Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Patiently In Place

I like to be used of God. I like to be a blessing to people. Giving of oneself is a high. Acknowledging this is important to humility. I've seen (& have personally experienced) givers excuse their exhaustion, their rudeness, under the guise of Servanthood. In fact, they're (we're) fulfilling an addiction, we're getting our fix. 

It certainly isn't "wrong" or "sinful" to experience the high of ministering to others' needs. It's a natural release God wove into our biological system to encourage us to continue to be good and kind. The problem comes in not recognizing when one has taken on too much, and then lording our "ministry" over others, insisting they get in-line, in-sync to serve OUR need for the high. Each person knows their own heart, and their own spirit. The key is to be very prayerful, and not be self-deceptive.

With that said, over the last few weeks I've been extremely needy of a "hit." I've come to learn the signs about myself, so I recognize when it's come. I lift the veil to show you that it's not easy keeping oneself within the bounds of patience and self-control. 

The Lord has had me of use lately in ways I'm not used to. The newness is difficult. My voice has recently become silently loud. You're reading my voice right now. Writing is a new platform and I'm trying to get used to the "mic."

In the newness and transition I feel hyper-extended. Part of me knows I am safe in God's hands and plan, but another part of me feels nervous, anxious, and desperate to be heard. Part of me sees His hand answering me and intervening for me, but another part of me feels like I'm suffocating in the yet-unanswered prayers. Consequently, much of my energy of the last few weeks have been spent on stillness and sanity. Plus, I've been physically ill on top of the spiritual and emotional imbalance. 

The point of this reveal is certainly not to garner sympathy. (Don't you dare. Don't you dare. Don't you dare.) The point is to share the fact that YOU'RE NOT ALONE in your unrest. You're not the only one who wonders where God is. You, and me, and King David, and Elisha, and thousands of others have experienced moments where they've felt like they were coming out of their skin... But they waited on the Lord, and He REALLY DID complete the work. 

Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:

It's not an easy thing for me, but I've learned while "waiting" on the Lord to pursue a peaceful behavior. My advice to others sharing my boat is to not make your home miserable with your personal torment. Do not stir fear and unrest in those around you. Seek peace, and pursue it. 

Yesterday, in my efforts to keep the spinning of my mind from aggravating my home, I went for a walk. I spoke to the Lord as I walked. I cried and told him of my frustrations in NEEDING to feel that "hit" of being used of him.

I reminded him of how I'd been contagiously sick and unable to engage in my normal leadership activities.
He reminded me that he's been giving me multiple scriptural topics a day to write about, and how that was going to be a blessing to people.

"GOING TO...?!" 
I whined to God how it "might" be a blessing... "If" they "happen upon" the writing. 
I'm pretty sure I heard him chuckle at my small-mindedness.

"Do you know how LONG it's been since I've done any projects I've always loved to do?!"
He said, "You've GOT to let the past go. Forget those things which are behind. I've made you into a new vessel. If you try to do those old jobs you'll fail miserably."

Oh, the mourning that ensued right out on the public sidewalk of my neighborhood!
*AND I had forgotten to hold my mobile to my head so people would assume I was talking to someone on the phone! 

My sweet Jesus stepped right up beside me and said, "Hey, you said you wanted to be a vessel, right?"
"Yes!" I answered. "But I want to be a USED vessel!"
He asked, "Didn't you write all of those ideas and encouragements you found in scripture?"
I sighed, "Yes."
Jesus kindly said, "See? You're a useful vessel."
My voice quivered as I said, "But I want to be a loved vessel."
He answered with an affirmation I already knew, "You ARE a loved vessel."
"But, I want to be always in your hand being used."
I looked around for an example of how often I wanted to be in-play. I held the answer in my hand.
"Like my phone is always in my hand being used. That's how I want to be in use."
He laughed. Even I laughed at my exasperation. 
We felt close & comforted in our walk together now. He had calmed my anxiety with his presence. 
He shook his head and said, "I don't have a smart phone, Denee."
We laughed some more. Because, of course he wouldn't have, need, or use a smart phone. 

He has earthen vessels. 
Cracked, chipped, broken, re-glued, repaired, renewed earthen vessels. And I have absolutely no clue as to what shape of a vessel he's made me into. All I care about, ultimately, is being used of God. And if he finds me of best use sitting on a shelf, so be it. If he grabs me to use as a cup to pour into, I say, "Fill me up." If he uses me as a pitcher and pours out all that is within, I say, "Empty me utterly."

In this place I want to patiently be EXACTLY what he needs me to be.

*Yes. I do that. :) 

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