So this weekend was a Ladies' retreat for church, right? Much prayer had gone into it, much preparation, much love, much cooking. The speaker was a gal from Louisiana and the Lord used her mightily. Friday night had been such an encouragement...the music, the message, the movement of God was undeniable. Then Saturday came.
It was a challenge, an honest to goodness challenge. I got up thinking I might get a jump on the day's blog and proceeded to begin writing about my wonderful family mom, step-dad, sister...then the first one woke up. He wanted muffins for breakfast. Not too much later, the baby woke up...both were ready to eat. I got up from my computer and started to attend to them..making sure the big boy had made his bed, gotten dressed, etc..dressing the little one in case they were going to go do something. DH kept on snoring in his bed. I thought he mentioned he might take them to get breakfast so I wanted them to be sure to be dressed and ready so he wouldn't have to do all the prep by himself. I emptied the dishwasher and reloaded, moved a load of laundry over and started another, checked and changed the baby's sheets...it had been a wet night...but then the thermometer inside me starting dinging that we were approaching frustration mode...I had taken a plate from the baby who was now screaming like a banshee protecting her young, she had awakened the giant, and I still hadn't gotten into the shower. Finally, I managed to get the muffins out of the oven so that I could clean up before my friend arrived to take me to the meeting. Not long after this cleansing, I was faced with an affront...a personal one, so rather than doing what we've prepared to do, I called out to my husband to speak to his son about his words and the next thing I know I'm in the middle of a firestorm. Dan and I are arguing the kids were crying and upset, and I STILL needed to get out the door.
Why should I be surprised? This is not the first time it's gone down like this and it probably won't be the last.
1 Peter 4:12 says:
Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. (the Message)
What's more than this, my friend had arrived to pick me up to go back to the women's meeting. So, not only did she walk into a mess, I was still a mess when we got there. Unable to hold it together, I slinked into the bathroom, leaving the door closed just to gather up my composure.
That morning, as we worshipped, I sensed the Lord nudging me. The speaker was talking about consuming fire...that God is a consuming fire...but that there had been 'burn bans' in our hearts that were places we would not let him go. I knew exactly what the Lord was talking about...Control...I was still struggling for CONTROL of what was happening in the house while I was not even going to be there. I sensed him opening my hands and taking that away. It was exactly what I needed. I prayed that he would burn out every bit of that control that was choking out my very life and the life that he intended for me and for my family. While I will not say that I think God sent me that tornado of a morning, I can say with confidence that he used it for my good. He wants the best for me. He wants me to learn to trust Him and to let go of all that hinders. He wants to burn away all that ensnares and entangles to purify me and make me an instrument of his peace.
Lord, burn it all away, no more of me but you and your light for the world to see.