Wednesday, November 09, 2011

#221 "Divine Discontent"

I wrote a book, but I'm not a famous author.

I speak messages, but I'm not a famous "speaker."

I write words on a blog, but I'm not really a "blogger."

I don't know a famous musician, singer/songwriter.

I haven't traveled around the world to do mission work.

I can write. I can speak. I can blog. I can do good work. But at the age of 54, I am seeking. I'm still trying to figure it all out. I've got the "Who Am I?" question pretty down pat. Who I am in Christ, that is. That was no small feat, let me tell you.
I've learned to separate my "who" from my "do." It's that "do" part that's got me stumped.

It's hard to see the young women, seemingly "getting it" at such an early age. Oh, how I wish I had "gotten it" way back then. I would have been more committed. I would have been more forceful. I would have invested more. I would've let dishes pile and dust bunnies frolic, to make way for more of the important, the eternal, the best. I've reconciled all of that now too. Can't go back. Can't change a thing.

But God...

Can restore the years that the locusts have eaten.

Can redeem my stupidity, my mistakes, my straddling the fence.

Can make beautiful things from the ashes of my ignorance.

But what about now? The here and now.

I convinced myself that I am in a season of rest. Ceasing from all the "do's" of late, it would appear that I am resting from the work. A book published. A speaking engagement done. Family life calmer now.

Nothing calm about what I'm feeling inside. I want more. I want to be closer. I have a longing that I cannot put into words. As the deer pants.

"Divine Discontent", my friend Phillis used to call it. Ya, that's it.

Asking, seeking, knocking. Tears streaming. Telling God, "You know what I mean."

Even when I don't know what I mean.

Let His Holy Spirit pray with all manner of groaning.

Maybe the longing itself is the answer to prayer.

Maybe the longing is really the beginning.

But the beginning of what?

Ah. That's the hard part. The. Beginning. Of. What.

He made promises to me. Will He be like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails?

He and I have a covenant, don't we? I cut my life in two and arranged the halves. The day He passed between the pieces and made a promise.

I've seen it from a distance. I've tasted a bit. I've been close enough to grasp, but never close enough to apprehend.

As best as this human brain can comprehend, I feel like I know.

So I make my way up Mount Moriah. My Isaac's bundled in my arms. My hands that write. My lips that speak. My heart that longs. Hopes. Dreams. Expectations. Even those I love so dearly. 

With every step, with every breath, saying, "Even if He takes this, He will provide."

I arrange it all on the altar. A divine exchange.

With the One who gave it all to me in the first.

It was never mine to begin with. So I give it back to Him.

My hand raised, knife in my grip. Perhaps He will stay my hand.

If I do not withhold from Him, my Isaacs.

Perhaps not.

But if He takes them from me, I will still say, "The Lord will provide."

God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.

God Himself DID provide the LAMB for the burnt offering.

Is that not what all of my soul-seeking has been looking for all along?

"If you try to save your life, you will lose it. But if you give it up for me, you will surely find it."
(Matthew 10: 39 CEV)



  1. This was beautiful. I feel your struggle and your heart in every sentence as, I too, feel the same way. Is it part of a mid life crisis, is God getting ready to move in mighty ways, or is he saying rest; that he has passed on the batton to others?

  2. Wow -- we seem to be on the same wavelength if you combine last week sdg post with this week's post.

    Isn't it freeing to find our identity in Him and not in what we do?? Love discovering this with you!

  3. this is one of the hardest scriptures to wrap your head around...why would god ask that...but then of course he does provide...

  4. Recently I have thought this when I observed some of the dynamic young women I know! Thanks for sharing this, it was good for me to read and ponder. Thanks!

  5. must be something about age 54...I could have written this...well not as well...but the same struggles...I have found a deep place of peace...finding my worth in the doing...but a restlessness in this new season is rumbling deep inside of me...
    And i all these young ladies and I wish I would have gotten it too at a younger age...
    thanks for the post....
    Blessings as we both abide as we find "our place in this world"....

  6. Donna, this was written so powerfully and beautifully. I struggle with resting when I know I should. I think because I've "wasted" so much precious time when I could have been doing much more meaningful work for God, I feel like I need to do it all now...before I get any older. I need to cram it all in during this season of my life. I'm not always convinced that's what God wants me to each day I start in prayer and try to walk where He leads me. :-)

    Blessings my friend,

  7. Hi Donna - I loved this post. I felt like you were in my head. So many of the same questions. I will be following your blog and I just wanted to say, thank you, for linking up with my Winsome Wednesday Bloghop. I really appreciate it and hope to see you there next week.
    God bless

  8. that finishing verse... wow i needed to read that. man, the conviction of trying to save our own lives!!!!! pondering.....

  9. i know this divine discontent so well, dear donna... and i don't know if i'll ever "get it." perhaps this, the longing for who God made us to be when we are in his presence? bless you, e.

  10. Lord take all of me,
    my hopes desires and dreams,
    my family, My life.
    I lay them down, I give you all of my life,
    and even if you were never to give them back to me. I will still love you. I will still desire to know more of you.
    The cry of our hearts to know him more.
    I know what you are saying about we are not what we do.. but in essence what we do adds up to all he has made us. Every life experience he has given us for his glory, that we may share with others, I am nothing without him, I do not even exist yet he has blessed me with all that I am and do..and yet I know if it were all gone tomorrow he will still be all..
    There is much to ponder.
    Blessings to you.

  11. Donna - are we kindred spirits or what? I have been stuggling with many of the same issues of late. One of the things you said really touched home (being 54 and wishing you had got it at a younger age.) I'm 53 and wish the same thing. At times I feel God is ready to move me in a new direction, yet other times that I am to "be still and know."

    Thank you for this post. I know God will provide the answers for us all.

  12. I can relate to your feelings! Found you at Lisa Jo's place:

  13. Beautifully written. I too am a spiritual late bloomer with many regrets. But it's not ever about what we do that saves us. It's all about what He has done: His promise, His righteousness, His obedience, His cross, His life in us!

    Visiting from Finding Joy favorite Friday.

  14. Visiting from Beholding Glory - thanks for these thoughts. I identify with you (and I am even older than you) - always, a deep longing for more, more of Him.

  15. The Lord has a beautiful plan for your life, Donna. Lots of love.

  16. My, you sound like an echo of me! I kept loading on the "ministries" and "do's," and still felt the restlessness and the need for more - thinking, more to "do." Then a whole bunch of doors slammed closed: to all those ministries, to the "sure" publication of a book, even to being able to drive to see my kids and grandkids, and... I ended up contented!! No longer so restless as before (though I think it's an easily recurring disease...) Why? I truly drew nearer to God, spent lots more time with Him, found my rest in Him.
    Like Augustine said, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” And, as in the "deer pants" Psalm, that's what the soul is longing after. We (at least I) tend(ed) to look for relief from restlessness in all the wrong places - actually robbing the week of time for that which will give it!

  17. I, too, am 54. I get so much of what you are saying. But then I look at my children and am thankful God gave me a desire to allow them to be first. I've asked Him to give me extra years to serve Him. Good years. Double portion and mantle years. It's amazing how God can use our maturity for His glory. Your posts have blessed me so many times so I'm confident you're getting back some of your years.

  18. I think one of the best things we can do with the little time we do have is to "waste" it with God, i.e. spend as much time as possible hanging out with God.

  19. Always growing, always learning. Thanking God that He doesn't look at our age, just our heart but as I age, I have the same questions you do. I have been studying the book of Ruth, so much richness there. Wrote a bit about it in my blog post today. Glad to find you through Graceful!

  20. 'Maybe the longing itself is the answer to prayer.
    Maybe the longing is really the beginning'.
    The beginning of realizing more how much he loves me just as I am.
    Of being contented again in his love.
    Of worshipping NOW the One who gave his life for me, and knowing he is pleased with me.
    Thank you for words that describe a heart after Him.

  21. I'm so glad you "get it" now, Donna. What a blessing you are to so many.

  22. Hi Donna, It's my first time to visit you and I can so relate to wishing I had gotten it when I was younger, but praise God, we have it now, thanks be to Him. I'm a new follower on GFC and would love for you to follow me too. Blessings,

  23. Beautiful. Found you at Laura Bogess' Playdates at the wellspring.

  24. Donna,

    Thank you for being a respite in this busy world. I am always blessed by your wise words and sweet encouragement.


  25. I've been trying to figure it all out much longer than you have and I still don't have the answers. When I was much younger I thought I knew all the answers or at least all that mattered when it came to what God wanted and expected of me. The older I get the more I realize that I don't have it all figured out after all, but I don't really think He expects us to "figure it all out". He knows our failings and our weaknesses and what He really wants is our hearts. I think it is pretty obvious that He has yours. Thank you for sharing.