Inconvenient Learning

I have always enjoyed learning. I enjoy reading…not so much for escape but to glean something..to be stretched. I have a shelf full mishmoshed of psychology books, self help, apologetics, theology, inspriration, holistic living and other randomness.

It seems the only way I really learn is not always in the way I prefer comfortably sitting on a couch with book in hand and a cup of coffee. The most powerful moments of teaching…learning, growing…not from a book…but rather from the inconveniences of life.

My daughter Mikayla ended up in the hospital for about a week for pneumonia and breathing problems. About 3 days later my older daughter Maiah ended up in the ER for severe dehydration from a stomach virus. Both of these events for me as a mom were scary.

Its scary to watch your four year old struggle to breath. Its frightening to see your child pale, vacant and fragile from dehydration. These two events were not only hard and emotionally, physically draining for us as parents but they were also frustrating and honestly inconvenient. I have 4 kids…hospital stays are not easy when you are juggling several other children at home. It’s not convenient to watch your 4 year old get an IV or force her to wear an oxygen mask. It’s not convenient to worry if your child will be okay, if the doctors are helping or making things worse with all of their medications, poking, prodding, X-rays etc.

It’s not convenient to sleep in those sleeper sofas night after night either….but I did however inconveniently learn a few things 1) My kids arent really mine – God has entrusted them to me for such a time as this. He is in control of their every breath – I had to trust and learn that He was in control…..no matter what. I have read and struggled to trust God my whole life….its that whole human thing that just keeps getting in the way. But in the face of needing to trust was when I actually absorbed, believed and understood. The other thing that it did was open my eyes to something that I had not experienced before and that was to see a world that becomes some peoples normal.

There are those parents out there whose lives are spent living in hospitals, doctors visits, medication, minute by minute bedside with their precious cargo praying for God to heal..to rescue…to comfort. I have friends who have lived this life…at bedside with their babies inconveniently pressed on all sides. I caught a glimpse of something and learned empathy in a new way…because I experienced a glimpse of it. It seems like life’s inconvenience is pretty much the place where I personally tend to learn the most…and for most of us.

We all have a head full of knowledge; we know the Bible, we know how good relationships should work, we know how we should forgive, we know how we should trust God, we know that we are not in control…we know….we know a lot. I know a lot of information about God and I believe it too. I do believe that God is my provider but it isn’t until I have been in need that I have actually understood what that meant. To be in a place where on your own…drawing from an empty well…which we have all been before …to be in that place and to really know that my Provider – well..that its Him…its not my comfort and its not in my momentary conveniences…its Him, He is the water, He is the supply…but it isn’t until I need that I understand…it isn’t until that moment that I actually learn.

I believe God is my comforter, my Prince of Peace, my everlasting Hope…but it isn’t until hope appears lost, tangible comforts fade and my heart rages with uncertainty, insecurity and fear that I actually meet Him as those things that He promises…those things that my heart knows …and that is when I understand…that is when I truly learn. It isn’t until my doubts rent space in my mind that I learn to have faith…real faith, not just the “well God said it so Im determined and

Im going to believe it” no I mean the real, genuine, unwavering knowing that if God is for me who can be against me. The real faith that looks ahead at that steep mountain or walks into a deep valley and says “yes…all your promises are yes..and amen” It’s in the place of the lonely, the broken hearted, the ill, the faint of heart that all these things known actually become…understandable, real, truth…this is when we learn who God is as

Jehovah Jireh – My Provider

Jehovah Rapha – My Healer

Jehovah Nissi – My banner

Jehovah Rohi – My sheperd

The thing is, l I don’t need a Shepard if I know where I’m going, I don’t need a healer if I am whole….which I am not – apart from Him.  I am not whole and quite frankly I dont know where I am going without Him. His love pursues me in strange ways to gain all of me that I would be whole and not left wandering in and through Him and Him alone.

So, in a fallen world with many inconveniences I am at times forced to learn that which I thought I knew….again and again. Some lessons are harder than others…some trials break more of me than others…maybe you are walking through something right now that is inconvenient, something that is breaking you…something that is forcing you to learn…to understand and truly know that which you thought you knew…allow God to be those things that He promises – Faithful.

Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.