Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The Pain of Peeling
No, I'm not speaking about sunburns. Heh... I wish.
Nah, it's this thing of how personal growth can feel rather like you're an onion when--once again--God comes along and peels off yet another of your outer layers in His quest to reach the heart of the onion--your heart, the person you truly are--so that it will match the person everyone sees. And after He completes all this work, hopefully, the heart you're showing to the world makes everyone thirsty for the God who made such a heart.
I am so at another one of those peeling stages and I am trying not to resent it. God is wildly husking away my superficial layers (ouch, ouch, ouch) like there is no tomorrow.
Once again, I've been impatient about moving. Tired of sitting around here on our porch as though it's a waiting room. Tired of running out of things to do (or rather, the desire to do things).
And God is calling me on my impatience (and complainings)--again.
It's like He hates loose ends and right now I'm one loooong loose end. He prefers to finish what He starts, so He's nailing me on how I keep returning to dissatisfaction and discontentment and imaginations of how Tom and I could just grab at some wild and quick life-changing alternative instead of waiting for God's way. I tell Tom, "You could retire now! We could just sell the house and buy a cabin and live-off the land up on some mountain! Or how about if we go RV'ing for a couple years and see the U.S.? Or how about if we adopt a whole passel of kids and run a bed-and-breakfast?" etc...etc...
And so my impatience and discontentment is the current layer God is peeling... And He's trying (poor God...I've been so cranky lately) to make me understand this: my head can either be crammed full, loud with my own bright ideas and I'll-be-sorry-later schemes--or-- it can be quiet, peaceful and receptive so I'll hear what God is saying by way of my heart (probably some marvelous, interesting project He wants me to do while I'm waiting).
I cannot have it both ways. At least, that's what God is telling me.
So another layer (#1,200,304) is being peeled away by God's very fingers... He is requiring more of me, stretching me... and I'm making the decision yet once more--will I cooperate and return to contentment and doing things God's way? Or will I prolong this whole uncomfortable process by trying to change God's mind and hurry Him up (when God simply will not be rushed)?
P.S. Aha! I did a little experiment and I am feeling a bit better. My simple experiment was having one of my afternoon pick-me-ups: In a cup I mix:
1 tbl. powdered sugar
3 tbl. baking cocoa
2 tsp. soy milk
2 tsp. vanilla
(all measurements approximate)
Anyway, it's amazing how much brighter the world looked after eating that--and I was encouraged by my little experiment: if I felt so much better after having a little chocolate, then my situation isn't quite so dire.
So add another layer to this post: my eating habits. Eating the way God wants me to is one of the hardest things I've had to die to. It's taking years to accept that I can no longer get away with eating whatever I wish and feeling fine afterward. And well, it's not like I can quit eating altogether the way I can quit nagging or worrying or being lazy or... (name a host of other such things).
But alas (again), I'm encouraged that if my whole outlook on life can be changed with a little chocolate then things aren't too drastically bad--and might just be quite easily fixable--especially once I decide to stop complaining and disobeying God in areas which appear little. Nothing is little to Him--not even the way we eat.
I am encouraged! ...Just wanted you to know...
"You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body..." I Corinthians 6:19,20
"It is never fun to die." ... A.W. Tozer (taken from here.)
"Be still..." Psalm 46:10