Oh, but I did. The Devil crept in sneakily and placed a nasty little seed that grew and grew. And it seemed so benign at the time, it even felt like I must be a good person for feeling it. Do you know what it was? Guilt. Nasty-little-you-should-be-doing-better guilt.
Okay, my husband and I have been traveling abroad for years now. When I evaluate it objectively and pray about it, I always know that this is God's path for us. Sure, I remind myself that we won't always be skiing the Andes and scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. At any moment life can change and take us in a different direction. It will be fine as long as we are careful to listen to God's voice.
But, even though I love my life, exhilarate with each beautiful experience and each precious life that touches us, here lately I've felt worry, doubt, and guilt cloud my heart. Because, there are people whom I love deeply who I'm not helping by being away from them. And so the evil thoughts grew. I stopped listening to God's voice and started praying for what I wanted. I wanted to fix my life so that all my ducks were in a row, everyone was happy, and I wasn't doing anything wrong. And if and whenever I quieted my fervent prayers long enough to hear His voice He kept telling me, "Your place is with your husband. You are where I want you to be." Over and over he would reassure me but my worry fought him, my guilt started to drown out his reassurances, and then came the horrid nightmares tormenting me even in my sleep.
Then, it happened. Yesterday, we were driving to church. The sun was shining on the surreal green hills of Tumbarumba, the little town where we are staying. I looked out the window and the beauty of it all took my breath away. Yet, running on the heals of that joy was a wave a guilt and those prayers started again. "God, show me how to help my loved ones. Create a path for me that will allow me to serve them. Please God." His reply came quietly, with peace.
You're place is with your husband. You are his helpmate. This is where I've placed you.
"Oh, but God, show me how to help my loved ones. Help me to help them."
And then came words brilliant, clear and chastising. And, so, so, simple.
I am your Master.
The words of my Heavenly Father--perfect in their simplicity. Those four words showed me how I tugged and pulled and rejected His will for me with every worry and guilt-filled thought and prayer. The well-being of my loved ones had become an object between me and God.
Ouch. And I think I even felt proud that I was thinking of loved ones and cared about them. How sneaky of the Devil to take a seed of guilt and make it grow into a valley of thorns between me and God.
So, I'm changing my prayers. I'm changing my thoughts. I'm slowly clearing away the thorns and that means I must let God have the well-being and happiness of my family. I'm putting them in His capable hands. I belong to God and He will use me as He will.
My heart sings an old Hymn this Monday morning, "Have thine own way, Lord. Have thine own way. You are the potter. I am the clay. Mold me and make me, after thy will. 'Till I am waiting, yielded and still."
I can't wait to call my parents and tell them how much I love them. Now I can say it without feeling guilty. I can call my siblings and tell them how beautiful and amazing are their lives...they don't need me. God has them. God loves them. He's watching over us all.
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way! Thou art the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way! Search me and try me, Savior today! Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now, as in thy presence humbly I bow.
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way! Wounded and weary, help me I pray! Power, all power, surely is thine! Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way! Hold o'er my being absolute sway. Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see Christ only, always, living in me!
Have Thine Own Way, Lord
Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1934