Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Way of Rescue

 "Savior, he can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save. He is mighty to save."

I love this song. I loved it three years ago, too. I've always sang it like I meant it.

Three years ago, Cory and I both had well-paying jobs. We had fantastic medical insurance (though we found it terribly unfair that dental x-rays were our expense.) We lived in our dream home and shoveled extensive money into renovating it into something truly beautiful.

Each night, we climbed the stairs to kiss Ruby's cheeks then crossed the hall to kiss Calvin's. They were happy kids and Calvin's illness seemed to be fading away.

We made plans to add Silas to our family and paid for him with cash. We flew to places like Jamaica and Dominican Republican each summer and left the kids with the Grandmas.

Of course, we did "good" things with our money, too. We wrote out tithe checks (we didn't wince), we sponsored 2 Compassion kids. If a friend needed help, we helped. We were happy to help. We never thought twice because we didn't have to. Our giving was joyful, but it was also painless.

We didn't think of ourselves as "rich", mostly because we drove cars from the 90's and didn't have cable tv. But if I wanted a new purse from TJ Maxx, I bought it and $300 for an impractical but stylish lamp didn't seem unreasonable.

God was good, but He certainly didn't move mountains for us.

We moved them ourselves.

Then, one day, we woke up sick to death of all of it. It started to not make sense to live so wholly for ourselves. We craved a little risk (we feared it, too.) We started to tell God that we would do what He asked of us and braced ourselves for what happened next.

Here's what happened next:

I lost my job.
Cory lost his job.
We brought Silas home.
He wasn't happy at all.
We put our farm on the market.
It didn't sell.
Most people didn't understand us.
Some people abandoned us.
Cory got a new job - his dream job.
The medical insurance was sub-par.
Our house finally sold.
Calvin's illness advanced.
We moved into a little rental.
We paid out $13,000 in medical bills over six months.

God saved us by helping us let go of a home and lifestyle we loved. He saved us by allowing us to feel abandoned so he could be our friend. He saved us with a flimsy insurance plan that pays for almost nothing so that we could watch him provide. He saved us through the heartache of our littlest child. He saved us with scary words from the doctor.

He saved us from ourselves and once we started to get out of our own way, there was so much more room for Him. He didn't feel so theoretical, suddenly. He became as real as the couch I'm sitting on, as comforting as these pill-balled pajama pants.

It's not how I pictured it when I started asking Him to move in me. I thought moving would mean butterflies in my stomach, not tears in my eyes. I thought we would send more money to orphan relief and less to Memorial Hospital.

I wouldn't have chosen this, but that's the lesson for a control freak like me. It's not about what I think is best. It's not my $13,000, so what do I care? He has saved us by stripping away many of the things that insulated us from Him.

Tonight, I'm going out to dinner with Cory. I'm stopping in at Old Navy and I'll probably buy a shirt. We've decided that our life will be enriched if we pay a little extra for the flooring with the beveled edges.

We haven't abandoned all of the trappings of this world. We still have too much. We still want too much. We're greedy, sometimes. We focus on all the wrong things.

But in daring to live differently, even when the picture was blurry in the middle, God has taken the opportunity to really save us. We have witnessed his might. And we're all wide-eyed wonder.