Behold! It’s not about me….
I have been writing, praying, and asking for prayers regarding a particularly troubling situation. This situation culminated in a series of weekend discussions which had the potential to revert to old, unhealthy ways of dialoguing (which is a nice way to say, fighting).
It was late on Saturday night after the discussions. It was the time of night when I knew better and should have been asleep. In the aftermath of a stressful event I began to second-guess myself. There were points I should have made more clearly. Arguments I should have thought to counter bad thinking. Names of people I should have remembered.
I was “should-ing” all over myself.
And then…God is the God of the “And Then.”
My friend and high school tennis partner, Rachel called. Rachel and I were tennis partners in high school. Rachel played the forehand side. I played backhand. Our game plan was simple. I would keep ground strokes going until the opponent had been worn down and would either hit a soft lob or a weak short shot. At this point, Rachel, with strength and confidence, would annihilate the ball, the opponent (sometimes both opponents at once), and win the point. Her serve was so powerful that we rarely lost her serve. Pretty soon our match became just a math equation of tallying up the points and games at the right time to equal victory. Because she was the stronger player on the forehand side, I gave deference to her. This dynamic continued off the court to our conversation Saturday night.
Several years ago, social media, and then visits reconnected us. My daughter loves bowling with Rachel. Her guacamole is legendary. It had been months since I’d spoken with Rachel. And here, in the late, late show hours of Saturday night she called. She has known about the decades’ long battle I have been fighting.
I grabbed the phone and blurted out, “same old, same old…why aren’t the verses I’ve been praying working!”
Rachel, calmly said, “Maybe it is not in God’s timing. Perhaps He kept your mouth closed for a reason.”
There it was. The truth from a trusted source.
Rachel’s response caused me to wonder: Do I need the verses “to work” to prove to me that God exists? Do I require them to work to prove that He is there for me?
Hasn’t He, in sending His Son, done enough? (As if God works for me. As if I command God. God, please forgive my arrogance.)
Behold! It’s not about me…
“Maybe it is not in God’s timing. Perhaps He kept your mouth closed for a reason.”
Well, when my mouth is closed, it is difficult to insert my foot in it.
We are each given unique talents from our Creator.* We cultivate these talents and perhaps rely on them in place of God. Perhaps when we come to the end of our rope of talent, it is then that we arrive at the end of ourselves. Then God’s Grace remains.** And it is a gift beyond measure, no matter what my inflated sense of self says otherwise. It is Enough. Enough is better than Ego.
God will give you the right words at the right time. – Matthew 10:19 NLT
…because I will give you the ability to speak, along with wisdom, that none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. ~Luke 21:15
Perhaps the opposite is also true: when we have no words that come to mind, perhaps silence is needed.
I am still asking to learn the lessons of living in the space between the ideal and the actual, continued conflict, and its latest event from this weekend. But one thing is clear…because of Grace, He is at work. Still.
**2 Corinthians 12:9