My landlady graciously offered to buy me a new oven and I was thrilled. I waited in anticipation of this new oven!
I now have the new oven and I am grateful. The burners work wonderfully and it is beautiful and clean. But, of course, it isn't perfect. (shocking, I know! smile) This oven is smaller. My old oven was small. This oven is tiny. And, on Saturday I found out my oven dishes don't fit!
In a morning attempt to cook scones for breakfast, it became clear that all my oven pans and baking sheets don't fit. It was a moment that almost produced tears. Crazy, I know. Tears over an oven?? And tears over a beautiful, new oven, at that?!! But, ...my pans don't fit!? Frustration. ...even anger.
It is amazing what a very silly thing, like an oven and baking sheets, can show about the state of my heart. As I internally writhed and quaked over this desperate plight... this horrid oven... I knew at once that my emotional state (and outburst) had very little to do with the oven. And, yes, soo very little to do with the baking sheets.
You see, I am exceedingly frustrated these days with this "old" body of mine... this tent that God has given me to live in on earth. It really is very lame sometimes! Only a few "burners" work well and sometimes it is too hot and often not hot enough... okay, well maybe I am stretching the analogy too far. But you get the point. (smile)
My body is breaking down and I have suffered with this long term illness and pain too long... or so it feels. So it seems.
One would have thought I had long ago dealt with this emotionally. I have been dealing with this for over 25 years! But, I am learning that the Lord seems to have me on the same path over and over again.
Okay, He says, Now we re-visit My love. Now, we are back to re-visiting trust and surrender. Oh, it looks like it is time to re-walk the concept of grace.
And, okay, now it is time to re-visit suffering and pain.
Each time He and I journey down these familiar paths they are deeper, maybe even harder, and ...well, sweeter, too. So, again together we walk down the road of my personal pain. And, I process, lament, and learn.
I was reading in a beautifully tender book written by Amy Carmichael, Rose from Brier. From a place of pain, in the midst of pain and deep suffering, Amy writes about her journey. She talks about the need to surrender to the Lord. She writes about a place where one is able to say with a whole heart, "Dear Lord, yes."
When I read this, I was immediately annoyed by her advice. I was agitated. I still wanted to lament and writhe. I wasn't ready to say, "yes". Not yet.
But, sitting in my kitchen with my too-big baking sheets and my new lame oven, instantly I knew I needed to hold up my hands and say, with pain, "Dear Lord, yes". "yes"
Yes, dear friend Jesus, to an oven that won't fit my baking sheets.
Yes, dear Father, to an upbringing that was packed with pain and hurt.
Yes, dear All-knowing Father, to a body that is broken and suffering.
Yes, dear Lord. Yes.