June 7, 2011

Dependence

A mom of teenagers and fellow pastor's wife recently told me, "It doesn't get any easier."

When she said it, I audibly groaned. You mean there is no magical day when parenting and ministry become comfortable, second-nature, or obstacle-free?

Her words exposed a false idea I have that I can work hard enough and long enough to control, plan, organize, and structure my life until it can be squeezed into a pretty little box, wrapped and ribboned up so nice and neat. Tidy. Manageable. Perfect.

I know I can't do it. When I tape up one side, the other flops open. The contents of life are so big and unmanageable that I only frustrate myself when I think I can handle it all by myself.

One morning last week, I experienced the presence of God like I haven't in a while. He didn't come to me in a gentle whisper as He so often does. He came like a warrior king, flooding my senses with an understanding of his power and might. Who do you think you are? He seemed to say. I am the Creator God and I hold the whole universe together. You are broken and frail; you cannot. He showed me how my efforts to control and structure my days are prideful and laughable. And then, as I was broken and bent, He gently lifted my head and invited me to come hide under the shadow of His wings. To quit trying to tie the nice, neat bow on top of life. To depend on Him, the only one who absolutely can take care of things.

The flip side of the power and might is that He powerfully and mightily takes care of His children. Will life get any easier? Probably not, nor will God, because we depend on Him, wrap life up in a nice, neat bow. Then we wouldn't depend on Him. But as we depend on Him, He covers us with peace and satisfies us even in the midst of our brokenness and longing.