Friday, August 28, 2015

content in His gracious sufficiency

Yesterday someone asked me where I felt more at home: Chicago or Houston.  After thinking about that question a while, my most honest answer is neither.  Sure, I was born and raised in Chicago, and it is home on so many levels because it is my familiar.  And yes, in the past two years Chuck and I have relocated to Houston and started developing new roots there.  Houston is also home on so many levels, but for completely different reasons.  But the truth of the matter is, no matter where I seem to hang my hat these days, on the whole I feel like an itinerant, a vagabond, a wanderer.

In the last couple of years, The Lord has been weaning me away from my own comfortable, everyday stabilities.  These have included several people, places, things whom I always thought would "just be there" for me.  I feel as if Jesus has been peeling back most of my surface comforts to further expose my true heart toward Him.  He has asked me to address my own contentment in uncomfortableness.  My eternal joy through uncertainties.  And for this, I am grateful... and a little terrified.  

Of course, at first I was anything but accepting toward God's spiritual fine tuning.  In fact, at times I have been down right annoyed with God for allowing my apple cart so much upset.  I'd think, "Lord, what are you doing? Why are you permitting the rug to be pulled out from under me over and over and over again?"  I'd wonder when I would ever get my footing back, or feel even a little more stable on my heels.  You see, it seems that I have been floundering in every environment.  I have felt like a big ole crab stuck in a very high and very vicious tide - belly flopping from one crises into the next... sometimes getting close to the shoreline, hoping to finally crawl safely onto the beach and bury myself in the warm sand, but suddenly swept back in an enormous ocean of spinning chaos by another huge wave of change.  A wave where predators circle. Where armies of enemies who wish to harm and destroy me watch and wait as I spiral out of control in territory I cannot easily maneuver.  Struggling to survive.  Doing all I can to simply keep my head afloat.

I read somewhere that it takes a substantial amount of time for a person to recuperate from a major crisis.  But what do you do when one life altering crises follows the next... and the next?  When dilemmas present themselves in double digits?  When every time you try to stand up, the tide pulls you down and deep again?

Upon much prayer and reflection, I have now come to realize that my footing is not really the issue.  Nor is my ability to control my circumstances or environment.  For the very place I am at today, whether safely seated in warm sunlight or struggling beneath a furious undertow... WHERE I am is exactly WHERE God wants me to be.  It is a place predestined and overseen by my Savior who loves me and decrees my every step.  He is my real home... my true stability!  Yes, on this earth I might be a nomad, but I am not alone.  With Jesus, I am never alone!  So, I am not to worry about whatever may come.  Instead, what is most important is WHO I look to and how I respond in praise to Him while always trusting that He is in control.  I am to live content in God's footing.  Stable in God's sovereignty.  Not my own.

Jesus said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.  Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:19-34)

So, where do I feel most comfortable?  Right here.  Wherever God puts me.  Wherever I am nearest to Him.  I walk in contentment with the knowledge that He walks with me and is for me.  He is my treasure.  He is the prize.   So, it doesn't really matter what tomorrow will bring or even how clamorous today may become.  It only matters that Jesus is with me... that Jesus is my solid Rock... that Jesus is the Master I serve and love most.  HE is my only true and lasting comfort.  Today... always, I am content in His gracious sufficiency.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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