Yesterday afternoon was one of those experiences that become a deep, good memory that you later will draw upon- if you remember and fix it in your soul, if you take it in and feast upon it while it is happening. And that's what I did. I just kept gulping in all the warmth in the room like a woman drinks in a mug of hot tea on a day when everything is so cold. Two wise women, experienced in living long and loving God, invited me into their home again, and into their hearts. They connected me with a new friend, an old acquaintance really, who understood some of the journey "issues" that I've been dealing with.
There was such warmth in the room, such sharing and transparency, that my spirit felt fed and fattened with gladness. Later I thought of the verse, My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips (Ps 63:5). That's how rich a time it was.
And that just shows how previously dry and bony I felt. Frustration will do that to you. Frustration will suck the life out of you till you feel as dry and thin as a toothpick. Now, I knew I was going through a frustrating time these last months. I knew I was battling the leanness of soul that you can feel when you don't understand what God is doing with all the 'No's" He's saying to you. You want to believe God for "more" but you start to get to the point that you think the "more" has to do with "more problems, more trouble ahead". So you put up a flashing warning sign in your soul: Caution! That's all it says. And one word says it all.
Caution!- because you feel like you're on slippery ground- even if its as dry as a desert. Caution- because you want to love and embrace and give and hope- but your spirit says to you that you don't have enough left inside you to do all that. Frustration will dry out your bones and dry up your hope- even when you're working so hard to make this not be so.
And that "working so hard" part may just be the problem. You can't work for moments of grace. You can't work and strive for peace and relaxed enjoyment of another person's friendship. You can't work for love and encouragement. There has to be a spark of God's breath on the situation for all that to occur. There's has to be the divine touch of God and the child-like response of simply receiving-opening yourself up- for all that beauty to occur.
So now I feel well fed, fresh and full, green and vibrant with life. God gave me an afternoon of just what I needed- when I didn't know what I needed. I thought I needed Answers. He thought I needed life and relational honesty. I thought I needed a better Plan. He said He already made one for me. And maybe its better if I stop striving so hard, and just get with the plan. His plan.
"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for" (Jer. 29:11, The Message)