Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The title of this blog reminds me of a Phish song from my hippie days. Sigh.

So, I've been working on reading through the Bible in my quiet time. I wasn't sure what to read, so I just decided to start at the beginning. I was hit a few months ago with the thought that I don't really know God like I want to. I know lots of things ABOUT God, but I wanted to know HIM better. What does He like? What things make Him happy? He has a personality, you know.
Anyway, I have worked my way to Numbers. There is a whole lot in the book of Numbers that is...less than thrilling. I cringed inwardly when I got there. However, I have been asking God to reveal Himself to me, and He is faithful to do that.

I have been struck, as I read through the ceremonies and traditions outlined in Numbers, by the concept of sacrifice versus waste. The Israelites were told to sacrifice a baby lamb - one in the morning, one in the evening, every day. They also were to make a drink offering - just pour out good wine on the ground in a holy place that God would see. This is just one of a long line of sacrifices in a long line of occasions that had to be made to forgive the sins of the people.

But God, what a waste! What about poor people? What about the sheep's mothers who carried and birthed those babies only to have them burned up - not even used for food? What about the expense that was? Surely there were people who needed those things to feed their families! It's not like God needed them! I guess that is the age-old argument against tithing too.

In the world's eyes, sacrifice will always look wasteful. Why would you allow yourself to be uncomfortable for somebody else? For me, why should I stay home with my kids and do dishes over and over? (I always mention dishes. They are my least favorite.)

I think there are several reasons.

1. We are not really our own provider. We work and try to be productive because it's what we are supposed to do, but God is the one who provides for us. Ps. 127:2, in the alternate translation in the NIV, says, "In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat, for while they sleep he provides for those he loves." When we give away some of ourselves, we surrender control over our own destiny. It's not all up to us. I think it is possible to tithe out of habit and not remember this, by the way. Don't give out of compulsion.

2. It changes who I am, to sacrifice. I was telling Nick last night that nothing I do strokes my pride anymore. I have had to find all new reasons to hold my head high and invest in people. Hard. But best for me. Wearing trendy clothes all the time, being on stage, achieving, looking like I have it all together... That's where I used to find my security. I have spent the past 5 days with a flaming case of pink eye, wiping green running noses, rocking crying babies with stuffy noses late at night, coughing my head off, disinfecting, washing my hands until they are raw, and resolving not to worry - we'll get packed and moved on Friday...somehow. Not exactly food for the ego. But, once the transformation is complete (it might take years!), I will be secure in my value. It won't depend on my performance anymore. I like that outcome.

3. God said to. I think sometimes, with certain things, we need to be able to say "I don't understand, but I will do it anyway." We know in our heads that we can trust God. So, trust Him. If He says something, don't question it - just do it. I have to pretend sometimes that I'm trusting. I don't feel it. I will say out loud - "I am letting go of this, this is Yours!" And that's the end of it...until 2 minutes later when I have to do it again. Sometimes I think we can over-complicate our lives by demanding answers for everything. I try to explain to Hannah why I need her to do most things, but there are times she says, "How come?" And I just can't explain it, so the answer is "Because." That HAS to be okay coming from God. Just because.

Another thought that comes to mind in this area is our new pastor that we voted on yesterday. More than 95% approval. Cool. It does, however, make me wonder about that 5%. Why would they vote no? Do they think they know better than everybody else? From the first announcement, I decided to trust the process. We elected a selection committee. They prayed and fasted. We prayed for them. They spent months looking at the options, trying to hear from God about who He wanted to be pastor. They settled on Brady Boyd. Not who anyone expected. But why would I question the decision? If I couldn't agree to submit to the authority at that church, I would go somewhere I could submit to. There is rest and protection in trusting people. And I can still say that after what our church has been through. Anyway, kind of a rabbit trail there, but maybe not so much. I believe God wants me home with my kids. So I do it. I can't expect anything in return because staying home does not guarantee me obedient, healthy kids. But I'm doing it anyway because it's what I'm supposed to do.

Welp, I better go pack boxes, reminding myself of my sermon the whole time. Two more days!


  1. I agree, being a mom is a humbling experience. But there are other lessons to be learned, my son's 100% accept me just as I am--they love me in my PJ's and messy morning hair--or if I am all dolled up. They don't judge, they just love. I need to learn to do that as well.

  2. Good post, Sara. I need a reminder now and again that I don't have any answers to why God requires obedience, I just have to obey and trust His ways are better than my ways. The more time I spend in the Word, the easier that is... but when I let the world distract me I can feel overwhelmed by life and where I'm supposed to fit in.

    It shouldn't ever feel that way and reading the Word of the Lord always helps me remember He only wants me to answer His call each day. That's all I have to deal with, and that's all He wants me to deal with! The words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount are still incredible in their relevance for our crazy busy world today:

    Matt 5:25-34 (NIV)
    25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

    28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

    I love how God cares enough for me to tell me I don't have to worry about anything... even meal planning! I'm not saying I don't make plans, because I love being organized, but I shouldn't let it dominate my thoughts to the point of distraction and at the expense of my relationships. It's a delicate balance that I can only get right when I use God's direction and that comes from reading and understanding His Word and prayer... lots of prayer.

  3. Thanks for sharing so much of your processing here. Good reminders.

  4. Christina - Remember what it was like to sit in your mommy's lap? I can't believe I am that to somebody. We know how to love that way - we just have to remember.

    Laura - Do you think it's possible to grow mature enough that you never forget those things, just live by them every day?

    Elixir - Thanks for reading my ramblings! :)