Do you remember being a kid in a classroom…and having a test or an assignment and not giving it your best…then getting a grade and being told, “No do-overs on this one!” Do you recall that feeling of having missed the boat, not having made the most of the opportunity to do your best?
On the other hand, there were times when I sploogied on an assignment or a test and the teacher announced that there *would* be a chance for a “do over,” and I was so relieved!
I love that God does “Do-Overs.” In fact, the Lord often brings do-overs again and again, until I DO make the most of the opportunity–allow HIM to do what He has in mind!
As I shared in a previous blog entry, sometimes “do overs” are painful. Actually, I have discovered that *most* times they are. The very fact that they trigger previous memories can be painful in and of itself! For instance, I found myself in a “do over” when our Pastor resigned last summer. I suddenly plummeted into an old dark place of rejection and abandonment. Fortunately, God helped me to see what was going on. I was smack dab in the middle of a “do over.” Instead of the helpless child who was scared and alone, I was surrounded by friends, family, and equipped with tools that the Lord has given me to manage difficult situations and emotions. By His grace, that “do over” was managed and it went a long way in displaying God’s redemption in my life for the years the locusts had eaten. Being on the pastoral search team and having a blog where my husband and I write about our experiences has been SO redemptive and SO healing!
In my previous blog entry here about another “do over” that God is currently providing, I mentioned that I was in a great deal of emotional pain because of the familiarity of the situation in which I currently find myself. I feel like someone’s LIFE depends on if I walk on egg-shells just right or not. I then feel resentful and bitter–I grew up feeling this way!…And guess what? As a child, I learned to soothe myself or comfort myself with food when I felt this way! After all, I “deserve” better treatment! I “need” comforting! It is no small wonder I am currently drawn to “comfort” foods excessively!
THIS time, though, I know that God wants to redeem this situation. He wants to show me that HE is sufficient, HE is my comfort, HE is my salvation! So I know that I can grow in this…and, at the same time, get the person I love the help he needs–something I couldn’t do when I was a kid for the person that I felt threatened by.
I realize that I must be willing to do these “do overs” the way GOD wants me to do them. Otherwise, I will not only struggle through this version of the “do over,” but I will guarantee that he will bring me yet another situation where things feel all-too-familiar…more pain, more chances to experience his healing, yet another do over!
To do the do over the way GOD wants me to do it means to resist the almost-instinctive urge I have to grab at food, or grab at another way to numb out, to quiet the hunger, stifle the ache. It means…and this is important…I must be still in that place of need. To sit and wait quietly for the Lord.
…it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.Lamentations 3:26
A slightly sarcastic, cynical and rebellious part of me wants to say “So, Jerry, ‘buddy,’ if that is so true, how come ‘waiting quietly for the Lord‘ hurts so much!?”
I have discovered that it is often because he allows me to experience need. I don’t like feeling need. Like a person uncomfortable with silences when getting to know a new friend, I can’t let that need, that void, that emptiness remain. I MUST fill it! With SOMETHING!
He tells me no…to be still. To wait quietly for HIS salvation, for HIS way for this “do over” to be done!
15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’
Therefore you will flee!
You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’
Therefore your pursuers will be swift!”Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!– Isaiah 30: 15, 16, 18
Oh! How like the people in this passage I am so very often when given a chance for a do over! I want to flee! Or if not that, then the quick fix!
He longs to be gracious to me, to you. He rises to show me compassion, to show YOU compassion. We must wait for him during this do over and resist the overwhelming urge to stuff our faces with yet one more thing to eat, or to fill our schedules with one more thing, or to concoct one more strategy to depend on ourselves to solve the issue, or to lunge for one more unneeded toy (when our credit cards are maxxed out already)…Whatever it is, will you, will I rest, repent, wait (in quietness and trust) for the salvation of the Lord? Will we allow ourselves to acknowledge our lack, our need? Will we wait for him to satisfy the need His way? This is the purpose of a do-over! He uses these do overs to redeem the many years that may have come before where we didn’t experience this because we did things our own way!