Spots and Smudges

"Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize?  So run to win!" (NLT) 1 Co 9:24

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” (NLT) 1 Co 9:24

The other day I decided that it was well past the time for me to wash the outside of my windows and glass panels on my balcony.  As soon as I washed them there was a noticeable difference.  I could clearly see through the glass now without the familiar filter of a years worth of  green gunk and grime, oh and spider deification (yes spiders poop).  I was feeling pretty good about the progress I was making.  As I continued down the length of glass panels I looked back at the ones that were drying and noticed that there were spots and smudges that I had inadvertently missed during my first go.  So I went back to the first and started again. At almost the same spot down the line of glass panels I noticed that once again I could see spots and smudges on some of the panels that I had just done for the second time. So I decided that this time I would get a heavy-duty cleaning cloth, you know, the ones with the mesh on one side and really give the glass a good scrubbing and a good rinse with the garden hose set on jet (there is no better setting than jet on a nozzle).  As I sat inside my house after doing them all that third time I noticed that there were still spots and smudges that I could see on the glass panels.  At this point I decided to try to ignore the imperfections of my well intended cleaning endeavour (’cause I was exhausted) and made a note to self to hire someone to do this job the next time around.

"My focus remains short of its goal..."

“My focus remains short of its goal…”

Tell me, is there ever a time when one can truly remove each spot and smudge and have glass so pure that it shines without one blemish?  I have in the past had professionals clean my windows for me and even they leave streaks and miss places. I look out at the job that I did on my glass panels and outside windows and think that it isn’t good enough. Wow, where did that thought come from?  Didn’t I just work myself to the bone (slight exaggeration) trying to remove all the spots and smudges?  Why am I so focused on a few spots left over?  Why can’t I be satisfied with the job that I did and think job well done instead of “not good enough”?   Never mind that I have managed to remove a years worth of green gunk and grime, never mind that I have a clearer view…all I can focus on is the few spots and smudges. Yet still I look out at these panels of glass and think, it’s not good enough.  I can’t seem to focus on the whole and look beyond the spots and smudges to the beauty of the golf course.  My focus remains short of its goal. Instead it remains stuck on the foreground viewing the spots and smudges.

"God doesn't want our focus to be on the spots and smudges..."

“God doesn’t want our focus to be on the spots and smudges…”

I can’t help but wonder how often I do this in other parts of my life, focus on the foreground and miss the beauty beyond the spots and smudges.  Do I remain stuck in the foreground and miss opportunities that God would want to bless me with?  Do I have a shorten sight line because I am so focused on the foreground and believing that “it” what ever “it” is, isn’t good enough?  Does this inability or difficulty to look beyond the imperfection of things hinder me in viewing myself as God views me?  Do I somehow equate this belief of “it” as being not good enough to mean that I am not good enough?  How many times have I, have we accepted less than what was intended for us?  God doesn’t want our focus to be on the spots and smudges but on the goal which is to run the race of life to win. To be all that He created us to be and to stop focusing on our spots and smudges.  He doesn’t see these imperfections so why should we?

Here’s to running the Race to win and not trying to prove our worth by how perfect we do our jobs or live our lives.

Bigger Than Your Britches

 

"God did not tell us to follow Him because He needed our help, but because He knew that loving Him would make us whole." Irenaeus

“God did not tell us to follow Him because He needed our help, but because He knew that loving Him would make us whole.” Irenaeus

“You are getting too big for your britches.”  I grew up hearing this phrase a lot, not to me mind you…to others around me…never about me! Just because the voice I hear in my memory is my Gram and I just happen to be there doesn’t necessarily mean she was speaking to me. 🙂 For you younger folk or perhaps those who didn’t grow up on the East Coast, this saying is a kind way of reminding someone that they are thinking more of themselves than they ought to be.

A few years ago God began to get my attention around the fact that everything is about Him and not necessarily about me.  At first this was a bit (to put it mildly) difficult to swallow.  What do you mean that the earth, sun, moon, the (what ever) doesn’t evolve around what I think, believe or feel like?  How could that possibly be true.  I am after all vitally important to the grand scheme of things…aren’t I?  I mean, everyone is entitled to my opinion…aren’t they?

I’ve heard a few opinions over the years that God is this huge egomaniac who created us just so that He could get all the focus and the accolades.  Well I guess to those who don’t know God this could look like what He is all about.  But to those who do know God it is definitely not who He is.  I mean, seriously…He’s God he doesn’t need the focus or accolades because…well…He’s God!  Life is actually all about Him and His plan for us.  It’s not something to be afraid of because God only wants what is best for us. This does not mean that we all have to become like little cookie cutter types of people.  God created us with our unique, quirky, loud, exuberant personalities.  We just have to check to see if our britches are getting too tight every now and again.

Then who is God?  The Holy Bible tells us that He is Elohim – The Strong, Faithful, and Only True God (Gen. 1:1); El-Elyon – The Most High God (Psa. 47:2); El-Olam – The Eternal God (Gen. 1:33); El-Roi – The God Who Sees (Gen. 16:13); El-Shaddai – The Almighty, All-Sufficient God (Gen 17:1,2); Adonai – Lord and Master; Jehovah – I AM (Exo. 6:2,3); Jehovah-Jireh – I AM the Lord who provides (Gen 22:14); Jehovah-M’kaddesh – I AM the Lord who sanctifies (Lev. 20:7,8); Jehovah-Nissi – I AM the Lord your banner (Exo. 17:15); Jehovah- Rohi – I AM the Lord your shepherd (Psa. 23:1); Jehovah-Rapha – I AM the Lord who heals (Exo. 15:26); Jehovah- Sabaoth – I AM the Lord of hosts (1 Sam. 17:45); Jehovah-Shalom – I AM the Lord your peace (Judg. 6:24); Jehovah-Shammah – I AM the Lord Who is there (Eze. 48:35); Jehovah-Tsidkenu – I AM the Lord your righteousness (Jer. 23:5,6).

So what does this tell us?  God is the only true god; He is the highest authority to go to; He lives forever; He sees everything; and He is sufficient all by himself...hmmm maybe then he doesn’t really need me.  Here’s the thing, God doesn’t “need” me (us) in the sense that He has to have my cooperation to get the things done that He wants to accomplish.  My opinion really has no place here (ouch).  However He does love me.  In fact He loves me (us) so much that He sent His son, Jesus to pay the ultimate price for us.  Read the Bible and it will show you just how much we are loved and what God did to make sure that we could once again have a relationship with Him.  It’s quite amazing actually.

Let’s get back to our britches. I think that too many times we, those who believe in Christ, let our “flesh” get in the way of what God is wanting to do.  What I mean here is how often do we enter into our home church expecting to be “fed” but come out “hungry” muttering to those around us about things that would be best muttered between you and God? (I just have to interject here and give my “opinion”, seriously if we go into a church service “hungry”, needing to be fed, I would have to ask us to examine our “cupboards” at home and ask when was the last time we were in the Word for ourselves?  Sometimes the preaching that day isn’t for us but for someone else who is just beginning to walk with Jesus.  Now go figure that…it isn’t about us all the time. Hmmm guess I have to check to see if my britches are too tight.)  How many times do we leave a church service “offended” about what was said from the pulpit, by the music that was sung, or by a “look” that you “think” that someone gave you from a few rows over? (That person that “looked” at you perhaps he/she didn’t even see you but was thinking about a problem that they are concerned about which produced the frown on his/her face.)  Then instead of bringing these offences to God we talk about them with others. Here’s a good one, how many of us get upset with something that has changed in our churches, either with the way a service is being run or a personnel change? (Here I would think the issue would be that we weren’t “told” that this change was happening…really do we think we should be kept in the loop for all things?)  Again I would have to ask how tight are our britches getting? Do we really think that everything and everyone should cater to us and our personal preferences?

Is it easy to get our “britches” to fit again.  No, but it is not impossible.  We just need to acknowledge that it’s not all about us and allow the Holy Spirit to change our hearts.  We need to understand there are other things happening around us for a reason, for a purpose that sometimes only God knows the answer to.  We have to learn to trust Him and to let go of our own selfish desires which are contrary to what God would have for us.  There is nothing to be afraid of in acknowledging that we are not #1. Psalms 9:10 tells us that, “Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for You.”  We can give up the fight clawing our way to the top because we are already there.  In God’s eyes we are His children and he loves us all the same he will never leave us.

Here’s to making sure that our britches remain loose.

 

You Are My Witness

"You are my witness declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed nor will there be one after me."  Isaiah 43:10

“You are my witness declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed nor will there be one after me.” Isaiah 43:10 (NIV)

While I was cleaning up my office, (for those of you who know me this is an ongoing process and I’m happy to announce that I can once again see some patches of wood in between the piles of paper) I found this file that had notes from a personal study I did one day of Isaiah 43:10.  So I thought I would share my thought process with you today.

When I do a study of a verse in the Bible, (now before I make myself sound all pious and perfect let me state that one of my many struggles is getting into the Word on a frequent basis, so please don’t think that I am something that I’m not.  When I do take the time to really study God’s Word I find it so exciting…I just don’t know why I don’t make this a priority) so when I do a study of a verse or book in the Bible I like to take it apart and look up the words in the Greek and Hebrew dictionary and then I will look up the meanings of the words in and English dictionary.  I find that this opens up a deeper line of thought for me and helps me “own” what is said in that verse or book.  The following paragraph is how for this particular verse I broke it down.

You are my witness (wit- to know, to make known, reveal) Hebrew/Greek Dictionary.  Wit – power to perceive quickly and express cleverly, ideas that are unusual and amusing.  Ness – quality, state or condition of being. Collins Gage Canadian Dictionary.  declares (to say, utter, an affirmation, speak) (A word from God, usage of this word throughout the old testament, with exception  of Prov 30:1, means a word from God.) the Lord, and my servant (mark of those called by God) (Manservant, bondsman, bought with money, hired, mark of humility and courtesy). whom I have chosen (select, choose, choice acceptable, appoint) so that you may know (to know by observing and reflecting (thinking), to know by experience. and believe (to be firm, endure, be faithful, be true, stand fast, trust) A firm place where a peg can be driven so that it’s immovable.  Abram was full of trust and confidence in God…He believed in God himself…He had a personal relationship to God rather than an impersonal relationship with his promises.  me and understand (to understand, be able, deal wisely, consider, pay attention to, regard, notice, discern, perceive, inquire). that I am he.  Before me not god (general designation of deity in the ancient Near East).  was formed (to form, mould, fashion) nor will there be one after me.

I also looked at my Life Application Study Bible (NLT) and found the following thought:

Israel’s task was to be a witness (44:8), telling the world who God is and what he had done.  Believers today share the responsibility of being God’s witnesses.  Do people know what God is like through your words and example?  They cannot see God directly, but they can see him reflected in you.

This then brought me to pray the following:

Lord you are telling me that I am your witness.  I am to make known, to reveal who you are to others around me.  I can do this by openly sharing who you are to people and also by my actions, by how I live my life, trying to do what it is you have called me to do or to be.  You have declared this for me: you have given me this affirmation that I can do this.  This is a word directly from you to me because I am a believer in you.  Help me have the courage to live this out Lord.  You have declared me to be your servant, that I am marked and called by you.  I am also choosing to be your servant.  I do this willingly as a mark of humility and courtesy.  Lord you know my heart, help me humble myself before you and others.  You have appointed me to get to know you.  I can only do this by knowing you in a personal way, by observing, reflecting on your Word and in my life through my experiences with you.  Lord help me have the quiet time that I need in order to be reflective, to sit and ponder over what your Word says and who you are in my life.  Help me have this intimate personal relationship with you.  Lord you not only want me to know, but you want me to believe.  What an image I have in my mind of having such a belief that it is like that firm place where a peg is driven in so firmly that it cannot be moved except by being snapped off.  Lord let my belief be that strong.  Let me be as immovable as that peg.  And to think that Abraham had such a personal belief in you that he actually believed you, not just your word but in you personally.  He first and foremost had a belief in YOU.  He had a personal relationship with you.  Help me have this kind of belief Lord. You desire me to deal wisely with others, to understand them and myself.  To pay attention to those around me and to discern what it is you want me to say, do or be to others.  Lord help me get out of my own way in times like these.  Help me hear you clearly and then help me OBEY you.  Thank you for the firm statement that you are the only true God, that none have come before you and none will go after you.  Lord open all of our eyes so we can see and our ears so we can hear.  Help us know truth from  lies.  Help us be the witnesses you have appointed us to be.  Thank you for your mercy Lord.  Amen

 

Here’s to being His witness…

 

 

Only Sometimes?

 

"I'm still in your presence, but you've taken my hand.  You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me." Psalm 73:21 MSG

“I’m still in your presence, but you’ve taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me.” Psalm 73:21 MSG

I wonder if you have ever found yourself in this place?  I ask Jesus to help me, to guide me and protect me.  I ask Him to hold my hand, especially in my times of need, the darkest times.  (I could ask myself why especially in these kinds of circumstances, but this thought will be examined another day.)  I cry out for His help, expecting rescue. However I find that sometimes I’m rescued and other times I feel like I’ve been left hung out to dry.  That I’ve been left alone being blown around by the whim of the wind. So what is this telling me?  Should I believe that Jesus only helps me sometimes?  Does this mean that He arbitrarily chooses who He will help and who He won’t?  Does He sit on His throne and say, yes today I will hold her hand but tomorrow I’m going to let her go it alone?

It is at times like these that I have to go into the Word of God and see what it says.  For I know that Truth is found here and that if I were to rely solely on my understanding then I would definitely be led astray.  So what does the Holy Word tell me about God holding my hand?  Psalm 37:2-24 (New Living Translation) tells me that the Lord directs the steps of the godly.  This means that God is the one who is guiding me. (However to be guided one needs to be willing to go where they are being directed to go.  Again, a thought to pursue another day.)

God delights in every detail of my life. Interesting, this tells me that God takes pleasure in every detail, not just some details but every detail of my life.  In order for Him to be delighted in something He would have to be there to experience it.  Therefore He is present.

Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.  So here I am told that God does indeed hold my hand.  However it also makes reference to stumbling, but never falling.  Think for a moment what it means to stumble. Sometimes when we stumble we get a little hurt but not to the point that we are incapacitated.  Have you ever been out walking while holding a child’s hand and they trip or stumble over something on the ground.  They begin to fall and perhaps scrape their knee a bit but you instinctively pull up and save them from a bigger mishap?  I think that this is what this verse is talking about.  We may scrape our knees or stub our toes in a stumble but we won’t take an out right fall because God has a hold of our hands and will stop us from taking the full impact of the fall.

OK this is all well and good, but there have been times when it has felt like I have taken a hard, devastating fall.  I could ask, did Jesus really hold my hand then?  Well, the Bible tells me that God will never let me fall and I have chosen to believe that His Word is Truth.  So that means that something else must have gone on.  I need to ask myself then, was I reaching out to Jesus in this time of need?  Really?  With my hand and arms fully outstretched and grasping tightly to His hand? Or was I holding out my hand but holding back just a bit because I didn’t quite trust that He could deal with the situation? Have you ever tried to hold someone’s hand who didn’t want it held?  It’s pretty difficult to keep a tight grip on that person.  I believe that Jesus will not force Himself on us.  He loves us too much for that.  What I needed to do in this situation was to fully reach out to Him.  I needed and need to hold nothing back from Him.

Mother Teresa said that, “What is important about holding on, [is] that you have to [have] a grip on Christ and He will not let go of your hand.”  I loved this quote.  It gave me the picture of someone holding Jesus with all the might they could muster.  They didn’t hold Jesus’ hand with a light clasp of the fingers or a flick of the wrist.  They had a strong grip on the hand of the One who intercedes for us before God the Father.

Several years ago I was sitting in a bible study and God brought to my mind an incident that I was very angry with God about.  I felt that He didn’t follow through on a promise that He gave me.  I heard God’s voice saying to me, “Lindy, remember when you thought I’d let you down…I never promised you that…you told me what you wanted me to do and then believed that it came from me.”  In our times of need I wonder how often we tell God what we want to happen instead of asking Him what He wants for us and holding out our hands for Him to hold?  How many times do we blame God for things, but the onus is ours due solely to the fact that we are not giving God every part of us, that we continue to hold something back?  God holds our hands but sometimes it is us who aren’t holding on tightly to Him.

Here’s to taking ownership on what is our’s to own.

 

 

Easter – Casting Lots

Matthew 27:35

When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.  Matthew 27:35 (NIV)

For whatever reason this little verse caught my eye back in October.  What stuck out at me was the phrase, “casting lots”.  It made me look up what it actually meant to cast lots. The act of casting is to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls.  A lot was either a pebble, shard or broken pottery, or a piece of wood.  If there were more than one person interested in getting in on this casting of lots they would write their names on a piece of whatever they were using, put it in a jar or vase, shake and let them fall on the ground.  The name out of the jar to hit the ground first received the lot.

OK, so in this verse men were at Jesus’ crucifixion tossing pieces of whatever on the ground in hopes of “winning” the clothes that Jesus had worn.  Think for of what the setting was like in this particular act of casting lots.  There were angry people who wanted to see Jesus die.  There were his family, friends and followers in anguish over what was happening.  There were probably people who were just curious to see what was going on.  The noise was probably deafening and then we see a group of men (possibly soldiers or at least men who were in charge of watching Jesus) hunched over somewhere in the vicinity of where Jesus was hanging on the cross.  In my mind I have them at the feet of Jesus getting ready to divide up his clothing.  I picture them completely focused on the task at hand and don’t notice the drops of blood hitting the ground around them, Jesus’ blood.

I found it interesting that this very act of casting lots used broken pieces of a whole.  I couldn’t help but see this as a symbol that represented the brokenness of the human race. Because there were more than one man present at this casting of lots they would have put an identification on the piece they were using.  Writing their names on the broken pieces of pottery, pebbles or wood; putting them together in a vase and spilling them on the ground before the feet of Jesus is significant.

Their names represented the broken, sinful nature of mankind. The reason that Jesus was on that cross was so that the broken (you and I) could be made whole again. Because of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us we all have the opportunity to be forgiven.

Easter casting lots 051

As each name in that jar spilled out onto the ground, Jesus’ blood was pouring out to cover them, to make the broken pieces of humanity whole.  The men who were casting these lots at the feet of Jesus were already forgiven, all they had to do was look up from what   they were doing and accept it.

Let’s look up from what we are doing and accept the forgiveness that Jesus is still offering us today.

Happy Easter everyone.

Don’t Get Caught In The Spider’s Web

Spiders make their webs to be beautiful to those who look at them from afar, but deadly to those who get tangles up inside them.

Spiders make their webs beautiful to those who look at them from afar, but deadly to those who get tangled up within them.

This morning I looked up at my skylight and noticed a spider web forming that wasn’t there a week ago (or if it was I never noticed it).  I was thinking that perhaps I should do something about removing it (notice I said thinking about doing and not actually “doing” something about it).

Spider webs are exquisite.  Really.  Even if you abhor spiders you have to admit that the webs they weave are intricately designed, beautiful to the eye, deceiving in their strength, and designed specifically to capture the prey the spider has set its web to catch.

Spider webs kind of represent what sin is like.  We allow these webs (sin) to take root in different aspects of our lives.  At first we ignore them, then Light will shine on them and instead of allowing the Light to help us get rid of these webs we allow their intricate design to capture our attention.  We allow ourselves to become memorized by the tantalizing beauty and dismiss them as being something so fragile and beautiful that there could be no harm in allowing them to stay.  As time goes on more webs appear, dust accumulates on them and they become thick ugly cobwebs, but we are so used to having them around that we continue to ignore them.

The amount of cobwebs we have filling up our lives I believe have a direct correlation to what our relationship with Christ is like.  If we fail to maintain a relationship with Christ our cobwebs (sin) may begin to cloud up our relationship with him. The important thing to take note of here is that the clouding up factor does not come from Christ.  It comes from the cobwebs that we allow to multiply and that eventually become a filter between Christ and us. Pretty soon if we don’t do some “house cleaning” those cobwebs become so thick that it is difficult to “see” the light which is Christ.  Without light darkness reigns and before we know it our lives represent a neglected house in desperate need of a good cleaning so that light will shine on us and through us once more.

Is today a good day for you to start to do some “house cleaning”?  Don’t put it off until the cobwebs are so thick that you have to work up a sweat to remove them.  It’s easier to remove them daily than to clean up a lot of them that have accumulated over time.

Here’s to clearing out our cobwebs…one web at a time.

Good To Go…

Sometimes we think we are good to go when in fact we aren't.  We need to rest a bit before we take the jump.

Sometimes we think we are good to go when in fact we aren’t. We need to rest a bit before we take the jump.

Around this time last year (it’s now April) I felt that God was trying to get my attention.  But of course I ignored Him as I find that I often do when I’m in “Lindy Mode”.  This mode is when I am going full steam ahead, believing that I am consulting with God (notice I used the word “consulting” and not “asking”).  This about sums up how I go about doing life when in “Lindy Mode”.  I find that I think that I have “asked” God for direction when in actual fact I’m “consulting” with Him.  Which really means that I already have a plan in place and I’m ready to forge on full steam ahead. God was trying to get my attention while I was in the midst of attempting to get all my ducks in a row for the coming September.  I was getting into the grove of beginning to plan what Bible Study that I felt “He” was directing me to teach for next year, consulting with my fellow teachers and taking a weekend Seminar on how to teach the bible put on by Simeon Trust. (It was a great seminar and I was really enjoying it.)  I felt that I was networking and learning all that God wanted me to learn and that I was meeting the people who God wanted me to meet.  I had just signed up to join a research group that I added to my load of teaching three bible studies (I signed up because my studies were almost coming to an end and I would then have more time to really get into this research project).  Phew, let’s take a bit of a breather here.  Family time?  Well that just of…sort of….well…I had a duck for that.  And let me tell you I didn’t take it too well when the family “duck” got out of line.  In fact a fair amount of juggling and reshuffling had to take place when this happened!

So I was good to go…however what was really happening was that God knew that I really wasn’t good to go but I had yet to realize this fact.  As the days and weeks flew into May I found that all my ducks were not nicely sitting in the row that I would place them in.  I found that God’s still small voice was getting louder and quite frankly a bit annoying because it was interfering with my voice trying to order my ducks to line up again.  All this commotion that was going on inside my head finally came to a boiling point where I literally ran out of gas.  I fell, deflated, ran out of steam, felt that the world was against me and that there was something definitely wrong.  But I still kept trying to organize my ducks until finally I began to listen to God’s voice and He was telling me that I wouldn’t be teaching Bible study in September.  In fact that I wouldn’t be part of women’s ministry at all in September.

Well whatever reserve that I had crumbled and I lost my identity.  Yep, I said it I lost my identity.  Notice where my identity was…it was in what I was “doing” for God…not who I was in Him.  I fell apart literally and figuratively.  I had a huge pity party and sat up in my office crying because I was not going to be of any use to God.  But here’s the reality of where I was (and consequently where I’m still at but we’ll get to this).  I physically and mentally had nothing left.  I really fell apart.  It was actually quite scary to not have any reserve left in the tank.  I was not only on empty…the fumes that I would rely on in the past when things got tough were long since gone.  I found that the only way that I could cope with things in life that came up was to ignore them.  I pulled away into that quite place deep in my mind that was a “safe place” to reside. The only thing is that when you are a wife, mother, mother to an adult child with a developmental disability and grandmother, people keep pulling you out of that quiet safe place.  I found that I really didn’t have the luxury to hide away.  I needed to be present in whatever form that was.  I needed to begin to admit that I didn’t have everything in control.  I had to begin to tell people that I needed help. Ouch! and Yeck! (Can we say that I have a bit of a pride issue here?)  I had to be OK that God was giving me the opportunity to really have a look at myself and my family.  I really needed to get things in place for Christie and I needed to start looking after me.  I wrote about Christie’s moving out in, “Last One To Leave”.  This current blog tells a bit about what was going on behind the scenes in regards to why I needed to get things moving to help her with this next part in her life.

I was embarrassed and frustrated that I seemed to not be able to hold it all together and would cry at the drop of a hat or get that pain in my chest which was a forewarning that I was getting anxious about a certain situation.  I know that my husband didn’t know what to do with me and quite frankly I didn’t know what to do with myself.  Remember in one of my blogs I think that I alluded to the fact that I’ve reached a “certain age” in my life and let me tell you this is something that I read about and talked about with my friends but didn’t really think that it was going to jump up and bite me in my rear end so fast and so unexpectedly. Yes looking back I had signs that I should have slowed down or paid attention to but when I’m in “Lindy Mode” I don’t stop to think…I just do…

God is so good.  Really I don’t think we actually know how good He actually is.  He has been so loving and patient with me.  He talks, I don’t listen. He loves, I take it for granted. He talks again, I still don’t listen.  I begin to fall apart and He catches me when I fall.  He never once says to me, I told you so…instead He says to me…my child I love you so!

I find that God sends people my way just when I need them.  He gives me words of encouragement that I don’t even know that I need until sometimes long after the words had been spoken.  I get frustrated with my self, my imperfection and He loves be because of my imperfection.  I’m mad that I don’t have the strength that I used to have…He waits for me to realize that the strength that I need comes from Him…only Him.

When this happened to me last year I came (slowly) to the realization that I still had a theology, a belief that I needed to prove my worth to God.  That I show this by what I can do for Him.  It hit me like a ton of bricks when He revealed this to me.  I was floored by the fact that I still had this kind of thinking.  I mean I know in my head that I can never in my own right prove my worth to Him.  In fact that is not what it is about.  He freely gave his son to die for me so that I could be worthy in His sight.  It is by and through the sacrifice that Jesus did for me that I am worthy.  I know this…I know this…but I guess it was still head knowledge for me and my heart had not caught up yet.  I don’t have to prove my worth to God.  I can never do this.  He created me to love Him.  That is all I need to do…love Him.

Why am I still struggling with this??? Fast forward to current time and I am coming into it being a year that I have been in this state.  I had a rough time of it last week.  I think that I have still been in “Lindy Mode” thinking that by now I would be able to pick things back up and start again.  I’m so frustrated with myself.  I want to get back to ordering my ducks around again…only I find that I still am not in a place that I can do this.  I found that I was back to worrying about what worth am I to God in my current state.  How can I be effective to Him as I am?  The skills and talents that God has given me are not being used. (These are all thoughts that had been raging through my head).  I was reminded again by friends that it is not by what I do that makes me worthy.  Really!  Really! I’m still believing in this false theology??? I’m also slowly…and I mean slowly…beginning to realize that for me I may be in for the long haul in regards to what happens to women of a “certain age”.  And if this is the case…then I have to learn to be ok with it.  I need to go to God and ask Him to help me through this journey that I am on.  I need to continually remind myself that I can never out do God.  I need to realize that in fact I could stay upstairs in my office and never go out the door and God could use me.  Who am I kidding…HE’S GOD!  He can bring people to my doorstep if it is in His plan.  He is the one who is in control of my life and the direction that it is taking.  The key here is for me to continually bring my frustrations to Him and be willing to let Him transform me to where I need to be so that I can accept where I am.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  The strength that I need, that we all need does not come from ourselves.  It comes from Jesus!

Am I through with my pity parties…unfortunately probably not.  However today I am choosing to learn what I need to learn and be open to what is coming.  Not saying that I’ll like it all…but that’s not what life is about.  Life is about learning to trust in God, to strengthen our faith in Him and to love Him with all that we are.

So am I “good to go”? Not in “Lindy Mode”.  But I’m always “good to go” when I am asking God to direct my paths and allowing Him to put my ducks in a row for me.

Life’s an adventure…be in it!

 

Too much to bear…

Have you ever had a time or maybe several times in your life where you felt you had too much to bear? Have you felt that life was a tunnel and the closer you tried to get to the light, to the closure of the unbearable circumstance, the further away the light seemed?  I know that I’ve been there, numerous times.  I’ve had moments that I felt like I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me whole.  I’ve wanted to wake up to find that it had all been a bad dream. I’ve screamed that silent scream, you know the one, the scream that goes down to the root of your soul, where hopelessness and helplessness reign and you begin to believe that all is lost.  I’ve been to the point that I thought of ending my life and in fact got pretty close to doing so, but instead I looked up into the bathroom mirror and stared at myself and said, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!”

So what did I do? I chose to get up each day.  I put one foot in front of the other.  I got up each day and I prayed.  I had pity parties and then when things were too much again, I remembered to pray.  I cried, ranted and raved at the only One who could really hear and understand the depths of my despair.  I asked God to help me and He has. 🙂 I will admit though that when I was going through some of these circumstances I had times that I thought that this might be even too big for God to handle. I had many moments that I was too overwhelmed and quite frankly forgot to pray.  However, He rescued me and saved me even though He knew of my (at times) unbelief.  I am so thankful that God is not who I think that He is.  He is so much more than that.  He understands me better than I know myself. He loves me more than I can even fathom.  He will never give up on me, on us!

I’ve had people tell me off and on in various times in my life that God doesn’t give us more than we can bear.  Really?  I wanted to say, ” You needed to tell me this now?”  Because at that moment I felt like I couldn’t take any more.  I was definitely at the end of my rope and what was left of my rope was quickly slipping through my fingers.  I would come away from these well-meaning people, glad that they cared about me, but I left thinking that I must have done something really wrong because God definitely had abandoned me in this particular situation because I really did have too much to handle.

A couple of years ago I tried to find this verse in the Bible that said that God doesn’t give us more than we can bear.  I couldn’t find it.  In fact it doesn’t exist.  Instead I found out that we are to give our hurts and burdens over to God.  If He in fact doesn’t give us more than we can bear, why then does the Bible tell us to give our burdens over to Him?  We are told in the Bible that we can do all things, not on our strength but on the strength that comes from Jesus. If we are going to have a life that we never have things that are too much for us, why are we told we can do all things through Christ’s strength?    I found out that we give God delight when we come to Him with our problems.  How then can I give God delight if I don’t have things in my life that I can’t handle?  I found out that I am never alone, that God is always with me.  He never leaves me (which means that I am never abandoned).  God never said that life would be a bed of roses.  In fact the opposite is said.  Life will be hard.  It is especially in these hard times that we are to go to Him and He will give us His strength to get through whatever we are to get through.  The strength we need to face each and every day comes from Him.

Recently God has reminded me that He gives me (us) exactly what I (we) need to “do life” each day. From the time I open my eyes to the time I close them each and every day I have exactly what I need to get through that day.  The key here is that I need to rest in the fact that God is in control of my day, not me. I don’t have to worry or be afraid about what tomorrow is going to bring because I can be sure that whatever tomorrow brings God will give me exactly what I need to get through it. 🙂 God is the one who is going to help me get through the tough times.  All I need to do is let Him help me. 🙂

Here’s to His renewed mercies each and every day.