So, I’m searching for free today. I need some business cards and I’m not sure where to find them. I don’t want cheep–free, is really best for me. I would pay if I could, but this isn’t really a matter that I can substantiate with cash.
Do you have problems like these? Do you suffer living like a cheap-skate because nothing less will work–or is it, less is the only thing that will work? Do you get upset with yourself when you can’t offer more for what you need, when you can’t cover all your own costs. Do you grieve for the plans that die because you don’t have the means to support them?
I know where you’re coming from. I live there too. But, what do we do about it? I’m not really interested in why any of us–including myself–are here, I just want to find a solution. I want friends who can help me find a solution.
But, alas, there doesn’t seem to be one! Why do so many things have to hang on our shoulders when are shoulders are so slim? They’re not shaped like the shoulders of an ox or a plow horse–they work well with gym bags and pocketbooks, not heavy machinery that’s designed to move earth! I don’t care how mighty you are, the world is still not positively proportional to what you’re designed to handle.
That’s why we need Jesus. No part of this world was meant to be handled Jesus-less. No part of this world can be handled Jesus-less. Now, it may appear that we are bearing the load, but that is not the same thing as handling the load. Bearing implies being under a heavy load that just sits on us. We really are nothing but weight-bearers when this is the case. But handling implies that something can be manipulated, held-in-the-hand and made us of.
We often settle for bearing–despite the fact that our strength is of a very limited variety–when we could let God handle the situation so that it might be of some use to us! I count myself guilty in this. I like to pretend I’m a pack-animal for all the problems that come my way in this world, rather than admitting that the only things that should be resting on my shoulders are the hands of my Father. When He grips my shoulders I know what I’m made for and where I’m supposed to be. Worries go out the window because He’s there to convince me I’m okay because Calvary still stands to light my way through the darkness. Now, isn’t this more pleasant and prosperous than grunting and steaming under a load to which I don’t belong?
When a family goes through struggles–even when it seems to be centered on the shortcomings or burdens of only one person in it–the unit is compressed and made more efficient and effective in its mission. Pressure on every one must present the possibility for every one to become a better member of that family, a better contributor to society and a better-engineered person.
The lessons taught in the context of familial adversity are never forgotten and have no end of application in our later lives. They mold us into who we become and raise examples in each of us for the others.
Here we learn to love like we would never need to if brought up in any lesser institution. Working together is also important not just for virtue but practical provision and advancement of the whole family.
I don’t know about you, but I have not always loved my family this way, or seen the advantages of living together in so tight a binding. I wanted to avoid the whole thing because there was pain here. I was unwilling to face it, so I tried to get away from all of it–the pain and the pleasure.
I thought I could find peace in other places–places where I had to work with less people, different people. I wanted new experiences that I could choose between and be in charge of myself. I thought I had better ways for how I should live than I had already seen. What God had for me felt like a vineyard that would always be ripe with the fruits of self-pity.
Family only works when family works together to make family work. It is not waiting for everyone else to come together, but investing our efforts in everyone we would normally insist invest in us first. That is why it is so good for me. It crushes my grapes–which I would normally turn into implements of wrath–and lets the juice nourish and serve my house-mates.
I am learning to appreciate the gifts in my life that come at a cost — the work of His grace, the diminishing of myself. With every gift from Him there is a loss. It only makes the gift all that more valuable in my eyes. Yes, blessing is training ground too!
Quit telling Me what my limits are, God told me today. This isn’t the first time. But, I struggle with this idea of God being unconfined by anything that I think is a boundary for His work because it exists in my life.
Quit thinking that I can’t love you to pieces and put you together again, this time My way; this time so much better than you were before you were broken.
Quit telling Me with your prayers that you will live with less than what I want to give you; the excuses you make for Me do not please Me.
Quit equating My perfect love with nothing and nothing with My perfect love; your reasoning cannot tell the glories of what it means to know Me.
Quit expecting that if I am loving You completely I can’t give you much besides; that I can not be letting you experience the full capacity of My love if you have anything else with it.
Quit thinking you are some sort of expert on Me and what I can do in your life just because you’ve seen a few things; you have a lot to learn yet.