My heart has been battling some things lately. Things I can't even put to words because they are evasive and all muddled together. I try to sort them out so that I can figure them out but there they stay. Tucked away in my heart because I don't know what to do with them.
But in the midst of this I have heard my Saviour speaking. Through His own words as found in scripture, which is how I believe He almost always chooses to speak to us. Words He spoke so long ago to another struggler named Peter.
When I am wrestling I hear Him...
Stacey, do you love Me more than these?
Yes, Lord, you know that I love you! I mean, haven't I left people I love to follow you? Haven't I sacrificed time and money, and sometimes my family, to serve you? Didn't I trust you even when my own little girl was suffering and when I held her lifeless body in my arms? How can you question my love for you, Lord? Haven't I proved it over and over?
Then feed my lambs.
But Lord, don't you see how I've denied you? How I've let fear and anxiety keep me from doing things I know you've called me to do? How I've denied the power I have in you and focused on my own weakness? Lord, I'm not worthy to feed your sheep. I'm so prone to wandering and losing my way. How can I lead your sheep when I can get so lost?
Stacey, do you love me?
Yes, Lord, you know that I love you! Haven't I endured misunderstandings and conflict for your name? Don't you see how I teach my children to love you? Didn't I keep silent and turn the other cheek like you asked of me? Why in the world would you ask me if I love you?
Then take care of my sheep.
Jesus, I think you have the wrong person for that job. I deny you all the time in the way I live my life. I can be such a mess. I struggle with pride and insecurity all at the same time. You don't want someone like me to be in charge of caring for your sheep! Most of the time, I can't even take care of myself!
Stacey, Do you love me?
Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you. Even when it hurts, I still love you. Even when I don't understand, I still love you. Even when it really makes me angry, I STILL love you! You know that I love you. Don't you?
Feed my sheep.
Really, Lord? Really?? Is it that simple? All of these things I struggle with and the questions that I have... are the answers really found in serving others? Or is it that the questions suddenly don't matter when you are reaching out in love? I don't know, God. I don't know what you are teaching me. Except maybe that all of the time spent in trying to figure things out should be spent loving your sheep. And from an eternal perspective, feeding your sheep is the only thing that matters.
Lord, I've still got issues. I probably always will. But, for today, I lay them at your feet. I will show you that I love you, not by figuring everything out, but by loving your lambs. Today, Lord, I will feed your sheep. And trust the rest to you. Because I know that you love me too.