A Collection of Essays

Here I am…

Dear Reader,

I want you to know that for some time now I have been angry with God.

And not the quick hot-tempered anger that comes in a minute and is gone the next. But the slow burning anger that lives just underneath the surface. The kind that is often undetected. The kind that we dress up with a neat little bow rationalizing that if I do not acknowledge it -it will go away.

But anger does not work like that.

It does not leave just because we refuse to acknowledge it. It just burns. It grows. Until it spills out around us.

And I realized today that all these stories – the stories that I have shared over the last few months led me here. I have gotten to the end of these stories only to realize how angry I have been with God.

My soul whispers to Him, why all the heartache?

Why all the trials?

Where is the ALL Mighty God to comes save the day?

For some reason, I had this illusion that you showed up to this thing called church – accept Christ as your Savior – AND everything in your life will sort itself out.

And seems like the church is giving us similar messages…

Pray this prayer and you will be blessed.

Sing this song and your life will change.

Volunteer at this event and you will find Jesus.

Give this money and you will receive a ten-fold back.

AND what I am starting to realize is that we have bought into the lie that God is the business of quick fixes.

Now, before I say more let me say this: God is in the business of blessing us and changing our lives.  I know for certain GOD is a God of miracles and sometimes those miracles happen quickly.

BUT in my experience, the real miracles – like the transformation of a person – takes time. It takes pain. AND honestly its usually done one layer at a time. Nothing seems quick or easy when it comes to matters of the heart.

My heart change has been a measured arduous process of placing pieces of a puzzle back together that I had not even realized were disconnected.

God has been slow and gracious when I just really wanted Him to be quick. I thought the sooner he helped me get my crap together the sooner I could start doing things for His kingdom.

I realize now God does not work like that.

He just uses people where they are. AND sometimes that place still has a few puzzle pieces missing.

I also see that God is not in a hurry. He is never rushed. He is exacting in time and space.

When I am quick and hurried – He often tells me to stop and rest. Wait. Do not move. And it’s usually in these spaces that another puzzle piece is smoothed together.

Looking back on these stories from my life I realized each story – each moment – was placing a piece of puzzle together. Sometimes a painful piece but a necessary one.

And He did it in His time. In His way.

Many years ago, I came across a verse in the book of Isaiah. The prophet, Isaiah, is speaking with the Lord as he is being given his assignment as a prophet. Toward the end of the exchange, Isaiah turns to the Lord and says: “here I am, Lord, send me.”

At the time this verse sparked something deep within my soul and I just knew I needed to pray those words.

And I have been praying them ever since.

I used to think it meant I had to go far and wide to be used by God. Now, I see that sometimes our sending is inward to the places deep within our hearts that need changing.

It also occurred to me that God answered the prayer of “here I am.” He saw me – He saw where I was, and He met me there. He used each of these stories I have told you to meet me in the space of “here”.

And I know He will keep meeting me here…

Until next time friends,

Kara Jess

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