"Father, I don't know what you have for me."
This is how some of my prayers have started recently. That, or "I don't understand what you have for us/our family." Or even, "I don't know what you have for us now."
And the Holy Spirit, that amazing Counselor, He just says right back to me:
"I have THIS for you RIGHT NOW."
What else am I asking, really? When I know that where I am today, what I'm doing today is what He has for me. . . how silly it is that I strive and grope and try to envision where I might be next month or next year, when this new baby comes or when we move out of this rental house or when we finally have our own farm. . .
And that's what I do. I spend so much mental energy fruitlessly and He asks me to stop. To rest. To trust. To live fully today by living right here and now and thankfully!
Ann said just today: "I have to tell you that He paints you pure loveliness in Christ, that He made you for here and now, to be a gift to the world, to the broken and needy and little and least, right today, right where you are, and there’s no other way to see anything."
When I hear Him after my frustrated prayer, I am so grateful. For the gentle, frank reminder. It stops me in my tracks and I stop my mental gymnastics and I want to walk differently. And so, I spend my whole morning walk giving thanks. I give thanks like Betsy Carmichael, who gave thanks for lice in a concentration camp, realizing later that the lice really were a gift of God (that kept the wardens from patrolling the barracks). I am not facing barracks or shootings or severe trials.
I thankfully read words sent by a dear friend:
"[T]he gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live
and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because
it serves his gospel purposes in me.
When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is
not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among
all the bad.
I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials." (Milton Vincent's A Gospel Primer for Christians.)
I give thanks. .
1027) that I don't understand my own way, but that my heart is like water in the hand of the Lord.
1028) that He has given us longings and desires that are not yet fulfilled
1029) for a little rental house that is not so much to manage
1030) for being where we are and having a great midwife here
1031) for the gift of a truck and the quietness of mornings I don't have to drive to the bus stop
1032) for the hard of being with family and the real pain and sacrifice and suffering of it
1033) that the mosquitoes are driving us inside for a season
1034) that my two year old needs to go potty often and so I get to go, too
1035) for camping- the very first time for this family of 7!
1036) for days when the math and the journals aren't done . . .
1037) for disappointments. People letting us down. Churches letting us down. Relationships that are not what we hope for.
1038) that we don't have a name for this baby. Surely He will provide!
1039) for blueberry picking and clothes stained and muddy shoes and blueberries rolling on the floor.
1040) for TowerGarden produce and tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers given to us. . .