I was out this past Saturday for my baby shower and my oldest daughter asked my husband what he planned to do that day. "I don't have any plans really," he said.
"Mommy always has a plan," she replied.
She knows her mama well. I'm a task person. I make lists. I keep a detailed planner. I like thinking up projects around the house. Sometimes this is a benefit to my family, and sometimes it's a strain.
But God is slowing me down these days. At 36 weeks pregnant, my ankles swell when I'm on my feet for long. I get tired by lunchtime. I have limited patience, limited energy. I know the challenges will only change with life with a newborn.
But I think this is a gift, these limitations.
You see, I think God is showing me that my busyness is often running ahead of the pace of the Holy Spirit. I can't BE like Jesus because I'm so busy DOING things, trying to solve problems, thinking too much, attempting too much.
Galatians 5:25 says, "If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit." I have always pictured this verse as me running and scrambling to try to keep up with the swiftly moving Spirit. Have you? "Catch up slow poke! Get in the game!" And maybe this is the case at times. But what if keeping up with the Spirit can also mean slowing my steps to match His?
Joni Eareckson Tada, a woman intimately familiar with a forced slow-down (a quadriplegic since a teenager), says about this verse in a post here:
"The meaning here is not about keeping pace, as if the Spirit were racing ahead and we'd better hurry up and keep up with him; rather, it has to do with measuring one's moments in a circumspect way.... the implication here is lining ourselves up with the Spirit day by day, hour by hour. Keeping life on a short leash ... step by step, Lamentations Chapter 3 says that God's strength, his mercy is available one day at a time . . . . The environment in which to learn how to be content is a world of minutes and moments and very small steps. As someone once said, "When life isn't the way you like it, like it the way it is" - one day, one hour at a time... with Christ. And you will be blessed."I'm reading Unbroken and in it, Louie Zamperini is stranded at sea for 47 days after his bomber crashes. He discovers that for the first time in life, he's able to think and carry out thoughts for hours at a time. For the first time He is impressed with the knowledge of a Creator as he stares up at the stars from his life raft. He begins to see this terrible time as a strange gift. (I'm completely fascinated by this book, by the way).
I'm catching a small glimpse of this in the gift of my current limitations. And I suspect that God will be using various circumstances my whole life to "hem me in" (Psalm 139:5) in this way. Will I fight against this hemming or learn from it?