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I Really Just Want to Be Like God



I was awake for hours last night, frustrated. I'm on Christmas break and shouldn't be stressed or anxious.

But then it dawned on me--through the crazy busyness of this last school term, I hadn't had time to process the other stress and anxiety in our lives right now. So now that school is done for a few weeks, my mind has a chance to go there.

I hate going there. It's been easier to just focus on teacher observations and ACSI accreditation paperwork and our Christmas production and reports cards than think about the future. The uncertainty we've been facing for the last six months has crystallized into an almost-certainty that our time in Tanzania is coming to an end. We're pretty sure we can make it work for another year and a half, but that might be it.

A year and a half doesn't feel very long at all when you've spent your entire adult life in a place--almost twenty years. If I allow myself to dwell on it, I am overwhelmed with grief at the thought of what we would be leaving. And when I think about what comes after that year and a half, all I see is a black hole. For someone who likes her life planned out at least five years in advance, that's what keeps me awake at night.

If we have to leave Tanzania, what would be next? Would we go somewhere else in Africa or would we return to the States? And if so, where? We own no home anywhere; we have literally no possessions in America. The cities in California that feel most like home just happen to be some of the most expensive in the United States--not very promising for a family of six living on (likely) a ministry salary.

In a year and a half, we could be starting over completely from scratch. And that is so very daunting and scary. Especially considering that we'll have one child starting high school and two others in middle school. Not exactly ideal ages for massive life upheaval.

Those kids. Oh, those kids. My kids who are Tanzanian by blood but raised by American parents in their homeland. We've already majorly messed with their identity; how would this transition affect them? How would we possibly decide what home, what school, what community would be best for them? Except, we probably won't have the luxury of making decisions based on what is best for our kids. That is, if I even knew what would be best for them.

So at midnight last night, by the light of my Kindle, I read from Jen Wilkin's None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (And Why That's a Good Thing). And I was reminded that the heart of my anxiety about my future is that I want to be like God. 

I want to be omniscient, to know everything. I want to know what's coming. I want to know the very best possible choices I could make for my kids. I want the reassurance that everything for them will turn out okay.

I want to be self-sufficient, to be able to assure myself that we will be able to handle this next stage of life without being a burden on anyone.

I want to be sovereign. I want to have complete control over what happens next, where we live, what we do. Wilkin writes, "We want our rule. We want our kingdom, our power, our glory. We want the very throne of God."

I can pray, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, but really I want my kingdom, my will.

I really just want to be like God.

So there it is: Just as that ancient Deceiver whispered in the ear of Eve, so he murmurs the same temptations in my ear. You need to know. You need control. You need self-sufficiency.

When really, I need no such things. I don't need to be like God; I just need God. He is enough. Jen Wilkin writes, "Our limits teach us the fear of the Lord. They are reminders that keep us from falsely believing that we can be like God. When I reach the limit of my strength, I worship the One whose strength never flags. When I reach the limit of my reason, I worship the One whose reason is beyond searching out."

This morning I opened to Isaiah 50:10:
Let him who walks in darkness
and has no light
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on his God.

The future may be a black hole, but there is always Light.

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