Sometimes I feel like a nut; sometimes I don’t: Finding stability in a fickle world

Yesterday, I felt like I could run a marathon.

I clicked that exercise DVD off and felt strength, like my limbs had grown long and powerful in 30 minutes.

I was a lean, mean, health machine who laughed at crunches and slammed through jumping jacks with precision and ease. Photo by Weerayut Kongsombut

Today, I was about to throw my running shoe at the TV screen because that guy in the t-shirt and gym shorts wouldn’t stop jabbering.  Couldn’t he see I was short on oxygen after just 5 jogs in place?

When someone is suffocating right in front of you, don’t you bypass the small-talk and incessant chatter and tell them to skip to the end already and go have an ice cream cone or something?

Some days choosing blueberries and yogurt with granola comes easy.

Other days I need chocolate so bad I want to order a hot fudge sundae from McDonald’s–hold the sundae.

Isn’t so much of life like this incessant movement back and forth and back and forth, making progress, stumbling, feeling accomplished, feeling like giving up?

Some days I’m attacking that to-do list with energy and focus.  The next day I’m distracted and just want to play hookie from grown-up life.

Some days I’m relaxed, spontaneous, fun mom.  The next day I snap in half when three of my kids demand that I help them right this second, now, now, now as if they can’t see with their own two eyes that I only have these two hands.

What is this roller coaster life I lead? Why these fickle whims and why is perpetual progress so elusive?

I read in Beth Moore’s Whispers of Hope:

If we place our faith in what God is doing, we should brace ourselves for a lifelong roller-coaster ride.  Our faith will be high and mighty one day and free-falling the next because it is based on the apparent activity of God in our circumstances.  ….In our most difficult losses victory does not result from seeking God’s answers or His activity.  Many answers will never come; much of His activity will never be seen.  Victorious faith walks evolve from seeking Him.  In Hebrews 11:27 we read that Moses “persevered because he saw him who is invisible”–not because he saw the burning bush.  He gazed straight into the face of the invisible God.  He built His faith on Who God is, not what God had done.”

She says, “When you don’t know what God is doing, you can find stability in Who He is” (p. 112).

Moses looked right past that burning bush.  Sure, it caught his eye, but he glanced at the bush so he could gaze on God.

That compelled him into perseverance, into pushing past the fear and insecurity, pain, anger, the possibilities and probabilities of failure, and the overwhelming threat of the unknown.

I admit it.  Sometimes I flop down in the middle of these circumstances and think—this is what God will do.  This is how God acts.  

But He’s so much more creative than little ol’ me and those unexpected ways of His send me into spirals of doubt and worry.

Why isn’t God doing what I want Him to do, when I want Him to do it, how it makes sense to me?

That wobbly faith of mine, it’s revealing the cracks in the foundation, how I’ve trusted in what God does, not Who He is.

I think of the farmer in the parable, sowing that seed on the rocky soil, on the path, among the thorns.

And I think how I’m fickle here, too.

I’m this avid gardener in April and May. But come July, one summer rainstorm sprouts a rain forest right in my front yard.  I walk out that door and step into a mighty jungle that has grown to towering proportions overnight.

Overnight, I tell ya.

And a girl just can’t keep up with that, not in the mid-summer Virginia heat and humidity.

The weeds choke out those tended and welcome plants, just like that parable says.

Yet:

the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop (Luke 8:15 NIV).

The NLT says they:

hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.

Cling to it.

There it is.

Look past the burning bush and fix those eyes on Jesus, on WHO He is, constant in every situation.

And hold on for dear life to God’s Word, not letting those fingers fall loose for one second.

That’s what prompts our hearts into patient perseverance.  That’s what produces this abundant crop of a harvest if we just don’t give up.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

 

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