“I’m Fine” …or Not

Doesn’t it sound wonderful to be “fine”?  So happy, put-together, and ready to face the world.  The trouble is, that word can mean a lot of different things at different times, and it’s most likely what we wish we were rather than what we are. It’s polite to say “fine” and it stops people from asking questions.  What would you do if someone randomly said, “I’m not fine”? 

I’ve just started the Lysa Terkeurst book called, “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way”.  She talks about what happens when you’re not fine and your life shatters, not into a million pieces, but rather crumbles into dust.  Possibly it’s to the point of it doesn’t resemble anything like what it was before.  Then what?  I can’t summarize the whole thing, but I like the point that she makes about how God is the Master at taking dust and making something incredible.  He is the Potter and we are the clay, right?  The hard part is… that is the starting point… dust.  That means what once was a rock, solid, something with shape gets obliterated.  What if that means hopes, dreams, jobs, relationships, beliefs, your foundations?  That process is painful and can produce a great deal of distress, anxiety, chaos, hopelessness, and more. A potter can’t shape rocks, only clay.  Jesus, the Living Water, gets poured into the dust of our lives and we can be remade.  He doesn’t leave us as dust.

Another thing that has been rumbling around in my heart and mind that ties into the subject is what we turn to when life is changing, falling down around us, or just plain difficult.  We know God is in control and loves us, but we don’t feel that at those critical times.  He’s not gone and hasn’t changed, but where is He when we need Him most?  How incredibly nice it would feel to have God Himself put those heavenly arms around us and hold us close! 

Another book I’m reading is called, “Seeing With New Eyes” by David Powlison, and I got it because it has a series of “X-Ray” questions that help “see into my life”.  It gets past that glib “I’m fine” answer.  The part that I’m at now talks about “functional gods” that we turn to in times of crisis such as food, TV, reading, shopping, drinking, games, intensive work, cleaning, getting mad, to name a few.  A functional god is what we turn to in search of alleviating fear, gaining control, or hope.  The x-ray questions expose the functional gods that I’m trusting in rather than the One True God who wants to be my rock and refuge.  I am discovering how many functional gods I do have and some of my wrong motivations as a result.  It’s hard to even admit that but honesty is what is required.

I have plenty of circumstances in my life right now that are quite intense.  I know I need to turn to God more, but I’m finding that it’s easier to turn to functional gods because I just want to be “fine”.  God’s plan is that I would turn to Him and glorify Him in not only the good and happy times but also in the days of darkness, difficulty or suffering.  He is there…

For His Glory!