Stubborn us

Good morning all! Happy Thursday!

Today’s scripture:

Isaiah 30:15-18The Message 

15-17 God, the Master, The Holy of Israel,
    has this solemn counsel:
“Your salvation requires you to turn back to me
    and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.
Your strength will come from settling down
    in complete dependence on me—
The very thing
    you’ve been unwilling to do.
You’ve said, ‘Nothing doing! We’ll rush off on horseback!’
    You’ll rush off, all right! Just not far enough!
You’ve said, ‘We’ll ride off on fast horses!’
    Do you think your pursuers ride old nags?
Think again: A thousand of you will scatter before one attacker.
    Before a mere five you’ll all run off.
There’ll be nothing left of you—
    a flagpole on a hill with no flag,
    a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off.”

18 But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
    He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
God takes the time to do everything right—everything.
    Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

From what I hear, stories told throughout my lifetime, I have always been a bit of an independent person. Some may say that I am a little stubborn even.  I like to figure things out on my own a lot of the time. In fact, just this morning both of my housemates were insisting that I take this certain type of cough medicine. My sickness is now in this deep cough.  I kept walking away from the medicine and somehow my lovely fiance keeps bringing it back to me to make sure that I see it.  Jenny keeps asking, “Have you taken it yet?” I politely respond, “Not yet.”  “You need to take it!”  I don’t respond. It sits in front of me.  Why don’t I just take it?  There is something in me right now that is saying because it wasn’t my idea, I don’t want to take it. I hate cough medicine. It would probably help and yet it sits there. There will be an internal battle.  We will see who wins.

For some reason, there is this stubbornness in my brain that just ticks off and forget about it.  It is definitely not helpful to me especially when people are trying to help me. If I think I should be doing it on my own, I love the help and I get stubborn about help around me even though we have to live in community. We do.  This is the only way that we can survive around here.

I love this Isaiah passage because it acknowledges my deep stubbornness even when I know that I am not my best self when I am being that way. When I am trying to save myself, I don’t end up in a good place. When I return to God and acknowledge it is not all about me, I save myself from myself. God knows that I will get stubborn and say, “I can do that by myself…just you watch!’  When really if I returned to community and to God in the first place, I would be all the better for it. I just coughed up another lung…..the medicine sits in front of me.

What I also love in this passage is that God won’t just huff and puff like me away or take on a fight, God just says, “Ok, I will be there anyway and wait for when you get over yourself.” God doesn’t need to rush into anything rash, God just can be and all shall be well.

When we were kids, my mom did a fantastic job of shuffling all four of us around after school and getting us in each location.  We were never forgotten but we also knew there was a lot going on. I would be at the library, Grant at sports, Colin at home, and Andrew in various activities.  One year, Andrew was at a different school than us and had to be picked up separately.  My mom was running a little late and when she picked him up, he got in the car and said, “well, I knew that when you got home and counted all of your kids, you would be missing one.”  He wasn’t too worried, knowing that he would be missed in the count.  He waited patiently knowing that she would find him and get him.  I almost expect God to be this kind of patient. When you are ready, God is ready.


Ok, ok, I will try the medicine…but I will have juice close by to mask the flavor and let’s pretend it was my idea….

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