Monday, September 13, 2010

He Knows What We Need ~

I have been keeping something to myself all this week. I wanted to savor it and remember it in my head all on my own for a while before I shared it with anyone else. You may think that you can hide your thoughts and feelings from God but that is where you are wrong. And just when you need Him most, He will meet you in the oddest of ways and leave you with your mouth hanging open in awe.
So I work the odd shift from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. From 5:30 to 7 I am all alone and I usually spend this time finishing up with work, answering phone, sometimes I write or find other ways to make the time pass. The volunteers in the information booth go home for the day and I automatically become the information booth as well. It is also during this time that my mind has the chance to wander to places it shouldn't. Places filled with worry about the future, doubt about myself and my capabilities, regret about the past, and a host of things that I battle with almost daily.
On this particular day I had taken that dark path again and was thinking of how I got to where I am now. A deep sense of regret and despair began to wash over me as I thought about what could have been, how life could have been easier for me, how I would not have to struggle with money or wonder about the future. I was thinking about all kinds of crazy things when a man came rushing up to my desk pushing a wheelchair. He asked me where the restroom is and all I had time to do was point in the direction before he took off running, shouting over his shoulder for me to please watch his wheelchair.
A short time later he came back and apologized and told me how embarrassed he was. I told him it was ok and said that I was sure he'd had a long drive. I never intended to have a conversation with him. It's not that I minded him talking to me but I just had so much on my mind. But then this is where the story took a turn and he said to me, 
"You know, eight months ago I lost my job. I had a good job and was a supervisor at a good company and suddenly I was out of work. I looked everywhere for a job and I was thinking how I have degrees and education and that I really should have a decent job. But no, that is not what God had in mind. So I applied for this job, transporting patients from here to there and I believe that God is using me in this way because if He did not have a plan, He would not have me doing this job. So I said, Ok God, if you want me to drive this van, then I will do it. I have a roof over my head. My daughters have not gotten pregnant and my sons have not impregnated anyone. I have a good wife and the bills are paid. God has provided for me and it might not be what I had in mind but it is His plan so this is what I do. And I thank God every day that He knows what I need."
And then he looked at me and said, 
"I'm sorry, I don't know why I just told you all of that."
And as I picked my chin up off the floor I was trying hard not to let the tears out from under my eyelids. I told him, "You have no idea... thank you so much for what you said." I have been struggling and wondering and questioning all of my circumstances for so long. Like him, I have an education and degrees and what an embarrassment to not be using them. Was it all for nothing? I had looked for work for so long and was so discouraged. Even now I could not see that I was blessed. I had a roof over my head, friends, a job, and so many more things. Maybe it wasn't what I had envisioned for myself at one time. Even so, God knows what I need better than I do.
As he was getting ready to walk away from my desk he looked at me and said, 
"You know what Jennifer? I'm going to pray for you. God knows what you need."
Since that time he has come back by a couple of times on his way to fetch a patient. He tells me that now when he prays at night he simply says, "And God, remember Jenny." He says that is all it takes because God knows already what I need. I wanted to keep this precious moment to myself, just between God and me. But now it is time to share it. Sometimes our situation, our circumstances, our station in life is not what we think it should be. But God knows better what we need.

You Can Have Me ~

I was on my way to work one day recently when a song came on the radio. I haven't listened to the radio in quite some time. I figure that with all the noise in my head lately, I don't have to put up with even more of it. So maybe everyone else has already heard this song by Sidewalk Prophets (one of my new favorites). It's called "You Can Have Me" and the first line goes like this:
"If I saw you on the street..."
So I started thinking about if I actually saw Jesus walking down the street in jeans and a T-shirt. And sandals, of course. I mean, we talk about "We shall see Jesus" and "I can only imagine" but forget all the golden streets and harps and glistening hilltops for a moment. Just pretend you are walking around at Sundance Square or Times Square, or whatever the square is called where you live, and Jesus walks up to to you in the flesh. (Nevermind the question of how you would know it's Him, that's a whole other blog). The next line in the songs says,
"And You said come and follow me..."
I don't know about you but I started asking myself if I really knew Him well enough to just up and follow Him. After all, He is not just some guy on the street, He's Jesus Christ - God. It is one thing to think of falling on your face before God as He shines in all of His glory and majesty. Its quite another for Him to walk up to you in street clothes.
I'm not trying to "dumb down" God. I feel horrible even saying it that way. I do not want to withhold any respect that is due Him or belittle the awe that I know I will feel when I see Him in the flesh some day. However, I have been thinking deeply for the past few days about how to be more personal and intimate with God. It is inconceivable to me that the Maker of the universe would even know my name, much less want to hang out with me.
I am longing to know the God that I can go to with everything and anything. The one that isn't "way up there" looking at me way down here.  I want to follow Him and just sit and converse and laugh with Him and lean on Him tell Him all of my secrets and fears. I want desperately to be able to say "You can have me" but somewhere along the way I misplaced my trust and can't seem to find it again.  But I will keep searching and trying and I believe that in time I will be able to give Him all of me.