Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Big Picture

Getting to Bible study today proved to be challenging once again. It poured down rain, thus making traffic completely horrendous.

As I crawled through the parking lot named Highway 114, I called Bridget to see if she was making better progress than me. I felt a tad bit relieved to know she was no closer than I was since I assumed they would not start without her. Mainly because she was teaching the class and all.

Moments before arriving at the church, Chris called to tell me there was no electrical power on the entire campus. Childcare building included. And as much as I wanted to cry, at least I didn't.

But you would have never known it judging from the number the rain had done on my mascara by the time I entered the building.

However, Fellowship Church is nothing if not diligent at getting God's message out. Not to be deterred by something as insignificant as electricity, they had already set up makeshift childcare rooms in the main building, complete with tubs of blocks and handwritten name tags. The generator and large windows provided just enough light to minister to the overactive group of children, desperately excited by all the controlled chaos.

(May the Lord draw near to the hearts of those preschool volunteers.)

And although Bridget had to teach with no mic or slides in the middle of a large walkway, she did a beautiful job of conveying truth about God's will for our lives.

She started by talking about past experiences in seeking God's direction in specific situations, anxiously begging God to spell it out with a burning bush. She spoke openly about frustrations and discouragement she has encountered when those answers did not come in the manner or time frame she desired.

I'm not sure about you, but I can relate to those same frustrations and feelings of anxiety. Times in my life when the gravity of the situation pressed in on me as I sat, frantically waiting for God to give me clarity.

Upon graduating college, which city should I move to? Job should I take? Church should I attend? How will I know if he is the man I should marry? The house we should buy? The timing for having children?

So many questions, so little direction. Or so it seemed in the moment.

But the truth that I've come to rely on was summed up so eloquently as God spoke through Bridget. Although there are many seemingly unknowns, we have already been given the big picture by Jesus in John 6:40. "For its is my Father's will that all who see His Son and believe in him should have eternal life- that I should raise them at the last day."

When we put our specific struggles against the backdrop of the big picture, fuzzy details suddenly are illuminated by the light. For example, will this job put me in a place where I can know Him more, still allowing me time and flexibility to serve in my church? Will this new position allow me to make His name known? Does this man I'm dating foster my ability to know Christ more intimately, encouraging me to seek Him first?

There is freedom in knowing that many times, God's will grants me choices in the specifics, allowing me to do a variety of things as long as they line up against His big picture. I don't have to spend my life agonizing over choices that may very well glorify Him equally.

Sometimes I make His will so complicated that I suffer an analysis of paralysis, painstakingly bogged down in the details. In reality, many times God is telling me the same thing he told Moses after hearing him tell the people to stand where they were and watch the Lord rescue them.

"Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!"- Exodus 14:15

(Those of you that know my husband well will not be surprised to know that this is one of his favorite verses in Scripture.)

Another truth in my own life that is disheartening to own up to is that I spend so much time treating God as my own personal GPS navigator, that I forget to foster the relationship. Where, God? Oh, no answer yet? OK, well I'll check in later. What should I do, God? Nothing still? OK, I'll drop in tomorrow.

God doesn't want me to discover His will as much as He wants me to discover HIM. It's not so much about a destination as it is about a relationship. He wants me to hunger to know Him intimately, to desire more of Him in every area of my life. To crave His presence because of my love for His truth, His passion, His wisdom, His deliverance.

To take it all in, so that I can pour it out on others.

And when I seek His face and share his grace, the answers that previously eluded me simply fall into place. (I'm seeing a cheesy bumper sticker business in my future if I don't get off the rhyming kick very soon)

The details in getting to class today may not have been easy, but it was well worth the trouble in light of the big picture.

(Thanks for bringing it today, Bridget!)


Kelly said...

What a great reminder... I think I am guilty of checking in to see what he says about something specific, instead of just relishing time in His presence. "God does not want me to discover His will as much as He wants me to discover Him"... well said.
Thanks for sharing this.

raenette said...

WOW! What a great reminder. Thanks, for sharing and I will be passing this on to a group of women that need this too.

raenette said...

WOW! What a great reminder. Thanks, for sharing and I will be passing this on to a group of women that need this too.

David Campbell said...

Just read your comment on David's blog.It made me laugh.:) What are we raising?!?!
I hope to see you soon!!


Anonymous said...

That certainly does this mother's heart good to read this. I am so thrilled to see you really get it. It is just hard to live it for all of us. Thank God for His Holy Spirit that continues to teach us. Love, mom

Jenna said...

Hi Brittani!

I have been lurking on your blog off and on for a while now, but just had to comment on this post! Thank you so much for sharing this. I am currently at one of those places of uncertainty that you described (aren't we always!) and reading your words really gave me a (much needed!) fresh outlook on the whole thing. LOVED it.

Thanks again!! Jenna