Thursday, March 1, 2012
Ever since Ash Wednesday, I've been trying to 'listen' for what it is that God is wanting to say to me during LENT. I have assumed that it was something that He wants me to give up- like TV or sugar or … something that would show I was committed to him.
It's been an emotional time! I just pushed through some BIG weekends for me- and I feel like I'm at a starting point again. Ren seems 'angry', like there is a rage boiling just under the surface. Friends are struggling, other issues are 'underlying'. Needless to say- I've felt discombobulated. (Wow! that is a real word? Spell check didn't correct it.) I know it's spiritual battle! I know that I'm failing miserably at 'giving up' something. But honestly, it seems like He's saying to me- it's not so much about what you don't do- it's about what you replace it with... ME!
This morning, I asked the Lord for a word.
He gave me Exodus 15- the prayer that Moses led the children of Israel in when the Lord sent the "horse and rider into the sea". It was the Red Sea time. They walked across on dry land, the water a congealed wall on either side. I wondered how 'desperate' they had to feel- knowing they were being chased by their former captors. Seeing a body of water that threatened their forward movement. And then seeing the Red Sea begin to move in ways they had never seen before- and shape walls. That couldn't have been a quiet event. The waves, the splashing, the witnessing something that wasn't possible, yet here it was.
Even as they passed through the 'path that no one knew was there' (Ps 77) they had to be desperate. What if it all collapsed as quick as it had stood tall? What if they would be consumed by the water instead of the Egyptians? But the fear of one drove them to take the next step into the fear of the other.
I've been reminded today of another kind of desperation- that of a husband desperately wishing his wife would long to have sex with him, that of a wife desperately wishing her husband would see her beyond the sex. And yes, Ren and I struggle there, but it's so many others in our life right now too. Marriages that are in crisis, marriages that are ending, marriages that are numb. Marriages that are not, nor ever have been safe places. Marriages that have long forgotten the sparkle of freshness, of newness, of giddy, first love. These people- Ren and I - are desperate too. Desperate for more. Desperate out of fear of what might come. Desperate out of desperation that it might always be like this.
Lord, where is the path? They Egyptians are chasing us - they are right at our heels. The former captors that beat us and used us until we were spent, taking from us all we were only to serve their own needs, wants and desires. And ahead of us are violent waves, crashing and churning- vowing to overwhelm and destroy us. Pain of past failure and hurt; fear, doubt & distrust clouding the vision of today, let alone tomorrow. Where do we turn when we feel like we've tried everything in our power to change things - to make it better and yet it is the same? Who can you tell when you are the one people go to - to tell, to ask for help, to unburden themselves of the pain they can hardly bear? How do the desperate help those who are also desperate?
It feels like a storm is coming- the winds are picking up, the waters are churning even more than before. The spray of the water dashing against the rocks stings my face. Lord, why would you bring a storm into an already desperate time in life? Why add more desperation? LORD, WHERE ARE YOU in the middle of all this???????
Wait! Is that a path?