Monday, November 24, 2008

In the Quiet Moments

The house is finally quiet. The boys have been asleep for an hour, and Dave is playing basketball. Here on the couch, underneath a warm blanket, I have almost forgotten how discouraged I felt several hours ago. My mind wants to be done with the bothersome parts of pregnancy, and
Dave and I at the MOPS hoedown this fall

to be able to just fully enjoy the coming of this little one. But apparently I have a different path to walk this time.

I usually don't feel like writing anything about this (I like to blog on the good days), but I was realizing today that by saying nothing, I am leaving out a big part of my life right now. And this blog is supposed to be my journal. I forget the purpose sometimes - in sharing only the "good", I am leaving out many of the moments where the Lord is actively teaching me something. Whether it's pretty or not, I really do want a way to remember the path the Lord is taking me down, whether it is the way I would have chosen or not. :)

Today I had to intentionally remind myself of this as I was bent over a grocery cart, contracting (probably just from dehydration) and trying to be a patient momma to my boys. The Lord has chosen this for me - morning sickness, contractions, boys who need lots of reining in, and all. Whether or not I would have chosen this kind of pregnancy, He is here. He is so very near to me. And He is working in my life. I am clinging to that today.

We've been studying the names of God in our Bible study, and today, Jehovah-jireh has been on my mind. God revealed Himself to Abraham in a unique way on Mount Moriah. Without questioning, without hesitation, Abraham willingly obeyed God at great cost to himself. He would be giving up his son, his hope for God's fulfilled promise. But despite the circumstances, he simply obeyed and looked ahead for the provision of God.

And He met Jehovah-jireh there. The God Who Will Provide, or literally, the God Who Will See to It.

Making Home, a blog I really appreciate, shared a portion of this My Utmost for His Highest devotion by Oswald Chambers on the life of Abraham yesterday:

God’s command is, "Take
now," not later. It is incredible how we debate! We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later— it must be done now...

"So Abraham rose early in the morning . . . and went to the place of which God had told him" ( Genesis 22:3 ). Oh, the wonderful simplicity of Abraham! When God spoke, he did not "confer with flesh and blood" ( Galatians 1:16 ). Beware when you want to "confer with flesh and blood" or even your own thoughts, insights, or understandings— anything that is not based on your personal relationship with God. These are all things that compete with and hinder obedience to God.

Abraham did not choose what the sacrifice would be. Always guard against self-chosen service for God. Self-sacrifice may be a disease that impairs your service. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; or even if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him. If the providential will of God means a hard and difficult time for you, go through it. But never decide the place of your own martyrdom, as if to say, "I will only go to there, but no farther." God chose the test for Abraham, and Abraham neither delayed nor protested, but steadily obeyed.

I have been tempted to say, many times this past week, "I don't know if I can keep doing this. I don't know if I can survive this." Haha! Not that I have the choice or anything, but obviously, I like to complain. :) Seriously, if I were to choose my own "sacrifice for God" I
Jere and Reagan went with us - you can see my pregnancy belly at about 12 weeks here

know it
wouldn't include puking, exhaustion, and feeling generally useless! No, I'd rather serve Him with energy and passion - I can think of a million things I'd rather do "for Him." It's probably a good thing it's not my choice! :) But instead I can view these months as my path of obedience - not just in order to hold another sweet little one in my arms, but also because this is what He's asked of me. And because His way is always best - no matter what it looks like. And because I am getting to know my God in a more intimate way as we walk this path together. I am so thankful to be learning His names - I feel so safe with Him, knowing that He is watching and sees my every need.

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Proverbs 18:10


Reagan said...

Aww I know it's been so hard for you compared to what you said the other pregnancy's were like. I'm prayin for you!

JadeMerie said...

Thanks for writing on my blog!
Love always,

Kari said...

I'm continuing to pray for you Rachel. May the Lord give you renewed strength and patience. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and struggles...I know that I find encouragement in what you share. Much love to you.
P.S. Do you guys know what you are having yet???

Eryn said...

i remember having those same thoughts while I was pregnant with autumn.
now, i miss being pregnant. crazy, huh?

Lynn said...

If I were to 'choose my own sacrifices for God' I'd choose all the ones that I would be good at handling, which then wouldn't be very sacrificial of me :) Remember when David said he wouldn't give to the Lord that which cost him nothing? A good reminder for me!

I've been thinking about Abraham and how, when God changed his name, He added the 'h' (breath) sound - which is like YHWH (which we now say Yahweh!) A constant reminder that is even in his name, when God says, "Abraham, I want you to offer Isaac..." It reminds me that anything God asks of me comes along with the promise that He is with me through it, and it will make me more like Him!

Yep, believe it or not, even puking and exhaustion makes us more like Christ :)

The Daniel Den said...

I love you and have been praying for you. I am so sorry this one has been difficult. It is never easy to be set aside for the Lord's work. But in the quiet of it all the Lord speaks to us in ways we do not hear if we are busy.
I will pray for His peace and Patience.
That is what I am trying to learn to.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you Rachel. So glad that a sweet little life is coming out of all this trial. Yeah for another cousin! Sonja

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for this post. I needed it. I am on the opposite end of the spectrum right now. HUGE!! not sleeping, heartburn like crazy, feeling so worn and tired all the time, and wondering will this ever be over. I have nothing to wear and just want to look normal again....your post was just what I needed to remind me of what God has in store and how he will sustain. Thanks.

jenica said...

I'm sorry you're so sick. I'll be praying for you. The fruits of your labor will be worth it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rachel. I just got back after putting Mom in the hospital. She hasn't been able to keep food down for almost a week. At 85 that leaves one very weak. Thank you for sharing that God will handle it. Just the word of encouragement I need today!

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing, Rach! I love you and am so thankful for your friendship and for your love for the Lord and desire to honor Him with your life. Praying for you today...that you will sense the Lord's strength and know that He will uphold you through this!

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