Saturday, October 24

What Now God?

I’ll admit it – I have thought that a lot lately – and yes, perhaps I have dared to speak it out loud. And something within me says “Really Joy?? Are you back there again?”

Yesterday was a wonderful day – it involved meeting with friends – and sharing community with them. Friends that know me pretty good – they know the good, the bad, and the ugly. I had lunch with Jeannette – and we talked. I had a work-out at Curves with Debbie – and we talked. She even did a few more stations after she was technically done – so that we could keep talking. And, Alvin and I ended off the day, spending a few hours with old friends whom we have shared friendship with for many, many years.

Yesterday, I had the chance to ponder over my journaling notes from the week with Dr. Crabb. Ponder over some life-giving quotes (which I posted yesterday). And, of course I got asked yesterday – if I would share the week with my friends.

In the midst of two of the conversations – the ones that lasted hours vs. thirty minutes – I also was able to share my wrestling over the past week. The wondering about what I am supposed to do – (when I actually believe I KNOW in my heart the answer). The wondering over the sale of our house, at this time – and whether we are really giving it to God or just fooling ourselves? I joked about the “conversations” that take place in my head – all the time. The confusion at times – the doubt – the surety – the resting – the letting go – the struggle to let go – the feeling of being in God’s arms – along with the feeling that I can’t feel Him – should I go on? You get the picture.

To look at me from the outside – you wouldn’t know this. And, to just bump into me, you would think that I am looking great (which is what someone told me)… but it is only those who dare to spend time in community with me – who are also the ones who challenge, or prod at times, or listen, or cry (you know who you are) – You are the ones that help me to see that all of this is really part of our walk with God. Or at least I think it is.

The title – WHAT NOW GOD? – I actually stole from an article I was reading, which was a review on when Rob Bell came to speak in Winnipeg. Apparently he was speaking about Pain, Suffering, Despair, Sorrow (oh dear, how familiar those words are). And that it seems that many of us rant and rave and say WHY GOD?? (Yes, I confess…)

Apparently Bell told the crown that “I’m less interested in why suffering happens, than in what we should do next.” And that rather than seeing pain, suffering, despair and sorrow as detrimental or damaging – that it shapes us and forms us as we confront it – and that we are really forced to express what we are really feeling – and the stripping away and uncovering the most important part…

As this person wrote in the article (Mike Duerksen – MB Herald, October 09 edition) “There’s also the art of solidarity in realizing that through the incarnation, God knows how we feel on some unfathomable level, and finally, the art of failure that takes in stride the broken pieces for what they are – a part of a grander scheme and a larger puzzle. Overall, Bell’s message was clear; none get to God but through trouble.”

This kind of corresponds to the book SHATTERED DREAMS by Larry Crabb.

All of this – the reading, the pondering of what has been stored in my heart over the past year – I have come to realize that I KNOW this – and that I have experienced the pieces coming together after the brokenness. And I have experienced God in all of it. I realize something else however – that has to do with brokenness – repentance and release that turns to HOPE …. I realize that (as Dr. Crabb spoke about it) – I am constantly having to repent to the Lord, about my “spirit of entitlement” ….. you know what I mean? The A +B= C Do this, and this and God will give you THAT….
NOT ….
I have come to realize that the Lord is truly about relationship – he longs for me to come to him, to talk, to just rest in him, to confess my daily sin to him, and to grow to become more like Jesus! I have also come to realize that I do not get anything because I deserve it. NOT A THING!! Go figure – Grace is all about that – we deserved nothing but death because of our sin – but God in his great plan – sent Jesus to die for us – so that we would be able to live eternally with the Trinity. WOOHOOO….. talk about getting something we don’t deserve!! Think about what that means – about how much GOD LOVES YOU AND ME!!

So back to the whole thing about wrestling with our “spirit of entitlement”. I think that it so subtly crawls back in - “Lord, I love you – so why aren’t you selling our house now?” (Yes, it sounds pretty bad doesn’t it?)

So needless to say – my friends have allowed us to talk – about so much – sorrow/sadness/joy/anticipation/anxiety/confusion…. All of it.
We are so blessed to have community around us – my week has been full of it – with my kids… with friends over lunches, over coffees, over work out machines, over supper, over a massage, at the end of a meeting when we stay later to chat!. With friends via facebook chat, via email. I am SOOOOO loved. Lord, thank you for community that I find in friendships. I am also thankful Lord, that you keep letting me “give it all to you” and that even in the confusion and the wrestling…. You really are here with me. Help me to trust you for all things – yes Lord – I give you my house again… really Lord – to do with as you see fit WHEN you see fit. Help me to let go and truly give it to you Lord God.

Thanks friends – for reading and listening to my ramble. Thank you for not just listening but also for challenging me when it is necessary. Thank you for your love, and your prayer support. Thank you for standing in the gap on our behalf. I am very thankful.
VERY VERY thankful!

Posted on Saturday, October 24, 2009

1 comment:

Ron said...


what a wonderful friend who would do extra station to continue the conversation .... Although, I suspect that it was the pouring of your soul into hers that kept Debbie going on extra stations ....