Monday, August 6, 2012

Misfit Mongrels

I was taught to be independent. Self-sufficient. Not to bother anyone with any of my personal issues. So it should not have surprised me when I discovered that I am withholding portions of my heart and soul from my Savior whom I love. But it did.
After all, He is the One that I've pledged to give EVERYTHING to. The One I worship and adore and, in worshipping have, with every fiber of my being, offered my surrender.
Yet, somehow my surrender has been skewed. Somehow all this time I always envisioned surrendering as giving my all…all my will, gifts, talents, trust, hope, faithfulness, service.  You know, all the good things that seem usable.
In embarking on a new and profound journey with Him, I've discovered burdens and baggage I've been dragging around like misfit mongrels that keep jerking me around and pulling me down.  Like walking four wild dogs, their leashes have formed a tangled trap which has wrapped so tightly around me I can barely move. I missed giving Him all my junk, my misfit mongrels. I guess I never thought about bothering Him with those unwanted pests.
I like to call them issues…that way they sound innocuous, harmless. Many of us have issues.  Issues with fear, control, anger, unforgiveness, or insecurity…the list is endless. Endless, but far from innocuous.
While mine strangle me, the interesting thing is that I'm the one holding their leashes. All I have to do is let go of them. Open my tight-fisted grip and let go. When I do, God will step in and masterfully untangle them and set me free.
Do you have misfit mongrels you are trying to tame too?
He passionately desires to release us from the leashes of the untamed, setting us free before they strangle the very life out of us.
"Then Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'" - Matthew 11:28-29 NLT

My journey of letting go and surrendering my misfit mongrels is just beginning. I can sense the freedom that awaits me as His healing power reaches to untangle, heal and set me free. Amazingly, what seems unusable to me is what, when surrendered, will bring Him the most glory.
All we have to do is let go.  All we have to do is surrender.
Lord of All, please help us surrender our all to You. So often we find that we take back what we surrender even when it threatens to strangle our heart and soul. Help us to remember that true rest comes in laying those misfit mongrels at your feet for all time.  We thank you for being our ultimate Peacemaker. - Amen

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Called to Trust

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am  trusting You. Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to You.”
Psalm 143:8 (NLT)
Millions of thoughts are racing through my mind like shooting stars, landing at the center of my heart with varying degrees of explosiveness as I soak up those freeing words again.  God has been taking me on a trust journey this last month and, truth be told, I’m still on it.
He’s been teaching me how to trust Him more…with every detail of my life.  It’s kinda funny, you would think that since I trust Him with my eternal destination, it would be really easy to trust Him with the temporary things here on earth.  Specifically, I’m talking about my vocation…where I work.  We often refer to it as a calling. To be really transparent, over the past 3-4 years, I’ve been crying, arguing, crying, whining and pleading with God. Telling Him I don’t understand…asking Him why.  Why can’t I work in full-time ministry with my friends? I love it there…it’s fun, positive, upbeat.  It’s comfortable.
Just like God called Moses from the desert or David from the fields, sometimes He calls us from our comfort zones. At this moment, He is calling me to downtown Houston…a sheltered country girl to the heart of our nation’s 4th largest city.  Not just an occasional visit to Jones Hall or the Toyota Center, but to actually spend the better part of 240 out of 365 days each year. Sometimes the very thought of this peaks my curiosity about what God is up to and sometimes it leaves me shaking in my boots.
Has He ever called you from your comfort zone?  Has He ever placed you in the midst of danger…between the enemy army and the Red Sea…before a giant with just a sling and a stone?
During this journey, I’ve wondered about trust.  What exactly is it? We tend to throw that word around so easily until it is tested.
We can trust those that never lie to us.  He is Truth.
We can trust those that will never leave us. We have His Word: He “will never leave or forsake” us.
We can trust those that love us.  He is Love. He loves us and left everything, gave up everything, and sacrificed everything…even to the point of an unspeakable, tortuous death.  All so He could always be with us.

In further researching trust, I find that the main message out there is “don’t trust anyone and you won’t get hurt.”  I even ran across echoes of my own heart in “don’t let your guard down because as soon as you do, they will either move away, die or leave you.”  But the most impactful one I found was this one, written by an Anonymous writer:
“If you say you can trust someone then you are admitting to something even greater than love. Trust involves all your thoughts and emotions to be given to someone so they can have them. Trusting someone is knowing that you can be hurt so bad that none can even know. This is why trust is a word of great power.”
Hmmm…trust is greater than love.  Enlightening.   But the second line is what really got me…basically, giving all of my thoughts, emotions, even my will to someone so they can have them. 
Do I really believe that God is sovereign over every aspect of my life?
If I do, I can trust Him with everything in my life. Every moment.  Every step. Everything.

Then the question for me, for all of us, is: Will I trust Him? Will I unwrap my tightly clenched fingers to those things that make me feel safe, secure and comfortable so that He can hold my hand and lead me where He wants me to go? Will I surrender my desires for His?
At last, there is only one answer for me. With arms lifted high and heart abandoned, I can now authentically echo the words of The Stand “What can I say? What can I do? But offer my heart, O God, completely to you?”
Thank you, O gracious Father, for not giving up on me.  Thank You for Your kindness…even when Your answer is “No.” Thank You for Your relentless love.  Right now, I especially thank You for ever so gently molding my heart, taking my hand and teaching me to trust You with everything.  I offer all of me to You.  After all, Your precious blood bought and paid for me.  I am Yours! –In the hands of my dear Savior, Amen.