Waving The White Flag

Whale Watching 2010 540

“…and therefore I have hope…” Lam 3:21

Have you ever woken up to a day where you really didn’t want to get out of bed?  This is me today.  I woke up and all I could picture was someone on a battle ground frantically waving a white flag so that their enemy could see that they had given up, their last reserve had been exhausted and the only thing left for them to do was to wave the white flag and hope for some form of mercy.

So here I am waving my white flag and saying that I “feel” like I’ve had enough and want to give up.  However in my heart of hearts I know this is not an option that I can take. Psalms 55:22 tells me to give my burdens (cares, concerns, needs) to the Lord, and he will take care of me.  Mat 11:28 says for me to come to Jesus and give him my burdens and he will give me rest.  Psalms 121:2 reminds me that my help comes from the Lord.

OK this is all well and good but it doesn’t take away the fact that I “feel” like I want to crawl in a hole and not come out again.  That what I have on my plate today is too much for me to bear.  And there you have it…what is on my heart today is indeed too much for ME to bear.  On my own I certainly will continue to think and feel this way.  However what I need to do…no, what I MUST choose to do is to give my concerns to Jesus.  I need to trust that God will provide what I need to get through this day.  I must not hold onto my worries.  I must release them to the only One who can give me the rest from my thoughts today and that is Jesus.

Does this mean that I am going to feel instantaneously happy.  Let me check….nope…my spirit is still troubled.  But I am believing that as this day progresses and as I continue to lay my concerns at Jesus’ feet then I will be able to handle what ever this day brings.

Have you ever read Lamentations 3?  Man this guy had a lot on his plate and still he was able to pen Lam 3:21-23 “Yet, this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.  Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  In Exodus 16 we are told the story of when God provided food the Israelites needed each and every day of their 40 years of wandering in the desert.  Everyone had exactly what they needed for that day, no more and no less, and then in the morning God provided for them again.

Here’s the thing…God gives each of us what we need every morning.  What this is telling us is that we are given what we need to get through each and every day.  This means that I don’t really have to be worrying about what tomorrow brings because God will provide for me everything I need again tomorrow morning and the next day and the next day. What I have to do is trust that what God has already given me for today will get me through today.

This is not the first time that God has had to get my attention in regards to trusting Him with my burdens…nor unfortunately will it be the last.  I am only thankful that He used my love for writing as a vehicle to capture my attention and get me to this place at this moment where I can say…This is the day that the Lord has made and I will [choose] to be glad in it.

Here’s to choosing hope [with expectation] that God’s compassions never fail.

 

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.