Tuesday, July 13, 2010
How Much More?
This is the closest to a journal entry I have written on my blog so far. Which is funny, because I don't actually journal. It's long, and possibly self-indulgent, but I'm sharing, in the hope that it will bless someone out there.
This past weekend, I was fortunate to attend a Lifeway conference at my church, where famous Bible teacher Beth Moore was speaking. Her teaching was very powerful. She spoke on the Lord's prayer. And though this this is one of the most well-known passages in the New Testament, her take on it was very fresh. Luke 5:11 says, "If you fathers, even though you are sinful know how to give your children good gifts, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him."
How much more? That was the theme. How much more could forgiveness heal my soul? How much more does my Father have in store for me? How much more could I get out of this day? A lot, if I truly ask God for my daily bread instead of asking what he plans to give me many years from now.
I got to attend with three of my very best friends, and go to lunch afterward. Four moms who rarely get to sit down, let alone lunch in a restaurant that doesn't serve in plastic baskets was such a treat. We took some time to talk over what we've learned. One of the things I shared was that I finally feel that I am trusting God to provide one day at a time, rather than worrying so much about the future.
When lunch was almost over, I got a call from my husband. He had his head in the refrigerator, hunting for some chicken legs that we were supposed to prepare and bring over to his parents for dinner that night. While on the phone, he found them: they were in the trunk of my car, along with about $20 worth of other raw meat, all forgotten the day before in my hurry to get to the conference.
As silly as it sounds, when I got that call about my forgetfulness, I almost felt my weekend was spoiled. The check for my celebratory lunch now seemed exorbitant. The thought of the worship CD I'd just bought my friend made feel guilty. The $20 in waste made me feel sick to my stomach.
That night, I came home and blogged about 10 things I was thankful for that day. Instead of being the uplifting discipline I meant it to be, the second half of my top 10 list instead became a compulsive diatribe about how I had left all that meat in the trunk. The only profound thought on it was number 10: I'm thankful for the fact that losing a bag of groceries doesn't mean I can't feed my family.
When I woke in the morning, I was ashamed of myself -- how could worrying about that meat be the lasting impression I take away from this amazing weekend? I deleted the blog immediately.
As I made my coffee, something occurred to me. Why was I still thinking about this mistake? Was my husband mad at me? No. Was God mad at me? No. Instead I realized what I felt was not guilt, but fear. I watch our budget so closely, that the idea of losing money by accident made me feel afraid.
A big emphasis of Beth's talk was to "tweet" to our Father. Just pray out our little concerns and desires. Just talk to him like he's in the room. Here's what came out of me:
"Father, do I really think your provision for my family is going to be threatened by my $20 mistake?"
Relief immediately flooded me. That one rhetorical question acted as confession, and resolution both.
It's not that I have little faith. It's just that fear is an addictive stimulant, and all addictions die hard.
Also, the fear lies to me. Though I know that God is ultimately our provider -- which means I am safe, not always comfortable, but safe -- the fear tells many any little misstep makes me unsafe. That morning I realized that feeling in control is a way I cope with being afraid; mistakes threaten my illusion of control.
How much more do I have to grow? A lot. Thankfully, my Father is only a tweet away, and he's so very willing to remind me what the truth is.