Friday, November 21, 2014

Waiting on God

Constantly on a quest for answers, we humans want to find logic in everything. We want everything to make sense, even though we know life doesn't. I've written before about living by faith, and doing so to an extent that seems foolish to those who strive for logic and reason. Even those of us who believe that this is the best way to live, tend to be astounded by God's timing, precision, and attention to detail when He finally reveals one of His plans... it is an assault on our fleshly desire for reason.  

It's one of the reasons I share the ways God comes through for me time and time again. We need the encouragement of hearing how God came through for others.

This recently happened to a friend of mine.

Getting ready to transition to a new job in just six days, J found out that it had fallen through. Having already been replaced at this current job, he was understandably very upset. I told him about the book that really challenged my faith, Extravagant Fool, by Kevin Adams and he said he would look into it. But, I felt a gentle nudge from the Spirit. Knowing he probably wouldn't go get it, went to the bookstore and bought it for him.

We talked as he read it, and it was awesome hearing someone else with many of the same thoughts and feelings that I had. He ultimately loved the book and told me that he was going to stop worrying and let God be in control.

A few days later, it was Friday, his last day on the job... until someone called in and management asked him to cover Saturday. Then, Monday, the day he should have started his new job came and he received another call as someone didn't show up for work. J talked on the phone to the manager (who managed remotely from Chicago) and talked about changes that needed to be made in the store that J was unable to make because he was not management.

An hour later the manager called back. The decision was made to let the store be managed locally, and they gave J his job back... along with a promotion and a raise.

What gets me the most is that J could have freaked out about being jobless. He could have tried to "fix" it himself. He could have started another job, lined up a bunch of interviews, or even just had a bad attitude about losing his job, and been a jerk to the boss. Any of those things could have made him unavailable the two times that they called him.

Instead, he chose to wait on the Lord, believing there was a plan... and he was shocked to find out just how good of a plan it was.

What decision is stressing you out today? What unexpected happening has thrown you into a frenzy? Take a deep breath and look up. Know that He Who created you, knew this was going to happen before time began, and He has had a plan all along. When you pray for answers, don't forget to be quiet and listen for them. Waiting on the Lord, putting your trust in Him, will take you places you never imagined.

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~Psalm 27:13-14

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I've written several posts as
I worked through the loss of
a couple of friendships lately.
God kept telling me to let it go,
but I really didn't know how.

When I realized the key to letting
go was forgiveness, I was angrier.
"That's not fair!" I told God.

But I eventually tried...
and failed...
and tried again.
I tried several different ways...

This week I succeeded.

After praying about it, I said
a few things I needed to say
via email, and sent it off.
I woke up the next morning and
realized I felt better, even without
a response or acknowledgment.

While we must still interact on
a regular basis, when I let go,
I suddenly realized my feelings
about the person had changed.

Am I still disappointed? Sure. Am I angry? No.
And because of that, my actions have changed too...

No more being hurt.
No more accepting blame.
No more walking on eggshells.
No more apologizing for every interaction.

Does the enemy know my weaknesses? Yep.
Is he going to try to poke me every now and then? Probably.

But I feel free today, and I'm thankful
that I trusted God when He told me to let go,
and that today I am stronger than I was
a week ago, stronger than I was a month ago,
and so much stronger than I was a year ago.

Thank you, Lord for believing in me, even when I didn't. Thank You for strength and grace. Thank You for loving me unconditionally. Remind me of times like this when I doubt my ability to do what You ask of me. Remind me that when I leave You in control, everything works out. Amen.

Praise the Lord!
For he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. 
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
The Lord gives his people strength.
~Psalm 28:6-8

Monday, November 3, 2014

Redeeming humanity

Why do we refuse to acknowledge
the battles, the struggles, the pain?

It doesn't make us any less redeemed,
to admit that we are human. It might even
make us more so, as it is our humanity
that makes us worth redeeming.

At some point we must realize that
being redeemed, saved, valued, loved
by the God of all creation, doesn't fix
our lives, resolve our problems, perfect us.

In fact, it often makes our issues
even more glaringly obvious when the
Holy light shines down on them and
reminds us of how far we still have to go.

God is in the business of redeeming humanity,
not taking away choices, even choices that
involve turning away from Him. If we were
perfect upon redemption, our choices would
be gone, we'd know too much to have free will.

So we continue this life, redeemed, but human
while trying to put on a "perfected" facade.
Who are we lying to... God? He knows better.
The world, our friends, maybe just ourselves? Why?

Maybe we fear being called 'hypocrite'
by those who don't understand we are
still on a journey towards perfection.
Maybe we fear acknowledging all
the work we know we have left to do. 

Twice recently, I have been reminded that
sharing my struggles is just as important
as sharing how I've succeeded in Him.

And yet, I couldn't help but think today
what a fraud I am, claiming God has
rescued me from depression and still
reacting to an old trigger with an inability
to function productively for a few hours.

I kept looking for confirmation of all
I was thinking and feeling, knowing
I'm a fraud and a failure, and I found plenty.

I almost believed it all, until the redeemed
within me began fighting back, against
the lies I was hearing, reading, believing.
I still believed most of it when I sat down
to write tonight, prepared for a negative post.

So many things are happening that make me
question my worth on all levels. And yet, I know
that as long as I keep fighting, He'll always
pull me through. And as hard as it is to believe,
it doesn't matter who thinks what of me.
I found this song tonight...

Yes, these struggles chase after me,
threatening to overtake me. But I know
none of those things own me any longer because
He who is in me is greater than all of it... and He will use it for good.

 My foes have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me. When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.
~Psalm 56:2-3