Have you ever been in a place of turmoil? A place in life where you had more questions than answers? A place where you needed to know God sees you and cares for your every need?
That’s where I was on this sweltering hot day in Texas. Grateful that the previous night’s storm had passed, yet feeling weighed down by the oppressive heat and the questions in my soul. I had a job to do, yet I wondered if I was on the right track and if it would make an impact.
“I can’t swim!” were the words offered in a barely audible whisper.
My son’s closest friends had gathered for his birthday party at the lake, and the excitement built as they each donned a life jacket.
It soon became a contest to determine who was going to jump in the water first. As I watched from afar, with camera in hand to catch the action, I noticed one young gal hanging back.
“You don’t seem like you’re fully invested in this…” he relayed, regarding a decision that needed to be made.
Tears stung the back of my eyes. I didn’t want to admit it: of course he was right, but not for the reason he thought.
I surveyed my heart. It wasn’t that I wasn’t fully invested in moving forward with his suggestion, but that I was afraid of failing.
Have you ever had one of those days where frustration has threatened to over take you? That’s where I sat, on the verge of tears.
Situations occurred that were out of my control, things I was depending on and was now powerless to do anything about. People proved unreliable and undependable. Tasks that should have been simple were proving to be difficult at every turn.
I was emotionally spent. Physically weary. Every ounce of me wanted to give up. I wanted to complain. I wanted wrongs to be made right.
I’m going to be honest…I did it again. A couple days of slogging through my life as a writer left me in the familiar comparison mode.
As I spent the last couple days putting words on paper, I found myself crying out to God, “Is this making a difference? Is it worth it? Is there any eternal kingdom value in what I’m doing? Or are you done using me?”
That might have been okay, but I did what I know better than to do…compare. “God, so and so is doing such and such. Look at the impact they are having for the kingdom. Why aren’t you using me like that?” and on and on I went. It was a slippery slope down to feelings of inferiority, doubt, and frustration.
It’s that time again. Blood work, port flushes, and CT scans. As a cancer patient and his caregiver, tests are necessary to determine if the treatment is working. But there’s this almost reflexive breath holding that takes place during the wait for results. Yet the wait also allows for a time of reflection. While I personally have rarely found it helpful to ask God, “Why?” I have come to experience great growth when instead I ask, “Lord, what do you want me to learn from this?”