One of my favorite things is playing the piano. I grab a moment here or there to play a song or two whenever I get a chance.
Yesterday I pulled out one of my Christmas songbooks and began playing “Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)” by Chris Easton and Amy Grant. I remember when it first came out. Although I liked the sound, I had issues with the words. I didn’t like that it presented Mary as unsure and afraid. I didn’t like that Mary felt alone. I didn’t like all the negative thinking by Mary.
“Come on Mary! An angel visited you! God is with you…He’s in your belly for goodness sake! Suck it up girl! You have been blessed in an amazing way!”
It is almost laughable to me now. Now that I’m me…this harried, weary, single mom.
I love this song. It’s real.
Mary was young, single, and pregnant. Facing divorce before she was even married. Facing disapproval from her family, friends, and community. Facing all the changes, pains, and fears associated with pregnancy. And I’m sure until Joseph had the conversation with the angel and decided to trust that God’s child was growing in Mary’s belly, she was truly asking “must I walk this path alone?”
In my pre-shattering of happily ever after, I really didn’t get how walking in God’s will can sometimes be very daunting and difficult. I can remember several times thinking that people going through difficult times were silly for not getting themselves into a better situation. Oh how naive I was! How judgmental! How wrong!
I had missionary friends who had one difficulty after another and yet persevered in their situation and continued to minister. I thought they were missing the very clear signal God was sending – time to move on,
Friends who were grieving…friends who had sick children…friends who were depressed…friends who were struggling with anything…how I loved them and longed to help them, but did not really and truly understand them.
I guess in my mind I thought that struggles were always a sign that something had to change…that something wasn’t right…that someone was doing something wrong.
(Sounding a little like Job’s friends, Sue.)
I was wrong. Very wrong.
God calls us to things that we can ONLY do with Him. I’ve heard others say, “God will not call you to something you can’t do.” Ummm, I wish.
I know that God calls us to things we can’t do. I live that. But the truth is, God calls us to these impossible tasks to show us that all things are possible with Him. With Him.
Some struggles are me-made. Struggles that come because of my sin, my decisions, my lack of trust, my fears. But many of the struggles I face are just life. Life on this planet. Life in a fallen world. And some of the things that God has called me to seem daunting and difficult and pretty near impossible.
I have expended so much energy trying to figure out how to fix things when really I could be just living…living this crazy harried exhausting life.
I can’t fix where I am right now. But I can take each day, trusting God to provide, to uphold me, to give me comfort, strength, and rest.
There are moments each day when the words of that song could be mine…
When parenting seems impossible… “Do You wonder as You watch my face, if a wiser one should have had my place?”
When I feel that I can’t possibly do all that needs to be done… “Help me be strong, help me be, help me.”
When I feel like just plopping down on the floor and crying… “Breath of Heaven, hold me together, be forever near me.”
When I feel like a failure in parenting, in work, in spiritual leadership, in relationships, in homemaking, in finances… “Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness, pour over me Your holiness for You are holy”.
And my original thoughts on that song, those thoughts were the thoughts of a woman who didn’t understand that life although beautiful will never be perfect. That being called by God to do something, big or small that requires courage and trust in Him, is not guaranteed to be smooth sailing.
Although I believe that in God’s perfect will my children would be raised by two loving parents, I believe that God has allowed this to happen in this fallen world and He has called me to walk this path trusting Him. Holding firmly to Him. Keeping my eyes on Him. Choosing Him over what I consider to be the path to fixing things.
Loving Him more than I love an unbroken, simple life.
That’s a difficult one, because I really really want things to be easier. I really really want the life I thought I chose.
God has allowed me to walk this path…to be on this journey…to live this life.
I think, like Mary, I hide His promises in my heart, I trust God and move forward, I seek wisdom, and I live honestly before God.
If that means sharing my struggle, my doubting thoughts, my angry musings, my frustrations, my fears…then that is what I will do, because I believe that God moves when we share..when we share each other’s burdens. When we open up our lives and and our hearts and say, “Let’s live this life together! Let’s walk side by side! Let’s trust God together! Let’s expect to see God do beautiful things in our lives!”