I had this boss once – no one you know – who gave me assignments but not too much direction. I’m the kind of girl that doesn’t like to get to far without making sure I’m going in the right direction. I check recipes, ask for directions when I’m lost, and I don’t put too much work into the details unless I am sure the concept is firm. I sent him drafts and wouldn’t get feedback for days. When he told me he was disappointed in my lack of ability to get things done, I conveyed my frustration with his lack of feedback and the ever-changing rules. He said, “I was testing you. I wanted to see how you’d respond.” In this particular conversation, I actually had the courage to shoot back. “Ok. Don’t test me. It’s much more efficient if you just tell me what you want.”
I’ve been saying this same thing to God lately. This “season” (I believe that is the Christianese term) has been really hard. It’s been really good in a lot of ways, but I am definitely waiting for a season of blessing. And by “blessing” I mean an improvement in the details of my life. I would be dishonest if I acted as if I am content with the endless spiritual blessings this time has afforded me. And while I wouldn’t change it, I would like to have a job and a place of my own, not to mention money for Christmas presents. As much as I hate the commercialism of this time, gift giving is my love language and Christmas gives me a great opportunity to love.
God gave me really wonderful times when His presence was so clear and I felt His love so deeply. But He doesn’t want me to have baby faith. Anyone can believe Him when He is clear. Eventually He hid, albeit right beside me, so I could learn to walk with Him and believe Him when I couldn’t see His hand. During this time, I think He asked me to rely on Truths He taught me when it was easy.
Last night on my walk, I asked Him what more I needed to learn before He would usher me into a season of relief from the hard road we’ve been walking. “It’s more efficient if You just tell me what you want.” I asked Jesus to show me what I was missing. Of course this very long, very hard time MUST be a result of failing the essay portion of the test. If I can figure out what He is trying to teach me and respond, I will get a check by my name, maybe a gold star for my REALLY spiritual moments, and pass onto the next phase, a more lucrative, less lonely place. And there it is again. If I can just “do the right thing” my life will be blessed. And blessings look like financial comfort, lots of friends, and a sweet life sitch. I would love to see the look on His face when I recite my list of things I’ve ‘done right’ in the last 24 months that have certainly earned me a cosmic break from the trials.
But then the Spirit spoke to me. With every reason and right to berate me for my chronic legalism, He gently asked me, “Why do you think I’m waiting for you to ‘get it right’? You will never get there fully. Can you just enjoy this time with Me? I am using this time to reinforce all of the things I’ve taught you. I’m making your faith stronger. Just stay here with Me a while.”
How easy it is for me to see my life with earthly eyes. How quickly I am distracted from His faithfulness to me and the purpose He is establishing in my life. In the midst of my need to earn my way out of this season, I miss the reality that I am in a blessed season. Blessed because my Master is inviting me to just stay here with Him a while.