Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I warned you that I rambled

There really isn't a way to "clean this up" and make it all pretty and compact with a kicky opener and hard hitting ending. This is more raw and real, how I think and respond on the moment. I think it is more honest to how I actually feel, instead of me rewriting it so that it is a pretty package tied up nicely with a bow. So here is a couple of conversations that all seem to come back to one main thought: contentment.

“Man behind the curtain”: I was thinking this morning... People use Isaiah 40:30-32 as a verse to help them out... "But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." What does wait on the Lord mean? And how come I am so discontent when I am waiting?

Me: So in looking at Is 40, I'm seeing God coming to comfort a war torn Jerusalem, who has been judged severely for their sin, vs. 2 talks about J receiving double for all her sins, but the Lord has come to comfort and to strengthen them again, to pull them from the ashes, to dust them off, and to remind them of His great promise to them through the patriarchs. It is interesting to me that the majority of this chapter focuses on the power of the Lord, on His majesty, they have just been routed by pagan nations, cast down and beaten by the same people that God has told them they will have dominion over, I wonder if they have begun to doubt that God is big enough, that He can give them the victory, they have begun to look at the smallness of man, the weakness of man, and they have questioned if that same weakness and smallness is in God, but He is so tender to remind them of who He is, to speak to them of the glories He has done, ok went ahead and printed it out because it all seems to flow to one big finish.

Me: This is what I got:
Verses 1-9: the initial coming forth of God, He approaches Isaiah to speak on His behalf to the people, he recognizes where they are coming from and immediately tells them that His judgment is ending and a time of comfort is coming
Verse 9: "Here is your God" - a proclamation of His character of His person which He is about to describe to them
V 10: His power
V11: His gentleness
V12: His majesty
V13-14: His knowledge and omnipotence
V15-25: His authority over man and idols, His bigness in comparison to His own creation
V26; His command and control
V27: The people's doubt
V28-31: The point He is driving home, the reason He has called to them, the hope He offers
God is not a man, He is not weak and unable, and yet we have that fear that He will fail, that He is not big enough

Me: I find it interesting that this promise comes after Israel is at its lowest, they are not the victors but the defeated, they are broken and torn, battered and doubting, and God comes to them and reminds them that no matter what the circumstances look like, no matter what the immediate present seems to show, He is the Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth who does not become weary or tired, whose understanding is inscrutable (v28) and if that is who He is then He will give of that wealth of that power to His people, He will lift them up again, He will place them on firm ground, give strength to their legs, expand their territories, and give them power that is divine. Verse 30 tells me where I am "youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly" - this is us, we are broken, pitiful creatures who can't even walk in a straight line no matter our "youthfulness" or our "strength", by the nature of man we are incapable, YET . . . . those who wait on the LORD, will gain new strength (not of ourselves but of the God who has just explained Himself to us) and by Him we will be like eagles, run and not be tired, walk and not grow weary.
so you asked how we wait, good question, I guess we wait by doing exactly what we are doing, by living our lives of stumbles and falls, of brokenness and pain, of searching for the path He wants us to walk, and knowing that in ourselves we will fail, but also looking for the One to come and comfort us, to be there at the end of the battle when all is lost and we have failed in what we thought we would succeed, when the promise looks impossible and knowing, trusting, believing beyond ourselves that He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will, and all we can do is wait on Him to come through because He will, because He has to, because only He can
so the waiting is the living, it is the living with hope that He is always there, He is always working, and in the end He is who He says He is,
waiting is nothing more than what we do every day
waiting is faith

“Man behind the curtain”: also think that waiting is being content that he will place you where he wants you... and right now... he has you right where he wants you for the moment... and we have to be "okay" with that.

Me: content but never complacent?
does that sound true?

“Man behind the curtain”: I think that sounds true... although if you are not content... It is hard to be complacent... at least for me.

Me: true, I'll be honest I struggle with contentment and it ties directly to the amount of faith I have, active living faith that transcends just believing but knowing, acting, living out my faith, and I struggle to understand what contentment really is, is it just being "ok" with where we are, being fine with the situation, is it a resignation to "this is how it is, this is how God wants it, so I can either complain or just roll with it" or is contentment more than that, is it a longing for what is to come with a peace for what is now, is it a combination of being (almost wrote comfortable but that isn't it either) at peace with the now but so invested, so desiring, so waiting for what it to come that you trust Him for all of it, that the now is part of the future, that here is where you must be now to get there, so we live now, we are at peace with now, but we never resign ourselves to the now, we hope in the future and we trust that He can make it happen
gosh you got me on a deep and searching day, welcome to my very crazy thought process

This was a different conversation but brought me back to thinking about contentment.

Me: I guess I'm just trying to rationalize something in my life that I don't understand, stupid really, I accept God at face value on everything else, why not on His will for my life

Me: back to struggling with contentment

“Man behind the curtain”: Do all our problems stem from that? I have never really thought about it.

Me: probably

“Man behind the curtain”: Waiting is the hardest thing.

“Man behind the curtain”: Biggest tempter of Faith.

Me: last night at bible study we talked about the struggle between the spiritual man and the fleshly man, there is a constant struggle within us between what we are in Christ (our new self) and who we are in our flesh (our old self), salvation covers sin and forgives it forever but it doesn't take it away from our lives, so we live on this earth ever battling who we are with who we are in Him, and that is where I think the contentment issue comes up, it falls smack dab in the middle of that battle, it is what the battle is waged over

“Man behind the curtain”: True... but as a result of salvation we are no longer a slave to our old self... and while there is a constant battle, we can be victorious.

Me: all very true, I just wonder if contentment is such an issue because we do have that battle going on inside of us, our flesh desires sin, our spirit peace and righteousness and somewhere in there contentment gets tossed around, we can be victorious and we can win but the battle still rages and contentment is often a victim, oh how I long for heaven

“Man behind the curtain”: I agree... on all points. Contentment is often a victim. I love your honesty Katie... very refreshing. "Oh how I long for heaven." Such a pure desire and it comes so easily off the tip of your tongue. Honestly... I am not there... I am so tied to this world... distracted that I am not longing for heaven... I am too temporal... I do struggle with this idea that I won't always be here... I am enjoying the here and now while also keeping heaven in view... but I am not longing. Is that bad?

Me: no, because in all honestly I say I long for heaven because I don't want to deal with the struggles of this world, but I long for earth because of the pleasures of it, back to that warring nature, so I guess I long for heaven and pray for more time, I want to be a wife and a mother and I hope to have that desire fulfilled on this earth, so I long in the future sense but selfishly I want my earthly time to be fruitful and blessed, I'm a complex person that spouts two very different things at once, it keeps God on His toes, I'm a problem child for him


Blogger steve said...

whew. I really relate to it. YUP! Sure do. Being content is a tough one in the land of steve.

Easy to say, harder to be.

2/22/2006 2:59 PM  
Blogger green said...

I would agree that being content here on earth is tough, knowing that our true home is in heaven and yet we wage the war against sin and the flesh every day. Sometimes we win, most times we lose. Being content knowing that God sees the big picture while we only see one little corner of it, relevant to our world and understanding that He makes things happen on His schedule, not ours.

2/22/2006 4:14 PM  
Blogger Aim Claim said...

This is sooooo what I needed to hear... great ramblings KT!

especially loved (in reference to what contentment is) "is it a longing for what is to come with a peace for what is now"

2/22/2006 6:52 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Love what I have read. Must chew on this some more. (Pulling a Katie?!)

Miss you friend!

2/22/2006 8:21 PM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

I always tire of hearing people say that God says "Yes, No, or Wait A While."

The reality is he says Yes or No. You can't know if you should wait, because it could stay no forever. I think that's always so tough to deal with.

2/23/2006 8:56 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I go back and forth with some of these very things myself. I can also honestly say that I'm another one of God's "problem children"! It's difficult to get my head and my heart to match a lot of times.

2/23/2006 10:47 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Good point.

2/23/2006 11:13 AM  
Blogger Ben said...


Was Steve "The man behind the curtain?"


2/23/2006 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

love your heart girl, always so insightful. This is a hard struggle for me too, but a much needed one that develops my walk more and more.

2/23/2006 1:45 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

thanks MLS, love your heart

2/23/2006 1:48 PM  

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