I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.Psalms 27:13 (NASB)
I fight with God. In the words of my Pastor “yeah, that’s how you roll.” People who know me well get that, but my faith walk, on the razor’s edge, testing each thing, doubting everything, IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. It’s NOT for most, and that’s okay.
Today’s sermon was a balm. “Being angry with God means you are turning toward God. Turning away is the more dangerous choice.” Once again, I am in a turbulent season; fear not. That is how I grow. Instead of fighting my storms, I learned to weather them, releasing my body to the pull of the tides rather than resisting. I no longer fight the water. I float.
Almost EXACTLY 6 years ago in 2015, I made this confession.
“Yesterday, a sermon wove one piece of whole cloth from the ragged strings, threads, and patches I’ve been dragging around calling my life. Yesterday I realized I wasn’t angry anymore.
When the thought occurred to me, I opened my diary with a deep and knowing smile…one more inside than out, warm, radiating, satisfying; like knowing how truly you are Beloved and found the scripture Dr. G gave me during a tantrum (it was technically a counseling session). That scripture was Psalms 27:13. In a quiet moment after morning worship, I sought her out to ask, “why didn’t you tell me to just stop being angry?”
I routinely re-read what I’ve written, not just because those words occasionally reveal my growth as a writer, or the evolution of a perspective, but also to discover that while I have mastered some lessons, there are plenty o summits left to ascend. Yesterday’s sermon reminds me that releasing things you no longer need allows you to enter into a deeper level of Faith. Years ago I read,
Surrender can be the sweetest thing. Practice surrender and let the Universe do its work
The unknown author of these words did not write them for me. Even as I collected them to hold first and savor later I couldn’t know when or how desperately I’d need them. I got them a little, but not nearly enough. Surrender seemed so much like losing. I don’t lose, even when I choose to walk away. Suffering, however, is completely different. Suffering has the capacity to swallow you whole along with all of those you love. There is a point when suffering can overwhelm and consume you. At that moment, you understand that surrender means resisting no longer.
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
I understood that the intense pressure of suffering that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy…
It did not happen all at once, and I cannot say I remember it happening at all. There was a moment when I realized that I wasn’t angry anymore and that I could breathe again. The world hadn’t changed; I did. God sent Grace, and it alone was sufficient.
I was never supposed to manage everything on my own, to have any plan proceed without flaw. Looking back, I am deeply grateful. Had Life proceeded according to my plan, I’d have thought I did it on my own. You see, not only is His Grace sufficient, His power is perfected in our weakness. And, in that light, armed with that understanding, I celebrate my human frailty, my foolish anger and my fear, and all the times I intended to, but never quite got it right.
Our lessons await our readiness. What you need to learn is right in front of you. However, until you accept the challenge, listen without resistance or complaint, receive and then apply all you’ve uncovered, its proximity has no value. It is only time when its time.
Yesterday I realized I wasn’t angry anymore. I cannot tell you when I knew. I cannot tell you that it mattered. When I asked Dr. G. why she never told me to just stop, she smiled that same deep knowing smile I had on the inside. Her answer? “You wouldn’t have believed me.”
To this I add one think. I am clear that God does miracles, all day, every day, whether you are paying attention or not. I have seen them. I am subject to them. I rely upon them. Someone you know, or someone you should know, is in the midst of their own season right now. Stop whatever it is you’re doing and pray for them right now. Even if you don’t know for whom you are interceding. At a loss for words? Fortunately, I got you; I’m a writer…it is what I do.
Naming the object of your supplication is up to you, or…you could leave it up to God. G’on ‘head, I dare you.
“God, I do not know Your Will, but I have experienced Your Miracles. Repeatedly. Grant inarticulable Grace, Favor, and Healing to Your child, Your world, all those in need of a blessing, right now, because You can. Amen.”