When Life is (Too) Good
I’ve alluded in times recent to a particularly painful season our personal family and church family have weathered. As a little time passes, resolution is giving way to remedy and it is to the great glory of God we remain in one piece. Peace. What a lovely word and lovelier still the sigh of it but in it also lies the rub. What does one do when the tears that threatened to wash her away are blotted dry by relative ease? Am I the only woman who doesn’t know how to rightly settle into her rest because she has become so accustomed to battle? And perhaps, in a toxic, codependant way, come to depend upon it for her spiritual well-being?
In all His dealings with the Israelites, do not miss the importance the Lord placed on dwelling rather than securing. In the midst of conquest, His beloved were to strap on the shield of holy confidence knowing their God would fight on their behalf and supernaturally empower them to be the mightier of the warriors on the field that day. No commandment or Levitical instruction is provided for their training – at least in the traditional sense. However, the finger of God wrote furiously for forty solid days to teach His children how to simply be. How to hold it together when no external pressure offered any assistance. How to relate to Him and to one another in the dailiness rather than the disaster. It’s not as easy as it seems.
These are thoughts I’m working through as I prepare to teach a retreat next weekend. I’ve come to some conclusions but I don’t want to offer them as a spoiler just yet. Just know this: there is a dangerously thread-thin line between dwelling in peace and being at ease in complacency. We determine where we fall on any given day based upon whom or what we find our delight. Oh that He would be our satisfaction and, for Pete’s sake, I wouldn’t be so prone to wander when the temperature on the furnace is turned down a few degrees.
I know it’s been quite some time since I’ve said hello but please know this little website and you who still read when I make an appearance are never far from my heart and mind. As life continues to settle, I will wade back in. Y’all are a joy to me and I appreciate your kind notes more than I can ever express to you. In the meantime, please allow me to pick your brains. Are you in a state of peace at the moment? Either way, what is your greatest struggle when life is (too) good?
Wow! This was very helpful for the season I am walking through at this very moment. I can see how I became complacent thinking all is good. Now, I am acutely aware that this is spiritual warfare and I have to keep my eyegate and eargate open and unobstructed so that I can see the Salvation of the Lord and hear His Voice!
I just love and respect you sweet girl! Big hugs to you!
Lisa, I to have been in this season for what seems like forever. We had a bit of church turmoil in our church and in a business meeting battle lines seemed to be drawn…those who wanted to move forward and serve God and those who wanted to remain in the past and hold on to traditions and feelings of self. It ultimately caused a church split, and after several months of allowing the dust to settle, I got so complacent in my walk and the relief of “I am glad that’s over” that I allowed people to drag me right back into the mud and muck. I was of course devastated asking “God, how could you have let this happen again?” It wasn’t until we ALL stepped back a bit, removed ourselves and got ourselves out of the way that God began to work in our church.
Now we are a vibrant growing congregation that serves God in the manner in which God requires, that is honoring to Him and Him alone.
Complacency is a very hard lesson to learn. It is hard to be in a place of dwelling in peace when you are waiting for the next ball to drop. I can honestly say that things are at a “dwelling in peace” situation in our church at this time and I am no longer waiting for the ball to drop. We are keeping God as the focus, and pressing on for the high calling in Him. Those who want to climb aboard will get the ride of their life. Those who don’t….well they will be left at the train station asking “Where did that ball come from?”
Love you writings. They always inspire me and lift me up.
Thanks for sharing,
I love that thought that there is a fine line between Peace and complacency. I have found myself there as well. Thanks for the Word. Looking forward to more thoughts. Love you.
Complacency in who they are and in what they church “was” in the past is causing lots of pain in my life right now. I think the folks see it as peace rather than complacency…..of course, then, maybe they are just happily complacent….not sure. Either way it might be my undoing…..
My greatest struggle is not knowing when to stop celebrating! … the war is over and victory is ours. Even in the midst of another hurdle flung my way, I still want to shut it out, pretend it doesn’t exist, and keep on keeping on with the victory celebration over the previous “win”. After all… I don’t do conflict well. It’s painful and …. well, icky. :)
For me it is two sides of the same coin…..One side gets to thinking how well I have done. How well I am holding it together. My eyes want to turn inward and not upward. The other side is covered with fear of the other shoe falling. Waiting for the next round of drama to occur. It is a deliberate effort on many days to not only remember and say Jesus has this, but to walk it out. To not be given in to either side of that coin.
* and it is 5:00 in the morning so I hope this still makes sense at 8:00:)
I just recently stumbled upon your blog. My husband is a youth pastor and I look forward to gleaning encouragement and advice from your insights. Thanks for sharing your experiences. When life is on the upside I find it difficult to make my alone time with God a priority.
April 5th, 2012 at 11:13 am
I wanted to post that as myself. Sorry!
OUCH! Now I’m wondering, am I just being complacent? Darn it! I’d been struggling to find peace and sort of just walked away from “worrying” about it. Now I’m concerned….is it because I’m simply neutral?
Either way, something to ponder. Missed you, Lisa.
Walking through the fire…..refines us, right? Doesn’t mean there aren’t smears of ashes and smut left behind.
Praying….because I understand.
Great post. I look forward to seeing you next weekend at GSBC.
.My struggle in life now is the amazing generosity of the congregation. I’m just amazed at what happens when there’s a need. I’m a new pastor’s wife. three & a half years ago we started a church. I’m been so speechless, really just don’t know what to say to these kind hearted saints. I don’t ever think we should be so special to get the gifts we do. I want to always have a heart of thankfulness. Thank you so much for your words! Be blessed!
I find peace to be a choice that I make based on my belief in God. There is not always peace in our ministry situation but there can be peace in my heart/home/relationships. I wish I could report to you that I ALWAYS choose peace. I am working to do so. Sometimes in my humanness I choose strife, anger, bitterness or something that cannot coexist with peace. I pray continually that the Peace of Christ will rule in my heart and mind.
Thanks, Lisa, for your openness and honesty with your life and ministry. You have touched my heart.
I LOVED reading this post and am guessing your speaking event is now or coming up very soon. So I have prayed that God would give you wisdom and discernment, backed by the authority of His word, may you go forth.
I think I would say I’m in a state of peace at the moment. (Or perhaps its my sinus infection that has kept me in bed for two days and the side effects of my medicine). jk.
My greatest struggle when life is too good would be my propensity to be overly independent, and not dependent upon the Lord. Aka – idolization of self
Thank you for giving me your input. Helpful doesn’t cover it. Y’all are the best. :)