The work of Your fingers…

You mean you can’t control the sun…

She said it gently, compassionately.

My eyebrows slanted,

I wrinkled my forehead, nodding as I heard the words.

My therapist and I were hashing out an assignment she had given me the week before.

I had confessed I was having a hard time talking to God.

Specifically, I was having a hard time pausing—waiting—listening.

When I pray, I often shoot off my pain, my worries, my requests,

But I don’t pause to hear Him.

To listen to what He says, how He says it.

I haven’t really tuned my ear to do so.

So, she told me to go on a walk with God.

To talk to Him about the things I pay attention to—the flowers that catch my eye—

The trees and how they sway,

The way the light glistens through the branches.

So, I did…

How was it? She inquired at our next meeting.

I told her how frustrated I got,

How disappointed. 

When restlessness was my heartbeat.

I normally walk with friends, and I didn’t like being by myself.

Even with God there, He didn’t feel very tangible.

I felt lonelier than I liked.

So, I awkwardly walked, trying to find the thing He might be trying to tell me.

In my fidgety-ness, I remembered a walk I had gone on with a friend and tried to recreate it with God—

I timed my walk to the sunset. 

I planned to be at the perfect spot,

At the perfect time,

For God to show me what I wanted to see.

But, the sun didn’t peek through the trees like I thought it would.

I couldn’t see the sunset I had planned.

I pouted and planted myself on the ground, right in front of an amazing waterfall.

I didn’t see it at first, as the thunderous water poured out.

My feelings clouded it’s beauty.

But then,

I saw it.

I noticed how the water fell in one portion of the land, and not the other.

I noticed how green the foliage was where the water touched,

And how parched and brown the land was out of reach of the nourishing water.

I sat there for 20 minutes with the sun setting behind me watching what God wanted to show me,

In something I couldn’t have designed.

I can’t control the sun,

Or the water,

Or my life.

I can do a lot of things, but nature and people and water don’t bend to my will.

I so often try and try and try,

Only to collapse in exhaustion rather than acknowledging those things were never my job to do.

And I finally stop and sit (and cry usually).

And eventually, I see something new.

I realize part of my issue with God is He doesn’t bend to my will either.

I can’t force His hand.

I can’t perform in the perfect way that earns me what I most want.

Rather, I bend to Him.

Sometimes without meaning to—

Often reluctantly.

I wish trusting God came more effortlessly for me.

I can feel the resistance build in my body, and I don’t know how to stop it.

Resistance is normal to me.

It’s as natural to me as the way I sneeze or laugh.

But it’s costing me a lot—of time, energy and intimacy I was built for.  Joy.

I don’t want to remain living in this state.

But how do you stop a habit?

When your body naturally bends a certain way?

How do you even catch it?

I think God is trying to teach me.

And by trying, I don’t mean he can’t…

I mean He is gentle.

He is wooing me, showing me more of Himself as I let Him.

Chipping away at the wall I have built around my heart in an effort to protect.

It doesn’t need protection with Him.

Even the breaking He does my heart is built to withstand,

Endure.

I had a plan today.

I’m in one of my favorite places.

I could never grow tired of my toes in the sand, my skin being kissed by the sun,

With the powerful roar of waves and the glistening of the sunbeams overhead.

But today, He planned something different.

I’m writing to the sound of rain hitting the roof, thunder rumbling in the distance, lightening making the sky glimmer in flashes.

Today will be different than what I had planned,

And maybe I’ll enjoy it.

Job 38: 12

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began and caused the dawn to know it’s place…”

Psalm 8: 3-4

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

What is man that you are mindful of him,

And the son of man that you care for him?”

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