January 11, 2012

Learning to Watch

I start work tomorrow.

It came so suddenly, words failed me. The Year of Watching was only 5 days old.

Five days.

My reaction was a mixture of happiness and sorrow. Circumstances left no doubt of God's provision and His grace.  And yet...

For more than two years, this old life - filled with frustrations, prayers, complete and utter dependence on God - has defined us.  The realization that I wasn't ready to leave it behind rushed over me, scalding hot.

It's over.

No trumpets. No fanfare. A quiet end to the most difficult and faith-filled thing I have ever done.

And I find myself not ready to say goodbye.

Fear that I will never again be this close to the Lord churns within me, for I know my wicked heart. Two days after my man started work, I'd conjured a long mental list of items that I needed to purchase. It mocked me just as sure as if I'd written it in permanent black ink on my hand and laid my sin bare for all the world to see.

I've tried to find security in money and possessions. I do not want to go back there.

Oh, Lord, give me grace not to go back there!

And with that plea, The Year of Watching takes on new meaning.

Becky spurs me on with powerful words from Thomas Brooks:
Watchfulness includes a waking, a rousing up of the soul. It is a continual, careful observing of our hearts and ways, in all the turnings of our lives—that we still keep close to God and his Word.
Watching my heart and ways.

Inspired by Persis, I am reading through The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism on each Lord's Day this year. It, too, sharpens, convicts, and encourages.

When we think of living and dying in comfort, we imagine La-Z-Boy recliners, back rubs, and all the food you can eat (with none of the pounds, of course). But the Catechism has in mind a different kind of comfort, one that is deeper, higher, richer, and sweeter.  We find this comfort by admitting our sin, instead of excusing it; by trusting in Another instead of ourselves; and by living to give thanks instead of being thanked. (Page 23)

I ache for comfort that is deeper, higher, richer, and sweeter. I am overwhelmed by my need for Jehovah Tsidkenu.
...true, lasting consolation can only come to those who know of their need to be consoled. (Page 25)

My need is cavernous. My depravity, infinite. And yet there is grace upon grace, as I learn what it means to truly watch.


Persis said...

"Fear that I will never again be this close to the Lord churns within me, for I know my wicked heart."

Melissa, those thoughts went through my head when the bulk of our trial was over. Even though it was so hard, the sweetness of depending on the Lord more than made up for it. I pray, not often as I should, that I wouldn't go back to storing up treasures on earth and becoming complacent. I'll be praying the same for you. <3

Carrie said...

YES! Same here. When the trial is over THEN you realize how grateful you were for it and how you are going to miss certain aspects of walking closely with the Lord- thoroughly dependent on Him. (Then, if you are me, you start to fear what kind of trial it's going to take to drive me back to that place of total and complete dependence.)

I love your concluding remarks here. "My need is cavernous. My depravity, infinite."

And yet? Grace. Praise the Lord for that!!!

Becky said...

I wish we could hold hands for a few minutes and pray together... as we watch.

Lisa writes... said...

"...no doubt of His provision and grace..." YES! AMEN!

Continuing to pray for you, friend, as you walk into yet another chapter of His continued faithfulness to you... Glory to His name!

Anonymous said...

Melissa, This too is part of His plan for your life. Always remember that because He indwells you He cannot deny Himself even when we are faithless. 2 Tim 2:13.

Blessings as you begin a new journey!