On Human Weakness (Particularly My Own)

This period of life has taught me a lot.
… Let’s be honest, I think 2020 has taught all of us a lot.

I received a voice memo from a dear friend of mine the other day.

“I really think this time in your life is about building your trust in The Lord.”

Those words cut me to the core. It was absolutely true, and I was absolutely resisting it. I was trying so hard, gripping at every string, wanting to make it work on my own.

On my own. My own. Mine mine mine. My effort, my work, my problems. I think part of that is the American in me. But it’s also the rigid stubbornness I was born with. Here’s the thing. Being on my own doesn’t work. It never has. Everything I have tried to do in my own power has failed. Only what Jesus has done through me has succeeded.

This week was confirmation of that.

To make an extremely long story short, I have been in an extended period of waiting. 2020 itself has felt like an inevitable waiting period, and I have come to the realization that I have no earthly idea why anyone would believe in purgatory after experiencing a year that parallels so similarly to what I can only assume to be purgatory. That, however is another story for another time, and I do not know enough about theology to debate anyone. So I digress.

Transitional periods of life are normal. Summer/early autumn has always seemed to be a period of waiting for me, ever since I was a kid. Waiting to go back to school, waiting to transition from high school to college, waiting to find that perfect job. Waiting, waiting, w a i t i n g. I’ve never been a patient person, unfortunately. (Is anyone actually patient, really?)

Anyway, I just realized how stupid it all is. I sit here and demand answers from God, praying to Him like He’s some sort of genie. “Hey God, if you could just give me this by next week, I would be so thankful.” Are you kidding me, Kristen? How foolish of me. How absolutely foolish to think that I can sit and whine about waiting for something for weeks when there are stories in the Bible of people who waited lifetimes for the promises of God.

Let me be clear: it is not God who is to blame. God always (always) fulfills His promises and his plans. Always. No question. It is I who is fickle and faulty. It is I who has bought into this culture’s instant-gratification and demanded God to conform to my ways. How silly is that? My thoughts are all over the place, but I must spout them out.

So, here is my declaration.

I have come to the end of myself.

Last week, I knelt down on the floor in my bedroom and sobbed. I wept until no more tears could come out of my body. I cried out to God.

He has heard my cries. He has not forsaken me.

As Khalil Gibran poetically expressed in his book The Prophet, “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” And mustn’t it be so? The great juxtaposition of the human experience is such.

In this season of life, though I have felt what humans might deem “negative” emotions, I have also felt the peace and presence of God more than ever before. I have learned to pray more fervently than ever before. In being stripped of everything in my power, I have been thrust into the power and love of Christ. I don’t know why I write this other than to praise Jesus for everything He has done in my life.

I am confident that I was made for “such a time as this.”

I am confident that “He who began a good work in me will carry through to completion.”

I am confident that “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

God is not done yet.

Take courage, my heart.

Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields, and meadows—then let your heart say in silence, “God rests in reason.”

And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky,—then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.” And since you are a breath in God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.

Khalil Gibran, the prophet

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