October 18, 2012
bandaids and abiding
Life has been busy.
Actually, life has been insane. The last few weeks have just been so crazy for me and Anthony. We have had a lot going on. And things are about to get even wilder as we go through some pretty big changes as a family in the next couple of months. Not only will Kael and Hasya be joining our family (prayerfully before the end of the year!), but we also have some other big changes on the horizon.
It's been a season of great stretching for me. In a good way, of course. The Refiner's fire is always a good thing! Life has been full to overflowing with challenges. Jesus wasn't kidding when He said in the book of James that we will face many trials.
And I lie in bed at night, with my mind racing, praying to God for ways to make everything right. I take the burden upon myself--when it was never mine to carry.
It’s just the way I am. I was born a “fixer.” If something’s broken, I absolutely have to fix it. When things go wrong, I just have to make them right (even if I cannot). I have been this way forever. I love to slap a big ole bandaid on things just to make sure everything seems right. Doesn't everyone want a quick fix every now and then? I sure do.
God requires silence. To wait patiently on the LORD to part our Red Sea.
My bandaids only heal temporary wounds.
They don’t heal issues of the heart—those places deep within that ache because of injustice, that long for healing, that yearn for mended relationships and restoration.
Those places in the heart that can ONLY be healed, restored, and redeemed by a loving Savior.
Oh, how I forget that!
My bandaids will never work! My frequent manic, last-ditch efforts to make everything in my little world right are going to fail every time.
Because the longer I journey with the Lord, the more He teaches me that it is only by His grace, it is only by His loving hand, it is only by me getting out of the way and allowing HIM to do His work, that His glory can shine through the toughest of situations.
The very toughest of situations!
I think of the many children who were available for adoption from Hasya’s orphanage—children who I loved on, prayed over, and believed with all my heart WOULD be chosen by someone this time. None of them found families! Every file got sent back to Bulgaria last Sunday with an unspoken message that said, “Not these! We don’t want them!” Many of us shouted from the top of our lungs for these children…we begged, we pleaded! My friend, Susanna, cried out for them too.
How I ache for those precious children! Beautiful Penny got listed for the second time.
And was still rejected!
And everything in me wants to find the biggest bandaid I can and just make the whole miserable situation right! I want the whole evil mess that is the orphan crisis to just go away...forever! In my flesh I want to shake the Church and tell them to rise up and take up their command to care for the weakest of the Father’s flock. I want to write to people personally and BEG them to please, please give sweet Penny a chance—please give Theodore a chance.
But I’m learning, albeit ever so slowly, that it’s not my job.
My bandaids—they fail miserably.
Only God can move on the hearts of His people.
And then I think of the countless other things which are breaking my heart and the “fixer” in me wants to spring into action and darn well make it all right!
And I feel like I am failing because deep down I know that there is nothing on this earth that I can do to “fix” it.
My bandaids—they last for a while—and then they get grimy and nasty and they fall off. A temporary fix.
Only the Great I AM is able to turn the coldest of hearts and deafest of ears.
Only God is able to mend broken relationships and restore everything the locusts ate.
Only the Everlasting God can break down walls, breathe life into situations, and do the impossible.
Only the Almighty Father can bring justice!
And in those moments, when the voices taunt me, when they remind me of all the orphans who still wait (and probably will until Jesus returns!), of all the times I have failed, of the countless issues on my heart that I can do absolutely nothing about...
“Abide in me, Adéye.” (John 15)
I’m a slow learner. Here I am at forty, and I still struggle with the same things I did when I was eighteen. Dang!
If only I could learn to fully, completely, with everything I am….ABIDE.
There are some seasons when I do great! I get that whole “abide in me” thing right.
But then there are the other times. Like recently.
Those moments when everything in me wants to take life, situations, and hurts into my own hands and come up with these amazing ways to “fix” them.
The dictionary describes it this way: “to remain; continue; stay.”
“To stay.” I love that.
To stay so close to His side that no matter what the storms of life bring my way…
No matter how desperately my heart breaks...
No matter how difficult things will ever become...
to know that I know with everything that is within me that my God is ABLE!
I love the commentary of Barnes' Notes on the Bible: “Abide in me and I in you. That is, if you remain attached to me, I will remain with you, and will teach, guide, and comfort you.”
"In place of our exhaustion and spiritual fatigue, God will give us rest. All He asks is that we come to Him...that we spend a while thinking about Him, meditating on Him, talking to Him, listening in silence, occupying ourselves with Him - totally and thoroughly lost in the hiding place of His presence." ~Chuck Swindoll
Attached to my Father. Lost in the hiding place of His presence.
That’s where you’ll find me trying to be these days.
Because life is messy.
And children will suffer.
And people will get hurt.
And the storms of life will blow.
And Jesus is our only hope!