Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When the person looking down says, No

I wanted something this week. It was something I couldn’t have when I first arrived in India, but I thought, surely with time it will come. But Sunday I walked straight into the wall of reality and smacked my head. No. I could not have it. Could not even discuss having it. Culture shock tripped me up and left me lying on the ground staring at a dark and brooding sky.

I was angry. Upset. I succumbed to tears alone in my room, trying to hug myself while I nursed my bruises and wishing for home. For the next forty hours I tried to fight with God.

It’s silly to fight with God. Futile. Let me put it bluntly—stupid. I always chide myself once I’m on the other side. What complaint do I have that can withstand his goodness? Can I dare to know what I should be given or withheld? Do I know better than God?

Agreement with God, I think, is the essence of this journey of faith. Agreement about everything—sin, truth, direction. Period. If my heart were quicker to agree with God, I might be spared countless hours of heartache and restlessness. Yet somehow my will stubbornly clings to its right to buck and protest—at least for a few hours or days.

This morning on the bus I finished wrestling with God. At least for now… I wish I could promise otherwise. I was reading Jeremiah’s story over the stubbornness of his people and the misery their stupidity brought upon their heads. Not me, oh Lord. Please. Forgive me. My quarrel with God is really so small when you hold it up to other things. “If this is how you mean for me to serve,” I tell him, “then let me serve well. With joy. With gratitude.

I walked into devotion and they were singing:
Perfect submission
All is at rest
I with my Savior am happy and blest.

Amen, Abba. Amen.

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