Withholding, My Grace

Everything is necessary that God sends. Nothing can be necessary that God withholds.
— John Newton

Surely we have ridden a ridiculous rollercoaster of emotions in the past two weeks. What looked as if it was a way out was simply oasis, temporary respite to keep me steadily walking in the dryest desert I have known thus far. As I have preached to others, I preach once more to myself: the desert is where God forms and forges His people to be His own. I thirst.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
— Matthew 7:7-11

My idol that longs and grasps and kicks and screams for control and success has flung itself onto the ground like a toddler mid-tantrum in public, I want, I want, I want. Are you really a good Father?

In walking, maybe being dragged, crawling through the past year, I can in peace say that He is, He always is, He is always good. The independent, first-born, stubborn brute I can be is finding out the hardest way possible, repeated over and over again, that weakness is the way. I can not ignore the list of “blessed bes” that Jesus proclaims, fighting to find a different direction when life does what it never fails to do. The paradox of a full lament is that it also seethes with hope, grace upon grace, never forgetting that His mercies are new every single day.

Look at all I have done and am not done doing. In this new Kingdom, even with stones in our pockets, cannot a jellyfish, or even a snake — still bring life? Have we not all been given bread and fish after all?
— Leslie Leyland Fields, Crossing the Waters

My cup overflows.