Monday, June 6, 2011

What is Better

James 3:17
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle,
reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

Although my heart is often diseased with anger, impatience, and criticism, I am learning to lesson my expectations for others and myself--not in an-I'm-all-I-need-to-be-way, but in a seeking God's mercy kind of way. I know his grace over my inadequacy encompasses more than I can digest. I know--inward cringe--my to-do list will never be done, my children will never be perfect, my husband will never meet all my needs (thank you, God, that you don't allow for that to take place), my mouth will speak unkind, harsh, and judgmental words.
I know that when I seek the Lord and His Spirit in my heart,
His grace always rises
and His mercy pours like warm water over my soul.
And my life...
my beautiful, misshaped, wavering life,
is a blessed gift
of good fruits.

And He never ceases to make the fruit grow, whether the season is bitter cold and oppressing, or sunny and calm, all is for the glory of God and the good of my spirit.
I'm no hypocrite.

I hate winter.
I hate drought.
I hate numerous overcast days.
But God create those days as well as the others.
And I want to open my hands to them in thanks.
For he wants to place gifts into them.

How ironic sometimes the good we see as good and the good we see as bad.
And then of course, there are those times when we refuse to trust Him, to accept what we can't yet see or understand.
Sometimes I pray for good, ask for good,
and He says, "No, but I have something better for you."
How could it be better?
I know what's best...
don't I?

On the way to Florida last month, after several hours of driving, yearning, longing to get out of the confines of the van and enjoy the family vacation we'd been anticipating, Aaron and I told Maddie that we were almost there. Having no recollection of the beach, since she was only 9 months when we last vacationed there, we told her what fun it would be. She only had our word to trust, for her own experiences couldn't testify to the truth. After a few minutes she declared that she wanted to go to the park and play on the slides (closest to fun that she knows). We told her "no, we weren't going to the park, sorry, but we promised that where we were taking her was so much better." She had to endure another hour or so in the van, but finally we made it. And she received... with surprise, excitement, and we were so fulfilled seeing that joy bubble up in her.

What...God, are you telling me to wait on?
To trust you?
To see that something better is in your hands if I'll just follow you?
Oh, how I long to walk on the beach with you, Father.
To be close to all that is good.
To hold onto You.
I want to receive what is better.

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