That one word...whatever.
It’s often over a cup of tea that holy moments come. How I wish I recognized them more often.
A table for two, the air filled with music and nearby conversations. The noise seems to force better listening, nudging close enough to hear well and watch for the eyes that often speak louder than the words.
This friend and I hadn’t been together for several years. She was a graduate student ten years ago, and I led a group of ladies who were reading and journaling their way through the Bible. Our weekly gatherings were vulnerable, inquisitive, and full of love. The Lord gave us grace to accept each other in our unique places and seasons of life.
This precious girl became a friend. She was hungry to know God and ferocious about her personal obedience to Him. We all prayed as graduation neared and praised God as He opened doors for her. She has experienced success in her career and listening to her adventures brought me great joy.
But she has a crack in her peace. A dream not yet realized. Tears filled her eyes when this part of her story began. She wants to love and be loved – she wants a husband who shares her faith and her energy for life. I cried with her.
Sometimes God’s ways are just plain mysterious. Why would He not meet the desire for marriage for this beautiful friend of mine? I got caught in the sadness as I listened and prayed. Not until the next day did I realize that in my sympathy, I’d lost perspective.
I had talked to my friend about Mark Batterson and his books that God has recently used to motivate and inspire me. Today, I realized, I forgot about this one:
"You are one decision away from a totally different life"
I woke this morning thinking about the two decisions that most shaped my life. The first was when I met Jesus and received Him as my Savior.
The second came a couple years later when I decided to give myself to Him. Living a life of faith involves both – receiving and giving. I question whether those decisions can happen at the same time. At least they couldn’t for me. I had to experience His love for a time before I realized I could trust Him enough to give myself completely to Him.
All In. That was the second decision.
Mark says it this way:
“I’m afraid we’ve cheapened the gospel by allowing people to buy in without selling out.
We’ve made it too convenient, too comfortable. We’ve given people just enough Jesus to be bored, but not enough to feel the surge of holy adrenaline that courses through your veins
when you decide to follow Him no matter what, no matter where, no matter when.”
“How many times do I have to ask?” my friend whispered through her tears.
Somehow I lacked courage or perspective to answer honestly. I had stories to tell, if only I hadn’t been so swayed by her sadness. Stories about giving up my dream of marriage, then giving up my husband, then in moments of crisis placing each of my children’s lives in His hands. I'd cried through the releasing of my pain-filled sister and the near-death of my mother.
Moving from Savior to Lord can be a painful moment in this journey of faith. But the result is peace. Always peace.
I think I owe my friend a letter. And I’ll include this little poem that sits on my desk as a reminder of my constant need to decide to live All In.
A Response Required
“Do whatever He tells you. “ (John 2.5)
Whatever You want…I want.
Whatever You choose…I choose.
Whatever You say…I’ll do.
Whatever You give… I’ll receive
Whatever You withhold…I’ll accept.
Whatever You plan… I’ll rejoice in.
Whatever, LORD, whatever.
Sometimes my whole dialogue with God rests on that one word…whatever.
TO CONSIDER: Can you pause long enough to see the crack in your peace? Is it time to sit at the Lord’s feet and cry all the way to … whatever? Peace awaits.