Thursday, June 28, 2012

God is able!

I am a fixer. My initial reaction to many circumstances in this life, be it my own or those I love, is to throw on the construction hat, pick up the tool belt and offer my limited abilities to fix whatever situation lies before. However, the more I open my eyes to the problems of this world, to the hurdles that creep into my own life, and to the obstacle courses that face the ones I love; I have come to realize that most everything I want to fix is beyond my means of doing so.

I have tried time and time again to scramble and force the square pegs of solutions into the round holes of my problems. I have seen those who I love more than they will ever know, settle for the answer of a reckless cycle of devastation as a fix to escape the hardships this life, and I have witnessed far to many, including myself, that have chosen that path of least resistance as an answer that leads to no higher ground of resolution.

It isn't my J.O.B. to be the handyman. I am not asked to be the one who swoops in an saves the day. I am not equipped to be the one who reaches into the depths of the dark pits of this world and pull out the destitute souls. And for me, at times, this realization can be frustrating. I do not like feeling helpless. I do not like watching friends walk a self destructive path. I do not like to see loved ones give up or turn to denial in situations that appear hopeless. And I do not like that sometimes; I just can't fix my own ordeals.

This week, in moments where the fixer in me was screaming to do something. Where the tears flowed and the cry of my heart poured out, I remembered.

I am not the fixer.

Last night, I was finally able to let go of the frustration, I was able to get on my knees and carry it to the One who can, to the one who is able.

I traded in frustration for freedom. I laid down the cries of "I can't . . ." and picked up the truth of "He can . . ."

You see, I can' fix it. But I do have a active part in the solution---getting on my knees and leaning into a God who is able . . .

Who is able to break cycles
Who is able to soften hard hearts
Who is able to heal deep wounds
Who is able to show forgiveness
Who is able to piece together the broken
Who is able to loosen the chains of addiction
Who is able to guard innocent hearts
Who is able to offer a new life

He is able, and this morning I found myself in His word where the reminder of that truth isn't hidden.

2 Timothy 1:12 God is able to keep that which I have committed to Him until that day
Ephesians 3:20 God is able to do super-abundantly above all that we ask or think
Jude 24 God is able to keep you from falling and present you blameless before His throne with exceeding joy
Philippians 3:21 God is able to change this lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power He uses to subject all things to Himself
Romans 14: 4 God is able to make His servant stand so His servant will stand for Him
Romans 16:25 God is able to make you stand firm in your faith according to the Gospel
Hebrews 7:25 God is able to save the uttermost those who come to Him through Christ, because He always lives to intercede for them
God is able!

A good reminder that whatever I am, you are, or the Joe Smith down the street is facing in this life, God is more than able . . .and willing to help.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's about the operating room again....

It feels like I have been laying on the table for weeks. First playing the waiting game. Waiting for the Great Physician to enter the room. To fill it with His peace. To lay His hand upon me to reassure me that He was there and that I would be okay. He did. He showed up. And just as always, in His presence there was overwhelming comfort. His presence changed my focus. I was ready. He was there and I was on the table. On your mark, get set, Go. Right? The quicker He begins, the quicker I am off the table?

Nothing.

No movement. Just more waiting. And waiting. And more waiting.
We've been waiting for what feels like forever (really only a matter of weeks, but in my world: FOREVER) . . . I guess I've been waiting. He's in charge, and He knows the game plan, eh? For me however, it's been an uncomfortable waiting game.

Alas . . . we have movement.

After all the waiting, I am more ready than I am scared. Was that the plan?

Something catches me eye. When I entered the room and examined it before, I can't say it caught my attention, but today, I see it.

I see me on the table. Not like a mental picture of what that would look like, but literally a mirror image of me lying on the table. When did that show up? Perfectly placed above me, where I can see all that is about to happen. One large mirror.

Whoa. Wait a minute. Did I mention before I am squeamish? That I would prefer You to do what You need to do, without me having to be an eye witness?

Funny how that sounds coming out.

Shouldn't I want to see firsthand all that He is doing, even if that does mean watching Him pull out and open stuff I'd rather not relive?

As I have this conversation in my head, I see His tender smile and He begins the much needed work.

A sigh of relief. A moment of remembering--there is no judgment. He knows what's there. I know what's there. There are no surprises.

As I watch Him do His thing . . . my mind drifts to that little window in the door. I know who's face is there. I wonder how much can be seen. Is the view obstructed by His shoulder? Is the mirror that bears all visible?

I glance back at the mirror.

As he pulls out garbage and as He makes His way to the deep wounds, my eyes lock on His.

Despite it all.

Despite all the poor decisions that have lead to those deep cuts. All of the quick fixes or fast escapes that have lead to the excess garbage; despite it all . . .  I'm here now.

I keep forgetting that.

He can't start writing the next chapter until I stop reading the last one.
He can't heal my wounds, if I keep taking off the bandages to see how I am doing.
He can't move me forward, if my feet are planted because of fear and if I am unwilling to be vulnerable and available.

That dreaded mirror, now doesn't seem so bad. I understand it. Not only do I get the joy of witnessing the power of His hands, but I am reminded of my need for Him. I get to see, that apart from Him junk and trash takes over my life. It's in that mirror that I see my need---the need to stay close, to abide in, to walk with Him, to let Him fill me.

He smiles.

I'm at peace.

I am not naive enough to believe that there won't be more earth shaking troubles. That I am not immune to heart break or hurt. That difficult times and questions of life won't arise.

He is teaching me that in the risks of life, no matter what, He will be there good or bad. He's got a hold of me and won't let go. He is faithful.

I glance back to the window.

Risk.
Trust.
Faith.

It's safe to do this part alone. Get all done up inside, put back together and then invite them in. However, I know that's not what He is asking of me.

He's left an empty chair by the operating table.

People to share life with are one of His biggest blessings. I know this. And as I catch His eyes again, He smiles in agreement.

I look back to the window, but this time I motion . . . .

. . . Please, come in.

I don't know if what will be seen in that room will leave that chair occupied or not.

Fear.
Doubt.

I leave that on the table too.

I refocus on the Mirror. On to what He is doing. On to Him . . . My leader. My Healer. My Savior.

I reach for the hand in that chair and repeat to myself . . .

Risk.
Trust.
Faith.