have babies. When we do grow old, get married, and have babies, we expect those babies to follow the same pattern.

We expect that our paychecks will keep coming, and that if we're not stupid with our money, there will be enough to cover the mortgage, the electricity and even a few extras like a phone and high speed internet.

I expect things from others - that they will not lie, that they will be courteous and maybe even go out of their way to make things nice for those around them. I expect them to put their trash where it goes, and I admit that I take it a little too personally when they don't.

I expect to stay healthy, to be happy, and to merrily go along my way. I take it for granted. And then, something happens. I wake up with clogged sinuses or the microwave fritzes or I get a call from a friend whose parent or sibling or child is seriously unwell. And (depending on the severity of the "disaster") instead of taking it in stride, instead of accepting this unexpected turn in the road, I collapse.

Now I'm not so fragile that I physically collapse, or can no longer function. But inwardly, a war begins between what I expected and what is. An emotional reaction becomes a spiritual battle. I beg God to change it, to fix it, or just to tell me why. I plead with God to allow me to understand what He is doing, and even as the words tumble over themselves in their haste, the Holy Spirit is working in my mind.

I mentally concur that I don't REALLY want to know - that I really want to trust Him, to give back these details that are already His. I know intellectually that His Plan is the best. But the struggle between heart and head is so real, so painful at times that I am left feeling somehow shortchanged and very disappointed.

The only thing to do is to trust that this God who loves me and cannot lie will accomplish His best. It's not an easy thing to do - this exchanging what I expected for what is - in fact, it is agonizing. But I do know that my God is faithful and that whatever He chooses to accomplish in me, around me, or through me, is completely up to Him.

I can cling to Him tightly when the road takes a turn, and I know His arms will completely enfold me. Here, I am safe.

10 comments:

Karen said...

Sounds like the Lord is doing a real work in your heart. I know it's not fun, usually, and I'll be praying for you this week.

Karen said...

P.S. That video of Aaron directing Vivaldi is SO, SO cute!

Conleys said...

you are so right that we take so much for granted and struggle to believe what God has said is true. we have been there and know the process is painful but the end result is a blessing. praise God for his Word that sustains us. we'll be praying for you also.

Michael & Sandra Herriage said...

Jenny,
Thanks for your blog. Once again, you put into words something that I've been experiencing. Even just getting the news about my nephew has been one of those unexpected things that we are striving to trust God in. Thanks for being open and being a blessing. I'm privileged to call you a friend.

Janelle said...

I can't say it enough, but your writing is such a pleasure to read! You know how to put feelings into words so eloquent! What you write about is always such a blessing and encouragement as well! I don't know anybody who hasn't gone through exactly what you are talking about. Thank you for the reminder to focus on God's sustaining power rather than on our overwhelming circumstances!

Rachel said...

This has been me for the last 8 months. Acknowleding that God has our family here in TN is/has sometimes been difficult for me. It's still surreal that we are here to stay - I keep waiting to head back to VT:).
Thanks for putting it down in a way that is coherent. All in all, I am thankful for what God is doing in our lives. I appreciate your post.

Reads said...

Thanks for your honesty, often we are not honest with ourselves about our thoughts. We know the right Sunday School answers to the questions but are the answers the cry of our hearts? I have been thinking through a similar thoughts. . . What is my goal? Is it more important for me to be comfortable or Christ-like?

ruth said...

I give a hearty "Amen, sista!" It's always a blessing to hear your thought provoking insight.

Don & Katrina Hines said...

I do believe that is all of our natural responses. It is getting our expectations too high. Not that our expectations of God are too high, just that He will abide by our expectations and not put a wrench in our plans. But when He does do that, He begins to show us more personally who He is and that He is trustworthy! God is so good and so patient wtih His dumb sheep!

Plus Ultra said...

Jenny,

Love your thoughts. They always seem to stir some otherwise untouched philosophical side of my brain.

Keep up the great stuff. Loved your pictures as well.

Many smiles!

Ken