Monday, February 14, 2011

A Masterpiece

I am a master painter.

Everyday I spend hours designing and painting my plans and thoughts. I see my plans for life as a masterpiece. Then I proudly show God, he chuckles a little. "Are you willing to give your masterpiece up?" My usual response is "What? But this is my best work!" But if I say yes...He has a Monet to replace my finger paintings.

What will I choose?

Friday, February 4, 2011

For those who want a Reason

So...the story begins a few thousand years ago. There was a young married woman. She could not have any children. But she was not the only wife. He husband had another. That wife had many children. Every day she would be taunted and teased by this "other wife" and her kids. And everyday she wept. He husband saw her sorrow and gave her gifts and attention. He said, "I love you most, can't that be enough." She turned to him and faintly smiled. "Yes dear." But they both knew that she would not be whole until she could have a child of her own. Each year they journeyed to the temple where she would watch the other wife and her children bring up many sacrifices. And she sorrowed in her soul because she only had one.

During one of these temple visits she lingered after the rest were done. Wringing her hands she cried out to God. Her heart in turmoil and desire she pleaded with him for a child, a son. From afar a well dressed man had been lingering as well. But she paid him no mind until he abruptly started scolding her. "What are you doing in her woman? This is the house of God and here you stand drunk and weeping? Get out." What she had not realized that during her silent pleas her mouth had been moving. This man was Ely the priest. "no Sir, please. I am not drunk. I have been pouring out my soul. I am in anguish." He saw in her face that this was truth. "Go in peace. Add may God grant you the pleas of your heart."

She went home and soon after was pregnant with a son. She named him Samuel because she asked the Lord for him. For the name Samuel in hebrew sounds like the word that means "heard by God".

Once her answered prayer was weened she brought him back to the temple where Ely the priest was. And she gave her son into the care of Ely. For she had vowed before God that had she received her desire she would consecrate (devote) him to God and the works of God.

Many years down the road, Samuel had a very personal experience with God. In the night he heard someone call out his name. Thinking it was Ely he ran to his room and asked him what he needed. "I did not call you, go lie back down". This happened a few more times throughout the night. Only after the third time did Ely understand that this call was from someone else. He told Samuel the next time to say, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." And Samuel did. He was called to a great commitment that day. Later in his life Samuel anointed the first King of Israel, Saul. As well as his successor David.
(1st Samuel; Bible)

I can't help but relate with this story. I understand the sorrow of Hannah's (the mother) reality. I know her pain. I know her tears, and I know her pleas. And with all my heart I want my Samuel to know and be known by God.

When Matthew first presented this name to me I thought it was horrible. Ask Wendy, Connie, or Alicia. They all can attest to my bad attitude. Then I reread the story of Hannah and Samuel. And honestly I was angry. I was angry that God would show me this story of a woman who had such pain and sorrow because she had no children. What made me the most mad was the fact that she gave him up. After all her pain and petitioning she choose to give her only son back to God. (sigh) I know how that feels. Although last time it was not something that I had offered; it was something that was required of me. But here I was reading this story of this woman who felt the same hurts as I did but WILLINGLY gave her only son back. It took me a few weeks to get past my frustration with God. I wanted him to promise me a son like he had promised Abraham a son. I wanted a concrete sign. I ask and ask and this is what God gives me? A story of another SACRIFICE.

Finally, randomly, I got it. I was actually driving in my car and came upon a big accident. My first response in those situations is to call Matthew. Just to check that he is ok. And it hit me. They are not mine. Ha, I know that. I have known since I laid my lifeless first son into his monkey blanket. But I had forgotten that "they are not mine" applied to everyone I love and everything in my life. I had to pull over that day because the tears were blinding. How on earth am I suppose to be ok letting those I love go everyday. How can I cherish every moment the way I am suppose to?

Everyday I have to choose to give my Husband and second son back to God. Everyday I have to let go of these things that seem to mean so much to me. It is not easy. In truth, I am really terrible at it. It consumes my mind and often I struggle to understand it all again.

Yet, despite this new practice that I am learning God continues to astound me with the gifts he gives. My love for Matthew seems to grow more without him having to do a thing. In fact I usually fall more in love with him when we are apart (working or something else). My heart stirs up and overflows with joy and new love for him. The same can be said for my love for my Samuel. He has to do nothing and I love him more each moment for it.

I am truely blessed beyond anything that I could have ever asked for or deserved. And if/when those days come that I have to say goodbye to my cherished ones (early in my thought) I will remember my Joshua. I will remember the lessons he taught me about long distance love. And I will overflow with joyful love once again.

I am excited one day to have a little girl...but gosh until then I am so very proud of MY three Men!