At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
I've been putting off this post. Mostly because although I finished reading Rebekah Lyons' Freefall to Fly two weeks ago, I'm still thinking through a lot of what she said and trying to decide what to do with it.
It's hard to read a book about finding the life you were designed for when you don't have much of a say in what you do with your current time. I can think and pray all I want about what my gifts and passions are, but the truth is that the minutes and hours of my life are taken up with four fuzzy heads and the bodies attached to them. Then there's trying to keep the house from turning into a crumb/fur/dirt pit, putting food on our yogurt-finger-printed table, making sure that my best friendship with the Man stays strong, and, if I'm lucky, doing something for myself, like running or--hey!--writing.
So the idea of sitting down and thinking through whether or not I'm "living the life I was designed for" or even exploring the idea that there might be a different purpose for me down the road? Yeah: terrifyingly overwhelming.
And that's okay. There are seasons. And I really am enjoying this one, even if I'm using some of my gifts while putting the rest on a back burner. I know that, in an acceptable time, I will be in a different season which I will enjoy in different ways at which point I might reread Lyons' book.
Lyons also spends a significant portion of the book talking about her own struggle with depression and anxiety. One of the questions she raises is "Why is there rescue and there is not?" I get this. How many times did I hear of others who found healing from their depression and question why it wasn't me? I wondered what was wrong with me. Did I just not have enough faith? Did I not want it enough? So when Lyons' asks, "Why is there rescue and there is not?" I asked with her. Yes, even now when, as far as I can tell, I have been rescued. Why is there not rescue for a dear friend of mine who still daily walks through the shadow? Why is there not rescue for the millions of people whose anguish cries for an end?
At the same time that I was reading Freefall to Fly, our chaplain spoke on Psalm 28. The psalmist spends the first 5 verses calling out to God in despair and then the last four verses praising God for his salvation. There is no obvious transition between. Our chaplain asked, "How do we get from verses 1-5 to verses 6-9? How do we help others get there?"
Because, sometimes there is rescue and there is not. It is so easy for those of us who are in the rescue portion of our lives to want to drag those stuck in verses 1-5 with us into verses 6-9. But we can't. We can't fix them. We can't rush them. We ourselves cannot rescue them. Christ is the only one who can, and here is the truth, sometimes, just like with finding our purpose, there are seasons. And, in an acceptable time, there is rescue. Even if sometimes God's acceptable time takes a lot longer to get here than we sometimes wish. In the meantime, we pray, and we encourage, and we hope, and we share our stories, and we wait.