Would I be scared if I could see the whole picture now?
I journaled those words a couple months ago, thinking about what the future could look like. Would I want to know the details or is it really the Lord’s protection and provision that I do not know what lies ahead?
Sometimes I find myself desperate to know what next month or next year will look like, but if I could see the whole picture I’d probably run. I probably wouldn’t understand. I wouldn’t be able to dream up the highest of highs that the Lord will allow me to be a part of, nor would I be able to fathom the lows that I will endure.
I certainly didn’t dream up what is unfolding all around us now. I didn’t realize when I left for spring break that I wouldn’t know when I would next return to Nashville.
I didn’t expect this, but God did. Nothing is a surprise to Him, and I have to continually remind myself that I have to trust His ultimate plan. Some days throughout this quarantine have been really good and healthy for me, while others have been really low. It is quite the transition going from having every minute of the day mapped out to no plans at all. Life went from 100 mph to a screeching halt.
Is that what we needed to rework our everyday? Is this what I needed to see that it’s okay and healthy to have space in my day that is unplanned? I feel like I’ve been addicted to hustling through my days and watching that addiction begin to dissolve in front of me is scary. We have grown so accustomed to a culture built on hustling harder with each passing day when God is calling us to slow down and rest.
What moments have I missed being wrapped up in MY world when my purpose in this world isn’t about me? It’s about Him.
Each month of 2020 I’m reading three chapters a day of the four Gospels. Starting on April 1st, I began reading each day from the Message version of the Bible. The only version I have ever had is NIV, but a friend was giving away a copy of the Message version of the Bible so I thought I’d try and read different versions throughout the year.
While I was reading yesterday, Matthew 5:3 struck a chord with me. This is what it said:
You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule. – Matthew 5:3
Well I sure do feel as if I’m at the end of my rope. I miss my friends. I miss a routine. I miss going in a restaurant and hanging with my people. When I read this verse, I had to reevaluate. Is being at the end of my rope a blessing? Then, the verse goes on to say with less of me brings more of God. While we quarantine, I’m seeing that I’m really consumed with myself which leaves little room for God to infiltrate every part of my story.
I have lots of time to sit, but what I need to do is sit still. There is a big difference. I need to quiet my mind and try and listen to Jesus. I need to have more of God and less of me.
If I could see the whole picture of what’s to come, would I then wish that I could unsee it? There is protection in uncertainty of the future. God is protecting us. He knows how much we can process. He does not withhold from us. He’s giving us bits and pieces of what the whole picture is made up of, like a puzzle. We may think we know what is to come based on just a few pieces of the puzzle, but we won’t know what the full design is until He has placed it all together.
Every person has a story. Each story contributes to a bigger picture. God’s beautiful design.
For now, I will actively choose to trust our Father even though this hurts. I will continuously fight for peace and joy. I will work to get still and listen. And I know I will fail, but I will keep trying. And He will keep forgiving a sinner like me. And I will remind myself that I am not here for my own personal pleasures.
More of Him. Less of me.