I feel like Eugene the dragon.
You know, C.S. Lewis’ character in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Eugene was an all-out brat: selfish, rude, unloving, cowardly, greedy. And then, after raiding a dead dragon’s cave of treasures, he falls asleep and wakes up to his new dragon face, new dragon wings, new dragon everything.
Terrified and eventually depressed beyond hope, he begins tearing at his dragon skin, desperate to rid himself of the sin of selfishness and greed that had been exposed. Crying dragonly tears and groaning dragonly groans, Eugene feels hopelessness knocking at his heart. The scales aren’t going anywhere.
And then Aslan arrives. If you know C.S. Lewis’ works, you know that, in the allegory, Aslan represents Jesus Christ. So Aslan arriving is a wonderful thing. Eugene cries out to him, wondering why he was turned into a dragon. Can he ever be rid of the dragon of sin? Aslan says that Eugene can only be rid of it if he lets Aslan take it away for him.
And he does. My favorite part is when Eugene describes Aslan’s claws, successfully tearing away the dragon skin, as the worst pain he ever felt, but the greatest joy and relief he ever knew.
That’s how I feel right now, guys.
In my last blog post, my soul was flailing about, wondering why on earth God had me in my exact situation (jobless, childless, feeling worthless) at this time.
Now, I’m still flailing. But I think I know why.
The dragon of hidden sin is being exposed. My soul wrestles and writhes with it.
I’m discontent being still and waiting on the Lord.
I’m disappointed that my life right now isn’t what I expected it to be.
I’m angry at God, who blessed all my friends who share my season of life with children while I just watch from the sidelines.
I’m cynical about my future, the cynicism arising completely out of spite for past disappointments.
I’m bitter, causing my relationship with the Lord to falter.
And then the Lord arrests me with the kind of sermon I heard today.
A sermon about the sovereignty of God. The forgiveness of God. The immeasurable love of God for people who can’t love without Him. The grace of God that extends beyond the sins of those He saves. The treasure Jesus Christ, who died and rose again and lives and serves and loves us… me… the fickle one.
And it’s all I can do to not burst into hot, repentant tears in public. Instead my face twists with emotion and my vision fogs and my nose starts to leak and all I can think is, “God, I know this is from You. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Conviction is so so good. But it hurts, especially shortly after the repentance.
Because shortly after the repentance (and the constant forgiveness from Christ) comes the application of what I just learned.
And, as usual, I fail pretty miserably.
Mister mentioned something about one of my recent “disappointments”. He wasn’t attacking me, he wasn’t even calling me to confess. He simply mentioned it in a sentence. And I burst into bitter tears, my emotions boiling and rolling and tossing my soul like a ship on an angry sea.
It hurt. It hurt because I knew this was God working me like clay. It hurt because my natural self wants so much to be angry at God, to blame Him, to “be done” with Him and His games with my heart and my innocent desires for my life. So I want to be a mother. Is that so wrong?
In itself, no, it isn’t.
But to reject God’s will, to kick against it, to turn my anger against God instead of confessing it to Him is most definitely wrong.
And friends, that’s what I’ve been doing. Not just about wanting so badly to be a mom, but about wanting to identify myself in things other than Christ.
Essentially, I’ve been making everything but Christ my treasure.
My worth hasn’t been found in Christ’s sacrifice for me. My worth has been defined by my work, my hobbies, my friends, my womanly hopes and expectations to be a mother. And when God denies me of some of these things, I am cast down.
In the words of King David in Psalm 43:5,
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.
Pray for me as I struggle within me to know, with both my heart and mind, that God is my treasure. That when all else falls around me or slips from my grasp, He is forever with me. He forever forgives. He forever loves.
God is tearing off yet another layer of dragon scales. Only He can remove them — I must trust in His work.