I Hope You Remember

Blog PostI love it when God does amazing, miraculous things.  I love hearing stories of bodies being healed, resurrections, financial miracles, restorations – you name it.  I’ve seen some of it with my own eyes and celebrated right along with them!

Yet there are times we go through life and things don’t seem so miraculous.  Sometimes our bodies break down in various ways. Sometimes relationships crumble.  Sometimes loved ones die. Sometimes there are more bills than money and we’re forced to choose what to pay and what not to pay. Sometimes our emotions get the best of us and we find ourselves just trying to stay out of a big black hole of despair.

It happens.

So how do we respond in those times?  How do we stay connected to the Father when everything is breaking down and we can’t seem to get our heads above water?  What is the posture of our hearts in those seasons? I’ve been thinking about this lately.  Choosing to stay positive – choosing to stay thankful – those are hard choices some days.

I know.  I’ve failed miserably at making the right choice many, many times.

That’s why I love Scripture.  Papa has given us so many wonderful examples of every day, ordinary people who chose to be thankful even when they had every right to be frustrated, let down, depressed, you name it.

Did you notice that verse I posted at the top of the post?  David penned that one.  In case you aren’t aware, David was a very vocal person.  The Psalms give us a really good inside look at how David’s mind worked through any given emotion he was experiencing.  It’s my favorite book, seriously.  That man kept it real.  And I can appreciate that so much.  One minute he was all “gloom, despair, and agony on me.”  The next minute he’s pouring out how amazing God is and how thankful he is even for the rough times.

I love that man.

He’s my hero.

And not because he was a king.

And not because he did great things for God.

I love him simply because he was real.  He was transparent.

And somehow, that made him a man that God said was after His own heart.

What?!

You can pour over the Psalms and see time and again David lifting himself out of the pit of despair simply by praising God, by remembering God’s deeds, by remembering the miraculous things God had done for him and his country/nation.

In Psalm 77, after pouring his heart out about how bad things had gotten, even Asaph, one of David’s choir directors, reminds himself of the remedy for those “down in the dumps” times.

Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
    lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,
    and give a long, loving look at your acts.
Psalm 77:11-12 (The Message)

Lately as we’ve been adjusting to our new way of life – moving to a new city, leaving behind our community of friends and support, transitioning into church planting, trying to connect with complete strangers and make new friends, and adjusting to a change in our financial situation, it’s easy to allow myself times of “Woe is me. This is hard.  Help! I’m sad.  I’m frustrated.  I’m weary.”

And it’s okay.  It’s okay to have yucky moments.  But I don’t want to dwell there.  I don’t want to stay in the pit.  I want to be like David.  I want to spend the hours in grateful reflection of all God has done for me – of who He is in my life – of where He brought me from.  I want to remind myself of  what He has done for us, remember His faithfulness, the miraculous times we’ve experienced, His goodness all the days of our lives.

Do you know what happens when we spend time reflecting on His goodness toward us?  Our spirits are lifted. Our faith increases.  We have strength to endure whatever comes our way because we know that He is always faithful.  How do we know? We have proof of the many times before He has been there for us, delivered us, protected us, provided for us!

We remember.

So, when you’re feeling that life isn’t fair, maybe you’re not sure how you’re gonna pay those bills, or maybe you are just tired from all of the drama, the frustrations and the seemingly endless days of no good news – when you’re there, I hope you remember.

Blog Post 2I hope you remember that you have a Father who loves you more than you can ever imagine.

I hope you remember that He’s there for you even when everyone else lets you down.

I hope you remember that He will keep you in perfect peace as you dwell on Him.

I hope you remember that He has come through for you in the past and will do it again.

I hope you remember that above all of that, He wants to be in the most amazing relationship with you and is just waiting on you to jump in!

I hope you remember.

When you try to “Help God Out”

I’ve always been the person who liked to help you out.  Sometimes it looked like offering to do the dishes or send that email or watch the kids or book the flight – something to help you out. Sometimes that even looked like helping you finish your sentences/thoughts.  (Yeah, an annoying trait, I know.)

But I’ve had some time to reflect on my need to help out – why I do it, what my motives are, etc.  And I’ve discovered an interesting thing:  I have an underlying need to help out because I want it to get done at my pace, my way and to have the assurance that it will be accomplished.

In other words, I do because I want to see it get done.

Disclaimer:  This isn’t the main reason I do things.  I genuinely enjoy helping and serving.  But that’s the thing about issues, isn’t it?  They get muddled in with who we really are, becoming an extension of us, causing us to accept the lies with the truth.  It’s quite the conundrum. End of Disclaimer

I made this horrible discovery over the last few days when I found myself wanting to hurry God along with this whole “build the church” thing.  We’ve been here almost a month now and in my mind, things need to be happening.  We need to set a meeting date; we need to be out dragging people in; we need to find a venue; we need to advertise.  The list goes on and on and on.

He doesn’t seem to be in a hurry, though.

And that frustrates me.

I mean, doesn’t He know that we have a church to build?

;)

Every time we have talked to Him about planning things out, He keeps telling us to go about our every day normal lives and He’ll do the rest.

Hmph.

That’s when I made the horrible discovery.

I want to “help Him out” because He isn’t moving fast enough.

Don’t worry. I haven’t actually helped Him out.  

I just have to really fight the urge to do it.  Just even typing it out right now makes me sick.  I actually want to help God out because I think I can do it faster and better. I think His pace is too slow and I could have already had something accomplished by now.Hand reaching out

Ugh.

Yucky. Discovery.

It’s never fun admitting that you have something you need to work on. But being here with a slower pace,  and an almost non-existent agenda has triggered another layer of Performance Orientation and even fear of abandonment in me that I am, frankly, not happy about.  Thankful for the discovery, but not happy that it needs to be discovered.

Yeah.

So what’s the remedy?  Well, first of all a lot of repenting.  Then a lot of letting go of my agenda and ideas and timelines and waiting for His agenda, ideas and timelines. And a lot of reminding myself of His track record in my life.

Is it easy?

Yes.

And no.

Yes because ultimately we can’t build this church.  We know that.  I know that.  We do have to wait it out. So technically, that part is easy.

No because the response of my heart in times of pressure is to “Do Something Yesterday.”  Therefore,  I have to tell that part of my flesh (quite frequently, mind you) to JUST DIE ALREADY WOULD YA?!

Hmph.

Again.

Then?

Then I remind myself how He has always worked it all out.  I remind myself that His timing is always perfect – even if it doesn’t look like my ideal timing.  I remind myself that this is His deal, His show and His idea – so He must have a plan.  I remind myself that He loves me and we’ll never be too late or too early if we just stick with Him and allow Him to guide us down the right paths.

He told us in His Word way before I ever came into this world.  I cling to it.  I say it out loud.  I write it on my heart and in my mind.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

He’s got it.

I don’t need to help Him out.

(unless He asks – ;) )

x M.