Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gift Boxes

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.


Today, as I looked at the above verse, I was shocked to find that within my heart are several multi-sized gift boxes. Some are shiny and wide, and could maybe fit a notebook. Some are larger, with patterns, and maybe could fit a plasma television. Some are bigger yet, with stripes, and possibly could even fit an elephant. What I know for sure is that all of them, every single one, is too small.

Let me explain.

As much as anyone tries to plan their life, one can never know exactly how the every day, minute by minute life will for sure play out. I have been described as a type A person. When I looked this up, Wikipedia shoved this definition in my face...

...warning...it ain't pretty.

Type A individuals can be described as impatient, time-conscious, concerned about their status, highly competitive, ambitious, business-like, aggressive, having difficulty relaxing; and are sometimes disliked by individuals with Type B personalities for the way that they're always rushing. [1] They are often high-achieving workaholics who multi-task, drive themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about delays. Because of these characteristics, Type A individuals are often described as "stress junkies."

WELL! I NEVER! At first glance, I thought "What a horrible thing I have been called!!" But after my outrage subsided slightly, I took another glance, and when I re-read it, I saw things a little differently.
~on time
~high achieving (A.I.A president, remember)

Hmmm, seems like maybe this isn't all bad...and it is a little how I am...but regardless of how you see the definition, in a positive or negative light, one thing is for sure. Type A people (me being one of them) may be stress junkies, but when you wrap all of these characteristics into a ball...I think more than being a stress junkie, we are TOTAL control freaks.

This is where the gift boxes come in.

Scenario A : My closest friend moving to a new far away city. My heart is bleeding. I am broken. In the midst of this agony, do I trust God? My friend said they prayed and know this is where God is leading them, even though she is hurting from leaving as well. Do I trust that God loves us both enough to know what He's doing with moving her away from me? I have decided that I do trust Him, just enough to fill a medium sized box, maybe one with a purple ribbon. I will place God in that one, let Him control that little bit, and then figure it out myself.

Scenario B : First of the month is tomorrow. Bills are all due. Just enough money is in the bank to cover said bills. Van breaks down. Will require half of amount in account. Need van next day for travel to far away city for business. Do I trust God with our finances? Does He use cash in Heaven? Will He send some to me? In the shadow of the worlds disasters, is he aware of our situation? I have decided that I do trust Him, just enough to fit a small black and white patterned box, maybe one similar to one you'd get from Tiffany's. Yes, I would place God in that one, then take care of the rest myself. For this IS our finances, our livelihood, food in my children's belly's, yes, I better just take care of this pretty much on my own. You want something done, do it yourself, that's my motto. Cause remember, I am type A control freak.

Scenario C : My bank card is missing. I promised Queen S that we'd go back to school shopping today. I try to remember the last place I used it. I look all over my house. I look in random drawers, baskets and cupboards. I check jean pockets, every purse fold and even the Barbie purses and clothing. Do I trust God in this situation? Do I think He can put the right place in my mind and lead me in that direction? Do I think He can see it right now? I have decided that I do trust Him, just enough to fit an elephant sized box. You may think this is a lot. And it kind of is. But trust me, as an A type, I know what I am doing. I know that I can risk trusting God this much because if He fails me, then I know it won't be that big of a deal to postpone the trip and just handle it on my own after I have bought more time. There are only so many places it could be, so if God decides not to help me, then I can fall back on me, because I can depend on me.


Even just writing this, I find it embarrassing and disgusting that my mind has been in a pattern of thinking this way. Is this what the verse at the top says? Doesn't it go,

"Trust in the Lord in increments of gift boxes,
and lean on your own understanding when he fails you,
When you are desperate, acknowledge Him
And he may or may not pull through for you."

You know what I did tonight? I had a bon fire. I used my boxes as kindling. I have decided to be vulnerable and trusting with a God who has yet to fail me, who in fact has given me every reason to trust Him. A God who says that He catches every one of my tears in a jar, because He remembers my sorrows, and grieves with me. A God who says He knew me before I was in my mother's womb, and who knows the number of hairs on my head. A God who says that the number of GOOD thoughts He has toward ME far out numbers the sands on all of this worlds shores. THAT is a lot of good thoughts toward me! A God, who layed down His life, so that I do not have to feel judged in His presence. So I can come to Him in all my A type personality, and so I can know that I can trust Him.

Just enough to fit...no box at all.



Mama4Real said...

That's really good Bex. Could be a book, or at least a sermon:) We've been in that situation so many times, and we're still kickin'. Of course He will provide for you, and then you will have an even BETTER testimony to how incredible He is! I love you and look forward to hearing how this rolls out!

Phil and Jenn said...

Wow, I totally get how you feel. Trusting in God is so tough sometimes and is not easy at all. I am inspired by this post!! Keep it up!

Chuchi said...

I really really need to read this....Things are going rough in my neck of the woods as of late...and this is just what I needed...Thanks Momma Bex!! TQM