Gift of Challenge, Conflict and Change
These three are summed up in one for me right now : parenting. Actually, two - and marriage.
Parenting holds the challenging reality that I am shaping other eternal creatures lives, the conflict of growing personalities bumping into one another (and mine) and change, well, kids don't stay the same for very long, do they? Nor do they allow my plans to stay in place long, either.
In marriage there is a continual challenge to love another more than myself, the conflict of two living as one flesh, and the need for me to change and to be changed. This is my Father's will for me - and it is good, very good - not always easy. (A thought on conflict too: it is not always a negative thing. It is through conflict that we are shaped: "As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another" Proverbs 27:17)
These four relationships are not only jewel-like gifts in themselves, but the challenge, conflict and change that they present drive me back to my Father for wisdom, grace - and oh, everything.
So thank you, my Father.
Friday, February 3, 2012
(Although I have not been posting these here - I have been counting and thanking.)
115. the first thing in the morning snuggle of the littlest boy.
116. a deep breath of dusky summer air
117. the stirring of wind-touched trees
118. ... and ears to hear the sounds
119. a good place to live and make a home
120. the Father's protection over my boys
121. a new season of life and all the surprises that my Lord has planned ahead
122. new and good friends
123. the coolness of a rain-drizzled morning after days of hanging heat
124. a child's footsteps in the morning
125. a colourful stripey cup
126. a God who came
127. the He is full of compassion
128. good books
130. the astounding variety of bird calls
131. the laughing call of a kookaburra
132. memories floating by on my computer screen
133. the dry cracking buzz of a cicada in flight
134. the focussed interest of a boy- intent on catching skimmer bugs to give them 'a happy life' in his aquarium
135. the sun rising and casting more light
136. the early light creeping down the trees
137. the sure knowledge of His great love
138. the mist hanging low on the hills
139. the opportunity to teach
140. a child's excitement that wakes him early and keeps him up
141. quiet that bookends my day
142. being home
143. garbage trucks trundling away my rubbish
144. a dad and his wife who look for ways to bless us all the while pouring love and attention into the boys
145. the boisterous sounds of boys at play
I want to keep counting, to keep naming, to keep being aware - because I am finding that in this simple act of naming His gifts given to me, I am seeing Him.
Friday, January 27, 2012
"Moses returned to the Lord and said, 'O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people...and you have not rescued your people at all.'" (Exodus 5:22-23)
How often I have brought a similar charge to lay at God's feet, verbalized or silently. When circumstances get to the point where I feel like I am in far beyond my ability, when relationships are challenging or stale, when long-standing situations seem stagnant - then I accuse God, like a petulant child.
What I do not do is wait - trustingly wait. Believe and watch.
God answers Moses, not with a rebuke but with an affirmation of his own character, "I am the Lord." He bookends his reply to Moses with the assertion of who he is, because He is the reason we can believe, we can trust and we will see his deliverance. Even when Moses reminded the Israelites of God's character, "they did not listen because of their discouragement and cruel bondage" (6:9); that did not deter God.
My moments of discouragement do not discourage God - He reminds me to lift my eyes to his unchangeable self and to still and quiet my soul "like a weaned child with its mother" (Psalm 131:2). For He does not change - He is.
Thank you, Father.