Loaves and Fishes

I've got ants in my pants. 

That is the kindergarten way of saying I'm discontent. 

Not in the "I want more crap" or "I wish my life was different"  kind of discontent.

A discontent to see things fixed already, and a discontent in the rate and ways He is using my life to get the job done.

I've kind of been arguing with God lately. It goes something like this:

"Okay, God. I hear you. You love the orphan. You love unity. You love the city. You want people to live and die and breathe by your Word. You are about the widow and the marginalized. I hear you telling me that to stay put on these things is actually hurting others. Conviction is telling me to hurry it up and get moving, because my brothers and sisters need me. I've learned that, in fact, the option to stay put is a sign of my power and privilege, gifts you given me to leverage for the neediest in this world. Because you, the God of the freaking universe, discarded your power to die for the likes of a sinner like me. So I'm trying to move, but I feel like I'm getting NOWHERE."

I'm convicted. I'm willing. I'm impatient. I'm frustrated. 

A lot of I'ms. Woof.

This year God has given me the challenge of Matthew 20:28 "Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." My prayer is that he would help my heart's posture to be that of a servant. I'm frustrated. Because I'm trying. I finally feel unafraid to do what the Bible tells us plainly to do. Love everybody. Give it all. Use every opportunity for the gospel. Adopt. Take care of the widow.

Then I hear the voice of the Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for us? I said: Here I am! Send me!
— Isaiah 6:8

So why is everything going at a snail's pace? Why is the timing all wrong? Why so many "no's" and "let's reschedules?" I think that somehow my sacrifice and willingness means that God is going to show up the way I think He should. Funny how I try to tell God what to do sometimes. What a brazen attitude.

In our house church, we've been learning about prayer. We learned how to pray through the Psalms a few weeks ago and God brought me Psalm 127: "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

I've been praying this prayer. I've been praying it over my household, my husband and my kids. LORD BUILD THIS HOUSE! I've been praying it over Dayton Women in the Word. LORD BUILD THIS MINISTRY. I've been praying it over Dayton and my church. I've been praying it over adoption and racial reconciliation. I've been praying for it in my community, how I minister to my neighbors and my librarian and my maillady.

Because I've had too many sleepless nights lately trying to be God. Trying to finagle all the problems of this world that only He can fix, that I believe He is fixing. 

When what He wants from me is willingness. When what He wants from me is faithfulness. When what He wants from me is worship. When what He wants from me is rest.

The Lord has to build this house and watch this city. No amount of toil from my ridiculously meager attempts could do what only God can do. 

Something my gal pals like to encourage one another to do is to take small steps of obedience. I'm constantly combating the urge to be an all or nothing kind of person. But the truth is, I think the Lord wants my all. He wants my whole heart, my total devotion. But you know what He also wants all of? My trust. He wants me to trust that He can do it, and worship Him because He already has. He's already won. It is finished. I know the ending.

You keep him in perfect peace who mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
— Isaiah 26:3-4

So. I'm apologizing to God for trying to takeover his job. And I've asked Him to help me remove my self-promoted status as house builder and city watcher. I'm trusting He is going to do it and worshipping Him because it is as good as done.

I'm exalting him, because truly He has made very clear the next small steps of obedience. He is saying, "This is the way. Walk in it." Isaiah 30:21.

I'm supposed to read a book on adoption and go to the next adoption group at our church. He's leading me to invite my 93 year old neighbor who still lives on her own to have tea. I think I'm supposed to walk with my neighbor who has two dogs and is going through an awful break-up but I'm not quite sure how my double stroller skills will keep up with her power walk strides. I'm asking the black mama at my library's story time to let me into her world and go to the science museum with our boys next week together. God's telling me to invite someone new, an Asian sister maybe? to learn from on the DWITW podcast next week. He's whispering for me to snuggle with my toddler and sing Jesus loves him one more time. He's there when I'm exhausted and still find the words "How are you?" when my husband comes home from class.

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
— Isaiah 25:1

He IS DOING IT ALL OVER THE PLACE. He is showing me the way. He is letting me be a part of what he is already doing. These are my loaves and fishes of today Lord. I don't have much to give, but Lord, You are in me, and YOU ARE ENOUGH. Your grace is sufficient. It abounds. It multiplies. 

Small. Steps. Of. Obedience.

Willingness. Faithfulness. Worship. Rest.

Loaves and Fishes.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, readers. He is already behind and before us. He has given us the way today. He has empowered us to do exactly what He has for us today, no more and no less. 

Often before we put the boys to sleep, Tim and I sing, "He's got the whole world in His hands!" And now I believe that although the words are coming out of my mouth, God is singing that to me, to this oatmeal heart.