I love making a list, completing a task and marking through it. I love the feeling of “done”. This whole process makes me feel organized and in control.
I hate the lists that never get completely finished. They are a reminder to me of what’s “undone”. I know that’s kind of the purpose of a list but my lists always seem to have so many undone things and the same undone things keep popping up and then I believe the lie of the Liar that “I am undone”. You can read more about that here. However, that crazy talk is not my biggest problem. Read on.
I know I need help with all my lists. There’s not a task I have to do today or any day that gets completed without the grace and goodness of God supplying and equipping me with all that I need.
But what I really, really need help with is the “needs-to-get-done-but-i-can’t-figure-it-out” list. Did you get that? I can’t figure it out. Sound the air horn. Snicker and point. Slap your knee. Try not laugh. It’s not funny. Whine. Sniff. Sniff. I can’t figure it out. I can’t fix it. I can’t cross it off my list.
Mind you this list does not include things like:
- Cleaning the spots on the carpet (Have you been to my house?)
- Losing ten pounds– again. (I found the ones I lost last year)
- Figuring out Photoshop (I need a tutor to explain Photoshop for Dummies—seriously)
- Lessons plans for the coming school year (Is it summer yet?)
All those things are kind of important and I need and want to do them.
But the list that really gets me is a list that’s not even written down. Those concerns and challenges and issues that just won’t go away are swirling around in my head and popping up in conversations with friends and loved ones. They’re big things. But I’m a smart, resourceful, hard-working girl. I should be able to figure it out.
Sitting at the red-light this morning my mind was racing around the new thing that I cannot figure out. This little irritation is part of a bigger issue that mocks me weekly. Pray about everything.
“Lord, help.” I prayed
At home I texted my husband so he could help me figure it out. Epic fail. (Not him. The figuring it out part.)
I sat down to write here because sometimes that helps me. The crazy never takes a break.
“Must. Figure. It. Out.,” she says in her lamest robot voice.
The phone rings. My husband is calling from work. Ah! He must’ve figured it out. Yay!
“Hey, what are you doing?’
“Oh, just sitting here.”
“So what are we going to do about _____________?”
“We’ll, I don’t know. I can’t figure it out.”
“Tonight we will pray about it.”
(Really? That’s it? I mean I like praying and I like having prayers answered but I need to figure this out and the sooner the better. Call me back if you figure it out. Yep. That’s pretty much what I was thinking.)
“OK. Sounds good. Talk to you later. Bye.”
I hung up the phone.
I recalled a verse from my Bible reading over a week ago and I looked it up. Joshua 3:8 says, “You shall, moreover, command the priests who are carrying the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” I also recalled my thoughts last week as I read it— imagining what that must have felt like to them—fearful of the waters of the Jordan at flood stage. Waters beyond the control of its banks rushing before them the way my thoughts do at red-lights and midnight. Step in and stand still.
Step in and stand still.
I read on through chapter 3. Verse 13 says, “It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap.”
The key word here is rest.
Not step in and stand still.
Standing still doesn’t ensure that I’m resting.
Then in verse 15 I see this parenthetical reference: (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest).
Harvest. The season when ripened crops are gathered.
Stand still and rest.
He was speaking—the written word and spoken word. I was listening.
I grew up in a family of gardeners. I’ve helped harvest ripened crops. It does not involve standing still and resting. Ever. There is work to be done. Hard work. Toil and sweat and bug bites and blisters.
There is work to be done here in my life, too. Hard work. Lists to be made and problems to be solved.
Figure it out. Talk and worry and talk about it some more.
“Weary, restless, and controlling one stand still. Rest. It’s harvest time.”
Stand still and rest? At harvest time?
I still haven’t figured it out. Any of it. But I’ve been reminded again today that He has.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7
“Be still and know that I am God.”Psalm 46:10
I sense that this isn’t the end of His lesson. I’ll let you know when I figure it out. Just kidding.
I’ll be standing still and resting….
and looking for the harvest.