Eyes to See

I was taking a walk the other day when a little boy who couldn’t have been older than two or three suddenly ran out from behind a house, looked at me, and yelled, “Hi, Mom!” Now, this greeting was surprising on at least two levels. First, I’ve never come close to mothering a child. Second, I’d never seen this little boy before. I laughed, but then got to thinking about it. Kids aren’t the only ones who get confused. As adults we sometimes do the same thing; we don’t see things as they really are, though we may not notice at the time. We call it love when it’s really lust. We deem something or someone a success or a failure, when really we’re merely thinking in worldly, temporary terms. We consider situations hopeless when God’s cooking up something really great. God must react to those mistaken assessments with laughter, much as I reacted to the little boy, and also with grief, when these situations pull us away from him.

As I turn 27, I find myself struggling with questions about where I should be and what I should be doing. As I crawl closer to my “late 20s” it’s hard not to evaluate life so far and consider my current situation versus that of others and the expectations I had for myself through the years. When I look at it compared to the world’s standards, I’m lagging behind in a lot of areas.

Like a lot of people these days, I’m really struggling to find a job. As some of you know, I worked with a team of missionaries in Mexico City for most of 2008. I could talk about my time there for hours, but let’s just say it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. But I arrived home last winter in the midst of a brutal economic crisis. I’ve looked online nearly everyday for the last four months or so and have had little success. Thus, I’m pretty much itinerant, living with my parents, my sister and friends. Also, as my friends get married and some begin to have children, it’s easy to feel a bit left behind sometimes. Besides that, I still yearn for Mexico and constantly ask myself (and God) if I should be there or here.

So let’s review: no job, no place of my own, unmarried, confused about the future. This is not where I expected to be at 27. But this is exactly where God expected me to be and that’s so much more important.

I think as Christians we should constantly remind ourselves of the things that God has already done in our lives. When I get bogged down by my frustrations, I pull out journals I’ve kept over the years and meditate on things God has done for me. I’m not a stranger to waiting on God’s provision. I waited for almost a year to see if the funding would come through and everything would line up for the Mexico City trip to happen. It was a year filled with uncertainty, stress and worry. But it worked out perfectly. If God had my life so under control then, even though I wasn’t aware of it, why would now be any different?

And I also remind myself that we all have different needs, which God knows utterly. I could have all the things my younger self expected me to have at 27 and still be completely unhappy. God wired me with a heart for Mexico and took me there. And in order to have the incredible experiences I had there, other things had to be put on hold for awhile. But those things will happen when God, in His complete knowledge of the world and of me, deems it right. And that makes the world’s standards insignificant.

But what do I do in the meantime? Despite the comforts I just described, I still have days when I’m really frustrated. And when I’m frustrated, it inevitably spills into my relationship with God. And it’s confusing, finding myself vacillating between trusting God’s provision and getting discouraged when nothing changes. Sometimes I get hung up on just asking God for things - for guidance and for signs - or just complaining to Him. Don’t get me wrong, God still wants to hear those honest petitions and expressions of anguish. But sometimes I lose track of seeking God merely for the joy of seeking him, being in his presence and knowing him better. At times my soul doesn’t long for Him, but rather for direction, an answer.

Since my time in Mexico City was so important to me, it particularly touches my heart when things I’m learning or experiencing here are affirmed by friends there. As we talked about having “eyes to see as God sees” at Immersion a few weeks ago and I processed through these thoughts, I talked to a friend in Mexico City about some of my frustrations. In response, he said “Ask God to give you understanding so that you can see what He wants you to see”. I don’t think God wants me to just see my struggles. The point of this period of my life is not just to find out the answer or the next step. As I wait for guidance and opened doors, God wants me to see the joy of a beautiful Iowa spring, of reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, of learning to salsa dance, of meeting my first niece. He wants me to see his faithfulness as he provides in his timing, and his comforting presence when everything seems messed up. And, most importantly, He wants me to see Him.

A side note: Please continue to lift up the people of Mexico City in prayer as the city is disrupted and frightened by this influenza. Thanks.


Post a Comment