Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Our Firm Anchor

This is the time for reflection, this is the time for reminiscing, this is the time for New Years Resolutions, which I’ll do faithfully for 15 minutes or so. Resolved: to stick to my goals, resolutions, whatever.
Resolved: to be more realistic in my goals.
Resolved: to actually accomplish the new habits I’m trying to implement. Resolved: never to make resolutions again.
That was productive…
Ok, the reflection part. What a year this has been. I don’t remember January and February much, April was spent getting ready for DH to leave the Army, May it happened, June, and July were spent keeping the bill collectors at bay, August we had a break while DH did 30 days of active duty. September, October and November we again fought off the hording masses. December, DH started working again. Pearl Harbor Day, actually. It is a general rule that we only do significant things on days that were already designated as a holiday. Miss Busy was born on Mother’s Day, DH left the Army the last time on Miss Busy's birthday, we’ve moved into new houses during Christmas, left for deployments on Easter, returned from deployments on birthdays, and we can only move when it is raining or 20 degrees below zero.
It is so good to be able to pay the bills again. I never thought I would say that, that I actually long to pay them. I really never had any intention of letting things slide as they have, but when there isn’t anything to spend, some things have just gotten pushed aside.
My poor suburban was out of commission for two months and when we finally got it going, it malfunctioned again. I hate being so dependent on a mechanical thing, but I am.
God has constantly fulfilled every need that we have had during the last year, physical needs and spiritual. Our timing is never His timing and we often grow impatient, thinking “we won’t make it, we’ll fail, we’ll lose the house, the truck, the shirts off our backs!” But we don’t, we come through the storm with our possessions intact, with a better attitude about those “things”. We hold on to them with a looser grasp. Yet we cling to those around us with a tighter hold. They are the things that really matter when it all comes down to the bottom line. Our sails may be torn, the boat is sloshing with excess water, the mast may need repairing, but the anchor holds firm. The only casualties of the windy gale are our pride and materialism.
God has brought many new friends to our family. His people. People who are willing and eager to help. People who will drive an hour out of their way to offer us a ride to church, so that the family can be in the presence of God, worshipping and fellowshipping with His people. He has prompted old friends to act in compassionate service, who still remain faithful to Him, to bring us a Generator during a stormy power outage. God has always taken care of our needs through His endless network of believers, and I am constantly blessed by His care and compassion. Through it all, he has brought me into a more personal relationship with Him. I am awed by His love for me, secure in knowing that He has always had my best in mind. Knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4) As I was reading my blogs this morning, I was inspired by a post I read. C.S. Lewis described the testing of our faith in a beautiful way, a way to which I relate completely. He said: “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us: we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” Oh, we know in our hearts that He is in control. We know in our hearts that He only wants the best for His children. We know in our hearts that we will come out of the trials better, in many ways: spiritually for sure, emotionally too, but we wonder how much “baggage” we will be stripped of along the way. (We need it, I'm certain, we carry far too much stuff along with us anyway.) Will the band-aids hurt as they are ripped off and wounds cleaned and covered again? We will be better for the cleansing, but we don’t want the healing process to hurt.
Lord, please help our wimpyness. Strengthen our weak hearts and minds. Help us to get the head knowledge into heart knowledge, so that the next trials won’t hurt so badly.

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