Friday, January 18, 2013

On Standing

I had a blog post all planned out for this past Tuesday.  But then I read a post by my college friend Melanie Poole Gillgrist called, "Not Sitting. Not Running. Standing," and I've been undone, unblogged, mulling it over ever since.  (If you haven't read it, click over and check it out.)

"Stand" may be my word for 2013, too. This is terrible news.  I'm not good at standing.  I get all twitchy and can't figure out what to do with my arms. I could never be a guard at Buckingham Palace. The whole "stand" thing strikes me as being roughly the same level of impossibility as if God had said, "This is the year you'll run the Boston Marathon."

On my way to meet my friend Super-G for dinner Wednesday night, I was thinking about this while listing to a podcast about encouraging change. The speaker's point was that life with Jesus should include lots of change and a fair amount of risk taking, trusting that God is kind, loves us, and will help keep us on track as we take chances.  I was ALL OVER IT.  Change is a stand I can take with full jazz-handy enthusiasm. I prayed as I parked the car, asking God, "Hey! This sounds like just what I need! What would You like me to change?"

If you heard a deep, low rumble Wednesday evening around 6:20 EST, that was God laughing at my question.

Now I know the idea of God talking to us can sound a bit odd, so let me explain what it's like for me: I get an intersecting thought that doesn't sound like me at all; that is so "other" from anything I might say--usually because it's wise and is something I'd never considered--that I know I'm not making it up.  That's what happened after the rumbly God laugh: I sensed Him saying, Trish, you're great at change. That's a comfort zone for you, not a growth edge.  What I want you do do right now is stand. Hold your position. Let Me work. 

That's when relief and fear collided inside of me and I started to cry.

I'm grateful that Melanie included this story from the Bible in her post, where God sent a messenger into a chaotic, impossible situation to say to a frightened leader: You do not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  It helps me see that yes, sometimes God does put us smack dab in the middle of a disaster and then say, "Now hold still, I've got this..."

And while I'm warming to this concept in big-picture terms, I'm still at a bit of a loss for how to implement it in the three and five minute increments that make up each day. If my job is to just stand, what do I do with my arms?

I guess that's the reason the most-used verse in my Bible is Luke 18:27 What is impossible with man is possible with God.  

Here's to doing the impossible.  I'll let you know how it goes :)

Do you have a word for 2013?


Anonymous said...

Your friend’s “sitting, running, standing” analogy (loved it!) reminds me of a devotional by Tom Holladay, where he says that as you struggle your way to faith like Abraham did, don’t settle for less (saying that his heir would be Eliazar) and don’t insist on getting it yourself (having a child by Hagar); instead, wait for God’s plan, because God’s plan is worth waiting for.

Melanie said...

First of all, I really thought I had commented on this...must have just been in my head.
I'm sorry (but not really) that this words has become yours. I was just thinking, my tendency is to sit and wait. And reflect and wait some more. Maybe your comfort with change, with movement, can meet mine with sitting and together we can figure out the Stand part.
Thanks for sharing it's impact on you!