We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. -- C. S. Lewis
The quote above sums up right where the human mind heads when God directs you in an unexpected way. Change is hard. I think most of us cling to the good old status quo simply because of cowardice. We just don't know where God is going with us and if the process is going to hurt or not.
My own personal experience has taught me (and is currently teaching me) that if you don't go the direction God wants you to go that He will find a way to make you go the right way. If it involves using a weak moment or a personal flaw, so be it. And, well...ouch. Chances are that listening and following through at the get-go would still have been painful, but possibly less humiliating.
"FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES." Hebrews 12:6 Good to know! I believe it was David who said, "It was good for me that I had been afflicted." "Chastisement yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness", especially if you know how to be thankful for it. Because, "All things happen for the good to those who love the Lord."
"Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. Let him rebuke me; it shall be an excellent oil; let my heart not refuse it." Psalms 141:5
I'm still in the wound-care department of this current self-inflicted injury but I am already catching glimpses of the grace in the disgrace. I feel like Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - he was in the form of a dragon because of all the greedy, dragonish thoughts. To become a boy again, he has to allow Aslan to pull away that dragon skin, layer by painful layer. In the end of it, he was fresh and new - transformed.
Here's how the character of Eustace describes it:
"The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know - if you've ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like the billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away."
A blessing worth mentioning: My husband's awesome support. Not only is he incredibly gorgeous, he a rock. :)
An interesting quote from a theses I read:
"The object of faith is no longer Christ, but our self-esteem; the goal of faith is no longer holiness, but our happiness; and the source of faith is no longer the Scriptures, but our experience. Christian music currently reflects this. We are producing a generation of people that "feel" their God, but do not know their God." Steven John Camp
While Mr. Camp was writing this on the topic of music ministry, it is too often seen within another area of the worship service: the message. People complain if the message is too harsh, if the preacher doesn't have any easy to follow outline, and a number of other things. As a people we've come to want to be entertained - we want the sermon-giver to be likable, personable, to say the things our itchy ears want to be tickled with. Make us laugh. Give us something not too deep, but enough that we can feel like we did our duty in our 45 minutes of pew-warming. The trend says certainly don't make us uncomfortable.
So what happens when the object of our faith is something else? Be it our children's socialization or our own friendships, position, prestige, or perhaps just not wanting to budge from our comfort zone? Nowadays sports is the god of choice in many circles - how many church ministry meetings cancelled or changed because "My kid has football practice on Wednesday night and if he's not there, he can't play."
I'm going to digress a little here - but the moment we start telling our kids that *any secular/recreational activity* trumps a scheduled activity with other believers, young or old, (excluding random, occasional imminent need type things or a once in a blue moon tournament) - then we're giving them the wrong message. If we're doing it ourselves, then woe to us. In our house there was always a rule when the girls played rec league sports and attended dance classes: Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights were reserved for church. Period. If we were told our child couldn't be on a team unless they attended something during one of those times, then tough-luck - no team. Maybe in this God's best is painful, but that instruction and fellowship will have eternal rewards. Basketball or acrobatics won't. Maybe that's the another good thing about homeschooling or being in a small, private Christian school - you aren't subject to as much adult peer pressure to choose sports over church.
A delicious combination: quinoa and natural (no sugar added) apple butter. Delicious!
If you happen upon this posting and are in a praying frame of mind, lift up my dear BFF, Caren. The icy conditions were just plain treacherous yesterday afternoon and she broke her lower arm. It is painful and restricting.