Monday, 21 February 2011

You hem me in

Lord, right now is one of those times that I don't want a promise.

I don't want a piece of scripture to reassure me, even though you've given me a book full of them.  I don't want to have to hang onto my faith and endure and battle with things and put up with other things and just hold on to the good things in the middle of the bad things.

I want you to change things. I want you to answer a prayer, not sometime in the future, and not in a mysterious way, and not in a way that requires hindsight when I look back ten years from now.  I just want you to change things, right now.  Make things better.

Don't stop me from worrying, just take away the things I'm worried about, will you?

I know that sounds incredibly ungrateful. I know about the promises and I know that you love me.  It's just that sometimes (like now) I feel like my small girls (3 and 5) when they just want me to make it better. They won't be reasoned with, or fobbed off with distant promises about things being better in the long run; they want it sorted NOW please.  Or maybe not even please. But the point I'm making is that I know that you can turn things round in an instant if you wanted to; and to add emphasis I shall draw your attention to what I heard in a sermon in church last night - You could change the way that the earth spun on its axis if it pleased you to do it. 

So why don't you, very often? I know, I know. It's all about knowing what's best for me. Just as I don't give in to my girls' many requests for sweets when we're about to have dinner, maybe it wouldn't be good for me to have what I want right now.  But can't you just make it good for me, so that I don't have to be so anxious and sad and uncomfortable, rather than teaching me to get used to discomfort and conquer the anxiety?

I don't want to be worried all the time.  I don't want to have to try so hard.  I reckon that if you took away half the things that worry me, I'd be much better equipped to shoulder the other half.  Is it a deal?

I sometimes feel like screaming.  I feel like being totally selfish and not search for the higher meaning at all.  I don't feel like looking up your promises to me and meditating on them.  I don't want to be worshiping you when I don't feel like it.  I don't feel like looking on the bright side or counting my blessings.


I take that back.  I know how blessed I am.   I even know that the things that worry me aren't anywhere near on the scale of the troubles that some people have.  Even people I know. In fact, the bit of the last paragraph that is nearest the truth is the bit about 'totally selfish'.  But what's wrong with that every now and again?  Sorry for shouting.

It's just that (doesn't that sound a bit whiny) I want to know who's looking after me. From time to time it seems as if I run about trying to please everyone - and I have a long list of people to please - and yet it doesn't seem as if anyone else's list includes me. Who's out there pleasing me?

Oh blimey, that's not true either.  I have a loving husband and a wonderful Mum and two gorgeous daughters and some good friends and lots of supportive people on Facebook.  I should just shut up.

Are you nodding?  There's no need for that.

I'm in such a bad mood.  Can you tell?

From being a tiny child I have heard grown ups tell me on a regular basis that life isn't fair. Why is it never unfair in my favour?  If there were a dozen people in a queue in front of a cashpoint that was handing out fifties instead of tens when it got to my turn it would probably snaffle my card. I don't feel lucky, sometimes, I feel weighed down.

The rollercoaster isn't going to stop any time soon, is it, God?  I know I should just learn to enjoy the view from the top before it plummets off the edge again, but today I feel as if I've got my eyes screwed tight shut and I'm clinging on as hard as I can just to keep going.


I'm going to stop moaning, for several reasons.

Reason one is that I've read all this back and I'm not coming across like a mature, loving, insightful Child Of God, more a spoiled toddler who's up too late.
Reason two is that I'm feeling a bit better just for having had a rant. Are you OK with that? I'm thinking it's a bit too late, really, as it's Out There whether I delete it or not - I could erase this whole screen and no other mortal would be any the wiser but you'd still know. I don't even have to write it down for you to see the darkest, most narky, self absorbed parts of me, do I?

The fact that you love me even though you can see all that is an amazing thing to me.

Reason three, and the most compelling, is that I don't really believe you're ignoring me.  I trust you.  I know that it'll come down to you knowing best. I know that in hindsight the chances are I'll see what this period of my life was all about.  I know that you sometimes don't bring about change without knocking off a few corners.  I know that you love me unconditionally and even when I whine like a child. I know that you want what's best for me, and if you don't want to stop the world spinning and set it going the other way then there's a pretty good reason why not.

So you win again, Lord.  As David said in a psalm somewhere, 'You hem me in'.  Wait a minute, I think that might have been psalm 139.

Oh my goodness it is:
'Before a word is on my tongue    you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before,    and you lay your hand upon me.' 
That's just what I was saying! You knew, didn't you?  You knew how special that psalm is to me. You know it all.  

Ah, Lord, when do you think I'll grow up? 

Thankyou for laying your hand upon me.  I needed that, today.

End of tantrum.

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