Sunday, 13 January 2013

Learning to Give In

I spend weekends in a house that has recently gained two small children, one an infant and the other a strong-willed two-year-old whose English name is David. David has recently moved from the US to Korea and, although he is a darling little boy and pretty well-behaved, he reacts sometimes to his world gone topsy-turvy. Like all of us, he gets angry and throws tantrums. When this happens, his mother takes him in another room and speaks sternly to him. We all know when David has let go of his own way and will be coming back to join us because when he is ready to agree with his mother, he very firmly and loudly says, "내", a Korean word that means "Yes" or "You're right" or "Okay". He says it with resignation and conviction both, like a soldier saluting. No matter how hard he has been crying or yelling or kicking his feet, he realizes that his will has to bend, and he bends it bravely. After he has agreed with his mother, there is no more crying or yelling. He moves on. Sometimes I admire David's courage and discipline. I am not always as self-controlled as he is.

2012 slammed me to the wall. It brought me to my knees. It shook me out and turned me upside down. I still  feel like a stranger to myself. And yet, at last, something within is letting go, and sometimes I hear my furious heart giving in and saying "Yes." Just like little two-year-old David. What a relief it is. How much harder this is to learn at 37 than it is at two. I long to just give in, as he does, and move on.

God, help me to bend!

I don't know why I have suddenly (it seems sudden - or has my heart deceived me yet again?) become so fearful. When did I stop knowing that God loves me and always chooses best for me? When did I stop being satisfied with Him?

I want this year to be different. I want Jesus to have the first place in my heart again. I want to be willing to lose all things if I can just have Him. I want to learn how to give in without giving up. I want to gather up my whole messy, scattered and battered heart and lay it at Jesus' feet...and leave it there. I want to learn how to want what He wants. I want to learn how to walk with Him. I want hope. I want to take joy in what gives God joy, instead of always scrambling after my own version. This is going to take more than just a "Yes." But that's where I start. I am going to need a fundamental shift in my self - one that I can't manage on my own. I don't even know how to get such a change, except to ask.

God, You are the only one who can change me. I want to be different. You know I have tried, but I am overcome by self-will and self-love and self-pity every time. I want to share Your priorities and Your eyes. I want a heart that gives in when You say so.
During harvest time, three of the thirty chief men came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord.“Far be it from me, O Lord, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it. (2 Samuel 23:13-18)
Everything too deeply precious belongs to You, Father. Help me, like this David, to let go; to pour out all that my heart treasures before You. The water poured out, it looked like a tragic waste. It always looks that way, but there is nothing wasted before You. You gave Your precious, perfect Son to be beaten and insulted and ignored. You saw them reject him. You saw the slapping and the whipping and the twisted crown. You heard the contempt in their voices. You saw the nails pierce his flesh.You heard him cry from the cross. You saw them gambling for his clothes. You allowed him to be separated from You and left alone. You know what it costs to be a human and love like God. Have mercy on me, but make me able to go forward. Let me not waste on self what You have bought with blood. Better to pour it on the ground!


joeyanne said...

This is a good picture of how it must be sometimes. We cannot but submit to the authority of the author of our life when we want our own way. You are the one who taught me to trust, actively, when my future was uncertain and my present disappointing. Keep singing, my lovely sister - I'm singing for you here.

jennypo said...

Thank you, you dear thing.