Saying I Quit.....
If You have followed me for long, then you know I am very open, and at times, Raw with my emotions. I tend to be like Job and when I have taken all I can take, I just lay it all out there.
This has admittedly been a difficult week. It has been emotionally rough due to frustrating circumstances and happenings. You ever had one of those? One that starts out on a Monday and then by Wednesday you are ready to explode? Yep, that was me, just yesterday.
Interestingly, all day long I was receiving what should have been encouraging words from folks, most from people who were blissfully unaware of my inward struggle. As far as I knew, only God and my wife knew my aches and pains. But each word sent, instead of encouraging me, it just made me mad. I did not want words of encouragement, I wanted my circumstances changed. Then, I read a word from a brother on a devotional he had that morning and he mentioned how much he wanted to be in control and not trust God's control. That really set me off. Instead of fixing my circumstances, I felt as if God was rebuking me (using the rod) for questioning His chosen path for me.
I sat down yesterday around 4pm CST after walking through my fields and I began to answer his text. What followed may possibly be my most honest "Job" moment I have had in quite awhile. I thought I would share it with you.
Remember, his premise is how silly we are for wanting to be in control instead of trusting God's control over our lives. Here was my response to him:
"I will not lie, this smacked me straight in the face. A knock out punch to the chin. And one I really did not want today. I wanted to sulk in my self pity. I wanted to cry and whine about my present condition. I wanted to rip the control panel from God because I think He is doing a crappy job. When my wife cried yesterday when I told her the price for the trip to Israel because she wants me to go but sees that figure as impossible, I shook my fist at God. How dare He call us to serve then lead us between a rock and a hard place where we don't know where our next meal comes from! How dare He ask us to encourage and lift up others and then let the hungry lion, Satan himself, into our house? How dare He treat me like Moses, Abraham, Joseph, all the prophets of old! How dare He treat me like Jesus! I want to be treated like royalty both here and in eternity! I don't like struggling. I don't like living from day to day, and at times moment by moment. I want to have some say so in my journey! And when things are not going my way, I want to blame someone! I want to point my crooked finger in God's face and scream, "See what good comes from your controlling things!" I want to hate him! Turn my back on him! In fact, I wrote an "I quit" letter just last night. In it I basically told God, "if this is your plan, then you can shove it! I am going to go back and pick up my shovel, get back in the mud and make bricks. At least there (Egypt) I had food and water and extra stuff running out my ears! At least there I felt comfortable! At least there I knew what tomorrow held, more mud straw and bricks! Here, following You, I have no idea what tomorrow holds and I don't like living this way!"
Then today, all around me I get messages from friends (you included) and my wife with words to lift me up! All but my wife are unaware of the struggle! But my Daddy knew. He read my letter! He had heard my complaining! He felt my pains!
With every word of encouragement I read, I chose to hate Him all the more! I did not want his encouragement, I wanted it fixed! And up till a few moments ago, I was refusing the bottle and his feast just like those babies in Monday's video!
Then I came home, heart still determined to live in my anger and grumbling. I checked on my new lambs and then I went to walk my big field which I have had shut up for a couple of weeks. Over the winter, my sheep had literally eaten it to the ground and no grass seemed to be growing. Our prayers have been that somehow it would reseed and grow as we had no money to over seed it. My hope was that by shutting it off from them, it would have time to grow! As I walked it today, I saw the answer to our prayers. Little green shoots were all around me! Life was springing forth. I desperately wanted to turn my sheep in right away, I know they want and long for this nourishment, but I also know if I give it a little more time, they will never be able to keep up with the abundance it will grow!
As I finished my walk and sat in my little sheep shed and started to type this message, God gently spoke to me. Although it was just a whisper, it was like thunder in my head!
'Son, I know you are hurting. I have seen every tear and heard every cry! I know you are standing at the fence longing for the provision you know I have in my hand to give! But Son, you must understand, just like you I have walked the fields! I have seen the nourishment your soul longs for, and I long to let you in! But I also know, if I wait until my perfect time to open the gate, once you enter my "big field" I currently have planned for you, you will NEVER be able to absorb the abundance I have planned for you! Just wait! Just trust! Hold on! Just like you are doing the best for your sheep, supplying them with just enough each day right now, I will supply ALL your needs according to my riches in glory and when I turn you loose into what I have planned, you will eat forever and never lack again!'
Yeah! How crazy are we to want to be in control!"
Today, if you are struggling with how your life looks, just remember, He is going ahead of you, and when it is ready, He will open the gate and you will never be keep up with the abundance of His love, grace, and provision for you!
Go Enjoy The Shepherd