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July 8, 2012

Pride and Boats

I’ve been a bipolar Christian over the past few weeks.  On any given day, I can be at peace, full of joy at our sufferings because of what it’s producing in me (James  1:2-4).  Or I can be more Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” Lately, it’s been less day-to-day and more minute-to-minute with my swings. 

Obviously it’s a result of the up-and-down, prolonged road David is taking with his recovery.  It’s a pretty helpless and painful feeling watching your child lie in bed, sick, without the power to help him or comfort him.  When I think of how this looks from David’s perspective, it’s even worse. 

As I attempt to cope with my feelings, thoughts, and fatigue, my old-habit, broken ways of dealing with life become more and more evident.  It’s like being on a boat with a few small holes.  At first, you can look past them.  As time goes on, it gets harder to ignore your soggy shoes.  Soon, the holes seem gaping as the boat fills with water and you wonder “why did I think these holes wouldn’t matter?”

Right now my prideful desire to control my life and everything in it is starting to look more like gaping holes.  When things are “normal” I justify my actions by saying that I need to be organized to run our house and manage David’s care.  I (somewhat) unintentionally compartmentalize my life into things that God will control and things that I will control.  The big things - health, freak-accidents, financial provision, etc. - God handles.  The smaller things - how I manage financial provision, household administration, daily tasks, etc. - I believe on some (ahem… prideful) level that I can handle these things.

Why??  Why do I do this?  Why haven’t I learned??  (see Romans 7:15)

This leads me to this storm.  My little boat is filled with water, and suddenly I feel insecure and ill-equipped with the tools that I have.  Why did I think I could do any of this on my own?  Why would I want to after all the ways God has shown me His power and love for me in the past?

I find myself desperately seeking something to control.  I realized last night after lying in bed for over an hour thinking about painting rooms and glazing cabinets (don’t tell Justin) that what I really wanted was to be in control of an out-of-control situation.   I confessed it, but I still had a hard time falling asleep.  Realizing I have a problem and knowing how to deal with it are two different things.  If I knew how to deal with it myself, I probably would have by now.  This means I’m in a situation where I have to rely on God to change me, change my heart not my circumstances.  Here’s where fear and pain and growth and faith all come together, for the better. 

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I know that I will go down with my boat if I don’t let go of my desire to control our situation.  I must stop looking at the rising water and start looking to the One who does have control over the boat, the water, and physics.  Not to mention, He loves me more than I know.  I must learn to look to Him at all times, not just in the most precarious situations.  With His help, I can do this.