Tuesday, April 21, 2015

From Slogging to Shelter

Wavebreak Media Ltd
Ever work really hard, only to achieve nothing? Or at least, not nearly what you had intended to accomplish?

It’s been like that in my life lately.

Sometimes it’s not a big deal, like when I toil for hours and can't get the new church budget to balance. With more people in committee, we’ll get it done.

In my writing life, I can kind of see where maybe God has a plan. I signed with an agent about a year ago. I just completed a second manuscript, so she now has two. The idea, of course, is that she will sell them to a bigger house than the one who published my first two. They’ll be available in stores, and more online sites like ChristianBook.com, so I’ll sell more books, my message will reach more people, the word of Christ will be spread further in this world, and I will be privileged to be a tiny part of that.

That’s the plan, anyway. Right now, though, nothing’s
happening, at least that I can see. So I just have to be patient, really patient. And in the meantime, I just keep writing.

In my personal life, the plan is not so clear. Some days I try and try and it feels like I am going backwards. Dealing with people is not like reaching a daily word count. Practicing forbearance and meekness is not as easy as editing and layering in sensory details. Holding my tongue is much more difficult than showing, not telling.

Relationships are hard work. I think most of us know marriages are work, but so are all other relationships. Some more than others. Some we like working at more than others, and in some the other person doesn’t really do their part. But we still have to do ours.

But we have to remember, God is always there for us. He reminds us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9) I tend to forget this, and just try to slog through the muck.

©Anna Yakimova
But schlepping through mud on your own when your buddy is next to you, holding out His hand, is just dumb.

And on those days, when I’m done slogging and whining and pouting and crying, and all that is left is to collapse into a ball on the ground, what I need to do is make sure I fall at His feet, because “he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)

Can you imagine a more beautiful retreat from the aches of this world than the shadow of God Himself?

But it must be a temporary shelter, because that is not where we belong. We can rest in His arms, but then we must return to our work, to our world. We must take His love, His light, His salvation to weary and hurting people. 

And keep trying. Even when we can’t see the results. Because He can.

1 comment:

  1. This post really touched my heart, Carole. My husband is a pastor and we are praying for direction and guidance in our personal and work lives-him pastoring and me writing. Thanks for this post to remind me that God, our Loving Father, has us in the palm of His Mighty Hands.