My dog is afraid of high pitched noises. Not all noises, but a lot of them. She’s afraid of the smoke detector when it beeps for a new battery. She’s afraid of the sound certain types of paper make when you turn them in a spiral. She’s afraid of the sound that scuffing tennis shoes make on tile. And most recently, she has become afraid of the sound that the recycling truck makes. Not the garbage truck, mind you, JUST the recycling truck. Which makes every other Monday morning a little out of the ordinary. Yesterday, I was in the shower, and Clancy was laying on the bathmat, when all of a sudden, all fifteen pounds of her charged the shower door, and she proceeded to try to claw her way in (thankfully, she failed). I’m thinking, what in the world? So, I turned the water off and listened. You guessed it: the recycling truck. Apparently, they don’t have MLK Day off. Needless to say, I turned the water back on and finished my shower, while the dog, tail tucked and shaking, paced about the bathroom.
But it got me thinking… How many times do we sit, clawing at God’s metaphorical shower door, trembling in the bathroom? We don’t need rescue. We just need to realize we’ve already been rescued! I’m sick of the whining. And I’m guilty of it too. But for real, we could all find something to wallow in. Clancy “thinks” (I realize she’s a dog, but the illustration is a good one) that it is completely rational to fear the big green truck. And she let it ruin her morning – a perfectly good one at that.
I don’t think God’s angry. I wasn’t angry at Clancy yesterday, but I did want to shake a little sense into her because I could see the bigger picture: that she was on the third floor of a (fairly-)well-constructed home. I wonder if God doesn’t feel the same way when I work myself into a tizzy about the traffic or that thing that happened sophomore year or even something a touch more significant like, “where the heck is my husband?!” If we choose to wallow in self-pity or choose to whine about things we cannot change, even if they really are bad, we will do little more than end up trembling on the bathmat while God shakes His head, wondering why we don’t trust Him even just a little more than we fear the world. Why are we clawing to get in when He tells us to approach with confidence (Hebrews 4:16)?
I’m not advocating masking over things or suggesting that there aren’t some very real tragedies that happen in our lives. I want to feel deeply. I want to be real. When I am hurt, I want to sob real tears into the shoulder of a very real God (or some very real person). When I am frustrated, I want to tell Him. When I am lonely, I want Him to be there. And then, I want Him to heal me! I want Him to fill me up with Him to the point that I don’t want for anything else to the point of misery. I don’t just want to tell my problems to an “understanding ear.” I want to tell someone who can darn well do something about it! And then, I want to celebrate with Him and with those He gives me. I don’t want to be a robot. But I don’t want to whine. I don’t want to my faith to shake at the sound of the recycling truck. I don’t want to beg for rescue while the very Creator and Savior of the world looks on. I’ve been rescued. I’ve nothing to fear and nothing to whine for.
I don’t want to sit trembling on the bathmat, clawing at the shower door anymore… And to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to watch you do that either! There is a passion within me to see people live in His freedom, and sometimes, it makes me feel not really compassionate when someone wants to feel sorry for themselves (not when someone is hurting but when someone is just wallowing – choosing to stay stuck in some kind of misery). I’m sorry; I’m just not that into it. We were created for LIFE, and that life in abundance. Nothing has the power to steal us from the presence of our God or the joy that is found there! If we’re empty, He tells us to come to Him. If we’re tired, we’re to come to Him. You know why? Not because he’s so “nice” and “understanding” but because in Him we find rest for our souls; we find joy for our mourning; we find reconciliation where we’ve got nothing but turmoil; we find a peace that passes understanding. We find Him. And He says He’s enough.
Do we believe Him?