Beating Around the Bush
I planned to take the month of July off.
In preparation for the remainder of the year, I decided that it was in my best interest to step away from the blog and social media (except for the occasional scroll and like on Instagram).
My plan was to focus all my effort and energy into our little family (Azariah was here) and my work.
July was filled with so much character building and growth (yeah...I was prematurely tooting my own horn) - I was sure August would bring the "breakthrough" I was expecting.
Instead of hitting the ground running in August, I found myself fighting to keep my head above the disappointment I felt I was drowning in. (My work efforts didn't seem to be paying off and my patience was non-existent!)
Internally, the pressure to at least come back to Findlay House was building up, until one day the question(s) came -
What's your motive? Why are you sharing?
And I knew, once again, God had hit the reset button, without asking my permission, because, well...He's God, and He can do that.
I wasn't happy about it.
Taking the necessary time to reflect just seemed like another setback.
I wasn't just disappointed by my failed efforts, I blamed God.
Why are you allowing this?
How can I sit out another month when others are planning and flawlessly executing? When people are walking in purpose and yielding results? When peers are vacationing in beautiful places as a result of their efforts? When someone is building a brand that is becoming recognized?
...and somewhere within my torrent of questions aimed at God - my changed (for the worse) motives revealed themselves. I was frustrated because the God of the Universe wasn't bending to my will, my wants, and my timeline - when I was the one that should be bending to His.
In the last chapter of the book of Jonah - the same Jonah who survives in the belly of a Big Fish - Jonah and God have an interesting interaction that can be easily overlooked.
God causes a bush (NRSV) to spring up over Jonah, to give Jonah shade and to save Jonah from discomfort. Jonah is happy about the bush of course [Jonah 4:6]. The very next day, God causes the same bush to wither [Jonah 4:7], and Jonah becomes so angry that he asks God to let him die. In verses 9 and 10 God says this in response to Jonah's anger -
Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?
You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night."
God really does care about us; but too often we take credit for, or ownership of, His grace in our lives.
The same way God caused the plant to spring up to provide a covering for Jonah and to ease Jonah's discomfort, is the same way God allows good things to spring up in our own lives - landing a career job, finally finishing that degree, getting married, having children, buying a house we once weren't qualified for...and the list goes on.
From the very beginning Danny and I committed not only this blog, but our entire business to God - it's His bush. And to be completely honest, whatever "success" we experienced, past or present, did not come from our own efforts (labor) and nurturing. It's literally been all Jesus!
We entrusted our blog, our business, our lives to God because we know He is all powerful and in control of everything. His ways and thoughts are much higher than ours; and we know that when He acts, whatever He does - whether He causes the bush to grow or to wither - it's not without His own Divine reasons.