Grace to finish well

I like to finish tasks.  I enjoy the satisfaction of completion and crossing the item off of my to do list.  It comes through in so many of the things that I do, even the way I study my Bible.

For a while now I’ve been reading through the book of Hebrews, slowing taking in a chapter or less each day.  A few days ago, nearly a week now, I came upon chapter 13, the final chapter.  That is still where I find myself today.

There are 25 verses in the last chapter of Hebrews.  I have read it, re-read it and read it still again.  I read the NIV version and the NLT version.  I do not have peace about ending this study and moving on to the book of James.  There’s a part of me that just wants to say, “Well, I read it, isn’t that good enough?  Can’t I just be done with it?”  But, here’s the biggest problem…I do not have peace about it.

Sometimes when I am reading through the Bible and I am not understanding or I do not seem to get much out of it, I feel peaceful and reassured that if I just continue it will all come together.  Right now, that’s now what I am feeling.

Instead, I feel that I must stay in this chapter.  I must trust that God wants to show me something, to teach me, to grow me, yet I sit here this morning clueless as to what that might be.

My nature is truly trying to figure out what I need to DO to finish this and be done.  Yesterday I sat down with a blank piece of paper and started writing bullet points of what I should take away from this one chapter.  I came up with 17 points.  17 things that I needed to remember to do.  When I completed my list and reviewed it, I was terrified.  Setting the expectation that I could would be setting myself up for failure.

I have prayed, God please show me what You want me to see.  The more I have looked at the words on the page the more they have almost blurred together.  I feel as if I know so much less now that I did over a week ago before I reached this chapter.

What do I do at this point?  To me this chapter has been like trying to take a sip from a fire hose.  I tried to take a drink, got sprayed and knocked over.  So, I got back up and went back to try it again, and again and again.  I feel frustrated and tired.  Now I’m sitting here exhausted and soaking wet.

Is this a lesson in patience?  Is it gaining me some perseverance?  Is it developing my character?  At this point, I do not have a clue.

I do not know.

Oddly, I have peace about that.  It is perfectly fine for me to not know.  It’s not my job to know everything.  In fact it is absolutely impossible.  Only God knows everything.  The greatest part for me is that I know God.

When I sit soaking wet and exhausted, God comes behind me with a warm towel, wraps it around me and draws me into His loving embrace.  He tells me that it’s alright if we just sit a while.  He’s not in a hurry and we can take however much time we need.

I do not understand how God, who has so many great plans in store and so many awesome things on His to do list can just take the time to sit with me.  Isn’t He even more eager than I to complete these great works?

Hebrews 13:20-21 says, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen.”

The book of Hebrews ends a few short lines later with verse 25, “Grace be with you all.”

What a prayer!

May the God of peace and of power, through Jesus the great Shepherd, work in us what is pleasing to Him.

Wow, God is so good!  When I sat down to right, I was hoping that it would help me see what I needed to.  Perhaps just the act of working through it would cause that proverbial light bulb to turn on allowing me to complete my current efforts in this book of the Bible.

It really hasn’t.  Perhaps at this point in reading through this you are convinced that I am crazy.  That just may be true.  Maybe you can relate.  Maybe what I am facing is similar to something you have been through.  Maybe you just do not know what you are supposed to get out of something that is going on in your life.  Perhaps you are feeling like you just can’t finish the thing you’ve been called to do.  It’s possible that you are just really tired and frustrated.

We’re not alone in this.  God is with you and God is with me.  He is for us.  He is near to us.  The best news is that He is not finished yet.  He hasn’t crossed you or I off of His to do list.  He is still equipping us for the glory of Jesus Christ.

We are precious.  We are loved.  We are cherished.

It’s all going to be alright, even though we can’t see it yet and we do not understand.  God is perfectly trustworthy, so we can fully place our trust and our lack of comprehension in His very capable hands.  He will cover us in His grace, allowing us to eventually finish well.

Dearest and Beloved Lord,

I am so thankful for You!  Thank You for Your wisdom, Your strength, Your patience, Your compassion and Your grace.  I love You so much. 

I’m stuck God.  I do not understand, but have been spending much energy and effort attempting to do so.  Now I am tired.  I am weary and I still do not get it.  Please help me to just sit and wait in Your grace.  Help me to listen to what You want to share.  Help me be open to waiting upon You and obedient to only move when You tell me to. 

Thank you so much for the friends who bless me with their company and companionship along my journey.  Thank you especially, for the ones who will sit down next to me and just wait in the silence, instead of rushing past me on the highway of life. 

In Jesus name, amen. 

 

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