Sunday, August 10, 2008

Blue tinted

I've been blue the last week or so. Not a deep, navy blue just blue tinted. It's like seeing the world through "blue tinted" glasses as opposed to rose ones! Nothing is necessarily bad

"Why?" you ask. "Why is a woman with an amazing husband, secure home, loving family, caring friends, and two crazily adorable puppies blue tinted?"

Well, answering that question in it's entirety would take far too long than I have time to answer tonight. However, let's just summarize and say that I'm tired of being constantly sick, I feel unsettled and restless for various reasons, and there are things that I want to happen which aren't going to happen for awhile, and I'm not very good with the "patience" thing or the whole "letting God work His timing" thing.

In the last few weeks I keep running into the following Psalm in a lot of different places:

1. Psalm 42
1. As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.

2. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

3. My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"

4. These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.

5. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and

6. my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon--from Mount Mizar.

7. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

8. By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-- a prayer to the God of my life.
9. I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"

10. My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?"

11. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

It's one of those tried and true "fall back" Psalms used for songs and quoted (at least the first and last parts of it) on posters, bookmarks, and the like. I find sometimes Scripture like this can become very prosaic to me - not that the meaning of the words is any less true or important but that I don't think about them as much because they've become commonplace and easily looked over.

Then last week, over on Bread Crumbs, I read a very apropos blog about Time and trusting in the Lord's timing. Even though she doesn't mention this Psalm in her blog, it got me thinking about the words of Psalm 42 and realizing two things:

1. I don't think I have been putting my hope in God much lately. Oh, sure, I trust Him for the eternal and the big things in life, but I know that I oftentimes get so caught up in the little questions and struggles of life, that I don't even stop to think about having hope in Him for those things. In fact, I think I find it easier to pray and believe in Him for the care of everybody and everything else around me than it is to pray and believe and hope or trust him in things for myself.

Is it pride? To some degree. I don't like being too dependent on other people. Very dangerous and vulnerable position to put oneself into.

Sometimes, however, I think it's more the เกรงใจ ("greng-jai") Thai part of my personality. This term is a very complex term to define mainly because it really has many nuances of meaning and applications in life. In this case though, it's the part of me that at times truly struggles to ask friends, even my husband, for help or time because I don't want to put them out or cause them any inconvenience. In my desire to not "bother" others, my true feelings, needs, frustration, even fears get stuffed deep inside and I just try to move on without asking (or praying) for help. Seeking for hope...

2. The second part of the Psalm that I keep coming back to is the whole "panting after God" thing - the idea of being desperately thirsty and knowing the only thing that can fill that thirst is God.

I'm a big water drinker. In fact, I've gotten to a point in my life where I drink very little else - indeed I only rarely want any other type of substance to drink. Occasionally (think once every few weeks!) I'll have rice milk or juice, but really, water is the only thing that really fills my thirst.

I got here, though, by not drinking other liquids. I used to love juice and milk and drink them all the time. And then a few years ago I really started trying to increase the amount of water I was drinking daily because I know it's good for you (and fewer calories!). Well, over time, water is all I want.

So, using that analogy, why is it I don't thirst after God? I guess because I'm not taking enough time to "drink" of Him.

So back to being blue...

I've realized this blueness is not going to change as long as my hope remains, well, unplaced, and I remain unconsciously dehydrated.

To quote Janna from Breadcrumbs:

"All of us struggle from time to time, in spite of God's Word that says those who wait on God will "soar on wings like eagles" (Isaiah 40:31).

Timing is indeed everything. We need to remember that when we get impatient for things to happen. We need to remember that God's timing is best. He knows all. He sees all. He coordinates all. For that, I'm very thankful. There's no way I can keep track of it all."


Amber said...

I feel ya. I've been blue tinted a lot this summer. Kind of just "off."

I'm hoping all the internal unrest will lead to something.

Diego said...

It just means you want to help me in my scheme for world domination.

I too feel restless, but I know why. I want to serve God more directly, but I'm not in a position to be able to. It's frustrating.

I also want a lot more financial independence, but that too will take more time, more planning and discipline, and a few lucky breaks.

Diego said...

In Gospel of Luke and Matthew, Jesus tells the parable of the Talents. It's the one about the rich man who leaves his servants in charge while he goes away to conduct business. When he comes back two of his servants have made a lot of money while the other one stuck his head in the sand.

We are all complaining about feeling restless, and are probably in similar places with the church and maybe with God, where we feel like He's off doing something else and we are on the back burner. (At least I feel that way.) I think at times like this, that parable is not just a story, it's a reality. God is off conducting business and has left us the run of the house. The question is, what are we going to do with the Talents he's left us. Hence, the restlessness. I think it's a subtle stirring of the Spirit to make us go do something.
Here's what I propose:

1.)Actively pursue ministry rather than seeking to fit in to a church group to feed us spiritually. We are all leaders. None of us really belong on a pew.

2.) Pursue something that is beneficial to us directly that also serves God. For instance, many of us have been dealing with Chronic pain. A support group that offers prayer, testimony, and maybe some healing and nutrition to help manage pain and the accompanying depression.

3.) Remember to rest and pant after God. This is the whole, "Sabbath" thing. We are all way too busy and not well rested. Cut back on some activities and make time and room for God. (This is probably more for me than anyone else though.)

4.) The final part is a bit self-serving, because I miss my friends and miss praying and serving God with my friends, but: Pursue these opportunities together. I blogged about our group of friends being our church community a while ago. Perhaps this is a chance for our little cell to "worship, serve, and go" together (to quote pastor.)

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