So here I go! New city same old mental struggles. It’s so frustrating when you seem to get over one difficulty you find yourself facing the same problem all over again. The scene looks different, but it deceives you into making the same mistakes. I don’t know about you, but “fresh” starts never really worked for me, my room always ended up messy like before, and my bad habits always manage to creep in. Sort of like moving to a new city with a bag full of hopes and dreams, only to find that doubt, fear, laziness, anger, and all forms of insecurity weren’t left behind but crept into the bag as well. Shouldn’t problems be like a bridge? Once you get over them it’s done?
Every day I wake up I find the vulgar saying of “Same (insert strong word for fecal mater) different day” to be true. I still have to learn Spanish, and now I have to adjust to a new accent. I still have to get up in the morning, I still have to cook my own meals and put my pants on one leg at a time. That’s not what is hard though. What is hard is when you wake up and realize your a big sinner that has fallen into the same patterns and ways of thinking as before.
I was doing it all right! Even better than before in my eyes! I was reading my Bible, praying on a regular basis, studying and seeking other ways in which I might grow in what I had learned. What I found wasn’t peace, but that I was trying to justify old sins with new Godly habits. “I’m submerged in the Word of God, I’m doing what it takes to be a “Good Christian” so God is on my side and knows all that I am doing, right? So He will take care of it.” Except when He doesn’t, because sometimes he wont. Sometimes God is silent.
I found that sometimes when I think I am fully leaning on God I am really leaning on my own ability to lean upon Him. It’s like I embrace my need for Him and even take pride in it, when He would have me learn better how to lean on Him. I guess you could say it is like using God as a crutch when He is so much more for us. Sometimes I pridefully think I have mastered the crutch, and then I realize I need two crutches, or a wheelchair or something else. My wonderful “husband to be” reminded me of a great quote by Luther while trying to comfort me. He said; “Katie, remember what Luther said” I was being smart with him and responded with “Which time?” and he lovingly carried me through what he wanted to share and said; “He said; ‘pray as if everything depends upon God, and live as if everything depends on you.” At first I thought “Well I would rather just pray” but with some reflection I realized I had been living as if everything depended on God, and praying as if it all depended upon me. As if God would fix my situation because; Hey! I asked.
The wonderful thing about our God is that he does not rob us of our abilities to do things of our own while He walks with us. Like Adam and Eve when he let them loose in the garden and trusted them knowing full well where it would lead them. Like Aslan, our God is not a tame lion. He may listen when we call, but may not always answer. He is not at our bidding. He is like the “abusive” parent that teaches their children by letting them fall and hurt themselves so they know better when to ask for help (I’m using the word “abusive” sarcastically). He gives us all that we need to support this body and life, it is up to us to know how to use what He has given us, and not abuse it or think we play some passive role in it all while waiting for God to fix it all. Our God allows us to ask great things, and our God is so great, that He would use us to carry out those great things despite ourselves.
And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow.Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”