Calming Stormy Seas

There are times when my heart feels bitter. I feel uneasy and dissatisfied with the world around me. I become frustrated, and begin to blame the conditions of our world on people, like the president. I blame people for all the sick, all the poor, and hurting. I think of the way I want things to be. I ball my fists up. I start asking myself questions that I don’t know how to answer. Why can’t the economy turn around? Why do people insist on giving Christians a bad reputation by doing something terrible and then slapping a “it’s God’s will” stamp on it? I try to write about it. I write 4 pages of thoughts and rants and feelings, but then I read them and realize I’m only complaining. I write a page, I tear it out, write a page, tear it out. I don’t know how to communicate how I feel. I wonder, why do people have to make it difficult for me to talk to other people about Jesus? Why do non-believers have such misconstrued, preconceived opinions about me, and who Jesus is, and what the bible says? I don’t understand how people doubt God. My fists tighten. I think about the things I own. Why do I have to be so fortunate, and other people so unfortunate? The most joyful, and grateful people I ever met in my life were two little girls who owned practically nothing, and had no family! Why do I have all this stuff? I never needed it before. I become angry. Why do other people seem to be so good at some things that I wish I could do? I begin to shout. Why did I have to wait until I was 27 to go to church and become a Christian? Maybe I could have gone to school earlier to do something great. Maybe I could have been in ministry, or have been a preacher, or studied theology. If only I would have acted sooner! I keep telling myself that the body of Christ doesn’t need 17 feet, but its not comforting. I just wish I knew what I was supposed to be doing. How can I fulfill my purpose if I don’t know what it is? My face wrinkles into a grimace. How long do I have to work at this job? When will I get to see some results for my efforts? How long will this take? I want to begin a bible study group, but I don’t know how, or if anyone would join me, or if I’d make a good leader. I don’t pray enough. I don’t read the bible as often as I should. My fists tighten more, and veins bulge in my forearms. Where has all my time gone? Where am I going?!

I’m standing in my bathroom shouting at my reflection. I begin to pray…
I don’t know what I’m praying for, I just want to clear my thoughts.
I think of Jesus. I think of heart break. I think of God’s sovereignty, God’s plan. I realize that even in this moment, I’m not at peace with all that God has given me. I am so blessed but still so angry. I think of the cross and feel ashamed. I speak quietly to myself. “He has given me so much that I am so undeserving of, and all I do is ask for more. I’m not suppose to have this “gimme more, I want it now” mentality, like so many in our society. I hear my daughters giggling down the hallway and my heart goes to mush. My little gifts. My family. My fists loosen and I turn them over to reveal my palms. I raise them near my face and begin to inspect them. The calluses and cracks, and scrapes and cuts. My wedding band. Empty hands. I sit down and begin to write. Words are spewing from my pen as if God put my vocal chords in my wrist. God, you are supreme and your plan is perfect. He has work for me to do, and as long as I am where He put me, then I am right where I need to be! I need not fear persecution or revilement, but expect it. I must be patient, because my timing is not God’s timing. I must have faith that what I am not able to do in my own strength, the Lord will do through me. I must be loving and patient with others, even the lost, especially the lost! I was lost once too, and in 27 years God never stopped trying to reach me! I must maintain my responsibilities to family. They need me to provide for them and lead them, just as I need to trust in the Lord that He is taking me where I need to go. While I’m not entirely proud of where I have been, I have since made a new choice. I chose the narrow road. I chose persecution. I chose love. I chose Jesus. This is all I have. Empty hands. Take them Lord. I pray that you use them to do great things in your name. My breathing calms, and I close my eyes with my hands again stretched out before me. Praise. The only thing I have left to offer my sovereign Lord is unending, praise. Heavenly father, thank you for taking this broken sinful life and making it new so that I can work for you. I know that your plan for me is great, and will bring you glory, and I will give my heart to follow you, and I give my hands to do your work. They were yours already. Thank you Jesus. Amen. Thank you Jesus.