I lost my keys, in the great unknown
Call me please, cause I cant find my phone…
These are the opening lyrics to Francesca Battistelli’s Song This Is the Stuff . Pertinent and relatable. This summer I was home in North Dakota for a little over two months and while I was showered with the beautiful blessings of being with family and friends; I struggle to say it was a replenishing or relaxing holiday away from work. The two months were filled simultaneously with joys of celebrations, games and a couple of beers as well as a mess of undesirable things like playing a waiting game for VISAs, selling nearly everything I own and everyday dramas like misplacing your keys and phone.
I seemed to find myself caught up in the mess instead of the bless which brings me to Francesca’s chorus…
This is the stuff that drives me crazy
this is the stuff that’s getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I am blessed…
I know I am certainly not alone when I say that it is so easy to get caught up. All summer long I found myself swimming in mess after mess, feeling the discontentment of nothing really going right and most definitely not in the timing that I desired. I am not sure when during this summer I came to a moment of awaking but it was a lot later into my time home than I would care to admit.
To put it into perspective, my summer was a lot about waiting. Waiting for paperwork from the UK to be submitted, waiting on calls back from friends to make plans, waiting on my own Visa submission… waiting…All of which wasn’t really in my control but spun me anyway into a tight little mess. You know know as well as I do that all our lives are little messes, losing keys and playing waiting games are all just gentle annoying reminders that the time we do have isn’t really ours. We have this threatening desire to hold on to time as if it somehow is in harmony with our own wants. It isn’t. The only harmony between our desires and the happenings in time are God.
(certainly, you knew I would get to God eventually.)
I lost sight of God in each mess. I felt more sorry for myself in each mess. I didn’t think about talking to God about each mess. I just let the stuff , the struggle bus that I was riding just take me for a ride and then had the audacity to say, “uffda, I feel lukewarm. I cant seem to feel God lately. I feel distant from God.”
What a loser am I that I came to that place. I wish I could say that this is the first and only time that this has happened to me but it is just such a part of our human-ness. Francesca concludes her chorus with this…
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
but I got to trust you know exactly what your doing
might not be what I would choose
but this is the stuff you use…
“But I got to trust you know exactly what your doing”… Oh how trust is so hard in any relationship let alone with a God that this is active, living and a complete mystery. So I decided that the only way I could resurrect my summer and give my relationship with God a good jolt was go to him. Confrontation.
I grabbed my notebook, my bible and sat in the quiet. I wrote page after page of prayers and when I couldnt find the words that my head needed to say I opened up to his. I sat there and slowly became immersed in his desire of time, his desire for me.
How silly to let little petty things and waiting get in the way of a relationship with Christ. I learned from James chapter 4 that there is literally no point in making plans if you dont invite God into them. Hold on to your plans loosely, trust in the fact that Gods plans will be better because they are bigger.
God has such love for us even in our human-ness. He understands the mess and he chooses to bless us through it if we let him. In Matthew chapter 7, Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” God’s blessing in our lives only requires us to ask, seek or knock…
In the waiting game I was playing, I felt encouraged by Matthew as he wrote of Jesus saying, ” Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus frees of all our burdens whether they be the giants we face or the petty little stumbling blocks. An authentic relationship with God means we can seek him anytime, anywhere and he will arrive ready to help with the mess.
Most of all I learned once again that God needs to be my number one. He needs to be invited to all happenings or I get discouraged, tired and defeated. My mess seems to be bigger then the bless and that just isnt true, ever.
With Christ, flights can be canceled and what once would have been getting stuck in Amsterdam all of sudden felt like mini vacation in beautiful foreign city. Plans will change and that’s okay. God’s plan is so big and vast we cant comprehend whilst in it but trust that God wants what is good for you teaching you patience, resilience and love along the way.
What is your mess? Where is the bless? If you cant answer that, I suggest a bit of communication to work out your relationship.