I’m sneaking this post in while my daughter fiddles with the radio, the boys are off to school, and there’s the promise of making granola in the air.
It’s been a while since I’ve written steadily. These past few months have stretched and grown me, not because of bad things, but because of new things. And I don’t know about you, but new things, even if they’re good, make me want to slink away and process them in a hole for a while.
New church, new ministry, changes of plans and new plans. All these good things take time to process and adapt to. I’m not a naturally quick adaptor. Well, that’s not entirely true. I resist adaptation while I am adapting. It’s more of an internal process than external. I’ll do the work while at times resenting the work.
Makes me sound like a treat, doesn’t it?
As we’ve been going through a month of changes, I’ve been pondering the nature of change. How at times it seemed our waiting was long and slow, and then everything rushes in at once like a spring flood. When you’re in a holding pattern and then God says “GO” and you say “But I need to pack my emotional processing, work through it, come to resolution…” and God says, “leave it and go”.
God’s timing often stretches my capacity. My capacity to wait, my capacity to move, my capacity to follow obediently and not question without ceasing.
Capacity is one of those words that is whirling around right now. Leadership capacity, ministry capacity, workload capacity. It’s something I really really want, but don’t often have. I want to be seen as capable and of high capacity, but human nature wills out sometimes.
My capacity is directly related to my relationship with God. Sure, there are things and wirings that have been in me from birth and conditioned through life that mean my capacity in certain physical and emotional places is low or high. But the true test of capacity, the spiritual capacity I have for change, for obedience, for listening to God’s word and following in grateful trust, is honed and developed through my time with God.
Spiritual capacity can be learned and developed. Paul learned this through his experiences and journey with God.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13
I want that kind of capacity. To have the type of relationship with God where he is the one who strengthens me. Strengthens me beyond my situation and experiences to be a person who can weather all storms and sunny days with equal assurance.
To be stretched, refined, and know that when I’m at the end of my limit, that I haven’t even touched the near limit of God’s equipping and power. To experience God’s equipping, feel my capacity to love, persevere, and serve reflect him more than myself.