Saturday, March 8, 2014

Angry Prayers & Delayed Promises

Psalm 94:12-13 - Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Lord, & teach him out of Your law; that You may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.

I've been working on some Bible study notes this morning, and in that way that God sometimes works, He has been speaking to me too.

I've had a sort of tough week, with lots of angry conversations directed at God. (Judge me if you want. It works for Him, apparently. I'm still here.) So, for anyone who reads this blog, the question will arise: Just what are you so angry about?

Here it is:
I'm a little worn out with being tested.

I'm seriously worn out with being lonely.

I'm exhausted from watching people who have hurt me prosper while I'm still struggling.

I'm physically sick of WAITING.

I'm suicidal wondering if ANYTHING, EVER is going to CHANGE? FOR ME? For the BETTER?
(For those who take me too seriously, no you don't need to contact a therapist. I'm not in danger of taking my own life, but I'm not too proud to admit that I've wished for death a time or two. I'm in good company with some others in scripture: Moses, Joshua, Elijah, David, Job, and the list goes on...)

Occasionally, I'll get a well-meaning friend who sends me a message wanting me to be positive and worried that I might be depressed. He or she just wants me to count my blessings and focus on the positive, and there is much merit in what is said. I take it in and appreciate it, every time.

But they aren't living my life.

They haven't lived my last 20 years. My guess is that it's been a while since they've spent a few days without speaking to another person. I have that reality every few weekends. It's isolating, and while I've had some profound promises from God, I can't see them yet. Several years ago, I reached the place where I decided they weren't even real promises. I decided to lower my expectations and just live with what I had expecting it never to get any better.

Over the past few months, God has been challenging that viewpoint. I decided to believe things WOULD get better, and I started looking for signs and saw a few. And then came this week...and those angry conversations. :)

Now, if I were a better blogger, I would be writing this after the answer comes and it would be a tale of triumph. Alas, I'm not a better blogger. I'm me, and my long-awaited happy ending still ain't here... but I can say a thing or two about what I know.

I know that I have grown this week - He has been teaching me through the chastening. God has once again reminded me that my faith needs to rest in Him, not in what I see. He has reminded me that I don't need to be afraid to ask for what I want. He has reminded me that I am His child, and that there will come an appointed time for it all to "get better." He has reminded me that trust is important, and that what I am experiencing right now is all part of His plan to make me into someone who reflects His light.

In the meantime, I'm learning to live today without concentrating (i.e., worrying) too much on tomorrow. Those of you who know me know that this is pretty much killing me...but maybe dying out to self is something I need to do anyway.

'Til the answer comes... :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Audacity of Hope

Earlier today, I had a conversation with a dear friend, & she asked me a thought-provoking question: "What is it that you want the Lord to do in your life?"

My first response felt honest ("I don't really know, just His will."), but the true answer cut pretty deep...I was afraid to tell the Lord what I wanted, because I was terrified that He wouldn't answer, or that He would say "no." There have been so many disappointments that hope feels like a luxury somebody like me just can't afford.

But tonight, I have placed the desires of my heart & my soul before the Lord. Noelle, David, & I prayed about what we want God to do for us as a family, & I asked my children to pray with me about His will for our lives & the future I would like to see us have. It is the most terrifying & liberating thing I have done in years - to be so completely exposed in vulnerability - to admit that as much as I DO want His will above all else - I also want some specific things in this life that I've never had. To trust that God won't say "no" without walking me through it...

For so many years, I have lived with "just enough" - with the manna, meal, & oil of His daily provision. But the end of that season is coming, & by faith I will live out His promises in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 & Jeremiah 29:11. This is my year of abundance & the "expected end" of a very long drought is overtaking me - EVEN NOW when I cannot see it - in Jesus name.

Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on their, & overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God.

#listening #believing #daringtohop