November 20, 2010

A Still Small Wind

Over the last few weeks I've felt myself slip into a sense of apathy. Nothing really seems to phase me, but not much touches me either. I'm not restless as I pass through my uneventful days, but I'm not rested either. I'm not unhappy, but I'm not happy either. If I feel anything, its irritation at the idea of living like this for a long time when I know that I am capable of more.

I've thought for awhile that I should be taking this opportunity to read my Bible more, but something in me has rebelled against that idea until now. Today, I suddenly realized that I am slowly but surely withering, in front of my own eyes. So I went to my Bible and I started to read.

The first thing I read was in Luke 14:7-11. Here Jesus teaches about humility, saying that when you are invited to a feast you should not presume to sit in a seat of honor. After all, someone else might come who is more important than you are, and in front of all the guests you will be asked to move to make room for the more important guest. Instead, Jesus suggests that you arrive at a feast, you should immediately take the lowest seat possible. That way, when your host sees that you have taken a humble seat, they will protest, and lead you to a seat of greater honor.

I have read this many times before, but something about it struck me today as being very crafty, almost too crafty. Its like this reverse psychology thing where someone pretends to be humble in order that they may actually be exalted. But then again, it was said by Jesus, so there must be some merit to it. For me, I think it means humbly accepting the low seat I'm in, instead of thinking about the seat that I "deserve" to be sitting in. I don't deserve anything, not even what I do have. Yes, as Christians we have access to all the promises of God, and we should ask him for all the desires of our heart. But it is not very humble to tell God exactly what he should give us and how he should go about doing it.

Rather than be a proud bumbling idiot, I think I'd rather take my humble seat and wait for God to say to me, "Friend, we have a better place than this for you!" and guide me to the place where he wants me to be. It is crafty, but really at the heart of it is a high level of trust in God. It is trusting that he is not going to leave me in the low humble seat, and that he knows best which seat to move me to. I may not be moved to THE seat of honor, but perhaps there will be really interesting people to talk to at that seat.

I have mentioned before that I am in a place of silence right now, and that it is a good thing to wait for God in silence. I was thinking some more about this today, and I suddenly remembered the story where God tells Elijah to go out and stand on a mountain and wait for God to speak. Suddenly a a huge windstorm comes up and blows so terribly that it tears rocks loose from the mountain. But God does not speak in the windstorm. Then there is a terrible earthquake, but again, God does not speak in the earthquake. After that there is a great fire that consumes the mountain, but God does not speak in the fire. After all of that chaos, there comes a soft, quiet wind, and then Elijah hears him speak.

In the last few months I feel like we've experienced our share of loud chaotic disasters; windstorms, fires, and earthquakes. In all of these I have tried to scream above the din and ask God to speak. It seems like God SHOULD speak in the middle of earthquakes, fires and windstorms. It seems like the most natural time for God to speak because it seems like it would be the best time to REALLY show his power. But maybe he doesn't speak then because he knows that we wouldn't properly hear amidst all the noise. Maybe he waits for the silence when we are no longer fighting, because he knows that's when we'll actually hear.

Right now I am quiet verging on despondence and there are very few large and important plans in my mind. So today when I read my Bible, I finally heard that sweet voice and it made me want to weep. He told me that he's heard my screaming and my crying, seen my faith and my trust. He said that its been a been a beautiful and fragrant offering in his eyes. He told me that there is more in store for me than I would expect, but now is the time to be quiet.

It is simultaneously not much and yet much more than I expected, but its all I need for now. More will come when I need it. I think that embracing this time will lead to a lot of growth and some much needed follow up to a season of chaos.

Thats all for now

1 comment:

Longfei said...

Dear Jessica,

I am glad to know what you are thinking right now. Every time I read your blog, you inspire me a lot.

Hope to talk to you very soon!

Love you lots,

Longfei