08 November 2007

give me everything

The Christian way is different: harder and easier. Christ says, "Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked - the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: My own will shall become yours."
C. S. Lewis Mere Christianity

As I wrote last week, I am still finding my way through the darkness, leaning into the mystery that is God and His plan. He is good, leading me further and deeper by degrees, giving me moments of rest and light. He teaches me slowly, by steps. Patiently chipping away my defects (He has a lot of work to do). Extending my patience by moments. Challenging my ability to trust.

He's asked me to trust what He's already revealed, to put my weight against it. To find it can more than bear what I bring to it.

**and now He asks more of me**

I've recently encountered another impossible situation; one that [by my own assessments] seems to be without hope, one which I cannot reason my way around or through. [this is where I very maturely & wisely throw up my hands & ask why!?] This has had me on my knees, beating the floor, only able to utter the very feeble but starkly honest prayer of

help me
please please
help me

He's also asked me to sacrifice a very particular desire. One that is good, one that He Himself planted. I've had it my whole life. Most people do.

Yet He says
Let loose your grip on it, child.

but it's mine. I want it.
mine mine mine
is what I say.
I need it to be happy.
if I let You have it, it won't be mine anymore.

I've got His gifts in a vice; I've got a deathgrip on what I want.
It's disconcerting to realize how much I've put myself first in this relationship;
God has been unremittingly patient.

I must leave these childish ways behind: demanding my own version of goodness which [**no surprise here**] falls far short of what He will author if I let Him.

it's a small but dangerous word: if

so then.
I keep coming back to the question:

will I trust Him with it?
if I say I will, why am I so reluctant to hand it to Him who gave it in the first place?

will I trust His goodness before my own pathetic assessment of my "impossible" circumstances?
will I trust Him with the desires He gave me, trusting He knows better than I how best to satisfy them [or turn them into something even better]?
and why, oh why must I stamp something IMPOSSIBLE! before I push it in His direction?

Is He not the One who:
divided loaves and fishes, feeding thousands
turned water to wine
healed lepers & paralytics
walked on water
brought Himself back from the dead

And I'm concerned about how He'll handle my issues?

I think that just maybe, when I say "impossible!!", God rolls up his sleeves & says:

Ha!! I'm just getting started ...

So I say:
I let it all go [something I will need to do again & again, no doubt]
do what you do, God. I want to see what You're up to.


  1. God reminded me the other night that he knit me together in my mother's womb - he knows me inside and out better than I know myself. So do I trust that he will provide for those needs? I try - and in my times of doubt, he is still trustworthy.

    On another note - read my most recent blog - I could have written that article!

  2. It's interesting to consider why we are sometimes asked to give up certain dreams. Maybe, just maybe, we find that there is a dream behind the dream, one we didn't even know was hiding in the mist.

    But I look forward to hearing, in the future, the reason you're being asked to release yours to the wind.

  3. L.L - I am going to write down your quote about a dream behind a dream - because so often I need to remind myself of that.

  4. We are going to hold you to it!
    Keep laying it down and we will keep reminding you to leave it there.

    The steps between my altar to God and me are very worn from me walking up to the altar, leaving something there, and then running back to pick it back up again. May that not be the case in your situation!

  5. Ilse -- it is SO true!! He fashioned us & knows us intimately. Why wouldn't we trust Him with every detail? Easier said that done, I know!

    LL -- I love the way you put that too: "a dream behind a dream". I kept asking God why He gave me a desire & no means to satisfy it ... & then it dawned on me that perhaps He has a way of satisfying it that is beyond my understanding, that exceeds the scope of my own vision of how it would best be fulfilled. A dream behind a dream ... I like it.

    Gyrovague -- Thanks for visiting again!! I, too, am one of those types who wears down the steps to that altar with the putting it down, with the taking it back again. I know this is something I'll be doing daily -- probably several times daily.

    Thanks again so much for visitng, & I thank you for the encouragement!

  6. Hi Kirsten -- I'm sorry it has taken me a few days to respond. I want to echo what you already said on my blog recently: how surprising it is to find your own heart in someone else's words, and a friend, at that.

    This post made me feel many things for you. It made me feel sad for the pain of giving up that thing you dream of having. It made me feel amazed at the conviction of your faith and your willingness to place a child-like trust in Him. It made me feel challenged: will I continue to do the same with my own life?

    LL's quote, which has already inspired all of us, reminded me of something a good friend said to me recently when I was bemoaning my fickleness between two dreams for my life. I told her I felt incredibly schizophrenic. She told me in return that it isn't so much indicative of schizophrenia as it is indicative of many dreams in my heart which God may be working in some unknown way to rope together so that the end results surprise even me. So, for what it's worth, maybe that will encourage you, too.

  7. I love how God does that, Christianne. In times where I (and maybe you get this, too) might otherwise feel terribly alone and/or freakish, it is comforting to know that others are walking parallel paths.

    I'm really challenged to trust God with all of this right now: faith, dreams, relationships. I'm not sure that God is asking me to give up this dream in the sense of saying good-bye to it forever. I think He just wants me to trust Him with it completely. Release it to see what He will do with it when I let Him own the dream as the giver of it.

    I'm reminded of that verse in Matthew 7 where Christ says: "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

    Sometimes I wonder if I've been praying and pleading with the Lord to give me stones, thinking they are the bread I crave.

    I do love what your friend said. Thanks for sharing that. To our own finite minds, maybe what we see or hope or dream for seems contradictory ... but in the mind of God, perhaps it is something else altogether.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you my friend!

  8. Wow -- you made me go "huh! hm!" with that part about praying and pleading for stones. Very perceptive, my friend. I'm so positive I do the very same thing.

  9. I've just read your comment, Kirsten, and I want to thank you for sharing . . . I too struggle with the same issues and I am so glad that The Lord Knows our hearts and desires and dreams.
    He Knows what we will do long before we consider doing it.
    I thank Him for His Awesome Patience, Love and Understanding of us. Sometimes all we can do is sit back and just be grateful.
    Not a bad spot to stop and take a rest.