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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Riding the billows of the deep

We're on a wild ride.  2009 was a long and painful year on many levels, with losses and struggle.  2010 has so far been one of building momentum and out-of-control Kingdom-come.  This week I got the mental image of being in a river as it approaches a waterfall. The current builds and churns, and there is no fighting it.  

Scott and I made a list of seventeen really priority-type things we believe God is calling us to focus on and strive towards in the next few months, in addition to four meetings we prepare for each week (three are Bible studies or teaching of some sort).  These are outside of the normal daily work of seeing patients, making rounds, cooking, parenting, maintaining life, drawing in new team mates.  There is a lot going on here. Which has tends to make me feel panic, as if I'm going under the water, fast.  

But some words in Paul Miller's A Praying Life jumped off the page:  Instead of fighting anxiety, we can use it as a springboard to bending our hearts to God . . when you stop trying to control your life and instead allow your anxieties and problems to bring you to God in prayer, you shift from worry to watching.  You watch God weave his patterns in the story of your life.  Instead of trying to be out front, designing your life, you realize you are inside God's drama.

Riding the raging current is perfectly safe, if the river is God himself.   Jonah said "For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me, all your billows and your waves passed over me."  And in Psalm 42, "Deep calls until deep at the noise of your waterfalls; all your waves and billows have gone over me."  

The ride turns from exhaustingly terrifying, to exhilarating, when we get a glimpse of God in the waves.  He has answered numerous specific prayer requests in the last ten days, from tremendous unlooked for gifts of support to a divinely orchestrated timing of the vaccine advocacy during a meeting on the very subject.  This encourages us to go with His flow, and wait to see more.

So don't pray for us to be airlifted OUT of the chaos and flood, but rather to pray IN the chaos for a deep connection with God.

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