Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Satisfy me, Lord!

"The Lord will guide you always, he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11

Have you ever looked up the definition of the word "satisfy?"

1. to gratify fully the wants, wishes, desires of, to supply to the full extent what is wished for
2. to make content as to satisfy hunger or thirst
3. to give what is due to
4. to free from doubt, suspense, to give full assurance to
5. to set the mind at rest
6. to make reparation to, to atone

So here goes . . .

Jesus' atonement sets my mind at rest, frees me from doubt about whose I am, and gives me complete assurance and contentment that my needs, wishes and desires (that align with Scripture) will be fully met. I didn't just write that, did I? Surely that's not biblical. I looked up the definition of "gratify"- "to please, to give pleasure to, to reward." Really? God wants to give pleasure to me?

I know we're all used to hearing that God only gives us what we need but that He isn't in the business of giving us what we want. (Because of course we all want only the mansion and the Ferrari!) Unfortunately, I think that keeps us from ever going to Him with any wants. It leaves us feeling like our deepest dreams and desires are unacceptable and certainly not available to be met. That as we surrender them to Him, we expect Him to replace our desires with cancer, blindness, or that dreaded move to Africa. Often tears are streaming down my face when I arrive at the place with God where I can say, "Is it really OK to have what I want?"
When I was pregnant with my first child, I agonized over the decision whether to induce him. My OB/GYN was a good friend and I really wanted her to be there for my delivery. Yet she was headed out of town and wouldn't be available if my baby arrived late on his own. She was willing to come in on her day off (with her three month old!) and induce me. However that didn't exactly fit my "all naturale" birth plan! Was I taking too much control? Did I violate God's sovereignty? And more importantly, would He be disappointed in me? Was I supposed to 'suffer' for Him and accept a resident doctor that I never met?
I wrestled for an entire day. The internal battle was huge. In His goodness, God blessed me with a friend's wise mother who held both sides of my heart. In the end I sobbed when I realized that I couldn't make a wrong decision and God would love me just as much either way! I really could have what I wanted. He cared that I wouldn't feel alone and insecure. In this instance He helped me feel that my desires were good. I could rest and be fully assured that He was satisfied with me no matter what. I couldn't fail Him with my decision. I think that's what grace truly is. And then I remembered the times that Jesus asked broken, diseased people, "do you want to get well?" Can you hear Him asking you, "what do you want?"
"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all . . .
who heals all . . . who redeems your life . . . and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."
Psalm 103:2-5

Monday, July 5, 2010

Risky Business

How are you at risking? hopefully better than me. Often I like to play it safe-with new clothes, recipes, even nail polish. In college I boasted that I'd love to skydive. Now as a mom of three, I can't even imagine it! I don't even like getting on a bike. The rollerblades I bought lasted three days before they found a new home. I didn't want the emergency room to be mine.

Watching my children, I realize they have not lost the desire to fly. Just this morning my ten year old son was pouring out the contents of a firecracker onto a paper towel. It was called "Happiness." He announced tht he was going to "make his own happiness!" After laughing at the irony of that statement, I realized he wanted to build his own new and improved firework. He had no doubt that it would work. I didn't either which is why I suggested he take it outside.

And my girls at this moment are mesmerized by Barbie's 3 Musketeers-I didn't know fans, ribbons, and necklaces wield such dangerous power! I guess Barbie and my daughters know something I don't: believe in yourself, be determined and don't give up. If you believe and work hard, you can be anything!

When does this confidence leave us? I'm not sure. Somewhere between the funny looks at the talent show and the "D" on a college exam. Or maybe when a boyfriend in college read what I had written in my journal and then pronounced that I seemed "full of myself." Risking then my dreams and my heart now seems impossible. I worry too much if my weird self will be received. Will I really have the ability to create a book? All I focus on is my inabilities; is it possible to write and meet God at the computer? Do I really believe I have something to offer? Can I ever stop censoring myself? What would it be like to write and never hit the delete key? Or talk with my husband and friends and not second guess everything I said? Can I really write a blog that doesn't wrap up in a neat little bow? I think I'll take the risk . . . .