I am pretty capable, always have been. Although I consider this to be an asset, it brings its own set of spiritual challenges. For many years I knew that I needed to depend on God, but I wasn’t quite sure how that worked. Then, as is often the case, I learned through a period of suffering.
The turning point came for me in a two year journey that began with a miscarriage 17 weeks into my first pregnancy. I was blindsided by my grief and how much I had already loved that baby. I was mad at God for quite some time. Five months later, on the due date, my husband and I read resurrection passages in the Bible, including John 11. In that passage, both Martha and Mary said, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” That is how I felt. Lord, I prayed, if you would have been here my baby would not have died. My whole view changed when I saw that Jesus did not say, “Buck up here ladies! Memorize some verses and carry on.” Instead, He wept with them. Despite knowing He was about to raise Lazarus, He still wept with them. Then I saw that He wept with me as well. He did not do this painful thing to me -- He did it with me.
The grief of the miscarriage was followed by two years of grief in infertility. Yes, we worked with a doctor and did what we could medically, but still we lived in a state of limbo. I was not capable and there was nothing I could do to change my situation.
It was during this time when I realized I was looking at dependence on God from the wrong direction. I believed I was supposed to do as much as possible, then God would fill in the rest. Now I realize there is freedom in the very many things I cannot do. I cannot do anything about salvation or redemption or real comfort. I see clearly the many areas in which I need God and the very many ways I can indeed depend on Him.
I learned in those years a trust in the sovereignty of God. I don’t always understand His plans but here is the good news – I don’t have to. What I do understand is that God is on my side and at my side.
I still like being capable, but I also embrace my weakness. It is a great comfort that I don’t have to have it all together (since that is basically impossible). I take my next steps knowing that I will never be taking those steps alone.
A beloved comfort food for my daughters (I did have three girls, by the way) and myself is pot roast with potatoes in the slow cooker. We keep it simple. Fill the bottom of the slow cooker with potatoes. Salt generously. Add 2 cups water so there is more brothy goodness. Place a boneless chuck roast on top of the potatoes. Salt generously. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the meat just falls apart. Yum!
One of my all-time favorite songs is “Wonderful Merciful Savior” written by Eric Wyse and sung by many artists including Steve Camp and Selah.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you weep with me. It brings me great comfort and gives me permission to do the weeping I need to do as well. Your joy always comes in the morning. I am capable because of you and grateful to be weak to lean on Your strength.
Learning important lessons rarely happens quickly. Apart from the instances of clear and direct insight, I need time to learn. God did many things in the Bible in 40 days. That has been a helpful reminder for me. When I don’t understand what is going on, I recognize that I will have a better insight in about six weeks.