Wow... it's been a while since I've written. To be completely honest, I haven't felt super inspired to write much this summer. Don't get me wrong, it's been a wonderful summer. Full of blessings — overflowing with them, even — but it's just been so routine. Work. Summer school. Jonesboro. (No offense, Jonesboro... I do love you) It's my first summer in Jonesboro... the first time I haven't gone off and done something adventurous. But God's been in it, and He's showed up in some of the sweetest ways. I think He's teaching me to grow up a little... I've learned some tough lessons this summer.
He's disciplining me, because that's what good dads do.
One thing I've learned this summer is that there will be seasons of my life when people are pouring into me and I won't have to do much in order to be fed... and those seasons are wonderful! But there will also be seasons when I have to work harder to feed myself, and I've been in one of those seasons this summer. I was talking to God one day recently, telling Him I was kind of frustrated with the way this summer has gone for me spiritually. It just hasn't been as rich and abounding with growth and purpose as summers past... and then I realized I was kind of complaining as if it were His fault or something. So I stopped and began to tell Him I'm sorry that I've not been spending as much quality time with Him lately as I'd like to. And then I remembered a conversation I had with my "yoda" Eve Sarrett probably two years ago...
"Sara, how old were you when your mom stopped feeding you?"
"Umm... like actually feeding me with a spoon? Without my help?"
"Yeah, do you remember it?"
"No... I don't. I assume it was when I was much too little to remember stuff like that."
"Why do we think we need to be spiritually spoon fed then?"
"Hmm... I don't know. Good point."
"Sometimes I just want to tell kids to pick up their damn spoon."
... Pick up your spoon. It was like God told me that the other day. And that's not to say that we don't need people pouring into us, and challenging us and helping us grow. Community is HUGE. But I think it's so easy in Bible Belt America to just go to church, attend a Bible study, let somebody else do all the work and not have to really put much effort into our relationship with Jesus.
Why do we do that? There was a period of probably 2 weeks this summer that I was so frustrated, knowing that what was missing was a closeness to the Lord, something I have complete capability of changing, and I just kind of let it happen... being in a bad mood, being mentally and emotionally exhausted, probably slowly becoming less enjoyable to be around... and I was just coasting along in that state of being. Gross! Who wants to hang out with that!?
And then I picked up my spoon. And the best part about a God who's a God of grace and unconditional love is that He never withholds anything from us. The sweetest thing about Jesus is that even when I'm stagnant in my pursuit of Him, He is always pursuing me. And when we come back and we say, "Dad, I'm sorry I haven't checked in with you in a few days/weeks/months, etc..." He just says, "I've been waiting for you... just so I can tell you I love you too."
What constantly blows my mind is that even though I go through these selfish seasons of, "God, why don't I have ______? Don't you know that I need it?" ... He still wants to pour out blessings as soon as I realize that He's bigger than all my worries, frustrations and wants.
He's a good dad. That's why He disciplines. That's why He teaches us to pick up our spoons. And when our hearts are aligned with His, He also blesses us... because He's a good dad.