I bumped into someone this morning for whom the last couple of years have translated into a roller-coaster of hurt, rejection and frustration. The evidence of his open wounds still very much apparent in his body language and tone of voice, as we both discussed what we have been up to since we last saw each other.
Being by no means a stranger to all these negative emotions which my friend is probably still experiencing, I felt extremely empathetic, and came back home with a burden to pray for him, which I did, and now am able to trust God’s hand is upon him and where he goes from here.
As I finished praying, I sat wondering about what are the things that in my times of crisis, God has been throwing my way to help me pull through against all odds. I would have to say there are four very tangible “weapons” the Lord has armed me with in these last few years and they are: a call to humility, teachability, hunger and integrity. Of those four, hunger and integrity are the two I am naturally and instinctively very drawn to. Humility and teachability, however, are still a daily struggle and very much a work in progress. False humility is a trap I fall into quite often and sometimes, not always, I refuse to learn things from others, which leaves me in a very vulnerable predicament. God will always use a gentle approach to his disciplining, and it is only when we fail to yield to what he is saying to us through others’ counsel, that he will take center stage in our lives and bring us down a notch or two. Ouch!!
All these four gifts have come to me over the years wonderfully wrapped and carefully protected by the most inexplicable and precious of all gifts: FAITH.
There is, however, a fifth weapon to help us avoid defeat, which in our hectic and mad-busy lives we tend to overlook , and that is: never losing one’s sense of wonder. For me, this is the one that when everything around me seems to be going wrong; when I feel utterly helpless and pushed into a dark corner by my circumstances and/or flawed character and behaviour, I shut everything else down wherever/whenever I am able to: commitments and obligations and also well-meant loving advice and wisdom from friends and relatives. I shut it all down, open my back door and as I sit quietly and completely on my own, I am able to draw unfathomable strength from an awesome sunset, a luscious and brightly coloured flower, a butterfly that is passing by, the birds in the sky, etc. I look at all that and I am in awe of the wonderful harmony, order and purpose that reigns amongst all the apparent chaos. I am reminded that Almighty God, who created the universe, has an important place in my heart and I in His; I am reminded that there is so very much more to God and faith than meets the eye. Why take somebody else’s word for it when this wonderful quest is open to all of us and is free, free, free.
The next time you feel like giving up, whatever that may translate into in your own life at any given time, step out of your house and take notice of the little BIG things that we so often take for granted, and let that sense of wonder, which has perhaps been lost along the way, take you back to a place of reassurance, hope and gratitude. If and when you choose to take some time out, be it minutes or hours, to appreciate the wonders right in front of you, please capture the wonderful thought that somewhere, as you delight in some part of God’s creation (the choice is endless), so is God delighting in you too, and let the feeling that emanates from that, really sink in. May God’s perfect order and peace be restored in your chaos.