I’m an only child. And yes, it IS all about me. No, just kidding (well, maybe). Truthfully, the nasty rumors you’ve heard about only children are not always true. We don’t always dwell in the selfish realm of “medom”. We do share our stuff, and we do enjoy being around other people. Most of the time. We are social creatures, dare I say… even friendly? Just remember to keep the conversation focused on us!
Now we only kids have a few quirks. We enjoy being alone more than some. We don’t require the constant social interaction of another person. We enjoy reading, watching a movie or surfing the internet without the company of the entire house. Sometimes we crave solitude.
Personally, one thing about being an only kid is that I don’t like games. I always thought it was because I was unaccustomed to playing them, but it turns out that I’m extremely competitive. In some of my “not so glamorous moments” I’ve become quite mean about winning. I don’t lose well and I have been known to pout. At least I can admit it!!!!!
In my mind, losing is failure, and failure is unacceptable. That same quest for perfection and that over competitiveness is evident in my entire life. In everything I do. And sometimes the need becomes an issue because I don’t wait on the Lord to guide my thoughts. When I begin relying on myself, my need to be perfect, and my impatience (the same “only child” traits) I usually get into trouble.
The Lord uses failure in our lives to not only strengthen our reliance on him, but teach us His will. I cannot count the times that I’ve sat back watching my failure and wondering why my plans never work out. Well, it’s because it should have been His plan, not mine..
Second we need to wait for his guidance. John 11 in the New Testament tells the story of the death of Lazarus. This is a wonderful story of Jesus raising the dead. And while there are dozens of interesting facts in this chapter, the one that stands out to me is that Jesus waited two days after hearing of Lazarus’ illness to go help him. And while clearly the important fact here is the raising of the dead, I believe there are other important facts that are somewhat hidden in the story. It’s Martha. Martha is so upset that she goes to meet Jesus and of course the dialog that ensues is wonderful.
As I was studying this passage, I put myself in Martha’s position. Her beloved brother is dead. She is obviously distraught. She must have been questioning her faith. Let’s face it; we all question His will when we are forced to wait outside our comfort zone. But how much stronger was her faith AFTER Jesus raises her brother two days later? Obviously the miracle of raising the dead is phenomenal in any context. But after two days, I would bet she doubted. And I would guess she was wondering what she could have done differently? Should she have gone to see Jesus earlier? I would guess she was frustrated. These are all very human emotions. And then He says “"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
He was reassuring her that He is Life. And yes, He can raise the dead, but what more can he do for our everyday lives? Amazing. In this story, He is THE bright Light in Mary and Martha’s darkness.
So when I get impatient, and start to make my OWN plans, I try to think about those two days that Martha and Mary spent. My minor impatience couldn’t compare to those two days.
I’m certainly not perfect at waiting, trying to do it myself, and jumping ahead, but I’m learning more and more to be patient. And I can tell you, by giving Him the problem, I don’t have to shoulder the trouble and the outcome of it.
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