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Thursday, July 1, 2010

The 5 a.m. Slap in the Face

I woke up this morning around 5 a.m. having a splitting headache. I tossed and turned a little trying to get back to sleep. No dice. When I wake up this early I am reminded always of my mom who says, "If God wakes me up that early, He's trying to tell me something!" So I listened.

"Read My Word." He said.
"Right now?" I replied, "It's 5 o'clock in the morning and I'm not even a morning person, whatever I read right now, probably won't sink in anyway." I argued.
"Read My Word." He said.
"Well, what would I even read?" I delayed.
"Romans." was the soft reply.
"I mean if You have something to say to me, can't you just say it while I'm lying here in my bed." My head throbbed, I couldn't get comfortable, couldn't go back to sleep.
"Get up! Read My Word." He ordered again.
"Okay, fine. I'm up. I'm going. See me, getting up..."

It is on the rare occasion that something like what happened next, happens for me. Even at this moment I can't recall this happening to me in particular, but it probably has once or twice before.
I go looking for my Bible. Any Bible will do I figure, at this point. I find my Bible and underneath it is a Student Study Bible. Mine is in a zipped cover carrier, which seems complicated at this hour, so I grab the Student Bible and it falls open. Before I have time to think about it, I look down to read the area in blue (the commentary highlight). It jumps out at me. "Quarrels with God!" It announces! "Quarreling with your Maker goes far beyond the spirited dialogue that Moses, Job and Jeremiah engaged in. Isaiah is describing an insolent assault on God's competence. Not only is it wrong, it is ridiculous-as ridiculous as a pot complaining about the shape the potter gives it." I am in Isaiah but the highlight sites Romans 9:20 hmmmm.....

I stand there, as I haven't even sat down yet, eyes wide open, "Really? No, seriously, really?"
I find the couch where I decide to turn to Romans, hoping this isn't one of those daily 'through the Bible' study things where I will have to go digging around for Romans because it's not where it should be. It's not. (Sigh of relief.)

Romans 9:20-23a "But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is molded say to the one who molds it, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump an object for special use and another for ordinary use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction; and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-"

Wow! I mean, wow! Now this is nothing I haven't heard before, of course. But God's timing is always perfect, isn't it? In His mercy, He has allowed my anger to go unmentioned, until now. All of a sudden, He wakes me up and says, "Okay, I've had enough of your anger Lesley. I have been patient with you, and now I am showing you that I am HOLY, I am the POTTER, you don't get to pick, I CHOSE your path, so enough already." (paraphrased)...

By this time now it's 6:30 a.m. and Matt has to go to school in 1/2 hour, so I make him breakfast and a lunch to take along. After seeing him off to school, I ponder my morning slap in the face and decide, I should probably write about this one on my blog. After all Romans 9:23 says, ..."to make known the riches of HIS glory for the objects of mercy, which He has prepared beforehand..." I am an object of His mercy. Knowing this is a gift.

What's that saying? "His mercy is new every morning?" Something like that.

I have to end as honestly as I started however. I have hope that this is the beginning of a turning point for me in my grief, that some change will come with it. Being intimately involved with grief as I have been for almost 2 years now, I admit, I have doubts as well. I have had revelations before in this process. I have had moments of complete clarity and spiritual enlightenment. But the grief remains, it still disables me, overwhelms me, engulfs me, drowns me even. When you are grieving, there is nothing more that you want than to NOT be grieving. It is hard, exhausting, irritating, sometimes hopeless and always trying. I guess I say this because there is always that fear that you have made progress and once you admit that, people will expect you to be moved on, over it, past the hard part, that kind of thing.

This, today, is at least a notch in the road of grief, the process of it all, moving....somewhere. God is good. He is faithful, He is timely, He is Sovereign, He is mighty, He is merciful. I know this. I have no doubts of Him.


Anonymous said...

Don't ever stop writing Lesley. You are gifted. So glad you got up when God told you to!

not2brightGRAM said...

How beautiful is our Lord, and how kind to speak to you personally. He who has begun a good work in you WILL finish it. It has been a heartache as well as a joy to watch Him at work in your life. Love you, sister in Christ!

Alex Jerry; Stephanie Jerry said...

I have heard that grief of that sort doesn't go only changes. Each revelation, each stage changes your grief, but you will always grieve for your daughter. Do you think that is true?
You need not worry that we will think you are "over it". That's not something you get over or so I'm told.
I still pray for you regularly and God brings you to my mind a lot even though I don't drive by your old house as much as I used which I would always say a little prayer for your family.
God bless you today, Lesley. There's nothing like an early morning slap in the face to let you know that you haven't been forgotten!!!