Monday, November 21, 2016

Fibular Hemimelia -Boats part 2

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the boats we’re in and how we’re just trying to get to the other side and how the waters are often stormy and how sometimes He waits to the last hour to come to us but HE always comes because He promised He’d never leave us.  
And last night I was thinking about these contrary winds that have come to the ones I love and added more weight to the boat they’re already having a hard time navigating, and my first response is to start a brigade -to bail them out, to get a bucket, to do something besides watch from the shore as they desperately paddle.  And I tell Freddie that I just can’t stand here and do nothing, just stand here helpless.  And he tells me that all I can really do is pray.  Just pray.
And that doesn’t seem enough for me. Surely, there’s something I can do, something I can fix. But I keep looking - and some of these boats, all of them really, are beyond my reach. And I go to sleep defeated and fearful, tears of desperation on my face.

But when I woke up this morning, I could hear water tapping our glass block window in the bathroom, the sound of the abundance of rain. I could make out raindrops amid the kaleidoscope of images filtering into the room -and I felt compelled to kneel.  I pressed my face to the cold, gray tile and cried out to Him, wanting to be made low so that He could be made high.  And I spread before Him all these burdens I couldn’t bear, stretching my fingers and opening my hands to let go of the things I could no longer carry.  And He spoke to me as the rain pelted the glass and He reminded me gently that I’ve never really rescued anyone from a sinking boat, that He’s been in control all along. That I’ve never been at the helm, not really. That I’ve just held tightly to this facade of control, trying to empty buckets of water to save those I love.
And when I get up and open His Word, He comes to me.  In 2 Kings, He brings me to the story of the widow, left with only a measure of oil, whose sons are about to be taken to pay her debt.  And she turns to Elisha the prophet for help. And he simply tells her to find some empty vessels -and not just a few- to ask her neighbors even, and to set them out and to pour out her supply of oil.  And she obeys, and God multiplies the oil and fills all the vessels -every one -and He miraculously supplies her need and secures the future for her and her sons.
And I read Charles Spurgeon, who says to keep this image before you - this image of the widow and her desperation.  And to “bring forth your vessels, even empty vessels not a few. All your need … —needs many, and needs varied. And set them out. Hide none of them away, but put them down one after another, in a long row, all of them. There are needs for your body, needs for your soul, needs for yourselves, needs for your families, needs for the present, needs for the future, needs for time, needs for eternity, needs for earth, needs for heaven.” Set out empty vessels for every need that you have -and like the widow, borrow extra vessels -enough for the needs of those you love -those you so desperately want to save. And stand on the side, on the shore -and watch -watch as God miraculously fills those vessels until they’re overflowing. And Spurgeon compels me to “rest fully assured that the Lord that filled the borrowed pots in Elisha’s day will also supply [my] borrowed needs. Bring out your vessels and see if it is not true. Do not put your cares away in the back room and say, ‘I shall draw them out tomorrow and begin worrying over them.’ Instead of that, while the oil is flowing, bring them here before the Lord, that the oil may have free course, and find suitable storage. Would you limit the miracle? Have you one forgotten need? Make haste with it! Still the oil is multiplying. Come one! Come all! Arrange your vessels and the Lord will fill up your needs by His grace, and fill your mouths with a song.  Fill them according to His riches in glory -through Christ Jesus.”  And Spurgeon reminds me that “you and I are such leaky vessels that none but God can ever fill us. And when we are filled, none but God can keep us full.”

And He’s teaching me that when I think of those boats and those winds and how far it seems to the other side and how weighted down my loved ones seem - that instead of picking up my bucket to do something -to attempt a rescue -that I need to set it down instead -set down the empty bucket instead -and wait for the miracle supplied by the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.  And I am reminded that “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). And I think of that cold tile and my face pressed against it and the burdens lifted from my hands and replaced with faith.