August, 2021 – Does the Lord Ask Too Much of Us?

August, 2021 – Does the Lord Ask Too Much of Us?

This is a short story of a time when I thought that perhaps the Lord had just asked too much of me.  After all, Genesis 3.19 tells us ‘that we are from dust, and to dust we will return’.  Ecclesiastes 3.20 tells us ‘All came from the dust and all return to the dust’.  And Genesis 2.7 says, ‘Adam was created when God “formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”.’  Adam was created from the soil causing me to wonder from time to time that if we are just ‘dirt’ – a lump of earthly clay – then why would God at times expect so much of us?

I needed a place to stay in Romania several years ago.  A friend told me about a woman who would be away and was agreeable with my staying in her little two-room flat.  After traveling many, many hours from my home in Norton to Logan Airport in Boston – to Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris (with a four-hour layover) – to Henri Coanda International Airport in Bucharest – to a three-hour road trip on up into the mountains to Brasov, the city in Romania where I have always been based – so tired that I couldn’t even focus my eyes,  I arrived at this lady’s flat finding no sheets or blankets, pillow, towels, or food!  On top of that, I arrived with no luggage!

I ended up wearing the same clothes day and night for a week before my luggage showed up!  That should have been trial enough.  But, on my third day there, the lady (owner of the flat) came bursting through the door saying, “I’m here!”  Her plans had changed, and she would be there the entire two months that I would.  I crammed all my stuff into my little 6’x8’ room and ‘made do’.  That still wasn’t the worst of it.  I had absolutely no privacy – even in the bathroom.  There was no lock on the door and it was not unusual for her to burst in to show me how to use the soap in the tub-shower.  What??!!  Or, she would burst into my room without knocking just to talk.  And talk.  And talk!!  That still is not the worst of it.

She would stay up until 4:00 o’clock in the morning praying and crying and wailing aloud.  It was impossible for me to get sleep.  My day needed to start at 6:00a but did so for weeks in such sleep deprivation.  I’ve learned that you can handle most anything if you can just get sleep.  Well, I couldn’t.  I felt like I was losing my mind.  I could barely function throughout the day.  And then, I came to my breaking point.  I asked a mutual friend if she knew of a place I could move to for the remainder of my time in Romania.  We took three buses one evening to a friend of hers at least forty minutes away.  I knew that would be really difficult in getting to ‘my’ orphanages each day, but I was losing it, mentality, staying with the ‘crazy lady’ – as I had come to think of her in my mind.

I arrived back into Brasov and the flat with the ‘crazy lady’ – and could not get to sleep.  My spirit was really disturbed.  I began to pray over and over, “Lord, You DO want me to move, don’t You?”  I continued to pray off and on for over two hours, “Please, Lord, show me what You want me to do”.  And so unexpectedly, He clearly indicated that I was to stay where I was (with the ‘crazy lady’). Now the odd part.  I had nearly gone mad staying in this flat, but once God showed me clearly that I was to still stay there, I had such a rush of JOY and peace flood over me.  Can you imagine . . .   Had I gone mad and not even known it?!  But, I fell asleep in a peace that I had not known since this woman came bursting through the door three days after I arrived.  But the story doesn’t end there.

When I woke the next morning – and, yes, I had finally gotten some sleep, there was more to what the Lord wanted from me.  Does anyone remember Paul Harvey’s saying on his broadcast several years ago, “Now here’s the rest of the story”?   God was not finished with what he had shared with me during the night.  Not only had He made it clear that I was to stay with the ‘crazy lady’ for the rest of my time in RO – but He had more instructional information for me.  “Dawn, I not only want you to stay your final weeks in this flat, I want you to be this woman’s servant”.  Ordinarily at any other time, I would have yelled, ‘WHAT’??!!  But my immediate reaction was, “Yes, Lord”.  It was as though I could hardly wait to do something nice for her – to spend a little time with her and really enjoy it.  This time I didn’t even think, “Have I really gone and lost my mind?”  I knew it was a miracle – that God had performed a much needed miracle in my life – a change that only He could bring about.  This wasn’t about the ‘crazy lady’.  She was never going to change.  I was the one who needed change.

Had I tried it on my own – and I never would even have wanted to – I truly couldn’t have done it.  But when Christ takes over, it is effortless.  It is always for our good.  (Jeremiah 29.11)  I can’t even remember concerning the duration of my final weeks with this woman if she still prayed aLOUD all night, and if the Lord gave me sleep in spite of it.  I can’t remember if it just plumb didn’t bother me.  I only know that in what was once an impossible situation, God filled me with complete joy and peace.  Thank you, Lord, for loving me so much that You didn’t ‘let me go’, but chastened me (took me to do for). – Hebrews 12.6     You exchanged the ‘ashes’ that were going on inside of me for ‘beauty’. (Isaiah 61.3)  Thank You.  When I thought You had asked way too much of me, instead, I could say, “Thank You, Lord for loving me that much!!