How Surrender is Clearly Revealed in a Murky Pool

Yesterday, I went out to the pool to do the usual maintenance and was stopped in my tracks. I walked along the edge of the pool, staring into a turquoise, murky mess with skimmers clogged with leaves. It’s summer. What in the world?

I could not see the bottom of the pool. It had rained the day before with two heavy downpours accompanied by strong winds. I was seeing the results. The chemicals in the pool hadn’t been able to compensate for the detritus that the rain had brought. I had my work cut out for me.

On another front, I had been dealing with a situation that was complex and needed a quick resolution if a large, unexpected expense was to be avoided.  In my eagerness to restore equilibrium I could only see what was apparent to anyone. There needed to be a change and quickly. I could only see one resolution. The one of my own making.

I learned two things {again} from those examples given to me yesterday.

            1. There are times I have to address an issue immediately when the solution is obvious.

            2. There are times when I have to sit, be still, turn it over and let the Lord handle it.

He gives us a brain, He gives us ability, and He gives us the proper tools.  It’s what we do with these that can make all the difference.

In the first instance I took the most likely action that would restore the pool to its usual state of sparkling blue clarity; trusting that the mixture of the chemical treatment and physically addressing the removal of leaves, etc. would quickly resolve the murk.

On the second issue, I spent the entire day turning possibilities over and over in my head. I tried to reach the likeliest outcomes from every angle I could perceive and the damage control that would be required to minimize the expense that would be incurred in each instance. My minimalist conversation with the Lord was one-sided and rather short.

“Lord, how in the world can You provide something so good and take away a portion of that provision at the same time?”

I think you can see where I’m going with this. It goes back to the one word that keeps staring back at me when I look at my blog. Surrender.

The murky pool was the object lesson. The one thing was showing me what I needed for the other. There are times when we cannot see clearly; the whole picture is murky and complex. On the surface, we see a little, but the deeper we go the more difficult it becomes. The solution becomes more elusive. 

“The Worst Case Scenario” kept my thoughts occupied. Instead of turning to God and laying out my case to Him and trusting Him for the best solution I kept wanting to do something. I didn’t want to wait. I wanted it wrapped up and tied in a bow solved.

What strength have I left, that I should wait and hope? And what is ahead of me, that I should be patient? Job 6:11

Then He did something that brought my consuming thoughts to an abrupt halt by resolving the issue that was really out of my hands from the beginning. 

This morning, I am fully amazed, not at His provision, but at my dullness and density. Like looking at the murky water and not seeing the bottom, I could not see the solution, but He could.

It was His action that was needed to take care of the problem-not my dithering about. I was not able to change one thing about that situation. His grand resolution showed me that my self-reliance interferes with my ability to surrender.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14

Again.

#BeautifulDeep

Last August, sitting at the table on the last night of the Declare Conference I heard Eryn Hall announce that the tickets would shortly be on sale for this year’s conference and that the theme would be “Beautiful Deep”.  My heart skipped a beat. I wanted to go straight to my computer and log on and order my ticket. 

But I didn’t.

Something, Someone said: “wait”. So I did. Time passed.

Later, I read that there were only 4 tickets left. And I tried, but they were gone already.

I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be attending this year.

And then- there was this conversation on FB regarding the wait list and that everyone would be notified in the order they were on the wait list when a ticket came available. Still I hesitated to put my name on the list. I wanted to be sure that I was not taking a spot that was meant for someone else, perhaps someone who had not been and was just starting down the road of blogging her faith to the world.

So….

I posted something to the effect: “if you get to the end of the wait list and find that there is a ticket available I would like to come; but I don’t want to keep anyone else from the opportunity.”

The week before the conference I got an email. There was a ticket available if I still wanted one. I bought it! And I’m so glad I did.

 beautifuldeepweb

Here’s why:

In the scorching hot heat of this Texas summer that melts our very bones it was like a spring rain.

Texas style.

There was a torrential downpour of words that kept pointing me back to my purpose, to our purpose in Christ.

I heard Words of Life, Beautiful Words, Wonderful Words, Wonderful Words of Life.

They are the ethos of that old hymn I grew up singing. Such great treasure troves of wisdom were delivered to us.

“Your life’s purpose is to give God Glory.”

“The world is always telling us who we aren’t, God tells us who we are.”

“If Jesus is not in the heart of it, may I be so bold, you are wasting your time.”

“Plant deep the things of God into deep places of your heart.”

“Sometimes, just because you are good at something, it may not be what you are made for.”

“We were made to swim in deep water in a life that requires Jesus; where life doesn’t make sense without Him.”

“Using someone else’s voice is exhausting; using your own is effortless.”

“A heart willing to hear ‘no’ can be trusted with a ‘yes’.”

“Do the work of an evangelist-speak Truth and Life. Fulfill you ministry. We are Digital Evangelists. It all matters!”

“Never publish unless you read a post aloud before you post.”

“When He interrupts it’s a good thing-always.”

“You can only be where you are; if you wait until you are where you want to be you will miss a lot.”

And, finally, I think this one thing is just now sinking in-deep: “Sometimes, it’s the dream you never intended to birth….” 

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, oh Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

I am in a season of waiting, meditating on His Word, and for the first time in a long time I am content to dream of what might be.