Monday, June 14, 2010

Limitless...

I've been praying for an unborn baby for months now. Saturday night, he was finally born. He died an hour later.

What can I say? What can I do?

I'm past all the usual questions...I quit needing answers to those several years ago, I think. I don't need to know why God lets things like this happen, and I don't doubt His goodness or His love in the midst of them. What He knows and sees is vastly more complete than what I see, and I trust His vision. His knowledge.

And yet...new questions have taken the place of the old ones. Questions that are far more specific. Questions that have to do with the part I played (and didn't play) in these circumstances. Questions that might affect how I handle similar prayer requests in the future.

But after I spent a while in prayer this morning, I came to the conclusion that I want to know too much. I need to be more content with not knowing.

It's fine to ask God questions. Even good, for that's a valid part of conversation and fellowship and getting to know someone. But when the Someone I'm getting to know exists, thinks, moves, and works on a level light-years ahead of me, I absolutely must accept that sometimes His answer is going to be, "I can't explain that to you." Sort of like if I asked a Harvard professor to explain the theory of relativity or the law of thermodynamics. His inability to do so is caused by my limits, not his. And my inability to explain website coding to my 9-year old is because of her current level of knowledge and ability, not mine.

Honestly, though...if God answered all my questions, what would happen then? Would my mind be able to handle the influx of information? And if He made it capable of handling it, would I then lose my joy in living amidst the vast amounts of time necessary to consider all the implications of every decision I make, in light of a universe-worth of knowledge? Or suppose God gave me the ability to keep all those answers at my fingertips...would I still trust Him? Would it, perhaps, be even harder to trust Him?

Only God has no limits. Because we are not God, we do. We have to.

And perhaps that's something we should be more grateful for. The limits that parents place around their toddlers keep them safe. The limits on what movies we parents let our kids watch are for their happiness. Even happier is the child who trusts his Father's limits.

And that's where I ended up today. Just asking the questions left me feeling exhausted...how much more worn out would I be if God dumped all the answers on me?

How much easier is it, actually, to simply trust? To leave the unknown in the very capable hands of my Lord. To know that He will tell me the steps I must take the next time I hear about another unborn baby under sentence of death, and I don't have to figure it out in advance? I don't have to know it all and find the right path for myself, or for someone else.

Perhaps this is why Proverbs...the book about wisdom and understanding, written mostly by the wisest man the world has ever known...says this: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Because gaining wisdom and knowledge increases our limits...limits that only God exists beyond.

I found a new song today, right about when I'd reached this point in the process my heart went through today. It's another Hillsongs song.

I'm sure Joel Houston wasn't thinking of babies dying or unanswered questions when he wrote it. But somehow, it was exactly what I needed today...a song about God's greatness and power, and the only response we can offer that really makes any sense.



So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart, O God
Completely to You

So I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I'll stand
My soul, Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours


holy experience

For today's Multitude Monday, I am thankful for:

281. Limits

282. A God who lives outside my limits

283. The marvel of surrender and abandonment

284. Proverbs 9:10

285. Songwriters

286. This song

287. YouTube (::grins::)

288. The miracle of birth

289. Knowing that God holds and loves and welcomes each of the thousands of babies
who die each day more than even the most beloved of them could ever be on earth.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Priorities...

It seems like it's been forever since I blogged. I haven't posted the last two Multitude Mondays, though my list is still growing offline and I'm discovering that it is changing my life.

Shall I share bits and pieces? Or not? I suppose it's obvious that I don't always have a definite knowledge of what I should post. (I'd be surprised if that surprises anyone. Do we ever know all of anything?)

So I haven't blogged these past weeks because I'm struggling with priorities. Again. I think more sighs are in order.

Seriously, though, God has been dealing with me in how much time I've been spending online...and unfortunately, I cannot claim that I'm spending any less here. I'm merely spending it in different ways, which isn't, I suspect, what God has in mind. Feel free and pray for me on that, and I'll pray for you as well, if you struggle with this.

Anyway...that's part of why I haven't blogged in the last two weeks. Another factor is that some of what God is doing in me is very personal and not, I think, meant to be shared. More is exciting-but-still-not-time-to-post-on-the-Internet stuff with my husband and I that might be fulfilled promises and stretching all at the same time.

And in and around all of that is my growing sense and awareness of where God is calling His people...the type of walk with Him...how He wants to move in us and speak through us and flow through us in a way that His body never has in history. In fact, what I'm coming to sense He has planned is so outrageously impossible-sounding, based on the track record we "Christians" have, that many people would call it absurd. In fact, I'm sure I would have, even a year ago...yet that is where I'm seeing God call so many of us.

We know He is capable of healing the sick, though we often struggle with believing He actually will. We know He has promised to provide for our needs, though many of us struggle with believing He actually will, or we have a rough time accepting what His provision looks like. We know He heals broken hearts, though we still question why He lets hearts break to begin with. We know He brings joy and peace and hope, though sometimes we forget how to lay hold of them.

All these are miracles. But tell me this...what if those who claim His name all lived in unity and with lives poured out for a suffering world? I think that is a miracle that might be above and beyond even raising the dead. For that would be raising not one dead human, but an entire dead world.

What if?

Do you think God can do it?

What are you willing to surrender, in order to be a part of it?

Priorities?

Dreams?

Failures?

Human wisdom?

Pride?

Sorrow?

Self-righteousness?
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