Butterfly wall stickers

I have just been putting butterfly stickers on my daughter’s bedroom wall.  She has been in America with her Mum for almost 2 months, and I am feeling the ache of separation very strongly now.  I fly out in a week and can’t wait to be with them again.

Letting them go for this limited period was hard but also rewarding.  I appreciate them both more now.  I want to make every moment together count in future.

I’ve been writing a lot about ‘letting go’ on this blog.  Of course I would never really let go of my family, I always want to be there for them, provide for them, love them.  And yet to truly love them, I will have to let go, in many different ways –  more and more as my daughter gets older.

The business I have written lots about letting go of has flourished in it’s final 2 months, and I have had 2 other job offers as a result of laying it down.  So I am taking a break to be with my family and clear my head, knowing that when we return I can choose any one of 3 viable options.  I wrote something in a previous post, that my experience now shows to be true:

“Perhaps, when you have laid everything down, you will be able to pick it up again with a looser grip that sets it free in ways you can’t imagine.  Or perhaps your open hands will grasp new things that clenched fists couldn’t hold.”

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My occasional mentor Terry Eckersley said to me recently it is ungodly to want to provide for my family.  This sounded like the destructive talk of religious extremism, attacking what I saw as one of my most good and godly desires.  But he meant I need to understand that God is ultimately our provider.

It offended me slightly because it shone a light on a longstanding dissonance in my thinking: If God is provider etc, then what exactly is my role in all this?  I know it is not just to sit around and wait for God to do everything (I’ve tried that and it is destructive and depressing).

But here’s the truth as I now see it:

I have worked hard on my business, and that’s a good thing, yet when I think of what I have achieved, none of it could have happened at all without God.  He led us to a house with an adjoining workshop that I wouldn’t have believed we could get a mortgage for.   There are countless ways He helped me acquire tools and machinery through gifts, great deals, and being in the right pace at the right time.  My laptop was a gift from a friend.  My parents funded most of it directly or indirectly.  And even the things that I could argue are down to me could not exist without His provision.  If I have abilities it is because He has blessed me with them.  If I have experience it’s because He has provided the opportunities.  Not to mention my wife’s support and book-keeping.  And my apprentice, always faithful and true.

If you don’t believe in God, you want be convinced by God’s hand in all of the above.  But I do believe in God, and I do see His hand in it all.

The way I view this walk with God at the moment is as a partnership: we are ‘co-workers with Christ‘. But it is an unequal partnership – him having the controlling stake.  And to grow in spiritual maturity requires me to keep saying to Him ‘You must become greater and I become less‘.  My dilemma about my role – between working or waiting for Him to work for me – is resolved in this way: I work, but for God’s approval not man’s.  And while working I keep dying to my flesh (ambition, pride, self sufficiency) until I have been ‘crucified with Christ’; and it is no longer I who works but Christ who works in me. (Galatians 2:20).   Then He is working both inside and out, and I am His servant – the most freeing role I can have, to serve goodness itself instead of serving my own deceptive ambitions and desires.

A blog post I have found helpful is this one from 3D Ministries:
http://weare3dm.com/mikebreen/we-are-3dm/the-cost-of-non-discipleship/
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