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Thursday, April 7, 2016

What If I Need to Deconstruct Me

My friend, Sara, posted these words, today: "It is when all of the pain and all of the fear come rushing to the front, it is then that we have to choose to let go. To see what God has planned - we can't be anything, do anything, go anywhere, until we can let go of all the things that we are not. I'm letting God work in my heart today, I am choosing not to give in to all that I am not... because today is a great adventure."

So it's time for Thursday Theology...  you know, that part of the week when (if I remember it's Thursday, at all) I might write about something God is or, more likely, something God is not.  But these words had me thinking more about what I'm not... I'm not sure I've ever deconstructed myself, before...

Psalm 18:1, "I love you, Lord, my strength" (NIV).

I like to be strong.  Even when I'm not strong, I like people to think that I am.  I can be far too independent for anyone's good.  So this very small verse packed an enormous punch as I read it.  It's not as if I didn't already know this, but my strength is actually not my own, at all.  Let's start the deconstruction right there.  I am not strong.  But God is.    

The narrative of how God provided for the Israelites with the manna and the quail is just blowing my mind, today (see Exodus 16:10-22).  Let's be real.  As a planner, I would have been one of those people who gathered too much and ended up with a maggot infested kitchen.  I have a pretty good story about maggots... is anyone surprised?

Several years ago, the second floor of my previous house began to stink.  I mean, the stench was awful, and it just kept getting worse day after day after day.  I was certain that the odor was coming from the bedroom of my two youngest sons.  I was on their case... every single day... to clean their room.  They were little, so of course I helped them.  We went through all the toys, all the drawers, just... everything.  I changed sheets and vacuumed and used more Lysol wipes than anyone should possess.  And the house still stunk!

I finally thought to myself, "Maybe it's the kids' bathroom".  This space was, after all, used by all five children!  I cleaned the bathroom.  I mean, I really cleaned the bathroom.  I cleaned it better than it had ever been cleaned, every inch of it.  And the house still stunk!

Well, I knew it wasn't coming from the master bedroom and bath, but I cleaned those, as well.  Didn't help.

Then, one afternoon as I quickly ran into "the baby's" pristine princess forest nursery to put a couple of toys back where they belonged, I saw them.  In her play kitchen sink, surrounding an old juice cup that was inadvertently forgotten, was an entire colony of maggots.  I gagged.  I screamed for reinforcements to produce more Lysol wipes, immediately.  I gagged again.  A lot.  I am sort of a germaphobe anyway, but this was just too much. 

Later, when I allowed my very little toddler to resume life in her now inhabitable space, when the sippy cup had been thrown away and the maggots were no more, she looked up at me and asked,  "Mommy, where my white worms?"  

Please, just pause for a moment to give this the appropriate, horrifying effect...


Go ahead and puke.  I did.

So, the Israelites...

They're so cyclical...

OK...  I'm so cyclical...

Over and over again, God provides.  Over and over again, we have just what we need for the moment, and that's enough.  And yet... sometimes in the midst of this we panic, hoarding everything we might need for tomorrow, because... what?  We think maybe God will wake up tomorrow and decide not to provide?  That's so ridiculous!  (Hey, L., that's so ridiculous!)  Sorry, just needed to talk to myself for a moment...

Psalm 18:25-29, "To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.  You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.  You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.  With your help I can advance against a troop, with my God I can scale a wall" (NIV).

God responds to us.  I don't want to get myself into a whole lot of trouble, right now, but God is to us what we ask God to be.  Oh goodness, how I want to be faithful and blameless and pure and humble.  I'm OK with not being able to scale a wall, though.  That would just be ludicrous.  And I don't want to raise maggots, ever again.

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