When there's Nothing Left to do but Embrace

You are where you are and that is where Jesus is..png

As I'm typing this, I'm sitting in a hard hospital chair while Craig recovers from a kidney biopsy. Medical machines beeping, nurses soft-soled shoes squeaking on the tile floor, the murmur of hushed voices. It's been a long stretch of days filled with unknowns. 

One morning this week, I thought about how long we're going to continue on this roller coaster of despair. As many of you know, this summer was filled with loss of loved ones. And the start of Craig's health issues. One thing after the other and my continual question seemed to be: When will we catch a break?

I just longed for the season to be over.

When we found ourselves confronted with this round of health issues, I started to ask the same question. But mid-sentence, I stopped. In an act of somewhat pissed-off surrender, I said something like, "You know, what God? I'm just going to embrace it. Bring it all and I'm going to walk through it. Be in it. Sit in it. Wrestle with it. Help me learn whatever You want me to learn."

My conclusion is this: I am where I am and that is where Jesus is.

And for you: Whatever you are going through, you are where you are and that is where Jesus is.

It seems as though wishing things away and trying to rush time is about as productive and effective as worrying about the future. All He wants me to deal with is what is right in front of me in this moment. I think about why I want so much to wish hard things away and much of it has to do with worry. Because in my heart of hearts, I know that God really does work all things for good for those who love Him. I know that He wastes nothing and that He uses everything to make us more like Him. I get the point of hard things.

But it's the unknown that gets me. I want to know what kind of strength I'm going to need, for whom I need to be strong, the plan of attack I'll take. Information is a way to protect myself and if I don't have the info, I feel out of control. (True for you, too?) And when this is all concerning my life partner, I am even more desperate.

When something is wrong in my marriage, relationally or physically (or both), everything in me seeks to find a solution immediately because I feel off-kilter. The worry makes me slip into old behavior patterns. I get trapped in my own head-space. I start grasping at ways that make me feel some sense of security, even if it's not real or if it's only fleeting. 

As part of my embracing the season, I delved into this affliction of worry. How do we walk it out well? 

Because, it’s a human condition, isn’t it? To wonder about the unknown. To try to plan for all kinds of scenarios and results and situations. 

Usually, I’d either shame myself for worrying or I’d put on the brave face. Be tough. Pretend like I was trusting God when I wasn’t really. Closet worrying. 

I spent time in Matthew 6 this week and particularly camped on verses 33-34. Jesus says not to worry about the future because today has enough trouble of its own. There, right there, is permission to embrace the hard circumstances of today. To continually talk to Jesus about what’s happening today. To be real and vulnerable and trusting all at the same time about the current situation.

Because you are where you are and that is where Jesus is. 

Jesus wants a relationship with us. When I hear, "Oh don't worry!" I often feel ashamed, as though my faith isn't strong enough. This makes me want to run from God because I feel I've disappointed Him with my reaction. But anything that evokes shame isn't from God. He longs for us to "in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present {our} requests" to Him.

He invites us to deal with the issues of the day with Him. "Not worrying" doesn't mean "just ignore the situation." He helps us manage the amount of despair and overwhelm by showing us what's important for THIS day. He gives us peace to hold us in the waiting. He allows us to come as many times as we need (hello, persistent widow) because this forms the habit of seeking Him instead of seeking our own solutions, relying solely on our own power or perseverating on all the possible "what ifs."

Don't let your worry shame you. Jesus has so much compassion for you. He's confronted very hard things and needed His Daddy, too. Instead, let your worry compel you to wrestle, and then walk, with Jesus through it.

You've got lots of fellow sojourners on the same road.