Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Quote That I Can't Stop Thinking About

I've finished "Idoleyes" by Mandisa and "A New Kind of Normal" by Carol Kent. I liked both of them. Each one seemed to have something to say that either I needed to hear or could really relate to. Plus, Mandisa's had lots of great Idol backstory that this AI addict loved! Anyway, Carol Kent quoted Ken Gire in her book "A New Kind of Normal" and I can't get his quote out of my mind. It's about waiting.

"How do we get to the morning, to the sunshine, to the joy? There is only one way. By waiting for it. We can't hurry the dawn, no matter how anxiously we pace the floor or how impatiently we watch the clock. And so the question is not do we wait or not wait, because waiting is all we can do. The question is, how will we wait? Will we wait well...or will we wait poorly?" -Ken Gire

Our family is in a waiting period of sorts. Mainly we're waiting to see what God has in store for hubby as his job phases out by next year. And as the days go by, and that time gets closer and closer, we have started to worry more. I can really see the strain on hubby as he contemplates being able to continue to support our family. I'm quite the problem solver, so I'm constantly asking God what's in our future. Will He continue to provide for us? Will He want us to make another, more permanent move? Can I trust Him, truly trust Him, with my entire life?

One of my biggest fears in life is my husband losing his job, because my step-father lost his job when I was a pre-teen, and it devasted him and his marriage to my mother. Living in that stress as a child, I have always told God, "I can't do that as an adult." That's why hubby and I went to college after all, so that we wouldn't have to worry about these things. But life isn't that simple is it? I know that God has so much to teach our family about giving our entire lives up to His perfect will. I feel like we're beginning to learn that lesson. But have you ever been afraid of God's will? Afraid that He doesn't desire for you what you desire for yourself? That's where I start having trouble with trust. I want what I want. And sometimes the process or pruning, of remolding the clay of my desires and my heart, of firing off the dross of my self-will through giving up my own desires is so painful while it's happening that truthfully, I want to run away.

That's why I love this quote by Ken Gire. Because it reinforces for me that there is a dawn. And that I am not in control of when the sun rises. My Father is. I'm challenged during this time of uncertainty to wait well, to lean into Him completely, to trust that He loves me and will take care of me.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or stow away in barns, and yet our Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow? They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, o you of little faith? So do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34

But how does one wait well in this situation? The verses above from the Sermon on the Mount perfectly describe this kind of waiting -- not worrying, seeking His kingdom first, seeking His righteousness first (above my own desires and dreams). In order to wait well, I need to ruthlessly pursue a worry-free mind. I need to seek after His righteousness in my life. And I need to pursue a continual passion for God's kingdom. Pursuing these areas gives me rest from striving to know or undertand God's will, because when I strive for these things, I learn trust in the character of my Father. And perhaps that's His purpose after all.


Kathy in WA said...

Hi Joni! Paula said I would enjoy your blog (we went to W&M together) and here I am commenting on the first post I read. Ha! I love the quote about waiting well.

My dh lost his job several years ago and we were 17 months without employment. It was also a time of difficulty in some other areas (church conflict, friendship troubles, etc). It was extremely hard watching dh suffer and struggle and wrestle in his faith.
I'm not sure we "waited well" during that time period but through it all God was over and abundantly faithful to us.

Just yesterday dh said one by one the Lord has restored to him all the things that were taken during that time of trial (job, church leadership, ministry/teaching position, friendships, etc).

Thanks for sharing your heart and encouraging us to pursue righteousness and a passion for the Lord's kingdom!

Kathy in WA

Duckabush Blog

Marybeth said...

Hey-- so good to find you over here at Blogger! I had to catch up on you, and was glad to do so! I will add you to my links page, and wanted to tell you that coincidentally I am also in the process of moving over to blogger... very cool! My new blog is www.marybethwhalen.blogspot.com and it is called "Five Minutes of Peace"
IF I can get the title to reflect that... haven't worked out all the kinks yet, unfortunately. I reserved the name for my blog back in 02 if you can believe it and am just now using it-- how's that for planning ahead??
Good to catch up with you today--

Emily said...

joni, how strange is it that the things on your heart, your worries and frustrations, are the same things i'm worrying about on a different level right now. I know God is bigger than the issues of the world, but I haven't felt this...insecurity in a long time, and I don't know how to handle it. your blog has helped today. I love you and i am going to try and live like you - not worrying, but waiting for God and pursuing Him.