Here I go on another read-along with my sweet sister Marla. Yet again, God is timely in his placing of these read-alongs on my life. So, where am I, and why is a study of James so needed in my life? Have a sit, and let's talk...
My sweet husband and I received a call about a month ago about a girl who needed a family to adopt her, and based on what we had previously told my friend who works at a placing agency, our hearts were longing for just this girl. Well, honestly when we got the call, our hearts were not longing for this girl, and we felt very unready to say yes, but in theory this is the kind of kid we were thinking of when we talked about adoption. After several hours apart, praying while going about our day, we convened in the kitchen for a talk about the girl that God had placed in our hearts through one little phone call. As we each voiced our concerns, the other one would say "But God..." and then that concern seemed so invalid. This "But God" has been rolling around in my brain for about 6 months, so it's no surprise that God used those two simple words to warm my heart of clay to his intentions.
We expected her home any day now, and she is still not. We are in the midst of limbo, and it is the ugly, sticky, grey kind of gut-wrenching, faith-mocking, heart-breaking waiting that our hearts are unable to comprehend. There are days where I feel like I can't pray because my prayers feel too bitter to express. There are many days where James 1:2-4 are just a reminder of how little I trust God to give me the gift of children. How can I count it as joy when my heart yearns for the unseen? At what point will my faith be tested enough to produce steadfastness? When will my lacking of my daughter, the piece of my heart I didn't even know existed a month ago, be taken away and my joy fulfilled? Oh my soul, cling to your God!
But God has reminded me this week to ask for wisdom. There is so much I don't know, and may never know about my daughter, but I have to make decisions on her behalf before she is "officially" mine. Those decisions do not have to be made out of the combined pea-brain power of my brain and my husbands. I can ask my Father for wisdom, and he will give graciously to me without mocking me for my need. And God reminds me to hurry up and listen, be quiet, and slow my roll. (James 1:19 Dani Standard Version or DSV.)
Then I start to read the verses about bridling my tongue, and there is a big gulp that resounds in the chasms of my heart. My tongue gets away from me often, mostly because I take pride in it being unbridled. I am not good at all about shutting my mouth. The "be still and quiet" passages of the Bible are ones that I LOVE quoting to others, especially the horde of teenagers God has blessed me with, but really don't like to hear them for myself. There are rare times when I say things and then take a step back and say "Whoa! That was awesome!" More often though, I step back and say "Ugh! How does that meanness (ugliness, selfishness, etc.) come out of a heart that God has recreated?" How can I pray on the phone with a sweet girl who is struggling with loneliness, and then turn around and be sarcastic to my husband? And what do I do about it?
I NEED to receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save my soul. The Word has become flesh and dwelt among us, more fully within those who have believed. I need to receive Him in meekness. God in his mercy reminds me of 1 Peter 3:1-6, and then gently reminds my troubled heart that he is my good and perfect husband. Lord help me, I need a gentle and quiet spirit!