Anyone see the irony here? Perhaps some of you more familiar with my journey thus far in 2008 do. I do. In fact, I feel a little like laughing, and not with the deep laughter of joyous hilarity but more like the shallow laughter that laughs to keep from crying. You know, the laughter that carries a subtle hint of bitterness, the laughter that sees the irony yet doesn’t necessarily appreciate it.
Less. In all my New Year’s idealism and, dare I say it, naivete, I expressed my fervent wish that 2008 would be marked by
Less stuff, more contentment.
Less chaos, more peace.
Less stress, more calm.
Less of this world, more eternal perspective.
Less Lisa, more Jesus.
Noble sentiments, indeed. And I do wish for those things, I do. Actually, wish isn’t the right word. I long for them. I want my life to be just as I’d resolved ten months ago. With all my heart, I desire it!
Yet the “less” that marks 2008 is of a different kind. Less of what I’d hoped God would do. Less of what I’d expected. Less passion. Less fervency. Less assurance. Less of who I thought I was and certainly less of where I thought I was headed.
2008 proved to be far more heartbreaking and confusing than I could have ever guessed, for reasons you may know about and for some that you don’t. I remember the passionate, fervent assurance I had at the turn of the New Year, 2008–how confident I was in the Lord! How firm was my conviction! I knew–not just believed, I knew–I was going to see the Lord’s faithfulness just exactly as I’d pleaded! Or, so I thought…
Oh, I’ve seen His faithfulness in glorious ways but not from the vantage point I’d expected. In fact, where I am now is so far removed from where I thought I’d be that sometimes, often, I am surprised. I am at turns astounded that Lord brought us here, to “this.”
The “this” is good. It is. Please don’t hear me say it’s not. I am only saying I could not have imagined this place and certainly did not ask for it—which, incidentally, is exactly as the Lord promises us (1 Cor. 2:9).
But here’s what I’m learning–and I’m talking present tense here, a work in progress–God grants us seasons of less so that we may know the more He has for us. The less that I’ve endured, though heartbreaking and confusing, has served to bring me to a place of glorious brokenness and, not only that, keep me there. I’m being (present tense, a work in progress) emptied of me, my agenda, my expectations, my carefully constructed image—all so that I may be filled with Him.
He is able to do more than I can ask or imagine. May it be so and may I see the more of His glory in the less of me.