I remember the day vividly.
I was sitting in an uncomfortable hospital chair playing nurse to a very irritable patient residing in the bed to my right.
In order to survive the day, I’d packed a bag full of weapons — my Walkman CD with a Chris Tomlin album, my Bible, a journal, and a pen. The patient sporadically awakened from slumber about every forty minutes to howl orders. I’d lift my Bible off my lap, place it on the cold terrazzo floor, and scuttle over to try to settle down and soothe the wild thing who was uncontrollably huffing and puffing.
Honestly, I didn’t want to be there. It was summer, and I was on vacation. I should have been at the beach with a nice glass of iced tea and a chick lit novel. I resented losing freedom to play nursemaid to a tyrant.
But, I knew my duty. And, I am a dutiful girl.
I picked up the plastic pitcher and poured cold water into a cup. I positioned the straw perfectly with the top bent slightly and lifted the cup to the pursed lips of the patient.
I silently waited while my tough cookie slurped. When he was done, I retrieved the cup, returned it to the table, and plopped right back down in my corner chair.
I was bending over to pick up my Bible when I heard the words that shattered my heart into a million pieces.
“You really love me. Don’t you?” It was like a question and a confirmation all at once. The Holy Spirit pricked my heart with each syllable.
Of course, I love you. But then I realized I was always too busy pointing a finger when I should have extended an open hand.
I heard the voice of the Lord clearly that morning: Your job is to love. My job is to do the changing.
I wiped the tears from my eyes as I placed the Bible back in my lap. Rather than just reading it, now I would live it.
Almost twenty years have passed since that day. I can’t say that my loved one has gotten any less prickly, but God has certainly done a work in me.
I laid down my right to control the relationship to the Lord, and rather than experiencing more pain, I’ve discovered an overwhelming peace.
All I had to do was stop bucking and trust that God would show me the way.
Surrender the reins to God to discover the road to freedom.
Something to think about…
I’m sharing “Surrender the Reins” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.
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