Monday, July 11, 2011

Strong Hands

Bright eyes struggled to focus on the strong fingers that deftly wove the threads of the tapestry.  Many times, the curious hands of the infant had reached out impulsively and tried to catch the threads of gold and red and blue.  Patiently, the mother would reprove her child and straighten each row to its proper place, each humble strand to form the emerging design.  Now, her daughter would not understand, nor would she appreciate the effort and love put into the design.  The mother smiled down on the downy head that snuggled so trustingly against her, filled with love for the baby she cherished for this short time, seeing the woman she would so soon become.  The child fussed again, trying to reach for the beautiful threads that were denied her, pushing against her mother's restraining hands. Squirming, she let out a frustrated cry. "Hush, my daughter, hush."

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The Lord has been quieting my heart and teaching me to rest in Him this year.  So many times, my mind rebels.  "Why God? Why can't I sense your direction for my life? Why do I have to wait to know your plans?  Why do I have to live with these uncertainties, this lack of decision?"  Yet the Lord knows what I need, and He has not left me to wallow in those questions.  He has brought so many messages into my life that deal with these very issues.  One was a sermon series at church last summer about the will of God, based on Deuteronomy 29:29, "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law."  Another was the study on Jerry Bridges' book, Trusting God.  Great book, by the way! 

So, honestly, after some emotionally rough times near the beginning of this year, you'd think I'd have finally got it.  I thought so too, but there have been moments when I've allowed the anxiety of those tangible decisions to get in the way of that trust, and I've felt trapped in it. I would dread the inevitable question of, "So, what are you doing now that you've graduated?" I have struggled with the fear of disappointing my friends and family, of having my decisions ridiculed or misunderstood.

I'm beginning to realize the reason that He has me in this place, and as always, His purposes are perfect.  I'm repenting of my selfish, doubting spirit. I would think I had surrendered everything at the cross, but then get trapped again in the fear that I'm not making the right decisions, and I'd be a failure and miss God's plan and have a horrible life. Uh... Self?  What in the world were you thinking!?  By His grace, I will not be a slave again to fear. 

My Father has been whispering to my heart, "Look up! Here I Am. Seek Me."  Almost every time I open my Bible or pick up another book, I end up reading that message.  The other day, as I was leafing through a journal that I was given, there was a quote by Charlotte Bronte that said the same thing: "I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward." I am so thankful that God is teaching me these lessons now.  Not that I will ever learn them fully in this life, but that I may be sanctified by His power in order to more fully proclaim His glory through my living and dying, day by day.  His faithfulness is indeed great. Life is busy, complicated, and filled with struggles without and within, but through all these things, I can see God's hand at work.  I can rest in Him, because His strong hands are weaving the tapestry of my life.

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