Wednesday, February 12, 2014

For this... I have Jesus

It's often assumed counselors are beyond counseling, pastors are beyond being pastored, teachers are beyond teaching, and leaders are beyond being led. Some might even think that those called to minister to marriages have the perfect marriage --- can you hear me laughing over that one.
But in truth, counselors sometimes need the most counseling. Pastors are sometimes limping and need to be ministered to. Teachers can't teach effectively if they are not constant learners. Leaders have been known to lead the crowd behind them into deep, dark places if they are not themselves following the good Guide. And those called to minister to marriages have a bulls-eye on their own --- but, bulls-eyes are usually painted in red, the same color as the blood of our Savior. His blood covers the targeted area completely.

We are all hurting in some way or another. Aren't we? Hopefully, we are not hurting every day... but from time to time (sometimes far too often), we hurt in those silent, secret, hard-to-get-at-places, and we begin the swallow the lie that we're alone there.
Friends might try and understand, good friends can breathe such good life into our wanderings sometimes. But then again, we might have “friends” we've asked to help us, to understand, to care ... and they turned from us. They didn't want the stench of our pain coming near their world. Oh the aloneness of those moments. I've been there, it hurts.

Life can kick us hard, sometimes with circumstances out of our control. We're left reeling and those near us know we need help. The car wreck that devastated, the disease that came, the death that visited, the loss that left us struggling to breathe. Those pains that people see.
But then we can also get pelted with those internal gullies. Those places inside that have been flushed with raging waters. Where nothing shows on the outside but we know... deep inside... i'm not ok.
That's the place where alcoholics, shopaholics, etc. are sometimes birthed.
It's the i-know-something's-wrong but this-will-get-me-past-it way of coping. Not addressing or fixing --- just overwhelming by a distraction and pressing ahead.

I'm surely not speaking some unknown tongue here.
No one's alone in those places --- although those places are where we feel most alone.

We try. We read the “help” books.
We look to God, we pray, we try...
Most people are really trying.
And we squirm and wiggle, trying to get it right.
We exhaust ourselves --- trying...

Then... a truth comes along that turns on the Light.
Here's mine for this chapter. This chapter where people move slower than i'm use to, talk in accents i'm baffled over, expect things I don't understand, and don't do things that seem so “normal” to me.

Big words ---- life changing words for me ---- shared by a dear lady who does nothing in my life except pour into my dear husband and me.

For those moments when nothing actually, really makes any sense and when no one around us is acting as we think they should... my heart will whisper to my mind...
for this... I have Jesus”

For this...
  • the street kid that hides his glue bottle thinking I haven't seen
  • the screaming puppy I can't get to in time
  • the crazy driver who would risk my life for his advancement on the roads
  • the lying woman who tells me one thing but does the complete opposite
  • the ache in my heart-gut that just wants to feel the nearness of those I gave birth to
  • the realization that mostly the bad guys carry guns here, and the rest carry machetes (and i'll take a gun over a machete any day Lord --- if I must)
  • the distance that comes when my dear Steve and I don't understand each other
  • the attack that comes on us because Abba's enemy HATES when husbands and wives LOVE well
  • the desperate feeling of wanting to run away, but wanting more to obey
  • the longing for comfortable when uncomfortable is necessary
  • the moment when I realize just how wrong I was, but I had actually thought I was right
  • the blaming finger gives way to forgiving grace
  • the fact that we're all travelers who sometimes get out of our “lane” and regrettably crash into other travelers
  • the moments we realize loving the wounded is oh-so-hard but the very reason we are here

oh... for this, and for so much more ---- i-have-JESUS...

No matter what our personality or our tendencies, so often we try and manage things on our own. We try to fix what got broken, hold what was dropped, manage what went crazy, and restore what was stripped.
Especially if we think we have the problem solved or the riddle figured out. We try...

But this week, it came full to me.
Even if I have the answer (which I usually actually don't)---
Even if I think I know what is best---
Even if i'm well rested and feeling up to the task ---
Even if i've read my Bible, said my prayers, combed through multiple devotionals, and recited all my verses...
I actually, truthfully, undoubtedly ----- do not know what is needed.

But ----
for this ----
I have Jesus...

He can and will and is completely able to do all that is needed.
Can we all just give a loud sigh-of-relief over that Truth. Ahhhh... breathe out now.

There's nothing beyond Him ----- even though everything is truly beyond me.
There's nothing that intimidates or overwhelms Him ---- no matter that pretty much all of it puts me under the bus most days.
There's nothing that surprises Him or shocks Him or leaves Him feeling baffled or unsure. On most days, you could find my name on all of those lists.

Years ago someone said, “God is weaving the tapestry of our lives. He's using different threads at different times and in different places. We just need to be still and let him weave into our lives whatever He chooses. In the end, it will be beautiful. He is the Master Weaver.”
And I really liked that thought...
helps us surrender our lives to the One placing the threads. Yes.

But always i've thought something a bit amiss with that imagery.
Then I read this poem (author unknown) –
“No chance hath brought this ill to me;
'Tis God's own hand, so let it be,
He see-th what I cannot see.
There is a need-be for each pain,
And He one day will make it plain
That earthly loss is heavenly gain.
Like as a piece of tapestry
Viewed from the back appears to be
Naught but threads tangled hopelessly;
But in the front a picture fair
Rewards the worker for his care,
Proving his skill and patience rare.
Thou art the Workman, I the frame.
Lord, for the glory of Thy Name,
Perfect Thine image on the same.”

Thou art the Workman, I the frame... for the glory of Thy Name... perfect Thine image... on the same.

… oh to realize, I am a frame ---
I'm not the tapestry held by a frame --- I am the frame. What I hold is my portion to present to the world reflecting what the Weaver has done.
God's great workings in this fallen world are the tapestry. Sometimes it looks bad, poorly made, non-sensical, dare I say ugly. But that would be the backside of the Work. Then at times all looks right in the world around us, the colors are perfect and the surface feels smooth. That would be the frontside of His workings. The frame ---- the frame holds the Work. It stretches the piece and holds the corners. But the frame always “faces” the front. And the frame always knows IT is not the most important part. It only holds the featured work.
We are woefully wrong if we ever think “we” are the most important part.

We are meant to live our lives in such a way that the Weaver is applauded over what we are displaying.

I'll hold what Christ is doing in my life, i'll stretch out the corners and face the Weaver. It is not me that is on display. It is the workings of my Abba. The frame of me is allowed to present HIM to those who come near me.

To be the tapestry would mean... eyes are on... me.
To be the frame means... I get to display... what the Savior-Weaver has created, is creating.

So i'm not weaving... i'm not being weaved (for i was knit together in my mother's womb)... i'm witnessing the weaving of real life redemption and holding it up for all to see.

It's not something “i” can actually do. i'm too weak, but...

For this ----- I have Jesus...
For this ----- I have Jesus...
For this ----- I have Jesus...

(thank you Sherri Dodd – you are such a great Ministry Coach --- my frame feels stronger with these five words on it)

©2014 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe

1 comment:

  1. i resonate with this, and i was encouraged by your words. how you're wrestling with and working out with fear and trembling your salvation is creating a context--a framework--for those who desire to do the same. thank you for your honesty. we are not the Light; we are reflections of the Light, Who is our life. thank You, God, for ALL.THIS--we have Jesus.