Established Step

I feel like we had no time to become impatient. It feels almost wrong to not have to endure the full-stepped application process. I told Bobby yesterday that I almost wish I had been anxiously praying that we would get an answer, miraculously earlier than expected.

I remember the year I realized the singular day of December 25th wasn’t actually the best part about Christmas. Christmas Day is really amazing because of all the hype, anticipation, waiting, and stored up energy that leads up to it. Parties, wish lists, cookies, lights, snow days, music, school vacation, the count down, and all the Christmas vibes make the whole season filled with hope and joy looking forward to THE DAY! But the day-the climax of the holiday- is found satisfying because of all the expectant feelings building up to it.

So it almost feels like… our seminary “Christmas” came on December 3rd. We had no time to wait. No anticipation. No longing, or stored up energy, or suspenseful prayerful hoping. It was just like… SHA-BAM! YOU’RE ACCEPTED BOBBY!

I felt a bit dizzy and starkly interrupted by the sudden news. What?! Is this really happening?! How… wait… what?!

It’s like, “God, didn’t we need a good lesson on patience here? Wasn’t this a perfect opportunity to teach us long-suffering, trusting in the Lord, and waiting upon your ultimate guidance?”

Obviously, clearly not! Maybe God just likes to sneak-attack us with some pretty spectacular things! Who is to say that every decision is ordained by God to be a “lesson on patience”?

I guess most of the time it feels like God throws us curve-balls in crazy “lesson-learny” type of ways. You expect something to happen, to only find out that God had other plans. It then takes almost the whole time to reorient your expectations and redirect your emotions to trust God and not your own limited dreams. Most of life seems that you pray one way, God answers a completely different way, and then the rest of your circumstance you are left with marveling at how God knew this way was better. Sometimes you learn to trust sooner than other times, but in the end you always realize that you might as well stop planning, because God’s just going to give you what you need when you need it anyway!

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” -Proverbs 16:9

The other day I had a mind-blowing realization. Often times we think of sanctifying circumstances as being our hardest lessons in life. We think God teaches us the greatest lessons by giving us the hardest situations. That still might be true! “Nothing worth having comes easy,” is a quote that pops up when you google “hard work quotes“. However, what if some of the most sanctifying circumstances are actually the “easy” ones. What if we are missing some of the most beautiful lessons right in the midst of our blessings?

I’ll have to chew on it a bit more, so don’t quote me on it. But what if some of our greatest lessons in life come in the form of just utter, complete, undeserving grace?

I mean, look at the cross people! We had to experience no “hard lesson” in receiving the cross. The wondrous, life-giving news of Christ dying and raising to give us life, is ALL BLESSING to us. The greatest Christian lesson comes not to us as a painful valley we must endure, but as a lavished, immeasurable, rich gift of God himself. Yes, believing in Jesus requires us to take up our own cross, and believing in the gospel requires giving up ourselves. But the gift of salvation and regenerate new birth is given to us without us ever having to “do” any work at all. Amen!

So were we cut-short by getting our acceptance phone call 3 months earlier than expected? Was it a disappointment that our “Christmas” came as an instantaneous non-built up surprise? Absolutely not! I feel more in a tizzy having the news now, then if we were to get it in 3 months. It feels humorously perplexing. I am learning to trust God in this sanctifying out-of-the-blue blessing. I am still trying to reorient my expectations and redirect my emotions to trust God in this established step he has given us to walk, in the form of a blessing.

Bobby said yesterday, “Well, we can’t get COVID now cuz we have to make it to seminary!” And I laughed replying, “Oh, so now we have something worth living for?” We chuckled at our stupid response to the good news.

The rest of the night was filled with all the swarming emotions we had experienced in the past two months: glee, wonder, and adventurous excitement, intermingled with sorrow, gloom, and despondent loss. Waldo is still mentioning the purple house, and Dolly for the first time said, “sem-ah” (translated: seminary.)

Oh, how walking into God’s established steps for our lives is perfectly, cosmically, whimsically peaceful.

Thank you Lord!

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