That imagery really appeals to me because it implies both struggle and desire for control. It’s like I’m constantly telling Jesus, Pour me out. Make me more like You. But I’m also quick to remind him of how I want my life to look. God, you can use me but please do things my way.
I think a lot of are in the midst of wrestling with God. We wrestle for comfort. We wrestle for control. We wrestle for security.
Being here in the Dominican has already brought me face-to-face with the shattered state of my heart. I hate the spirit of negativity that can shroud my judgement. The selfish desires that steal my joy. Wrestling for control. Trusting that what God sets in motion is for my good.
But even in the short time I’m here, I feel a little more free about the future. I’ve always “wrestled” with God about planning my own course. Making a timeline that I think makes sense, and being frustrated when it’s interrupted. Like getting sick for 8 months during college. (you can read more about that on earlier blog posts).
Here in the Dominican, I’m (slowly, by His grace) learning how to trust God with the everyday. Like praying for sun so that our solar power lasts through the night. Praying God keeps the bugs and terranchulas away while I go to sleep. Praying for strength to get through a lesson when the kids are disrespectful and I feel like crying.
That anxiety that I used to feel about answering the dreaded question “What are you going to do with your life?” has quickly diminished. It just doesn’t seem as important to worry about what I’m going to do next, when I’m focused on the now. (That doesn’t mean the worry isn’t still there, it’s just not as palpable. It’s living beneath the surface instead of at the forefront of my mind.)
And that way of living has been so good for my spirit. I’m still immensely flawed. I still worry about many things irrationally. But being present has given me the ability to be GRATEFUL for the everyday miracles.
A student writing a sweet note for me and taping it on their notebook
A missionary buying me a coke to drink at dinner.
Finding socks I thought were missing.
Gluten free noodles at the grocery store here (I could have cried over that one).
A child in my class who is close to being suspended suddenly makes it through the day without having to be disciplined.
A worship song that comes on at just the right moment.
A missionary family taking us to the beach. Hearing the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wrestle with God over the why. The how. The when. The why not. But resting in him, submitting to Him, is the posture we were created to assume. We were designed for worship, and that doesn’t just mean with song. Worship can be an attitude, an intentional mindset.
As I’m pondering all of this, it’s not ironic that we are studying James here. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, if it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15
Oh how beautiful is this life. In the mist of the broken, there is holiness. There is love.
Thy will be done.