Thursday, June 1, 2017

When What's New Isn't Shiny

Numbers 16:30 (KJV)
But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.

"If the Lord make a new thing..."

My entire life "newness of life" seemed the most marvelous and magical occurrence. I grew up in a church-community, so "newness" meant the drug addict was cured! It meant the sinner was saved! It meant the destitute had family! 

As an adult I am STILL stumped by how downright awful, "newness of life," can be.
When newness comes it is unsettling. All that was comfortable and known vanishes. It's akin to physical therapy for the body... What used to come naturally requires deliberate effort to parts of the body maimed. And many times, like Jacob, we never walk the same again. 

A couple of years ago, about this time, my neck locked. That was only my third visit in my life to a chiropractor. I never have problems with my back, or neck. But it was a difficult time, and I obviously didn't roll with the stress of it well. The chiropractor was a man in his mid-thirties, and I felt so sorry for him. Every time he would touch me I would start crying! It had NOTHING to do with the pain. I was just nervous & my emotions were especially tender. Touch triggered emotions, not pain. He, of course, didn't know what was going on in my head. He would take my face and head in his grip, I'd tear up, and he'd drop his hands to his side with a sigh! I was so embarrassed. I kept trying to breathe deeply and calm down. I finally took his hands in mine & told him, "You have GOT to ignore my tears. They mean NOTHING. You are not hurting me in any way. Just go for it!" But, he was too affected by my tears to help. I can't remember what he sent me home with, but he didn't adjust me. He couldn't. 

I pray that in all of my LOATHING of change and newness, God doesn't respond to me like that chiropractor. I NEED every adjustment my Jesus sees fit to give me. I NEED every loss. I NEED each new lesson. Newness isn't always pleasant. Sometimes we've chosen wrongly what seemed delightful, and we have to give it up. We have to let him swallow it up & bury it. Going on without what we held so dear is not easy. Learning to find new pleasures (for me) is not enjoyable. Learning to live in new territory without the old "security blanket" is not jolly, or magical.

For some of us we have to learn to live without relationships that should have been dependable. For others we have to learn to live with new health conditions. For others we have to learn to break bad habits and start new ones. The list could go on, & on. It does go on, & on. And your newness is on the list. But we can rise to the occasion and do this! 

My personal prayer today...

"Please, Lord, do not withhold newness of life from me because I cry, because I fear, because I express concern. My earnest plea is that you utterly do exactly what you want in, & through my wisp of a life. Spare not for my crying, Father."