Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sink or Swim


             I remember when I was a little girl; my parents took us on a vacation to Topeka, Kansas. There was a Corn Palace there, a castle made completely out of corn, corn husks, stalks, kernels- it if had anything to do with Corn, it was in the castle. I was pretty little, I don’t remember much about the trip itself, but the one thing I do remember is that is the year I learned how to swim. My dad had promised to teach me that summer. We stayed at a hotel that had an outdoor pool, I remember being so excited that I just couldn't wait to dive in. All I remember is my dad yelling at me to slow down, then I heard him yelling at me to wait, but I didn't listen- I dove in head first into the deepest part of the pool. Needless to say, my dad was not a happy daddy. By the time he had gotten to the pool to save me, I had somehow managed to swim on my own back to safety. I learned how to swim alright, by diving in head first. The consequences of my actions, which scared the living daylights out of my mom, were not so grand. I got into a lot of trouble for that “stunt”, as my mother liked to refer to it.
                But ever since I was born, I am a “dive in head first” and sink or swim kind of person. My mom always used to tell me to slow down, think before I act, stop and wait before I just go and dive in. Advice I should have taken, but for me, to wait is almost impossible. I know what I want and I go after it, head first- sometimes, however, I sink more often than swim. As I was reading today I realized that I still have that tendency within me to dive head first into something. My problem now is that the consequences are more damaging than they were when I was little. I saw myself in the story of Rebekah and her son Jacob- both of whom dove in head first, instead of waiting for the Lord to do what He had promised.
                Genesis chapter 27 tells us that Isaac was old, his eyesight had gone, and he knew his time on earth was drawing to a close. He called his eldest son, Esau to him and told him that he would bless him. Esau was the oldest of the brothers, even though they were twins, Esau had come out first, and therefore, Esau was to get the blessing from his father. Isaac tells Esau to go hunting, find some game, cook it, and then he would eat it and give him the blessing. Now, Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, overheard all this. She knew that God had chosen Jacob instead of Esau, because in Chapter 25 the Lord God speaks to her and tells her His plan. “And the Lord said to her: ‘Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.’” (Genesis 25:23) She knew that the Lord God had chosen Jacob instead of Esau, but Isaac did not believe that, so he went about to bless Esau.                
                So what did Rebekah do? She stepped out in her own timing and made things happen the way that she thought they needed to. She believed the Lord God about Jacob, she was just unwilling to wait for Him to bring it to pass. I see her doubting what the Lord had spoken to her, as she overheard her husband telling their eldest son that he would receive the blessing. I see her taking the Lord’s promise to her in regards to Jacob and making it happen. Perhaps she thought that the Lord was unable to fulfill the promises He had given her because Isaac preferred Esau over Jacob.
                I am reminded of myself in this story. The Lord God gave me a promise, and instead of waiting patiently for Him to fulfill it, I began to take matters into my own hands. In doing this, I allowed much trouble to come upon myself. If I would have just waited for the Lord to make the way, then I could have escaped all the fear, hurt and damage to others that I caused. But, once again, I am a dive in head first kind of person. As I read these verses this morning, I realized that it is so easy for us to become impatient and try to do God’s work for Him. We know that the Lord has made a promise to us; we know that He has spoken to us, but we get impatient. We do not see His will unfolding before us, so we begin to make our own plans and begin to make things happen for ourselves. Take it from me; you will sink to the bottom every time you try to do this. The Lord God was with me that day I dove into the deep end of the pool, because He had a plan for me- He saved me from myself. Which He does more often than I care to admit!
                Throughout the Bible, the Lord God tells us to wait for Him, wait for His timing, and wait upon His word. He will bring to pass all that He has spoken. When we step out into our own way, what happens? The same thing that happened to Jacob- his life was turned inside out, he had to run from his family home, be in bondage to serve his uncle for 14 years, and he had to be humbled by God, none of which was a pleasant journey for Jacob. But, despite Rebekah and Jacob’s plan to take matters into their own hands, God was still able to bring His will to pass. God’s sovereignty can and will always make His will come to pass. No matter if it is through our mistakes or our disobedience. “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes.” Romans 8:28
                Rebekah knew and believed the promises of God in regards to Jacob her son, but instead of waiting for God she took matters into her own hands. By doing this, she told God that she did not trust His way, and that she was going to “help” Him. Let me tell you, God does not need nor want our help- He only wants our trust and obedience to His perfect plan for our lives. Her choice led Jacob to sin, however, they both chose to it their way instead of waiting on God. (Jacob could have said “no” to his mother) When we choose to not wait on the Lord, not only do we sin, but we lead others to sin alongside us. God does not need our help, He only needs us to wait, and He shall bring to pass all that He has promised.
                The Lord brought this truth home to me today, and showed me that I am not a good waiter- I have patience, that is a fruit I am learning to bear, but waiting, well, I still have a lot of work to do in that regard. But, I am confident that He who began this work in me will complete it, and that no matter what happens, no matter what I do or choose to do, God will always make a way for His will to come to pass in my life. His word is true and I can put my trust in Him.
                If you are like me and you are a dive in head first kind of person, can I encourage you today to take some time to go before the Lord and ask Him to change you. We are on a journey, we are walking hand in hand with the Lord to the place that He has prepared for us, when we run ahead and dive in head first, there is no guarantee that we will swim, in fact; we will most likely sink. Listen to the voice of the Lord in your heart today; hear Him calling out to you to wait. Just as my dad on earth was calling out to me to slow down, to wait for him, our Daddy in heaven is calling out to us, “Wait- Slow Down- I got this.” His sovereign love for you will not let you drown, but He may allow you to sink. .