Hey you! I don’t know where you are this morning but I find myself here in my kitchen typing unexpected words onto my computer while coffee brews in the background. Lights twinkle on our Christmas tree and I’m trying to drink a full glass of water before breakfast because of something I heard someone say on a podcast last week about being an “I drink a full glass of water as soon as I wake up” kind of person. I can’t for the life of me remember what podcast it was or who said it but after a quick -and failed- google search, because I know you are all dying to hear where I attained this water information, I decided to not let myself get too distracted because this morning during my devotions I heard the whisper of God. I know, it sounds weird to me too. There was no audible voice like little Samuel heard in 1 Samuel 3, or a big booming one like when God talks to Charlton Heston in “The Ten Commandments” movie that plays on TV every Easter, just a still small whisper that spoke truth and peace into my morning.
Three words. It. Is. Enough.
This year – well most of my life actually – I’ve been fighting the hardness of my own heart. Wanting to go my own way. Thinking that I know best, or maybe a more accurately explained as thinking that what I want is best. Let me clarify here because usually my own way isn’t bad. Normally I want to do ministry related things, God things, things that are good, holy, and righteous things like foreign missions, adoption, ‘christian’ artwork, teaching, and discipleship. For whatever reason God has closed the door on most of those opportunities over the years and kept me here, a stay at home mom who home-schools our kids. Most of my life is spent corralling four unruly children between the walls of our 1100 sq. ft. home. If I’m being completely honest, this is a source of contention between me and God.
I’m not one of those women who dreamed their whole childhood of becoming a mother. It is something I wanted to happen eventually but not something I pined for. Don’t misunderstand, my kids have shaped me and sanctified me as a person, I love them more than I have words or time to describe here but motherhood itself was not my dream. Like those crazy Disney movies I obsessed over as a kid I always felt I was meant for something more and like cancer that idea infects every part of my heart if I let it.
It’s not just mothering though. Last year we left a church that I had been a part of for ten years and my husband has been a part of since his adolescence to help and encourage a small church nearby. It was where we felt God was calling us but I miss my former church family terribly. The small group we are a part of now averages 30 people on a good day and while I love those people I can also feel isolated and lonely there. We have so much peace as a family that this is where God wants us but sometimes I ask why?
Over the last several months I’ve taken a kind of social media hiatus reevaluating what I think the Lord wants of my business. I’m in the process of closing the art portion of my El Roi Artistry shop to focus entirely on the bible study materials. It seems like He is pushing me specifically in the direction of children’s study helps at the moment which I am excited about but also a tiny bit disappointed. I really wanted my art shop to become something.
So, yesterday morning while our family was driving to church I confessed the way I felt to my husband not in specifics like I just explained here but the deep true reality that God feels far off and part of me doesn’t want Him. I want my own way.
I want Him to bless what I think He should bless and
I find myself like Jacob, wrestling.
This morning as I began to pray for a sweet teenage girl that our family loves who wants to go into missions and as I attempted find words for her I felt resistance. Just to be clear, I want God to do great things through this friend wherever He leads her, but it was hard for me to say that outloud. I was supposed to do missions work. I committed to that when I was young. I want to have what she might have. I realized what was happening and like a child who hasn’t got their way I decided to tell God what I thought of His plan for my life, not in a rebellious angry way but more defeated and honest. I hadn’t been honest with myself or with God for a long time. James 3:10 says “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.” It’s easy for us to lie to ourselves about our own pride and arrogance. Like the Pharisees, who Jesus called white washed tombs, we parade ourselves around as friends of God but inside we are far from Him. Friends, as I prayed I could feel the Lord uncovering the bitterness, jealousy, and selfish ambition that I had been trying to cover up for so long.
The truth is, I want to do great things for God and this morning once again I was reminded that that is exactly what I’m doing. I pictured the Widow of Zarephath standing before Elijah with her handful of flour and tiny bit of oil at the bottom of a bottle thinking “I can’t give this to you, this is not enough” (1 Kings 17) and Phillip looking at a little boy with five loaves and a few fish thinking “we need so much more” (John 6). But David spoke truth in Psalms 16 when he said:
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
You hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”
As I laid out all my complaints and unmet expectations before God in the middle of my sentence I heard Him whisper “It is enough.” And even though this isn’t the first time this year I was reminded of this truth I think I may be the first time I actually believed it. In her book “The broken way” Ann Voskamp calls us “the remembering people” and I am so quick to forget. There is so much “not enough” in our culture. We are reminded everyday through our friends and our Facebook feeds that we need more but quickly we discover that the search for more always ends up with never enough.
My mothering, homeschooling, nursery working, bible study with a friend life may seem little but just because something is little doesn’t mean it isn’t good. There is an old song I used to sing in church as a child “Little is much when God is in it” that I had forgotten until today but the truth rings clear. Little things and small obedience can be big before the God we serve. He works big in the little things. This season we celebrate the small, humble, and quiet coming of our savior. God elevates and exalts the humble.
So this morning as I listen to my kids play in the living room and finish this last cup of coffee the words from 1 Peter I read in the dark and quiet earlier today reverberate in my heart “Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” I don’t claim to be suffering but I know there are those within the reach of these words that are. In any situation friends whether that means we are really hurting or simply wrestling with God about His plan for our life. He is trustworthy. We can entrust our souls and our days to him. His faithfulness doesn’t end. He isn’t finished with you yet and He is blessing your obedience whether you see it or not.