Have you ever played with kid’s slime? It oozes and jiggles as it slips easily through little fingers. My children love the colorful varieties of slime and they spend heaping hours playing with it.
This morning I watched my children’s intrigue with slime. The harder they squeezed the slime in their little fists, the more it slipped through the cracks in their fingers and plopped down to the table… leaving their small hands empty. They poked at it, let it flow from one hand to the other freely, and giggled as it wobbled in their open hands. They also tried to play with it like play-do. And they rolled it into balls and shapes, only to have it loose form and puddle on the table.
The illustration of slime is comparable to the dear life we have each been given. Although life is not a tangible substance, it is similar in many ways to the gelatinous fluid of slime. Slime jiggles, changes, adapts, and is dependably fluctuating. Life is also not stable or constant. Life is full of surprises, inconveniences, miracles, the un-predicted, and flows in various paths without consent. The shape-shifting paths of life can be enjoyed, treasured, pleasant, and even full of depth, if life is perceived through a Biblical perspective. Or due to the tight clench we hold onto life or the shapes we form, that only puddle out of form or slip out of our grasp. Life can be difficult, bitter, empty, full of fear, anxiousness, stress, and frustration.
Here is a personal illustration of what is normal in my bubbling, wubbling life. Last summer, our family spent months searching for a house to buy. The market was so competitive, that we offered on three different homes before finally having our offer accepted on the fourth house. It was a lengthy and stressful ordeal. We were delighted with our new home and moved in just before winter. As anyone who has packed up and moved, even across town, knows, it takes months to settle and get into a routine again. We still have a few unpacked boxes in the closet….
This spring, my husband was contacted by a company wanting him to work for them. It was a very flattering and wonderful opportunity, and it was clearly in God’s plan for him to accept. But it involves another move. So, this summer, we find ourselves house-hunting and preparing to move AGAIN.
This will be the sixth move I have had with my husband since our marriage twelve years ago. I have seen God’s faithfulness through every change in our lives. He has provided, cared for us, and worked stunning miracles on our behalf through each transition. Yet, again and again the same old doubts arise. Perhaps this time, God will not come through for us? Perhaps this time God will not provide? I worry about all the details of which I have absolutely no control. And I find myself struggling to trust the One who has complete control. What irony!
In my hunger to control, what is out of control, I hang on to something I feel is stable like…my routines…my family…my home…my ideals…only to have those things ooze through my grappling fingers the tighter I grasp them. How often I behave as though life should be predictable and become very frustrated when change, illness, loss, and even a momentary disruptions occurs in the temporary life of which I claim to have ownership. Because of my imperfect perspective on life, I often lean into my emotions and perspectives when change oozes into my day.
It is only through Scripture, that I have found encouragement, stability, and joy in the unpredictable fluid paths of life. I can see the blessing and gift life truly is through the lense of God’s truth. There is immense peace if my heart is resting in God’s sovereign goodness through life. Life has the potential to be enjoyed if it is perceived through the glasses of God’s truth.
Maintaining a Biblical Perspective in the naturally slurping and bobblings of life:
- My life is not mine. It was created and redeemed by God to glorify Himself. It causes immense stress to live in the perspective of self-ownership because there is a constant struggle against God’s sovereign design, and my will. Life resides in the direction and purpose of God, who made it. Not the person to whom He gifts it. “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” Revelation 4:11. and “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever Amen” Romans 11:36. Not only was I made by and for God, but also graciously redeemed by and for God. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” I Cor. 6:19-20.
- My day is not mine. Every day is a gift and has already been planned and prepared before I enter into it. When I plan my days as though they belong to me, I become frustrated when things don’t go how I think they should. I am responsible to make plans and have schedules, yes, but seeking God’s direction with in case He brings something into my life that I am not planning. And whatever He brings, my heart should rejoice in it, because every event of my day is from God’s design, by his will, and for His glory. “This is the day that the Lord has made; “let us rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” Prov. 19:21. “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” James 4:14-15.
- God is sovereign in every detail in life. Through the years, the sovereignty of God has brought peace to my struggling heart. Knowing that God, who loves me, who redeemed me, Who knows my heart more than I do, Who knows my desires more than I do…is in control of all things, is truly a resting place. Nothing can come into my life that isn’t a part of what God has ordained and knows is best. If my heart is truly in love with God, and determined to bring Him glory through every circumstance of life, I will be able to rest in Him. And I can find joy in life, knowing my sovereign, loving, faithful God is in control. Scripture is full of verses pointing to God’s sovereignty over all things. The books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lamentations are often my “go-to” during restless days. “The Lord of hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand,'” Isaiah 14:24. “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;” Isaiah 42:10. “‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you” Jeremiah 32:17.
- God is the opposite of slime. He is a Rock. I can cling to God, depend on Him, rest in Him, take shelter in Him. The Lord is sure, stable, and never changing. There is nothing as wonderful when trying to navigate the slurping waves of life, as holding on tightly to the Rock. Let life life slop on! I am secure! “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” Psalm 18:2. “From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, Psalm” 61:2. “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he” Deuteronomy 32:4. I love taking shelter in the safety of the Rock, especially when life is stormy and my heart is restless. I can take comfort in God’s promises through Scripture, and snuggle in to the knowledge of Who God is.
As the years continue unfold, I have found through each gurgle and slush presented in life, my heart bounces more and more quickly to truth. Remembering who God is, what He has done, and the purpose of my life, becomes my ground for solace more and more readily. Resting, waiting, and finding joy in God brings stability to my heart instead of trying to frantically gain control of the wobbly, floppy, oozing shapes of life. Perhaps in time, I will no longer struggle with distrust of my loving Father. I long for the day when a slosh of life brings me to trustful admiration and joy in my Sovereign Rock.
Months ago, a dear mentoring friend shared a verse with me that I have kept close to my heart through this joggling, jiggling season of moving. It is simply the perfect verse to meditate upon during every circumstance of life.
Isaiah 33:6 “and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.”