You know my heart.
And You know all the chaos of my world right now.
Nothing is “normal”
And it may never be “normal” again
Because even when life is in a pattern –
which becomes our “normal” –
it gets shattered.
A phone call
A test result
A financial bump in the road
A weight gain
A visit to the doctor
And “normal” ceases to exist.
This abnormal normal has been going on for months
And there appears to be no end in sight
We are all stumbling from report to report,
Recommendation to recommendation
And, yes, from argument to argument
And these uncertain times bring forth other uncertainties
For me, they involve travel and borders and being stuck between two worlds
For others it is economics
Or prolonged time with people they don’t really like any more
The emotional climate of our nation
The spiritual climate of our nation
Lack of hope
Death of compassion
Famine of love for others
It feels like chaos
Because in so, so many ways it is!
What is true?
How do you know?
Who do you listen to?
What should I be very concerned about?
What can I let go?
How can I manage better?
Who should I be managing?
What should I be managing?
Where do I find answers?
What timeline should I expect?
How is this going to work out?
And suddenly this Truth looms:
While there are definitely storms out there,
and I am surrounded by the wind and the waves of the unknown,
I AM (often) MAKING THEM WORSE.
The more the wind howls, the more I try to control it.
The higher the waves crest, the more I seek ways to manage.
The fiercer the storm, the tighter my grip.
And when I do that, the storm in me strengthens and outstrips the storm of my circumstances.
Open hands, Lord.
That is what is required in the storm.
Everything in me wants to do the opposite.
Eyes squeezed shut.
Manage my emotions.
Manage my finances.
Even manage my people.
But that was never, ever what You called me to do.
That is the equivalent of the Captain of a mighty ship asking a toddler to take over the helm.
The Parent asking the preschooler to manage bill pay and the budget for the family.
The Coach letting his kindergartner call the plays of the biggest game of the season.
I am the child.
You are my Dad.
You, the King of the Universe, are my Father.
You, the Sovereign Ruler of all things, call me Beloved.
All You have ever asked me to do is to trust You.
In the storms
In the calm.
And everywhere in between.
Lift my face.
Lift my arms.
Hold ALL of my life with open hands.
Held up to You, without a grip.
And as I stand tall, it is a posture of praise.
With all I have.
And all I am.
To praise You in it all.
All of it in Your hands.
All of me singing Your praise.
And then You guide my steps.
You take the wheel.
You call the plays.
You function in Your economy.
You lead me in Your higher ways.
You parent me.
You shepherd me.
Even in the mystery.
You, Who can see it ALL.
You, Who knows every motive, every heart, and every personality that crosses my path.
You, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.
You, the Glue that holds all things together.
You, the Creator Who “works out all things in conformity to the purpose of Your will”.
You, the Great I AM, Who Was and Is and Is to Come.
You, Who control the ALL.
So I come to You with open hands.
Am I soaked from the storm?
Is my hair whipped from the wind?
Is the boat pitching and yawing and generally being topsy-turvy?
But I laugh at the wind and revel in the rain.
Because this boat cannot go under.
It cannot be torn apart.
It is impossible for it to fail.
Not because I am holding it together.
But because YOU are.
And even if everything falls apart here in this life
I have a firm, rock-solid, unbreakable guarantee:
The sake of Your name
The glory of Your reputation
The promises You have made
The fact that I am Yours – and You are mine.
This life may beat me up
Your enemy may try to destroy me
The fact of sin in the world and its ugly consequences will mess with me
However, this is a moment in the spectrum of eternity
My whole physical life is no bigger than a blip on the screen
A flower quickly fading
Grass that is green today and dead tomorrow
But my eternal life started the moment I asked You to be my Savior
Which means I can approach all of my circumstances from a posture of praise instead of a huddle of hopelessness and fear.
This is the abundant life
The joy-filled life
The sweet life
Not gripping tightly
Not needing to know all the answers
Not seeking to control
Not managing it all
But riding the wind and waves with a song of praise on my lips
Sometimes sung through tears
Sometimes wrung out of the depths of my soul
Sometimes forced by an act of the will from my mouth
But You are worth it
Worth clinging to
Worth living for
Always, always, You are worth it.
So I will live in this posture: