My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore. Psalm 131
The Quarantine. The Rona. Coronacation 2020. It has brought an outer stillness that exposes inner unrest. While we socially distance from friends and social settings, we have more time than ever with those we love most but are the same humans whose different ways of doing things, communicating, thinking, and even moving about can most easily agitate us. And they also may be most justified in finding our own flaws and being quick to disqualify us from the grace we so desire.
I've come to see how very proud my heart actually is and my eyes aren't just haughty like those portrayed in a 17th-century portrait of a queen, but they are blinded by a lense of judgment that seems to interpret those around me with the most despairing, nefarious conditions. It seems that "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5) does not apply to the mandate to train up my children in the way they should go. My fear about their outcomes is evident in my big reactions to my own interpretations about the meaning behind what I observe them saying, doing, failing to say or do, desiring to do, etc. I don't actually trust in the Lord but trust more in my own understanding, concerning myself with work that belongs to the Holy Spirit, not to me.
But He is calming and quieting me, even as my words cannot. He has initiated the process of weaning me from trusting what I can see and understand to trusting more in Him and putting my hope in him rather than my own sense of responsibility.
I've always assumed my words had power, if I could just combine the right string of meaningful vocaulary to convey timeless and heart penetrating wisdom. No matter the evidence that my words, when used in this well-intentioned, noble effort, tend to piss people off more than elicit enthusiasm for a change in attitude, perspective, behavior or heart. I just kept at it, year after year, significant audience after significant audience. My words don't have the kind of power I'd always hoped and imagined and they would. Like Walter Mitty, I am not actually the bold, effector of change that I imagine.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
I've been trying to do this! I want MY words to penetrate and instruct thoughts and attitudes! But in His grace, God has not burdened with me that responsibility. He asks me to trust it to Him. Not in a patronizing or condescending way, but like the love of a Daddy moving the heavy furniture for the child, He invites me not to concern/fret/fear/worry myself over the work He promises to do. His grace compels me to get my words out of the way so my family can hear His Word more clearly. My hope is not in my ability to get my way or to make my family into images of me. May I put "my hope in the Lord, both now and forevermore."
For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:4-11