Without God, frustration…or in Latin (in case you need a cool tattoo idea): Nisi Dominus Frustra.
This is my testimony in three words. This is my daily confession to God. Without Him, I can do nothing.
The Latin phrase comes from a contraction of the first line of Psalm 127: “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (ESV). The Psalm goes on: “Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (verses 1-3)
This will come as no surprise to those who know me (Emily) well (and this can be fair warning to my dear future co-workers if any of you are reading this)…I am definitively a “type A” personality. I really LIKE to get things done. It’s kind of like crack for my psyche. To-do lists, checking things off, finishing tasks, being “busy” doing…
Here’s the thing…this aspect of my personality isn’t bad; it’s part of how God made me; but here’s my confession…it’s easy for me to think I can do things on my own, because from a worldly standpoint, I can. I can finish tasks. I can work hard. I can get things done. BUT (and that’s a big BUT)…all my labor is in vain if I am not content BEING in step with the Holy Spirit, if I am not trusting GOD to do the work, if I am doing things I want done, but not what God considers most important. In short, I am frustrated and anxious on my own. I am striving in my own strength instead of resting in God’s strength and trusting Him to direct me to the tasks He will give me the strength to complete for HIS glory.
As a side note, I think this is why God gave me 3 kids so close together. First, it’s absolutely impossible “to do” list your kids. (I mean, I guess you could do it, but, wow…not sure that would be best for the kids, you know?) It’s humorous when you think about how LITTLE actually gets done when you have kids to take care of. But, then, that’s not exactly true is it? I often wonder how much is being done exactly in those moments when I feel like NOTHING is being done?
And…this leads me to my conclusion (if I even had a point besides just sharing with you a confessional prayer of mine)…I am fully anticipating a humorous series of vignettes about how much I will learn in Mexico. I’m sure you all will enjoy laughing with me as I continue to learn how to chill out and just BE, and as I learn how to accomplish “to do” lists in Mexico…cause, who am I kidding…I KNOW I’m going to keep making “to do” lists in Mexico. You can remind me when you hear a scream of frustration coming all the way from Mexico…remind me that God is directing my steps; God has it under control; God is faithful; God has DONE all that is needed. It is finished. Redemption has come. We walk in faith.
Nisi dominus frusta. Without God, frustration. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”