Monday, September 2, 2013

what I'm reading: the unspoken agreement

Right in the middle of her sorrow, having lost one child and knowing she was about to lose another, Nancy Guthrie wrote Holding On To Hope, a collection of short devotional reflections on the book of Job.

I've been reading it every morning after I read the Bible and pray. It's so helpful that I wish I'd had it twelve months ago - but all in God's good timing! It's a great book to give to someone who's suffering.

One of the strangest things about "big" suffering is that it makes you feel like you ought to be exempt from the "small" things. It was good to read this and know I'm not alone. (Nancy has just received a phone call that her son broke his front tooth:)
I took a deep breath and couldn't say anything for a minute. I guess it hit me in the area of my greatest fear - that this wouldn't be our only loss.

That night, as David and I talked about the day, we realized that we had both had an unspoken agreement with God that went something like this: "Fine. We will accept losing Hope and all that that brings. But we don't lose Matt. We don't lose each other. No car accidents. No cancer. No financial collapse. This is it!"

But as we voiced our deepest feelings and fears out loud, we realized that we had to let go of those things too. We needed to trust God with everything we had. We had to open ourselves and say, God, it is all yours to do with as you will! 

Some days I wonder if the letting go is ever going to stop. ...

We tend to think the money in our bank accounts and the possessions we have are ours—that we've earned them. That we deserve them. But the truth is, everything we have is a gift.

Do you think you "deserve" a certain lifestyle, a handsome and loving husband, or beautiful wife and healthy, easy-to-manage children? A high-paying, fulfilling career? What are you holding on to so tightly that you would blame God if he took it away tomorrow? ...

Would you welcome God to have his way with your possessions, your position, the people you love? Would you accept his promise that he can be enough?

Holding on to Hope 21-24 (see the excerpt here)

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