But the reason I bring her up is because she said something to me many years ago, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. It isn't going to be profound like you might expect after reading her glowing introduction. In fact, it's quite comical. Tana and I were joking about Harry Connick Jr. one night. I said I thought he was cute (still do) and Tana made a face and said that, to her, he looked like he'd fallen out of an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down!
Now, this may be an odd thing for me to remember from 15 or more years ago. But because of Tana's serene and sweet nature, this zing at poor Harry"s expense has always been a favorite memory of mine.
I hinted in my last post that I've got some inner turmoil going on right now. I feel in the midst of a battle. And the best way for me to explain it, is to say that I'm falling off a tree and hitting every branch on the way down. It's a Tree of Pride. And God's pushing me off of it. But just one branch at a time. When I started praying for God to take my pride it was probably about three years ago. And I had no idea how far I had to go!
So here I am- falling off branches as the wind of the Holy Spirit moves, knocking my teeth on the bark, skinning my knees on the twigs, and the whole time, all I can think is, "C'mon! There's got to be a better way!" But I know there isn't. I know if God snapped his fingers and miraculously changed my heart and eliminated my pride and dependence on self, that He'd be robbing me of the lessons in the meantime. And He'd be keeping me from seeing the miracles in His methods!
The hardest part is that my enemy wants to keep me at the top of that Tree of Pride. He likes me there thinking that I'm in control; that my way's best. So, he's fighting my descent. And I feel it very acutely. I'm in the midst of a battle! Honestly, everything I touch lately has fallen apart and I've had to face down embarrassments and failures. I've been trying to do what God wants, and things haven't been working out like I'd hoped. And so I've been dealing with feelings of inferiority that I know aren't coming from a Godly place. I can see how Satan will win the battle if he gets me to pick up the reigns again. If he can get me to believe that things were going better when I was in control, then he gets his way.
But he forgot one thing. Satan forgot that my war cry is, "Here am I! Send me!" And so I will go where God wants and suffer failure in the eyes of humans, so that I can say to God that his opinion mattered more to me than my reputation!
What a high, high, humbling calling-- to know that God wants to prune you, to break you, to mold you so that in the end, you're something He can use in His Heavenly plans! When I get to the bottom of my current "tree," and I find myself lying with my back on the dirty ground, I'll sing praises to God! For then I'll truly be in a position to only look up! God, thank you in advance, for the day when my self-reliance is gone and I can be an open, empty vessel, wanting only to please You!
The wait is painful.
The fall is excruciating.
The fight is exciting!
The glory is God's.
The challenge is for both you and me.
And the reward waits in Heaven!