What can you expect? Straight talk, laughable humor, real truth, simple living, and passionate yearning...
all regarding the God that still involves Himself in the details of the lives of His people
A calling to write what He leads, no matter how uncomfortable...
Because simple daily Christian living is never what we thought it would be
Persistence and clarity…the writing on the wall kind; He now speaks louder, uses shorter words, and much larger font when communicating to me about His expectations. I amaze myself: How I can stand before you and say that I am absolutely unsure about the will of God for my life…and in the same breath say that I am absolutely clear about what God has asked me to do in His name…is beyond me. But, here I am…saying just that. You, dear reader, may not believe it, but faith and confidence are more distinct from each other than most people suppose. So I laugh. I laugh at the sight of my own ridiculousness. And, I humbly bow before a King that would endure such foolishness for so long, just because He loves me. Now there’s a King different from all other kings. That’s one of the reasons that He alone is God.Type your paragraph here.
The story in the Old Testament of the hand and the writing on the wall has always been one of my favorites. How could anyone not be impressed? The God of all; of everything…standing and listening to the events of our day so much so that He Himself responded with a very clear message about what He intended and what was about to transpire. Think of it…we are talking about the God that is so highly esteemed (even by those who try and pretend to refuse) that His very presence commands movement (even if they are mountains)… we are talking about the God that is so greatly respected (even by those who deny it now) that the very mention of His name sends a tremble (even if they are demons), and upon impulse they praise Him aloud (even if they are rocks). That this God, the God that made the very air we breathe spends His time personally involved in the details of our days. Now that is one impressive story. And, that is why it is one of my very favorites. But it is not just a story.
Maybe that’s why I love to hear the testimonies of other followers of Christ. I love to sit and listen to how God has mingled in the events of their lives. How He loves us so much that He spends far more time off His throne than on it, and far more time putting out the fires of our lives than dealing with the matters of the spinning globes or the ongoing war with the principalities of evil. Of course, maybe the latter two things listen to Him more carefully and obey Him more readily than we do. What else could possibly explain their respect and our whining?
I have been whining about the same topic since 1998. Thirteen and a half years now, I have known my calling and have presented a continual floodwater of excuses and explanations and begging attempts to the Lord regarding what I already know to be true about His expectations. Now certainly, there are human considerations that factor in. I am a really unstable sort of human. I don’t trust people, I think, because of some bad experiences and an over-developed sense of insecurity. I love to be with people, but from a distance and always with an assignment…because I do not engage well in disorganized activity. In those cases, I always leave and within the moment am feeling that I made the wrong statements and impressions. And, of course, I over analyze…I mean, I am completely female. In short, for me, over analyzing means that I can take anything that truly happened and within a few short hours in my mind, can reduce…or enlarge it to a memory that still holds the facts, but in no other way still resembles itself…and this memory is always very destructive to some part of my being; usually my courage.
Thirteen and a half years ago, I gave up teaching to become a better, more time involved mom. I was already a good mom, but I taught school the way I do everything else…with all of myself and half more. So when I talked to my husband about redirecting that energy to our home and our family, truly I think he was feeling that this would result in the reduction of one and one-half crazy women in his house to just one…who would have greater family focus and fewer appointments on her schedule. I miss teaching and coaching and sponsoring and all the other things I did as an inner city public high school teacher. Mostly, I miss the relationships I built with hundreds of students and minds that were so yearning for knowledge. Yes, I know…that doesn’t sound like what we hear about students and schools today…still, it is impossible for me to believe that students are so different now…. especially when you consider that the desire for knowledge…since the beginning of time… has always been the same.
I still believe that God called me to teach. I have proof of this in the way that He “guided” my decision…but that is another story. God had asked me to teach; and in a subject that was definitely against my grain. Looking back, I realize that I learned as much as my students…and got a lot of practice in the subject area; English. (See…all part of the master plan). My decision to give up teaching…my first calling… was difficult, but I have never regretted it. I have always been in love with the privilege of motherhood and was more than excited to become a full-time mom to my then, five children.
But it wasn’t just motherhood that God had in mind. Within the first few weeks of settling in to my new routine, God began to whisper to me about writing and speaking for Him. Okay, now let’s analyze this, shall we? I was a good teacher. I had a shelf full of awards, mother’s day cards, and coffee mugs from students and peers to prove it. But, who I was on the inside, even after fifteen years of interaction, was still the same fraidy-cat…with low self-esteem and self-destructive reasoning skills.
So why in the world would He want… would He need…would He ask me to be part of anything that represented Him? And, I was giving up the profession I had trained for…that I was still paying student loans for, in order to be the mom…the mom of the Bible…the mom with time and patience and countless interesting (this is going to make an amazing memory type) ideas. The mom He had asked me to be…that He had given me permission to give up my first calling for. I analyzed this request and decided that I must have heard wrong. So, He whispered louder.
I laugh now. Actually…laugh out loud at His patience and my attempt at rebellion. Oh, I’m sure you each have your own…let’s call them skills…but not many can say that they single handedly have been able to bring the Lord to…well let’s call this …frustration, or something close to that at least because He puts His foot down in a mighty big way now around me. So there you have it…this is one of my skills. The over analyzing, the ability to be creative (even in excuse making), the amazing stamina…all mathematically resulting in the reduction of His pure patience and that reduction being replaced with the now evident appearance of outward persistence.
Persistence and clarity…the writing on the wall kind; He now speaks louder, uses shorter words, and much larger font when communicating to me about His expectations. I amaze myself: How I can stand before you and say that I am absolutely unsure about the will of God for my life…and in the same breath say that I am absolutely clear about what God has asked me to do in His name…is beyond me. But, here I am…saying just that. You, dear reader, may not believe it, but faith and confidence are more distinct from each other than most people suppose. So I laugh. I laugh at the sight of my own ridiculousness. And, I humbly bow before a King that would endure such foolishness for so long, just because He loves me. Now there’s a King different from all other kings. That’s one of the reasons that He alone is God.
To really be King, you would have to be a power that bows to no other power. Some kings bow to popularity, some to wealth. Some kings bow to reputation and some to prestige. Some kings bow to revenge and some to accomplishment. The God I serve is King because just by the very nature of who He is, He does not bow. There is no need. He is all. He competes with nothing because He is everything. And they all know it. God’s only desire is us. Now that’s probably the most difficult thing for me to believe. You see, I know me. I know all of my ridiculous quirks. But I have seen Him, the God of all things, in action…personally. He is definitely who He claims to be. Why in this world…or any other, would He desire me? But I know this to be true because He said it, and by His persistence to win me to Him and teach me His will.
So persistent He has been. All these years He has whispered and inspired and re-booted. In that time period I have had two more children, moved to and restored a very large…very old house, lead the re-organization of a new library in our small town, opened and operated a food pantry that fed families in our town and five that neighbored, and served politically in our community schools. And, the Lord held me and waited tenderly for me to grow-up spiritually, truly re-align my priorities, and pay some heed to His new calling on my life. Teaching was His calling for me after college. Motherhood will always be my calling because He blessed me with children. But, writing and speaking for Him has been His plan from the beginning. Now that I can look back (which you cannot do when you are young or in it), I can clearly see how all three of these, and all of the events of my life so far in totality, have led me here today.
In this moment,
with my poor self-esteem and failures….
with my awards and successes…
and with all my invalid excuses…
I bow to the writing on the wall and yield completely to Your persistent patience.
Only a God of love…only a King of ultimate control…only a Lord of human understanding could afford such patience for me. I fall on my knees before You and am amazed to see who else is here at Your feet.
There are those whom I know have hit bottom,
and those who seemed to glide through.
The rocks are here and the mountains as well.
All the animals and birds and fishes of the deep are present.
The wind is here and the sun and the stars.
They all have seen the writing on the wall.
They all have surrendered to You.
They know their Maker…they know their place.
Dear reader, are you here too?
Rhonda D Loucks