But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord! Jonah 2:9 ESV
I thought I was being clever. I know that living in Christ means sacrifice. The issue was that I thought I could bargain for more time with my weaknesses, more time to ‘control’ my situation, more time with my pet sins.
More time without the pain of sacrifice.
So being incurably and incredibly clever, I tried to make a deal:
“Abba (‘Father’ or ‘Daddy’), I want to surrender all to you.
I want to surrender my earthly goods and resources, my ability to get things done, my right to an explanation, my desire to be liked, adored and generally well thought of, my desire to become a best-selling author, all of those things for you.
But I want to do it right; I want to write a surrender contract out in my own hand as I reminder of the things that I give to you. And in recognition of that, I am currently on the hunt for the perfect pen.”
But Abba, omnipotent, wise, loving and patient had a trick for me.
Two loving friends returned from Europe recently and as I greeted them, they looked at each other and then at me with wide grins.
“We brought you back something!!” The funny thing was I always thought that the perfect pen was the Mont Blanc Agatha Christy fountain pen, because nothing makes a contract water tight than a 2100 dollar pen, right?
No. A gift; small, but lovely and well thought out, given by friends full of boundless grace and kindness. With a nib that looks like it might well by flipping you off. That was as perfect as one could get and I knew that as soon as I saw it. Abba had said to me “oh, you need the perfect pen? It just so happens that it’s in Rome…and I know just how to get it to you.”
Our Heavenly Father is patient and kind, even with those of us who want to stay a little longer in the world. But He also at times shows slivers of the great joy that comes from serving him to encourage and embolden us.
Abba, thank you for your patience with me. Thank you for not giving up on me, but rather showing me that you are greater that my plans, schemes and fears. Thank you for friends that totally encourage my sense of humor and for pens that their writers off, proving that all things are for your praise.