Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thoughts during a staff meeting

I know that title just gets you all excited. Isn't staff meeting where you all have your best thoughts? Actually, most of the time I'm either fighting to keep myself awake, or fighting to keep my mouth shut lest I deafen the rest of the staff with my screams of frustration. Well... maybe it's not that bad. Because today, I actually connected the dots on something that's been bothering me lately.

On Sunday, our pastor, Bryan, had preached on Romans 5:1-11, focusing especially on the passage about rejoicing in our suffering. He made the point that God doesn't usually take us out of our suffering, but walks with us through it.

Today, we were having a special 'visioning' staff meeting and Bryan described the process we needed to go through as a 'tunnel of chaos.' God wants us to work our way through this chaos - there is no easy answer for this. God works through our sufferings, through our chaos to help us grow.

So, I was contemplating how every bit of this thesis has been hard won for me so far. I'll start out a time of study with prayer, asking for God to help me do this, cause I know I can't do it myself. But inspiration rarely comes at that point. Then, I proceed to bang my head against the wall, pulling my teeth out as I try to study (I'm easily distracted). I'll get down to the wire and hit my panic button (bless my dear sweet husband for putting up with this process). Then - then, on my knees because I have nowhere else to go, I really really pray "Dear God - I can't do it, you have to write it for me." Then, miraculously, I have a break through. And, I hit myself upside the head and wonder why I didn't think to ask for that earlier, and why, once again, I didn't trust that God would guide me.

So, my big light bulb moment came when I realized that just because I pray for help doesn't mean that God's just going to drop the information (or whatever else I need) in my lap.
I really have to do the hard work, as much as it pains me so. Otherwise, I just won't learn what I need to learn. Unfortunately, as revelatory as this light bulb was for me, it didn't really make me feel any better. Oh yeah, I know I can trust in the Lord. I can trust that the Lord is going to walk with me through the suffering... ok, maybe sometimes God won't be walking with me - God will be dragging me, kicking and screaming through the suffering.

Hmmm... perhaps the suffering wouldn't be so bad if I didn't fight it so much... Nah! I really am quite good at kicking and screaming.


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