Delight is not found in resignation

An anonymous comment over at E’s blog brought this out…  I hope she reads this.

We are expected, as mature Christians, to be content in whatever circumstances are presented to us.  So often, this is presented as a virtue in … hm… near martyrdom.   “Though He doth slay me, yet I will trust Him”.  And that is *good* and *necessary* – in its place.  When sorrow comes, when tragedy lands on your lawn, it is good to have that attitude.  We give thanks in all times, yes?

But so often I find in my own life that this negative virtue makes it difficult to admit delight in the daily things, because things won’t always be as good as they are today.  Understood.  But I truly do not believe that we are to dwell on the potential sorrow of another day.  I don’t think it does anything useful for our characters.  In fact, as far as I can tell, we’re forbidden to do that…

Matthew 6: 34 So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

And we’re not supposed to fear anyone or anything except God.  In my experience, focusing on the potential negative makes me…

  • fear man
  • fear circumstances
  • spoils my joy
  • try to control things that aren’t my business
  • fear conflict

I was very touched by this commenter, because she said she’d walled herself off …. oh, dear anon.  I used to do that.  It saved me pain, and I understand all too well why you’d do that.  Allll too well.  If I could just hold your hand and cry with you a bit… /shakes head.  It may not be time for anon to take the walls down.  But for me, it is.  High time and long past.

It takes great bravery for me to be willing to admit when things hurt, to laugh in delight as the wind makes a flower dance, to show my inner emotions, to be transparent.  To exist without my shields up, to lean only on the Lord my Shield and my Defender, to trust in His provision, mercy and plan.   It is a terrifying dance between the desire to be known, utterly – and the desire to keep the parts of me that will cause discord all to myself.  To keep my ripples small.

But if I look at things from outside my walls, outside my immediate emotional response, I know that I don’t *want* small ripples.  I don’t want to change no one.  I want to bless everyone I speak to, touch, see – and I want them to carry that blessing of God along.  I want to be so tender that I soften hearts, I want to be so true that I shine the light on the darkness.

I can’t do any of that with my own walls, I have to trust that the Lord will shield me.

And the first step, for me, is to learn to rejoice.  To dance.  To delight.

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7 thoughts on “Delight is not found in resignation

  1. Heather

    Living behind a wall of defensiveness may seem safe, but it is also incredibly lonely.
    At least, that’s been my experience.

    Finding the freedom to love freely can be really uncomfortable at times. I’m still working on that.
    But it helps to ask the Lord to help you identify just one brick to pull out of the barricade to start with.

    I also hope your anonymous friend is able to read your thoughts here. Did you link back to E’s original so she can pick up the trail?

    Reply
  2. pukeko60

    We should not fear, nor should we be deluded that if we change we will be liked by those who hate righteousness: for the stink of the holy spirit, still lingering, will drive them to nausea.
    And this is why we pray lead us not unto temptation…

    Reply
    1. hearthie Post author

      I don’t worry about people not liking God or His presence in me so much as obsessing about whether or not I’m making people (specific people – but all the people in my life) happy all.the.time.

      Dwelling in God’s presence all the time is the only way through that that I’ve found, He’s strong enough to center me. I am NOT strong enough in myself, all I do is wash up endlessly on the rocks of pleasing one person or another. Painful. Pointless. Unpleasant.

      Weirdly, after the initial fear-storm, centering on God is better, and I seem to be more of a joy to others. Which is important to me, and always will be.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: New beginnings and Abram. | Dark Brightness

  4. Cranberry

    Well, I am an expert stone mason at this point. Every time I reach beyond my walls, I end up embarrassing myself, or hurting someone. They are very comfortable.

    But I don’t think I’m supposed to be inside them, not at all. As Heather said, I pray for some wisdom as to how to break them down, where to start.

    Happy New Year, Hearth.

    Reply

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