What? Me, struggle? The blogger?
If you know me at all, then you know that I suffer from a terrible disease: perfectionism. Apparently it's not contagious, and the symptoms are wide ranging: anxiety, fear, workaholicism, weariness, and feelings of inadequacy. Odd symptoms I know for a disease that involves trying to be perfect, but hey, it's exhausting. I apply my disease to all walks of life: my marriage, my mothering, my teaching, and even my blogging --which means that I don't want to blog until I have things "figured" out, something profound to say. Unfortunately, life isn't easy to "figure" out and just when I think I have things "figured" out, something happens to blow my theories to bits.
There is a cure for my disease, though. And it's found in the most humble of places ... at the foot of the cross. There, I lay down my imperfection and allow His perfect sacrifice to cover me --to cover all the places I need hidden, those hurtful places no one sees or even knows exists. It's only then that I can rise and share something profound --profound not because it comes from me, but becomes it comes from Him.
So, what has He told me lately? What did He allow me to realize this summer? Hold on now, some of this you've heard before, but it bears repeating.
1. He is Sovereign.
Matthew 6:26 -26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
You have to realize that these answers to prayer came after I cried and worried and prayed and cried and worried and prayed some more! What did God teach me? That I am a bird of the air -no, better -- I am a child of the King! At first I thought that I must have been doing something right for God to so richly bless me --to supply all of my needs. But He quickly reminded me that I don't earn GRACE. God lavishes us, not because we deserve it, but because He loves us. Notice those birds --they don't reap or sow, yet God cares for them. Oh, He cares for me, too! --And He cares for you!
2. We see Him through the CLOUDS!
I'll refer back to Oswald Chambers: "It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials. Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child— a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows."
So what have I unlearned? I've unlearned that blessings come only through joy! I've learned that when your circumstances are difficult, you seek the Lord. And His Word tells us: "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13). The song by Laura Blessing comes to mind:
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching(s) of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise
When did Laura Story begin asking these "What If" questions? --Only after her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor and the newly married couple struggled with his surgery and postoperative memory and vision loss.