PHEW!! It's good to be back on some kind of a schedule. Last week was super busy and I was missing getting to post something. But, I am back and with a vengeance. God has been doing a work in me these last few days and all I can say is THANK THE LORD!!! God is good and He is good ALL THE TIME!!!
It’s a hard thing to realize that God doesn’t owe you anything. During this “thing” we’ve all been going through, I’ve been praying and praying and praying and believing and believing and believing that all things would work out good for us because we love the Lord. But the bottom line is this: all things will “ultimately” work out for out good because we get to spend an eternity in Heaven with the Lord. THAT is the “good” in this case. The only other guarantee that I have found to be absolutely sure is that, while we are here on earth, there will be suffering. But these “light and momentary afflictions” are designed to draw us closer to the heart of God. I believe I was in a Kay Arthur bible study (but it may have been a Joyce Meyer teaching) when I heard that far too often people spend their time looking for the hand of God when they ought to be looking for the heart of God. The heart of God is that we would grow more intimate in our relationship with Him; not that we would be continually looking for hand-outs. Sure, He will take care of us. Sure, He will provide for us. Yes, He will never leave us, nor forsake us. But, our job is to be getting to know Him better, getting to know His will for our lives, not just looking for a hand-out. God is not a genie in a bottle, designed to grant us wishes. God is not our sugar-daddy, there to make our lives cushy and easy. He calls us to walk the narrow path and the way is not easy. It is not for wimps. It is not for quitters. He is out to separate the wheat from the chaff and you better be careful when you pray for a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him, because you may not have a clue what you are asking for and just what He might require of you until you are down the road a ways and things start looking rocky.
Take the ocean. The waves that batter and rock the boats are high and they are strong. BUT, they are only on the surface. Down underneath, the water is way calmer. That’s where we need to be hanging out with God. Down underneath all the waves that bluster about and bang against things. The people riding on the surface of the water, at the superficial level of the relationship, are the ones having the rough ride. You gotta go deep. Down further than you think. But simply dunking your head underneath the water, where you can still swim is not going to cut it. Here, you can still save yourself.
In this “thing” we are going through, I have resolved that nothing is going to make me turn my back on God. Nothing is going to tear this family apart. Things have been said and accusations made that are completely unfounded, and I am thoroughly convinced that these are fiery arrows from Satan designed to undermine the work that God has started in this family. I have been through too much in my life to let this get the best of me.
Being resolved is one thing; we all make resolutions on New Year’s Eve, only to have ditched them February (if we make it that long). It’s what we do when the going gets tough that makes us who we are and will tell us in whom we have put our faith. On the days that I have tried to “will” my way through things and do it on my own, things are bleak and awful and I can’t see straight because I just get so angry and fed up and tired and emotional and… You name it; I run the gamut of emotions. But on the days, when I turn the mess over to God, and that means all my feelings surrounding the mess too, and I let Him tell me how to go about my day, there truly is a peace that passes understanding.
Things have been said by people (one person in particular) that in my flesh, I know I would never be able to look at that person the same way again, and yet, there is a relationship there. A growing, thriving relationship. This person betrayed me. This person betrayed a very close family member of mine and yet, she and I are close. I do not look at her and think, “This is all because of you.” There has been restoration there. The situation is not even resolved yet, and there is restoration there. God works even in the midst of the crisis to give you a peace that you cannot even imagine. The only catch is: you have to let Him. You cannot keep carrying the burden around yourself and praying for rest, wondering why He’s not answering. The answer is: You don’t have rest because you haven’t let Him handle the burden for you. And turning that burden over to Him may have to take place SEVERAL times a day. Maybe even several times an hour. But you have to keep turning it over. He will keep taking it back and taking it back until you stop trying to snatch it out of His hands and handle it on your own. He will. He is faithful even when we are faithless.
So my prayer, for you today, as well as for myself:
Dear Lord, thank you that you are faithful even when I am not. Thank you that you are God and I am not. Thank you that your thoughts are not my thoughts and that your ways are not my ways. I trust that you know what you are doing and that if you have let something come into my life it is only because you love me and want to see me grow more in my walk with you. I trust that you love me enough not to leave me alone and let me be. When times are hard, please direct me to scriptures that will lift me up and remind me of your faithfulness. When things look dark, help me to remember that thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. There is power in the name of Jesus, there is power in the Word, and there is power in the blood. Help me to remember to call upon the name of Jesus, to pray the Word over my life and to claim the life-giving, soul-saving power of the blood that Jesus shed so that I might spend eternity with you in Heaven, so that I can endure. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute, one second, one step. May I come to rely so much on you that I would not dare think to step out of bed without calling on the name of Jesus for strength to make it through the day. Draw me so close to you that I can hear your heartbeat over my own. May my steps align so well with yours that only one set of footprints is visible. Bend my will to yours so that all I want is what you want for me and so that I want nothing that is not of you. Help me to remember to hold everything you have given me with an open hand so that my hand does not have to ache from clenching everything so tightly, and my heart does not have to break so much when you ask for it back. Help me to remember that this world is not my home, that I am only hurting because you have placed a longing in my heart for a place that is not here, but for a perfect home and for an eternity with you, when there will be no more pain, no more heartache, and no more betrayal. Give me strength to speak of that place, and of your Son, to those you put in my life so that they might be able to share in your promises, as well. Give me a holy boldness to reach out to those who are hurting because they do not know you, even though they do not know that is why they are hurting. Forgive me for those times when I have tried to insulate and isolate myself from the world, when I have become self-protective and have neglected doing your work because I did not want to get hurt again. Renew in me a heart of mercy so that I might reach out to those who are hurting because our ultimate act of praise ought to be using the strength you have given us to endure hard times to encourage others during their hard times. Dear Lord, more than anything, I pray that your will be done in my life, and, if possible, through my life.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
I would like to add just one final thing. A link to a video/song that has meant a lot to me this summer:
"Blessings" by Laura Story (this is the YouTube link to the same video above)
Enjoy, and again, TFYI,