Love first looks up when the path is rough

by Craig on December 13, 2010

If God is not in the way out – it’s just a way in for someone else.

It’s Christmastime, and expenditures are up a little. But generally there’s financial contentment. Who needs to be rich after all? Every rich person I’ve ever known has been quick to tell me how hard it is to be rich. And I’ve known enough of them to have a large sample size.

But that financial contentment thing?

It was just hit,

dead center,

by a huge financial asteroid.

It came without warning and obliterated the peaceful scene.

The income which wasn’t much, but enough, has just been cut by 20%. Now, to regain my footing. The true measure of contentment is if I can say, when I have nothing, that Our Lord is enough. I have had nothing before, and he has been enough. So how hard could it be?

Upon receiving the news I teetered on the edge of that gaping crater left by the asteroid. I said defiantly,  “My Lord is enough.” But my heart didn’t occupy the same place as my words. And now that a few people are reading my words they darned well better align with my heart and actions.

I failed at today’s love. Here’s how it happened.

First came the shock of the numbers – 20%. If it’s out of a 100, 000 or 10,ooo it’s a lot. To me? Yeah, it’s a lot. And believe you me I was set back by the news.

Then came the, “how can this be”? Followed quickly by the “I don’t deserve this”. With the “there must be some mistake” bringing up the rear.

Then came the “Isn’t there a way around this?”

Then the options arrived – ways around.  But not one of them would be options Our Lord would have had me take.  Tempting – but I had to say no.

Then came prayer?

repeat

Then

came

prayer

Why wasn’ that first? There’s the fail – right there.

repeat

Why

wasn’t that

first


Love first looks up when the path is rough

 


Only after prayer did the settling in happen. Peace and planning – in a car – on a road – with God in the passenger seat. It means a corner here, a corner there, and Ramen noodles, and mac and cheese, and corn from the can, and bread, lots of bread. I can adjust.

Why did I first go through all the thinking – and only then think about God?

Oh me of little faith.

And that way around? It would have been easy. But it would have involved deceit and shadows. I’m especially close to Our Lord right now. I shouldn’t even have been tempted. It didn’t matter that I was advised by the people in power to take the route. All I could think was:

On the Titanic

offered a place on a lifeboat

this meaning a mother and two children

would die in icy waters

the answer has to be

No

give the spot to these instead

The “how can it be?” was quickly replaced by “of course it can be”.

Late November and early December has been a very trying time – emotionally, personally, and now financially. But trial is brother to wisdom. And wisdom is welcome here.

I think seeking ways to escape disaster is normal.  But any path of escape must intersect with the path on which God walks. If God is not in the way out – it’s just a way in for someone else – someone who has only my worst interests at heart.

And prayer – why didn’t it come first? I reacted, stressed, teetered – and only then – God.

I talk with him all the time. I chatted with him minutes before this happened. But then I suddenly stopped talking to him as the weight of the situation hit. How does that make sense?

But I did involve him. He hearts that. And now I move forward with him involved. I can lay the situation at his feet, along with the other one, and the other one, and the other one.

Hope God has lots of room around his feet.

Pray for his will.

Want his will.

Dot my i’s

Cross my t’s

Accept what happens as his will.

And therein lies peace.

I pray, if your road is rough right now, that you look up. Tomorrow, only after looking up today, we can all stare at the devastation as long as we want. But today, just for one day, join me in looking up?  I suspect once we start, the looking up will become easier.

And I sense lots of rough paths.

Know that I have prayed for you.

All of you.

I promised to – and so I am.

As for me?

Deep breath.

Looking up – knowing he is here.

Knowing this didn’t surprise him.

Boiling water for the Ramen.

In God’s love.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymuss December 13, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Dear Abba, even as You turned water into wine, would you bless Craig’s ramen and mac and cheese and turn it into rich nourishment for his body, and bind up his wounds, and show him the way through his rock-strewn path, and reward him for his faithfulness to You despite the temptations? I am thankful that Craig is precious in your sight. amen.

Craig, you have written so richly here and it comes at the cost of your own cloak, muddied and torn, spread across the mud puddles so that others can continue on with less injury and more light and wisdom for the path.

Reply

Craig December 13, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Thank you for the prayer A – and always for your kind words. But it’s no big deal really – not viewed through God’s prism. Hope this didn’t come across as whiny. The whole point is I want that which conforms me into the image of His son. That’s the big thing – and if this does that – then good. Then I want it. And Ramen and mac and cheese are awesome anyway (#26 on the 100 list) :)

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Shell December 13, 2010 at 2:00 pm

It’s hard to remember to pray first. I know I want to question and try to solve on my own first and then go to God…not the way it should be, but it’s the way I’ve been.

Reply

Craig December 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Shell, I think the good thing is he’s not a daisy picker. “This many times me first, this many times not” – Love keeps no record of wrongs. Thank you for coming by. As you can see, it’s the way I’ve been too. God Bless You.

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Debbie December 14, 2010 at 3:37 am

I do that too. sigh. Praying for you Craig, for Him to make a way and be the way and help you all the way. Today on tonirands’s blog, she talked about when life bites us. We can look at the bite, or look at the biter and try to take them out, or look to Jesus. You just got bit. And you are looking up at Jesus. Thank you for helping us look up too! :)

Reply

Craig December 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Deb thank you. I know this might have sounded a little weepy – but it was really just a reminder, mostly to me, that He is in control. And next time – pray first – then plan – then everything – even if the prayer is a quick S.O.S of “help” – eyes up first – then ground level.

The prayers are always helpful – don’t stop those! :)

Reply

nancy June 13, 2012 at 7:15 am

oh my, wish i had been reading you then. you are so encouraging in your writing. thank you, thank you!

Reply

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