so far

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This past May, I received some of the best news of my life. It capped off the hardest year and a half of my life. By the end of August, the process to adopt my youngest two children was complete. I was tired.

We had parties. We did special memory-making things. We shared that memorable day with almost all of our family and our best friends. We shared our joy with all the rest of our friends and family. The thing was, I wasn’t really feeling the joy the way everyone else was, the way my husband wanted me to, the way I thought I should. I was just tired.

I wish I had known this next verse then…

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” 2 Samuel 7:18

In my small group bible study, we are doing Beth Moore’s David: Seeking a Heart Like His. (I haven’t done this particular study for about 10 years, so much of it still seems fresh. Plus, she’s redone the videos so that material is definitely all new.)

One of the notable things in this verse that Beth points out is that David didn’t kneel before the Lord, he didn’t fall on his face, he didn’t dance, and he didn’t even stand and lift his hands in praise. He just sat. Sometimes that’s all you can do. Just sit there. She attributes it to him being overwhelmed with praise. I actually think that maybe he was just tired. David had just spent years on the run, afraid for his life. He had suffered the loss of his best friend, his king, his profession. He had battled lions, bears, giants, and whole armies to the death. He had dealt with sin, betrayal, loneliness, grief, and a myriad of other emotions. He had endured years of stress and seeking God in the hardest places.

Not only that, but he had also experienced all that’s good of life. At a time when the Spirit of the Lord wasn’t given to all believers, David received an anointing. He was declared the future king of Israel. He was honored and revered by his countrymen. (and many, many women) He had known the best of friendships. He had experienced incredible intimacy with God. He brought the ark of the covenant to its rightful place in Jerusalem. He had celebrated like it was 1999, and on top of all that, he received a word of prophecy from the Lord about his future, his country’s future, and his children’s future. Let’s just summarize by saying it’s good news. David had known the depths of despair; he had known the heights of glory. I think he was tired.

I spent so much hours over the past couple years on my knees and even more time flat on my face before God pleading, begging, weeping, in total confusion and despair. I experienced deeper sorrow than I’ve ever known, I felt the sting of betrayal, and I was brought to brokenness in ways I did not expect. I learned to be friends with the darkness, with insomnia, with secrets, with constant and extreme stress. I had to go to many of these dark places alone. I learned what true and deep loneliness felt like, but I also learned the depths of true friendship, the power of unafraid prayer, and an incredible intimacy with God. I grieved, and I celebrated. I spent time standing before the Lord in wonder, in gratitude, in praise – sometimes with lifted hands, sometimes with pure dancing joy. And I was tired.

Scientifically, I think a large part of it is the emotional exhaustion and let-down that comes over you after a stressful time. I was so used to operating under constant, extreme stress that when it was gone, my body literally didn’t know how to function normally. I also got bogged down in the scary parts of our future. I lost sight of the fact that I didn’t need to do or feel anything else. I didn’t have to be the happiest I’ve ever been. I didn’t need to dwell on how much of our journey has yet to be travelled. I don’t need to be on my face in sorrow or dancing in praise; like David, I can just sit before the Lord. In praise, in wonder, in thankfulness, or with none of that. Nothing required of me. When there are just no words, there are no feelings, there is no energy, there is just nothing left but just to sit before Him and utter the words of David: ‘Who am I? What is my family that You have done this? That you have brought us here?’

God gives and gives. I bear witness to that. What makes me think He’ll stop? The same God who allows me to sit before him can be trusted with my future. I can praise Him for how far He’s brought me. I can sit in complete peace before Him knowing that He knows how far I have to go.

Praise to God who has brought me so far.

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