And she had to go to work today. She wonders how long I can keep going.
I, in turn, wondered "How much more will I have to give up? What's the final cost here gonna be?"
The answer is, everything. (And yes, this is Five Minute Friday. The prompt is neighbour. It's in the first paragraph.)
We give everything, especially our hearts, to Jesus, and in return we gain a kingdom.
Thing is, if Someone hands you a kingdom, you've really got to take hold of it with both hands. It would kind of hurt if you let it slip, and a whole complete kingdom landed on your little toe.
And embarrassing. Imagine all those angels laughing.
So we have to come to Him empty handed. We have to let go of the things we would most like to keep hold of, and trust Him when He says that nothing good will be lost.
We can let go. He's got this.
But what are we really releasing? I think it's our sense of control. The nagging back-of-the-mind thought that, well, just in case God's busy elsewhere, we' better fill His shoes.
So we worry about our spouses and our health, our children and our parents and our dogs (my hand raised, here!) and the hobbies we love.
We worry about our ministries and our friends and our jobs.
And did my daughter really just get a nose-piercing???
I believe that God wants us to let go the control, and live with a sense of the abandon that it implies. You can't undo the piercing (is that a BONE through your nose, young lady?) and you can't worry yourself to health.
You do your best, but after your due diligence, you've got to let God handle things.
And no looking over His shoulder, either.
It's easier for me, I think; it becomes ever-clearer that I'm not going to see the golden years of retirement (and just as well, I'm not made for that stuff). My hands are being forced open by circumstance...I have to let go of so many things.
I have to let go of the books I'll never finish writing...and I can. Instead of "I've got to get this into the world!" I figure, well, God read it already, He knows how it'll end, and He's the reviewer I want to please anyway.
I have to let go of the aeroplane whose parts surround me. In the past I imagined it complete, and imagined the thrill of flying it...but now the greater thrill is in the completion of one more bracket, one more rib, as an end in itself...and a worthwhile one, because Jesus, after all, was a craftsman of wood before He turned to crafting Salvation.
I have to hope my wife will meet a good man, and soon, and find love that will help her ride through the sorrow.
I hope the dogs will, in that man, find a kind and loving friend.
And so on.
I know now that I could never control a desired ending...and in letting go of control I am finding that, like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes.
I can love Barbara more, love the dogs more, by putting into God's hands what's best for them.
I can't be their Saviour; Someone Else already has that job.
And He is pretty good at it.
The musical accompaniment today is inspired by by friend (and FMF colleague) Leigh and her wonderful blog, Tokens of Goodness.
Aside from a wonderful sense of faith and brilliant writing, she's also got a picture of one my favourite singers, who will now perform for us...
I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.
Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).
I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.
Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.