Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rivers & Roads

Today I feel old. Today I understand why parents meet between hollow walls while children wait at school, talking quietly about the next move to make - how making a right decision is hard, especially when it involves moving away from what you know. Today I know what I meant when I was little and I said, "one day, I'll have big plans to make. One day, I'll be faced with real things." And for some reason, I always thought it would be easy. Today I think about Lot and Abraham.. how they loved each other. They were family. And one day, Abraham {Abram} called upon the name of the Lord. Their things, their people, their lives were too many - too great to dwell together. It caused strife among the herdsmen of Abram's livestock. So Abram, in what I picture as a monumental and urgent moment, lets Lot choose which direction him and his herdsmen shall go. Lot, seeing the Jordan Valley as the perfect garden, set off for Zoar. Lot chose by sight, and settled among the people in Sodom - a city full of destruction and sin. Abram, choosing by faith, continues in the enriched promises of the Father, building an altar to the Lord. [Gen. 13]

Today, in a very raw and real sense, I see just how challenging it is to live by faith, and not by sight.

But I wrestle. I am reaching out for peace. I look at Lot and his family, and I think, well, why not? And I think that this truly breaks my heart, that I am close to Lot. A man who selfishly grasps for what seems abundant and forever, a man who sees a small fragmented picture of the garden, the perfect life with God. In a decision that is tainted by sin, Lot is searching desperately to return to what life was intended to be like. Today I understand that. But despite Lot's desire to return to abundant life, he did not call out to the Lord as Abram did... and where he journeys is far from Eden; it is filled with seductive unrighteousness. And because of the charms in this world, I understand why Lot's wife Sarah looks back even when she is told not to. Because going into the unknown and leaving behind pieces of yourself is hard; it means trusting God. It means living by faith.

So I clasp my hands and I wait and I think, what is living by faith? Saying yes to something that is hard, that fills me with fear and causes me to tremble imagining the worst version of myself, and having faith that He will lead us out of darkness, or saying no and having faith that He will provide something better?

And isn't it true, that saying yes or no may not even be all of it? That He has given us something to say "yes" or "no" to? He is sovereign, and He has designed a plan, a beautiful "yes" or a beautiful "no" that we don't know yet, and yet He presents it all in such a way that each is a leap of faith? Discernment. And isn't it true that despite Lot's decision and lack of faith, God rescued him, and spared him?

Today I know that I am richly blessed that I am freely given faith to leap with. And I can say this confidently, even without knowing if our mouths will say "yes" or "no" on Friday.

Today I feel old and I understand these words. I listen to The Head and the Heart on repeat, a band introduced just in time by Stephanie. Thankful for this song, Rivers and Roads, and that I can cross one more off the Life List.

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"Pleasant words are [like] honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24