The Token of Integrity (Elisabeth Elliot) :
"With a servant, a warrior, a child, a subject," writes Andrew Murray in The New Life, "obedience is indispensable, the first token of integrity."
"God is my Master, my Captain, my Father, my King. I am servant, warrior, child, subject. What have I to do in any of these cases but obey?
Integrity means wholeness, unbroken condition, the quality of being unimpaired and sound. An integer is something which is complete in itself, an entity. No one can serve two masters. Divided loyalty will mean impaired obedience. "A soldier on active service will not let himself be involved in civilian affairs; he must be wholly at his commanding officer's disposal" (2 Tm 2:4 NEB).
O Christ, be Master and Captain of my life. Give me a whole heart united to do your bidding and to do nothing else. Let me hear your voice and no other. Make my life an integer for your glory. Amen."
Integrity and service are on my mind.
B left this week on Tuesday night for Richmond, to start his new job Wednesday morning. He will drive home tomorrow night after work, arriving after the children are in bed. We will do the same thing next week, except it will be four days without Daddy instead of three. The next week will be five days. At this point, I'm preparing myself for many weeks of this (at least seven or eight). We haven't had any serious interest in our house and until it sells, we are not able to move to Richmond to join B.
I've not posted prior to this because I wasn't sure what I wanted to say about this (and I simply have not had any time available to put thoughts into words). There isn't much to say. This is just life now.
What I see in me is that I kick against the goads. I'm not quick to obey nor to embrace difficult circumstances. I don't serve others willingly and joyfully. I'm bothered when life isn't going the way I thought I wanted it to go. (Five children?! Live in Richmond?! Barely scraping by?! Tired?!) All of this is really just a lack of faith and a disbelief that God is good and that He is for me. This, in fact, has been the verse I'm dwelling on: Psalm 56:9 "This I know, that God is for me."
This separation for our family is not what we desire, and yet I am loathe to complain when I know so many families are in much more difficult situations. I have friends whose husbands are stationed for 6 months or a year away. Who am I to complain that my darling husband has a great job (which happens to be in another city!) and is willingly commuting more than two hours each way on the weekends to spend time with us?! I'm so proud of his hard work, of his commitment to get our family out of debt, of his desire to make a positive impact on our community and government. He is doing a good thing for us, and clearly the Lord has opened the doors for B to fill this position.
A dear, godly friend wrote to me this week. Her husband is serving in the Army and is apart from them (my friend and their four children) for a longer season than ever before. Part of what she said to me was, "What an adventure in grace! Enjoy the ride--it's just for fun, for a season, and God's got it under
control. I was nervous about this separation until it came, but now I keep laughing to myself (and God) about how crazy this whole thing is and how He's doing it for my GOOD. He's doing it for yours, too, Sister!"
Isn't that wonderful?! She is laughing. It reminds me of Proverbs 31:25
"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come."
It is kind of crazy. It feels crazy on these long days when I wake tired and see the day stretching before me: chores and schooling the kids and running the errands and purposefully sharing wellness. I exercise in front of the house with the kids watching out the windows or I jump on the trampoline. I take all of them to Sam's Club before 9 a.m. L sleeps with me and I read lots and lots of books to everyone . . . .things I wouldn't normally do, but am doing in this crazy season.
IF I am the Lord's servant, then I am also a servant to my husband and my children. If I am the Lord's, He will take care of me. He will sell the house in His timing, and it will be perfect. He will keep me in peace and clothe me in strength. These are good words for me today. May I be lost in the Lord's purposes and all about His bidding. (And I'll still ask Him to sell our house and prepare the way for us in Richmond!)