“!?&#! Hold my hand, baby!” My niece stretched her hand towards me agreeably and I boosted her up the rock slab, farther away from the precipice. She was tilting her face, totally oblivious to my racing heart or my visions of her receiving (not her first) broken bone. “Holy craft? What holy craft?”
I tried to keep my mouth very, very straight.
Using low-class language around children is something I cannot stand, so I was feeling about as important as an inchworm at that moment. A brown inchworm, at that, not even a cool lime-green one.
Time to apologise.
But then I lost my cool again, when the three exhausted little mountain climbers didn’t know how to manage their melting Italian ice. I waged a war with shame and sorrow for days, because of the impatient moments I had with those precious babies.
I’m a messed-up person.
Are you messed up too? Do you ever think, “Self, how could you do that? How? You are a monster, and that’s a fact.”
Impatient moments are like indicators on a dashboard. A gift from God actually, like a dashboard warning light is a gift to those of us who don’t take time for routine car maintenance.
Low oil level! Time to visit the mechanic shop!
Low river-of-life levels! Time to stop flying solo! Time to go to Jesus and repent, learn, rest and receive.
“Ugh, bad timing. I have no time for a shop visit, Jesus.” I whined.
“If you want to have time for one, you do.”
So I didn’t do laundry, didn’t deposit my checks, didn’t go shopping, didn’t make dinner for my neighbor (I found out later her refrigerator was already packed. Thanks, Jesus!), didn’t clean, didn’t weed, didn’t trim the yard, didn’t shave my legs… Basically, didn’t do all the good things nice, responsible women Must Always Do.
I had time to feast. And I was starving.
Listen to these words the Lord gave his kiddos after miraculously making them a free nation:
I have removed your backbreaking burdens
and have freed your hands from the hard labor and toil.
You called out to me in your time of trouble and I rescued you.
I came down from the realm of the secret place of thunder,
where mysteries hide.
I came down to save you.
I tested your hearts at the place where there was no water to drink,
the place of your bitter argument with me.
Listen to me, my dear people.
For I’m warning you, and you’d better listen well!
For I hold something against you.
Don’t ever be guilty of worshiping any other god but me.
I am your only God, the living God.
Wasn’t I the one who broke the strongholds over you
and raised you up out of bondage?
Open your mouth with a mighty decree;
I will fulfill it now, you’ll see!
The words that you speak, so shall it be!
But my people still wouldn’t listen;
my princely people would not yield to me.
So I lifted my grace from off of their lives and I surrendered them
to the stubbornness of their hearts.
For they were living according to their own selfish fantasies.
O that my people would once and for all listen to me
and walk faithfully in my footsteps, following my ways.
Then and only then will I conquer your every foe
and tell every one of them, ‘You must go!’
Those who hate my ways will cringe before me
and their punishment will be eternal.
But I will feed you with my spiritual bread.
You will feast and be satisfied with me,
feeding on my revelation-truth like honey
dripping from the cliffs of the high place.”
You are not meant to single-handedly save the day, friend! You are designed to be a partner. A helper. You might not like the sound of this one, but you are meant to be a follower.
You know Esther, that 10/10 who married an unrighteous king and risked her head for her people? She followed her uncle’s advice. She was backed up by an entire nation’s prayers. She walked after God, in faith.
Deborah, that warrior-prophetess? She spoke God’s words. “The Eternal God of Israel commands you…” “The Eternal has decreed…”
Don’t be guilty of worshipping the gods of I Was Made For Hard Work So Grrr, Let’s Do This
or of I Have Got To Hustle My Act Together Before All Is Lost, heaven-warrior. Approval traps have 100 names, but they’re all bent on robbing your joy and sanity. You’ll find your heart saying far worse things than ‘holy craft’.
Truth is, Jesus has got what it takes to save the day without your help. Right now, he just wants to be with you. “Come to me!”- that’s what he is always saying.
You’ve got to be with Jesus if you want him to feed you. After you eat your fill, you’ll have the courage to follow his unpredictable ways. He’s not from this kingdom, so his reasoning takes some getting used to. But if you are his follower… then follow!
If he leads you away from your Good & Proper Things and towards his heart, just go with it.
The world will remember your words of life far longer than your 24-hour stubble.