E.G.R. (Extra Grace Required)
by Jimmy Pruitt
Say what you want, be it noble, be it magnanimous, waiting on God is a difficult endeavor. Each morning when I awake, I pick up my phone or go to my computer, turn it on, and hope there is something in the way of a sign that doors are opening. There was a time when, as a young boy, I would run to the mailbox hoping that my order from the back of a Boy Scouts magazine had arrived. Nowadays, it’s the click of a button, and yet I have the same sense of anticipation and expectation.
We have many friends that are praying with us and, on occasion, send us words of encouragement and hope that mostly say, “Take this time to rest. Enjoy the downtime. Be still before God.” It is as though God continues to say over and over, “Rest. Relax. Restore. Let Me ‘re-Create’ you and prepare you for the next assignment.” Why do I fight it so? Is it that “man-thing” in me that needs to feel as though I’m doing something as opposed to simply “being” the person God has called me to be?
Being still before God, forced or not, can go two ways. It can be filled with the joy of His presence where the word of God comes alive and speaks through every turn of a page… or, it can be cluttered with voices of self-doubt, fear, insecurity, anxiety, sadness and anger at the circumstances that conspired to get me to this place. Every day I have to make a conscious choice to shut out the negative voices that vie for my attention and seek to turn my gaze away from the One who holds my future in His hands.
I am not noble. I am not a hero. I am not a spiritual giant. I am a man who realizes that I need Jesus, not just to get to heaven, but for the sustenance of life itself. I am dependent on Him at the core of my being. Apart from Christ, I am weak, selfish, ego-centered and prone to isolate and turn inward. I need Jesus to bring out His best in me so that in some small way I can be a blessing, an inspiration and an encouragement for others to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to keep breathing, to keep getting up each morning and engaging life head on.
I suspect that when the doors do open and we are driving a U-Haul to our next assignment, the tone and timbre of my writings will be filled with joy, faith and expectation. I’m just giving you fair warning. In the meantime, I have decided to be open, transparent and vulnerable. I’m not looking for pity, strokes or compassion, I’m simply being raw and authentic as you are watching our journey unfold like a cheesy reality TV show. So hang on until our next episode.
My next blog could be about an amazing development that creates excitement and momentum, or it could be another email that sends us deeper into the secret place, crying out to God for breakthrough. Either way, God is still God and we are counting on His promise to protect and provide, and for a future and a hope (Jer 29:11).