Monday, October 31, 2011

Come to the table

I like reading about Mary and Martha in the bible; reading how one was busy cleaning and one was busy being. I like knowing that both were necessary and both were loved by Christ. I like knowing that both caught his attention and both were invited to His table. Frankly, I'm both.

I often feel inadequate. I often feel less than. I often feel. Feelings are not something we should ever base decisions on and yet, feelings are usually the first answer given when asked "why". Feelings drove both Mary and Martha. Feelings are misleading, misunderstood and misused. Christ is rarely found in our feelings.

Last weekend 100 women gathered to "be real" in the presence of Christ. There was a moment as I was talking that I thought to myself "this, this is what it's suppose look like" and I must admit I nearly broke down and cried because that moment was fully God and none Carla. I could feel Him. I could see Him in their faces.

I often have an image cross my mind of a man sitting at a table, patiently, waiting for me to come and sit with him. He never says anything, just looks at me and smiles as if to say " yes, I'm still here". For a long time I didn't understand...I'm so thankful I do now.

We all fail. We all fall so short of where we'd like to be at the end of the day. We all question and we all long. All of us. We're so busy running around, from place to place, making sure all the kids are in sports, making sure we attend all the parties, making sure we never miss an event, making sure our friends are happy, our coworkers are happy, even making sure our church is happy and yet...He sits at the table, just waiting.

He's not waiting on any THING to happen, he's waiting on US to happen. On us to slow down long enough to realize that it our own being that matters most to him. He's waiting on us to join him at the table. He's waiting on us to allow Him to lavish love upon us. Lavish...what a beautiful word.

If you don't have time, then you better make time. The last thing we should ever want to do is stand before God saying we're sorry we didn't make time for Him when He'd been at our table all along.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In the meantime

Waiting. It's not my strong suit. I don't know that I've ever been good at it. I just simply loath waiting.

And yet the bible is filled of "wait". Why? Why is waiting so important? And what are we supposed to do "in the meantime"?

I tend to start out great, saying how much I trust in God to provide, I know His timing is best, I'm in no hurry, I'm going to enjoy the moment I'm in...blah blah blah.

And then...

I start to second guess myself, I wonder if I heard God correctly, I wonder if He hears me correctly, I wonder if He answered me and I missed it, I wonder if He ignores me.

And then...

I start to get ticked. I wonder what is God doing anyway? I get tired of hearing "his timing" cause honestly I begin to wonder if His clock is broke. I cry. I talk to friends about how tired I am of waiting. I start asking for people to pray, hoping they'll get through to Him since I'm obviously not. I cry more. I complain.

And then...

I start to give up. I begin to think about changing courses. I sigh and figure He's said no so just move on. I begin to believe the lies floating in my head. I doubt.

My "in the meantime" isn't very pretty huh? I would venture to say it's that way for most of us. Maybe that's what Paul was talking about when he said that he does the very things he doesn't want to do? I don't want to spend my time waiting like that, I don't want to begin with trust and end with doubt and yet it happens. Often.

So, why do we have so much "in the meantime"? Why does God seem to take forever before revealing the answer to us? I don't have the answer to that, wish I did...the closest thing I have is this: the journey I go through each time causes me to draw a little closer to God and God shines a little brighter.

Maybe, just maybe, the whole waiting on God thing isn't about time but rather about how we are acting during that time, what we are saying during that time, who we are seeking during that time. Maybe "in the meantime" is a point of reflection for us and a point of grace for Him.

Either way, my prayer is that my "in the meantime" is filled with more trust and less doubt...that's my prayer for you too!

Monday, October 3, 2011

I know, But...

I loved him. I wanted it to work. I thought that if I loved him enough, prayed hard enough, things would change...he would change. I knew in my heart that wouldn't happen and yet I still held on to the "I know, could happen".

We hear the's like Billy Graham who for years wasn't even a Christian and then became this amazing man of God. We meet people that talk about the power of prayer, to never give up hope, to always believe in others. And in our hearts we just don't want to let go of the idea that the one we love just might never become what we think they can become.

Where's the line? When do we walk away? How do we know we've done all we can and it's ok to move on? Are we not trusting in God if we walk away?

Codependent. Enabling. Unhealthy. Boundaries.

Those are words we don't often use in the Christian world. We need to. We need to understand that Christ did not intend for us to lose who we are in the process of trying to "save" someone else. Sacrificing all that you are over love...isn't love. More importantly, whether or not someone else decides to finally "get it" and straighten their life out is between them and God; you might love that person more than you've ever loved anyone, but at the end of the day your love won't ever be enough. It's not suppose to be.

I've finally made peace with the idea he may never change, but more importantly I've made peace with the idea that he might change and I won't be around to enjoy it. For me, that was the part I didn't want to accept; that he just might change and then someone else would be there to enjoy. How is that fair?

I've spent a lot of time learning what God means by the word love. The conclusion I've arrived at is sometimes because I love you I have to walk away...and that's ok.