Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Season For Every Activity Under Heaven

I need to be honest here, I haven't had the passion to write lately.  I feel like all of my words have been stolen from me, that while I've had many things to share and reflect upon, the ability to pen them has been out of my reach.  Why?  We are in a season.  I am in a season.  This season started in October of last year, but we didn't feel the full force of it until spring of this year. Since then it has been one opportunity after another to learn more of God's grace and goodness.  People, He is so very good, and He is faithful.  For that, I am confident that He is still creating a good work in me (Philippians 1:6.

Despite that, we haven't been relieved of the lessons this season is teaching us.  In fact, the most recent couple of months have brought even more trials our way. And with those, so much more heartache and pain. However, I am finding peace. I have no idea where it is coming from.  None.  Oh, that is not true at all.  God is the source of this.  He alone has had the power to bring me comfort during this time in my life.

And perhaps that is it.  Perhaps that is why the words have eluded me.  I have been so focused on how to put into words the issues we are facing, that I've negected what is tuly at work here.  God is at work, people.  He is always at work. We don't have the answers yet.  No, they are still being worked out, but we are, I am, praying God's goodness and truth shine through.  I am praying for open eyes and full disclosure. I am praying for lives to not be destroyed by the choices another is making.  And for that other person, I am praying for them, too.  I am praying they find just how much they are loved by a Savior who died for them.  That He alone can provide what they are looking for - not the route they are chosing.

But I can't leave it at that.  This is not about them.  This is about me.  And it is about what the Lord is trying to teach me.  What He is trying to show me and work in me.  Like this week.  This week I have barely slept, yet I have been able to rest. I swear each day has lasted an eternity as more information came our way, but am blessed the weekend arrived so quickly becasue I'm eagerly anticipating church tomorrow. Church, where I can worship, with my church family, the one who's given me a family to love and care for and the passion to fight for it. Because right now - our season - it is all about fighting for our/my family.  And while I have no idea what He's going to do, I do know He fights for me. For us. To be completely honest, I am full of eager anticipation for what God's going to do.

I know He is going to do something.  He always does.  I don't know what it is, but it will be good because He is good.  And likely, it will be different from what we/I could imagine for and I am actually thankful for that.  It is comforting to know I don't have to stress the details, I just have to trust Him to take care of them. Sure we have requirments and are doing our part in the process, but we are holding firm in Him. On that note, I have one more thing that I want share.  These past couple days there has been a few song lyrics I can't get out of my mind. They popped in randomly and have taken over so completely I have turned them into my prayer, my petition to the Lord.

Father, break my heart for what breaks yours.  With that, show me how I can be your hands and feet.  Show me how I can serve others, and you, through this.  Show me how to use this to help others.  Show me how I can be the woman, the teacher, you want me to be.  Because, Father, this breaks my heart.  The issues we are working through - that many families are working through - break your heart. Broken families, Lord, break your heart.  Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours.  

While that is all I can share in this post due to the nature of the issue, know that God knows each detail intimately.  And even more than that, know He is in control. I fully believe this because He says in His word, He fights for me, for us ; I, we need only be still (Exodus 14:14).

To listen to the song referenced above, click here.

Hoping you have a blessed week and hold your Littles and love on your family a little more.  


Together we make a Family

Sunday, November 19, 2017

He is Faithful

I'm not one who's normally in on all the new lingo used by society these days. However, having two teenage daughters I do get the opportunity to learn some, willingly or not.  I've been hesitant to write this post for some time now -  for no other reason than I simply don't have the vernacular to give it justice.  In case I haven't let on, life has kind of got me in the feels lately.  

My family is hurting. I am hurting.  Not because of my family, but because of what someone is doing TO my family.  People, there is evil in this world.  There is evil that takes on the guise of "goodness".  It is evil wrapped up in selfishness and hatred and greed. It is evil that wants nothing more than to hurt another because of jealousy and spite. The hardest part of it is shielding those you love from the evil and not letting them see the hurt and pain you are going through because of it. 

I need to be honest here. I have prayed unendingly for this pain to go away.  For God to make it all disappear.  I have prayed for fairness and honesty to come front and center. I have even prayed for the person who is causing all of this.  I have prayed that they open the eyes of their heart and that the Father who created them could work in their life and help them to grow closer to Him.  I have prayed for strength and understanding for what's the matter. Then, I have prayed to have the ability to fix it all on my own.

Sadly, like life, this is a process. There isn't a cut and dry, snap of the fingers answer to this.  There isn't a way to make it all go away. But what I was reminded of in church today was that despite all of this, God is faithful.  He is faithful when I am scared. He is faithful when I think there is no way out.  He is faithful even when I try to do it all on my own because I lack the trust I need to rely on Him.  People, HE IS FAITHFUL.  And more than that, he is a good.  He is a good, good Father. He is so infinitely good.

And while I may not get the things I think are best in this life, He has never once let me down with what I have received.  He has given me what I need even when I didn't know what that was.  Yes, I want this season to end. Yes, I want the hurt go away.  Yes, I want to walk away from all this and not look back, but there is growth going on here. I can feel it.  He is not done building what is to come.  He is working it out in His way and in His time. He has a plan.  He has a purpose.  That alone is what I am counting on.  He's too faithful to let it happen and not have a reason for it.  This is too painful to not have the hope in that truth.

Before I end this post I also need to tell you this - I have stopped moving forward. I have stopped pursuing my dream. I have stopped working on something I felt the Lord had led me to. I have stopped finding joy and purpose in my life.   I stopped it all because I was, and still am, overwhelmed by this thing that is happening. I hate the way that feels.  I hate having to fight this thing.  But it has dawned on me, it was never mine to fight alone. I was never meant to take it all on by myself.  He wants me to come to Him.  "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

I can't promise this will happen the minute I press the Publish button on this post.  I can't promise this will come in the next few days.  But I can promise you He is faithful.  I can tell myself He is faithful in His love and care for me, even in those moments, I am not faithful in my trust of that fact.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Old and New Alike

This morning I am reading in 1 Chronicles.  I am coming to the end of the book and we have King David turning the work of the temple over to his son, Solomon.  While the Lord had given David all of the instructions, down to the smallest detail, David was not to build the temple because he was "a warrior and have shed blood." (vs 28:3b) A few verses later David tells his son, "acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever." (vs 28:9) Let's stop there for a minute.

I don't know about you but I am equally humbled and thankful God searches my heart and understands every desire and every thought I have. Really!  This means I am NOT invisible to Him.  He knows every single detail about me.  He knows the things I love the most and He also knows the things I probably shouldn't be thinking.  (Good way to nip things in the bud, if you know what I mean!) I need to be honest, there was a time in my life that I did not want the Lord knowing everything.  I just didn't.  I wanted to keep a hold of the things that were mine to control (yes, laughable for sure) and only give Him the things I think He needed or wanted.  Silly me, it was and still is all His anyway.  It was His the moment I asked to be His - the moment I asked Him to come into my life and to forgive my sins, to be my personal Savior. 

I find myself asking God repeatedly to search me, to remove from me what is wrong and broken and fill me with Him - what is right and good. I struggle daily with thinking I am still not where He wants me to be, a place I desperately want to be.  I want to make Him proud.  I want to be who He wants me to be. I want to honor Him with my life. I want to be His. And I want all that to help others know how good and perfect and loving and faithful He is. (I haven't gotten off with me.)  

David wasn't done passing things down to his son.  He also said to him, “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished." (vs 20) I read that and a lightbulb went off in my head. It made sense. In the old testament, the spirit of the Lord was in the Ark of the Covenant.  The temple Solomon was in charge of was to provide a house for the Ark.  There were a lot of details.  (That is an extremely mild way of putting it!!!) Not just anyone could come before the Ark, and not a single soul could physically touch it.  God's Spirit was too Holy for man.  I know that sounds cruel, but let's be honest here - would YOU want something icky and sinful to touch you?  (I'll let you form the mental image of the worst thing you can think of and that is a good representation of what I mean here.)

But that is the thing with God. He so desperately wanted a relationship with His people that He gave David those detailed instructions and He had Solomon build the temple so His people could come before Him.  He made a way.  He ALWAYS makes a way.  Because despite the "icky and sinful" He so much wants us to be His.  To know Him. To fellowship with Him. To have a relationship with Him.  Do you see where I am going with this? Good.  BECAUSE...

1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us, "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" You guys!  This! The work of the temple is NOT complete.  Sure, we don't have to build an elaborate building and have lampstands and plates and incense and the like, but we do have to build the temple. You see, when God gave His son for us He did that so He could give each of us His spirit. WE GET TO CARRY HIS SPIRIT.  What an awesome opportunity, responsibility, and gift. He chose me.  He chose you.  He CHOSE US to be temples for His spirit.  Talk about being mind-blown and humbled.

I don't know about you, but I want to honor that gift. I want to be certain that when he searches me I am open to change and correction so His work can be done in me.  I want Him to use me to reach others.  I want my life to be a reflection of His goodness and power and strength. Why? Because I am not my own, I was bought at a price (1 Cor. 6:20 paraphrased). Like David's advice for his son, I want to serve Him wholeheartedly and with a willing mind. 

Lord, I pray that anyone who reads this sees the beauty of your gift. The blessing of a life lived with you. Lord, I ask that you open the eyes of their hearts so they may see you.  Reach them and hold them.  Comfort them and carry them.  Most of all, show them you will never leave them nor forsake them.

Love, M