Sunday, May 3, 2009

Grace In Rivers

It's no surprise to those who know me well that I've been struggling with being content in my current job. Chalk it up to working nights for over 3 years, difficult situations at work, selfishness, discontentment, whatever you like, but no matter what the reason may be these frustrations and emotions have gotten the better of me. I've been angry, bitter, emotional, has just been rough for a couple of weeks. After an emotional night yesterday I was at my wits end. So I sat down and asked the Lord to show me what was going on and why my heart was so callused.

I spent some time reading through scripture (some chapters out of Psalm and Isaiah) and I journaled a bit. The time spent in the word was encouraging and refocused my eyes on things above but I still felt like I didn't have any more insight or clarity in how to handle all of these emotions. Later on during the night I began to read more of the Amy Carmichael book. Amy was a strong woman with even stronger convictions. She didn't want any people coming out to the mission field with a rose colored perspective. The work that Amy partook of was difficult and by no means glamorous. She even said:

"Not a word of attraction can I write to [a prospective recruit]. It will be desperately hard work, iron would snap under the strain of it. I ask for steel, that quality which is at the back of all going on, patience which cannot be tired out, and love that loves in every deed, unto death."

Amy talked about how "grace in rivers was required for this" when she spoke of workers doing the most mundane and seemingly unimportant jobs around the compound.

As I read through a few chapters a truth that I have known for some time hit me again. This job that I am working now may not be God's calling for the rest of my life but it is his calling for this period in time. No matter how long I am here or how difficult it may be this is a calling and a mission field nonetheless. Although some may equate prestige/honor to those working with this demographic my job is in no way glamorous. So instead of just sucking it up and waiting it out until God moves me elsewhere I've been convicted to pray. In these prayers I have asked the Lord to overflow my life with grace in rivers because these small drops of grace I've been living off of have left me parched. His grace will be the only thing that can sustain me. So God is lovingly dealing with my sinful emotions and teaching me that as a Christian my life, all that I do, is hidden in Christ. That identity makes everything I put my hand to a task that can bring glory to my Savior and a task that is not done alone.

It's a dangerous place to be when I think in "if onlys". If only I could have a new job, if only Jon and I could start our family, if only I could work during the day...then I would be happy. No other calling will be painless and easy, not if I am following the will of God. His greatest desire is for my life to bring Him glory and that can only happen if my life is transformed into the image of Christ. That transformation requires hardship and sacrifice and I just feel like I am beginning to grasp what that may mean. I hesitate to even use the word sacrifice and hardship when I read about my brothers and sisters all over the world who are dying for their faith. The lives of those who have given up everything spurs me on to remember the One I serve who gave up everything for me. I've got a lot to learn.

A card pasted on the inside front cover of Amy Carmichael's Bible:

"These children are dear to me. Be a mother to them, and more than a mother. Watch over them tenderly, be just and kind. If any heart is not large enough to embrace them, I will enlarge it after a pattern of my own. If these young children are docile and obedient, bless Me for it; if they are froward, call upon Me for help; if they weary thee, I will be thy consolation; if thou sink under thy burden, I will be thy reward."


OurCrazyFarm said...

Again, Wow! Thanks for sharing your heart and the good things God is doing. Discontent is such a hard struggle; thinking that somehow God has shorted us. Keep up the fight. He does have you where He wants you, and even if you don't realize it, you are affecting many. He is using this struggle for good things; to grow you and stretch you for what He has prepared for you. Keep waiting for His voice. You will know when it's time to move on job wise, until then just be faithful. ~ Terri

Anonymous said...

I love that phrase... Grace in rivers. Thanks for a gorgeous post, Kay. This is one of my favorites.