Rocks & Robots


“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?
Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
Mathew 7:9-11

Last night a storm raged wild in our little Midwestern neighborhoods. It shook down trees with wind and cracked bright as shooting stars from zags of lightening. The thunder was what got our hearts jumping, it was just so loud! And at midnight, my best friend’s little girl woke up howling louder than the gusts that scared her eyes wide open.

My best friend bounded to the top of the stairs and scooped her babe up.  We quietly crept into the guest room and tucked under a quilt, snuggling that little sweetheart between us as her mama rubbed her back until she fell asleep. Comforted. Safe. No storm stronger than the heart that held her.

We talked quietly over her perfectly peaceful face for another hour, she wiggled and rumbled in her sleepy state, and the preciousness of the moment washed over me as rain continued to pour down the window panes.

Love exists because God decided that it should.
Period.

And in that late night moment of tender care, the enormity of my best friend’s love for her daughter was tangible. It was another layer of love in just a single day where she’d dressed her, read to her, fed her, giggled with her, wiped her tears, cheered her on for using the potty, and chose to love her big brother and their daddy all-the-day-long too.

People aren’t bigger than God. Not stronger or wiser or more selfless. But I’ll bank on their love time and again, because I can see it. Feel it. Witness it. Get my arms around it or get their arms around me.
I know for a fact that if any of my pals little ones were hungry, they wouldn’t serve them a saucer of gravel or a plate of pebbles. No, they’d do exactly what those words in Matthew tell us- they’d feed them with bread.  Because love is ‘taking care’ … it’s providing. For needs.

And God takes care of my needs. He has fed me. Clothed me. Put a roof over my head.
And somehow I still feel fearful that when I sit down to dine with my Dad that he’s going to turn his face from me and push a pile of rocks my way.
I feel that way because of the way He hasn’t ‘answered’ … not for my needs, but my wants.

I measure His love by my long list of wants that’ve been hung out to dry. Ignored, or worse, given and then taken away.

In scripture, our Holy God is named as ‘Jehoveh Jireh’ … God who provides.

So. If He is the one responsible for love’s very existence, and if He is the one who Himself is named Provider, how can I whisper to myself over and over and over that He doesn’t love me?
Because I’ve been measuring love by self. And I don’t measure love by Him.

When was the last time you determined the way someone loved you, cared for you, or desired you based on their character? Let me take a guess… you haven’t. You, like me, and like so many of us, have gauged based on what we’ve been given and how we feel.  The love we want doesn’t have to come in wrappings, but in some capacity we still want … we want quality time, words of affirmation, touch, acts of service, and sure- gifts. Beyond that we want it to be proven to us, and we regard our basic ‘needs’ being met as the lowest rung on the totem pole.  Yea yea yea, thanks for the meal, the paycheck, the bed to lay down in, but what about my WANTS!? What about the dream vacation I just have to check off my bucket list? The husband I just have to make love to? The kids I just have to bring home from the orphanage? The celebrations I just have to enjoy? The milestones I just have to ensure measure up to those around me?

He doesn’t care about my wants.
And I have assumed that meant He didn’t love me.

NOT TRUE.

What He doesn’t care to do is fuel my selfishness and separation from Him.
What He doesn’t care to do is hand me rags to polish my idols.
What He doesn’t care to do is to give me rocks that I can use to build a wall between Himself and my heart.
But! But! BUT I LIVE IN A CULTURE THAT SAYS YOU DON’T LOVE ME UNLESS YOU DO EVERYTHING WITHIN YOUR POWER (and sometimes beyond it) TO DO WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY!

What a grotesque and wholly sickening way to measure love, huh?
Isn’t true love that wisdom that can see beyond my fleeting wishes and nourish me instead of woo me with the spun sugar of my meager, albeit loud, demands?

And how have I measured my love for Him?
When there is nothing that He needs!

And therein lies the irony- He is providing my needs to show me love, and though He needs nothing, it’s what He asks (wants) of me that will measure my love for Him.

He wants me to lay down my life and deny myself. He wants me to pursue eternal holiness over temporal happiness. He wants me to crawl onto His chest at midnight when the storm wakes me up and trust that His love is stronger than the storm.

HE WANTS ME TO BATTLE MY DESIRE TO “WANT” … in fact, the more I’ve pondered it, I think the way I can show Him the depth of my love & trust is to NOT WANT AT ALL. Because if I was completely trusting that the arms around me would never do ANYTHING but take care of me in the BEST way possible (best in light of eternity, and by no means meaning easiest by the light of this world) what in heavens name would I want more?!

I don’t know how to sit comfortably under the weight of that thought- because my text message conversations and Pinterest pages and prayer lists are FULL of wants. I’ve gone whimpering, whispering, kicking, screaming, and silent before the throne with a heart full of wants. I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, I’ve bartered. All for my wants. Hardly ever for my needs. Because my needs have already been taken care of at the moment they became needs. That’s who our Jehoveh-Jireh is- a provider. Of needs.

And the enemy deludes us so drastically by ensuring we stay numb and unthankful to what we are ‘owed’, what we ‘deserve’, staying numb to a grateful spirit for the gift of our life itself. And instead he helps us shake our fists at heaven when this one glorious life we’ve been given isn’t full of crap we don’t need.

So how do I start showing my life-giver and life-sustainer that I do indeed love HIM!? That I am THANKFUL!?
It sure ain’t going to be with a check-list of mandated “to-do’s” that I was indoctrinated with before I could drive.

He is utterly  unconcerned with the amount of minutes I clock and number of fancy sentences I use in my dozens of daily prayers. He is desirous that I get away from my almost-constant pursuit of self and expectantly enjoy His presence settling in around me.
He doesn’t tally the times I’ve dog-eared my devotional pages. He wants me to hunger to be in His word because He spent 1,600 years putting the story and truth I desperately needed into the Bible that I could be sustained and encouraged and challenged and convicted by.
Turning my heart onto auto-pilot in order to serve Him might be less messy, less tear-stained, and flat out easier – but who has ever felt warmth from a robot?

He doesn’t need my legalism, He wants my love.
He doesn’t need my list of demands, He wants my open hands and thankful heart.

Maybe I can start unclenching my fists and cultivating gratefulness in my insides by measuring His love by the needs He takes care of! Writing them down. Asking those closest to me to help unveil my eyes to His provision. Maybe it’s time I gather all those ‘rocks’ I didn’t ask for, didn’t want, and start making little altars of praise and remembrance to the God who shows perfect love by perfect provision.

And maybe when we meet for coffee, and we talk about life- maybe just maybe we can help saturate each other’s spirits with contentment. Maybe we can spend some time praising instead of pleading. And when we do plead, because we will, maybe we can also name the good. Point out the provision. Hold hands and link arms against an enemy that wants to wreck us with wants.

Tonight I’m gonna thank God for the good stuff I see in you and the good ways I can see He’s blessed you.
It’s not that what your heart longs for, and what mine longs for, isn’t big and heavy and very real- it’s just that what we’ve been in need of, He’s already provided, and I want to make sure I say more than “Thanks” …

I want to make sure I say “I love you.”


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2 Responses

  1. Another stellar post! Thanks for blessing us with your gifts.

    Jk

    >

  2. Oh Kate..how blessed I am to have you shine upon me…You are such a light…I have always been so lucky to have that “one” outlet that keeps me in check with the Lord…Of course Grandma Laurean was my constant…but there has always been the “one” that follows me…in college…after college…in europe…back in the states…thru this life…there has always been someone that had been that “light” that occassionally tests, reminds and overflows with the spirit of the Lord…and that my friend is and has been “you” for so long…thank you so much for not fearing to connect your mind, soul and spirit with all those that you love…and for that I am thankful…

    Ill leave more in your email….xoxoxo

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