Sunday, May 1, 2011

You Forgot the 'We'

Even a soldier's heart gets weary. Even a warrior becomes wounded and disheartened. Even a champion fails the famous match. Even . . . I lose my stamina. As much as I hate to admit it, there are nights when I just sit down and go "God, what in the world am I doing? I have so much to do and I feel like I have no time. I feel like I'm running, but in no direction. I just can't see where I'm going with all of this. . . "

It is on those nights that He whispers back "Daughter. . . you forgot the 'we.'" That single line, that line right there, can hit a heart like a ton of bricks. It seeps right through every clouded thought, right through every doubtful hope, right through every shadowed tear. It is the very thing that gets me through every day. It is the very thing that pushes my heart forward and keeps it going. For some strange reason, the nights that I simply fall at His feet are the nights that I feel the most strengthened. I mean, when I have to go and just fall into that position, no strength left to hold me upright or to keep my mind in order, how in the world do I kneel there and smile and praise Him? How in the world to I hear that one line and just about put my hands up in a joyous acclamation?

See, life is all about Him. When life gets you down, you are supposed to get back up, right? I say. . . when life gets you down, He'll pick you back up anyway. Our hearts were made to be stretched thin and pushed to the limits. Our hearts were made to grow and He fully intends to grow them. I know what some of you are thinking, "My heart sure isn't being stretched thin right now. I am bored out of my mind." Well, would you like to rephrase that? Whether you are bored, insanely busy, going through an extremely rough patch, waiting, running, hiding, or whatever it is you are doing, your heart is getting stretched. The question isn't so much of how your heart is getting stretched as much as it is what you are going to do about it.

So many people feel that tug in life that makes them uncomfortable and vulnerable. When they feel that tug, they stop pulling. They don't want to break it or to stretch it to a point of no return. They calculate the risk and find it to be far too high. They are not willing to gamble for the larger wager, knowing they can at least pocket the smaller wager in a greater deal of certainty. But, if God reminds us that it's 'we' every time we say 'I,' why are we worried about the size of the wager? Is not God bigger than any wager known to man? Cannot God overcome things deemed impossible and make them not only possible but probable?

I get stretched thin all the time. Some people cautiously suggest that I attempt to take on too much. But, in the end, I look at my life and go "No, I need more." Don't get me wrong here. I definitely don't need more 'stuff' or more money. I could careless about that aspect of life. I want to do more. I want to serve more. I want to bless more. I want to pour out my heart more.

It is only, and I mean only, when I pour out everything I have that I find out the pitcher is still full. The pitcher is still full because God never lets it drain and never wastes a drop. In everything there is to do in life, some seed gets watered and planted. Some seed gets buried in someone else's soil and the Lord is just waiting for the moment to be able to water those seeds with our pitchers, with our lives. He works through our lives in ways that we can't even fathom. He holds our hearts and keeps on stretching and filling.

Every now and then, He will blind us from the fact that our pitchers are full and that our hearts are still in tact. And do you know why He does that? He does that because He wants to remind us that He is there and He is in control. He wants us to feel like we run on empty sometimes so that we are reminded that we are only full because of Him. The times we kneel to pray, the times we stand to worship, the times we sit to read are all the things that fill us up. We are called to serve until we think we can no longer and then some. We are called to seek Him for our strength.

I wonder if a lot of you are like me. You feel like a weary soldier, like a wounded warrior, a defeated champion. But the moment you kneel down to pray, the only thing you can hear is His whispered reminder that the journey is a 'we' and not an 'I.' He is with you every step of the way. He is carrying you every time you can't walk. He is keeping your pitcher full, even when you are not looking. He is stretching your heart and keeping it in tact. He is the Lord of all.

I challenge you. . . in everything you do, call it a 'we' project and not an 'I' project, for the Lord is always and will always be with you.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar. 
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 
Even before there is a word on my tongue, 
Behold, O Lord, You know it all. 
You have enclosed me behind and before
And laid Your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it. 
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn, 
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 
Even there Your hand will lead me, 
And Your right hand will lay hold of me. 
Psalm 139: 1-10