One of the nastiest bits of yesterday occurred when I was convicted by my own words to my children. I was dealing with a discipline issue and felt as if God were shooting a significant look my way when I spoke. Ugh. That happens far too frequently for my liking. I do wish I had it all together before God blessed me with children. How much easier would it be to teach them self-control if I had already mastered it! And why, oh, why my Father did you give me such a mulish and harrying son? The child is so incredibly smart, but I can not let my guard down for a moment! When I do, I pay dearly, and he seems to continually probe for weakness. I feel so inept! Wouldn't he have done better with one of those super-parents who manage to always discipline out of love and keep their anger in check? Or even me before my resolve was eroded by constant fatigue? I know the Lord knows best, but it is knowledge borne of faith and not sight!
Speaking of faith, I am also saddened at my amazing lack. Each time I feel a teeny bit strong in my faith, God shows me how utterly weak I am. For each time I succeed in taking every thought captive to Christ, there are 50 times I fail. Oh, how I want to keep my mind full of Him, and how impossible it seems to be sometimes! I am reading The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. He talks of how he would calmly expel vain or useless thoughts each time they arose in his mind until they were gone. How I desire to do just that, and instead I am swept away by some idiotic "what-if" fantasy or some equally selfish matter. And so my discouragement mounts.
Finally, there is my struggle to renounce personal desires altogether and completely submit to the authority God has placed me under (or even His own). Rather than feeling bitter or ill-used when I am not able to do something I want to do, why do I not joyfully accept it, let the matter slip from my mind, and move on? Why do I stubbornly hang onto personhood? If I am to be cleansed and a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful to my Master (Timothy 2:21) then I need to be empty of personal ambition and desire. When do my dishes ever complain that I do not use them as a frisbee? Or my coffee mug whine because it prefers flavored coffee to the potent stuff I drink? I am the creation, not the Creator! Why do I have such a powerfully foolish will?
Point in fact, this all boils down to a failure to surrender--to give up the steering wheel. Oh, I've done it here and there, but like many things in my life, I am not consistant. I long to just sit back and enjoy the ride, but some nagging anxiety always prompts me to try my hand at driving yet again. Father, please rid me of this need to remain in control. Help me to let go of what I want, help me to let go of myself entirely. I pray that I will be supple in Your hands for You to shape as You wish without resistance on my part. Forgive me for failing in faith and surrender. I raise up my request to be wholly Yours, nothing held back, permanently. I want to, and yet something holds me back. Expose it, remove it, and use me as You will. In Jesus' name I ask for the grace to utterly relinquish control--forever; amen.