Friday, March 17, 2017

~abandon~

Sit started late in 2016. 
I was on the interview trail, trying to figure out what time zone I was in half the days, and from there how to get to each of my destinations, and how much sleep I was going to lose because the 5am flights were cheaper than the 10am flights, even though the airport was repeatedly an hour away...and a friend asked me how I was doing on chat. I said I was fine...and she questioned me. I reiterated my fine-ness, and she noted that she was worrying about me. Something in the way she said it made me question myself...and before I realized it, I'd pulled the hanging string she'd pointed out, and the lovely fuzzy fine-ness I'd been wrapping myself up with like a comfortable sweater began to unravel. 
I was actually decently on the road to not-fine-ness. I wasn't getting done the things I needed to get done, I was missing deadlines, I was stressing out. But so long as I kept pushing along, I could convince myself things were going okay. 
She made me stop pushing. 
A little later that week I explained to another friend what exactly was going on with me...and she pressed in from another angle, revealing further levels of lies I was believing, not only about where my life was at right then, but ideas about myself that I had not challenged since childhood.

Not long after being caught short by the women God has so graciously placed in my life, I was reading Numbers. And chapter 14 started and Moses and Aaron were falling on their faces, Joshua and Caleb were tearing their clothes, Israel was weeping all night. I listened and had to agree that something hard was being asked of them - not merely to go and fight, but to Fear not. With only "if the Lord delight in us, them He will bring us into this land and give it to us" ahead of them, and one step after another all the way they'd come saying that God did delight in them.  

And, listening, I had to say, Oh. Well. That sounds wince-inducingly familiar. How many times can I react this way to an upcoming event over which I have little control? Because I had realized that at the base of my procrastination and failure was fear. Fear that I wouldn't match, fear that I wouldn't match into a good program, fear that I would have come so far only to be refused admittance to the next step.

Of course, the Israelites refuse the command given them...and only then did God say How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe Me, for all the signs which I have showed among them? But Moses interceded for them...and I thought immediately of the One at the right hand of God interceding for me even now.

Time and time again He has shown Himself gracious, He has shown Himself faithful, He has shown Himself worthy of trust. Yet the world continues to fall apart and there is in my life, in the lives of those I love, in the lives of everyone, those things that are unfixable by any human means, and those things that He seemingly refuses to touch. That go on and on and on, worsening every year, every month, with effects increasing and more people hurting and hurting worse and...nothing. 
And every time the question comes up I doubt which it is this time...something He will fix in a way I never imagined possible...or something He will allow to continue its downward spiral in a way I never imagined possible. And that realization made me stop and wonder if it was perhaps a sign that I did not believe that in those other things, even there, He is the Love and the Life He has claimed to be. 
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him... 
if I perish, I perish... 
if He delight in us, then He will give it to us.
I wrote to both those friends: 
With the current things - the residency stuff, the knowing medicine stuff, the projects I have to do...can I completely drop any wondering about the outcome and simply do my work? Complete the lists of things I have to do and refuse to distract (lol autocorrect changed that to destruct...hmmmm) myself simply because it's easier not to think about it? How easy, if only I believe that He is Love, and any outcome in His will is best for me. 
With those other things...I so fiercely believe they are not His best...that this was an ending He never wanted...I don't know where that leaves me - do I believe He will bring good from it despite so much wrong involved or are our own attitudes preventing any good from coming from it? I don't know...God is love...but clearly that doesn't mean things aren't going to hurt. 
But though He slay me, yet will I trust Him...If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
The word that came to me then was abandon

Whatever He chooses - to go with that. To know that in His torture and death and the turning away of God from God Himself He has given up more than I ever can, and that anything I give up will be more than repaid, though it is no more than my duty to Him...to trust that in the end it will be good, and that until it is He will be with me, and that with-ness is all the goodness I need.

I then came across two quotes from Oswald Chambers, which I am going to set in their entirety here, even though they are very long for a blog post.
"Martha believed in the power at the disposal of Jesus Christ; she believed that if He had been present He could have healed her brother. She also believed that Jesus had a peculiar intimacy with God and that whatever He asked of God, God would do; but she needed a closer personal intimacy with Jesus. Martha’s programme of belief had its fulfilment in the future; Jesus led her on until her belief became a personal possession, and then slowly emerged into a particular inheritance — “Yea, Lord, I believe that Thou art the Christ….”Is there something like that in the Lord’s dealings with you? Is Jesus educating you into a personal intimacy with Himself? Let Him press home His question to you — “Believest thou this?” What is your ordeal of doubt? Have you come, like Martha, to some overwhelming passage in your circumstances where your programme of belief is about to emerge into a personal belief? This can never be until a personal need arises out of a personal problem.To believe is to commit. In the programme of mental belief I commit myself, and abandon all that is not related to that commitment. In personal belief I commit myself morally to this way of confidence and refuse to compromise with any other; and in particular belief I commit myself spiritually to Jesus Christ, and determine in that thing to be dominated by the Lord alone.When I stand face to face with Jesus Christ and He says to me — “Believest thou this?” I find that faith is as natural as breathing, and I am staggered that I was so stupid as not to trust Him before."
"We are in danger of getting the barter spirit when we come to God, we want the witness before we have done what God tells us to do. “Why does not God reveal Himself to me?” He cannot; it is not that He will not, but He cannot, because you are in the road as long as you won’t abandon absolutely to Him. Immediately you do, God witnesses to Himself; He cannot witness to you, but He witnesses instantly to His own nature in you. If you had the witness before the reality, it would end in sentimental emotion. Immediately you transact on the Redemption and stop the impertinence of debate, God gives you the witness. As soon as you abandon reasoning and argument, God witnesses to what He has done, and you are amazed at your impertinence in having kept Him waiting. If you are in debate as to whether God can deliver from sin, either let Him do it, or tell Him He cannot. Do not quote this and that person, try Matthew 11:28 — “Come unto Me.” Come, if you are weary and heavy laden; ask if you know you are evil (Luke 11:13).The simplicity that comes from our natural commonsense decisions is apt to be mistaken for the witness of the Spirit, but the Spirit witnesses only to His own nature and to the work of Redemption, never to our reason. If we try to make Him witness to our reason, it is no wonder we are in darkness and perplexity. Fling it all overboard, trust in God, and He will give the witness."

"Fling it all overboard, trust in God, and He will give the witness."

Abide in Me and I in you...I came that they might have life, and might have it more abundantly...

Live life with abandon, and receive abundant life.

This is one of those paradoxes that I love, and it hit me hard. I then promptly came across this poem of Amy Carmichael's.
Thou hast not that, My child, but Thou hast Me, And am not I alone enough for thee? I know it all, know how thy heart was set Upon this joy which is not given yet. And well I know how through the wistful days Thou walkest all the dear familiar ways, As unregarded as a breath of air, But there in love and longing, always there. I know it all; but from thy brier shall blow A rose for others. If it were not so I would have told thee. Come, then, say to Me: My Lord, my Love, I am content with Thee. 
As I said in 2016, knowing Him and making Him known is the entire purpose of my existence...there is no I mastered that goal, on to something new. But part of knowing Him...is to simply go. To forget feelings, worldly wisdom, assurance of any kind...and to do what He has placed in my path. This year, 2017, I want to be the year of abandon. Of disregarding outcomes and simply doing what He has directed. Of being content with my Lord, my Love. Of losing myself in Him. 

Abandon. I basically see this as a joyful surrender. Surrender alone to me indicates more of an acknowledgment of what is being given up. Abandon I see as more of a throwing oneself forward without seeing any worth to what is being left behind. And the more I think on it the more I see that abandoning to God, living abandoned to God, abandoning the world, is basically just an acknowledgment that I'm not in control of this anyway.

I mean what exactly are we doing that makes surrender/abandon/whatever you want to call it so hard? It's not like we are actually handing over control of anything. It's just that we are acknowledging God's overarching control and power over every piece of our lives. The thought of it is weirdly terrifying considering we can't actually make the world happen the way we want it to happen

Abandon returned to my thoughts throughout the rest of 2016...and then I received a January 1 email of Oswald Chamber's My Utmost For His Highest. I will leave you with this charge. 
He went out, not knowing whither he went. — Hebrews 11:8 

Have you been “out” in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question — “What do you expect to do?” You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder — you do not know what God is going to do next. Each morning you wake it is to be a “going out,” building in confidence on God. “Take no thought for your life,…nor yet for your body” — take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you “went out.”
Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does?
Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him — what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual “going out” in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until, so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God.
Nothing between my soul and my Savior...so that His blessed face may be seen.

Nothing between, nothing before, nothing behind...I am His and He is mine and I would see Jesus. 




3 thoughts shared:

Jessica Greyson said...

*HUGS* This is so beautiful!!! I am so proud of you!!!! <3 Love you!!!!

Katherine Sophia said...

thank you. <3 *hugs* I love you!!!!

Mirriam said...

<3333333333

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