God, You call this a make-over?!

Sometimes I have a lot of questions for God. They are not always very pleasant ones either. You see, I’m all for improving the person I am, but at times I really get confused at what He’s doing. When this happens we have a talk. (Thank goodness I can be real with Him!)

A sample of our conversation may look something like this:

God, what is wrong with me? Am I getting in your way? Am I not fit for your use? Have you changed your mind? Have I been thinking the wrong things–things that are just too big for me to be expecting–all along? Are You going to move at some point and make all of this clear?

And God answers fitly–usually with less emphasis on my problems than on me and my relationship to Him:

 

Can’t you see: I am moving. I’m moving on your behalf. I’m moving away obstacles that take up room in your mind and I’m making you, instead, more mindful of Me.

This is a good process. It may seem to you to be a long one, but it is a good one. I am in it. I do not leave you alone in it; instead, I teach you to see My love in it.

Yes, you will be alright because I know what I am doing. I am caring for the soul of my little, needy child. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be and so am I.

Relax and be still, My child. I am here.

And there it is…

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What do I want with a recycled gift?

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes I think it is optional for me to trust God. Mind you, I never consider it an optional thing for God to give me information and understanding about the mysteries in my life. But I don’t see this as a contradiction.

My expectations for God are lengthy and precise. I want to know He’s listening and I want to get His answers. I want to be satisfied with those answers, and I don’t want to be disappointed. I want everything to go perfectly (understandable) because He’s in charge and I don’t want any long, unexplained periods of waiting.

And yet, today I find myself in one. It is not that this is a new discovery–I’ve been in this place for a while now–it is just not something that I expected to experience in my walk with God. At least not at this point.

I’ve waited before, but it was different then. In those former times, the shelter I found in God was something I easily equated with the beautiful promise/explanation He gave me. When I became discouraged He would remind me of His word to me and I would be strengthened. And because He consistently brought it back to me, I was enabled to walk through things that my own vision declared to be very disadvantageous for me.

But, while I am thankful for that gift being given to me at that time, it is not something that God is offering to me at this time. Instead, He is giving me the opportunity to grow beyond living according to the bluntness of my own knowledge and understanding. He is teaching me to acknowledge and trust His knowledge and understanding, even when I do not have the opportunity to see into them as deeply as I could wish.

I am learning that I can be okay even in the midst of this. I’m finding joy in trusting that God has not forgotten me just because He’s not telling me everything He is doing with me. I want to know that; I groan for those answers, but I wait. They are not what I need most right now.

Many times I do not even know what that need is, but I come asking and gratefully receiving what He gives. It may not be what I identified in my heart as the biggest obstacle to my happiness, but it is what He has identified in His heart as the biggest generator of the happiness He wants to fill me with.

Can you and I just hold onto that? Can we just let go of the gifts that fortified us in other seasons and receive the more solid things God is giving us for hope-formation today?

Wikipedia: Sufijo que entra en la formación de palabras con el significado de: I Acción y efecto: cese, corte, tueste.

And you think you can take me down?

So, I was thinking…what does it take for me to feel like my life is full today? What is my weapon against Satan’s assault of envy-laden thoughts? What do I do with them?

Do I think other thoughts, do I attempt to try to tear apart the ones I don’t want ruling my life? I’ve tried the latter many times and I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t work. When we face a temptation, if we want to win, we don’t try to take it down by merely telling ourselves the reasons why we don’t want it.

I don’t know about you, but the reason why I face temptation in that moment is because there is a part of me that does want it. A part that will not back down unless another part of me is made to rise above it.

But how is the God-revering part of you and I capable of rising up and performing a conquest in the face of temptation? It is not. Instead, with our spirits we wait upon the One who gives us life and hope. We count on His faithfulness because we know He has already made the conquest of Satan and our flesh. We have no need of achieving any new victories on our own. Instead, we recognize that His victory spans every fight we will ever face.

And, we use this knowledge as our confidence. It is the one weapon we raise. Yet, how do we raise it? First, we remind ourselves that God is in the temptation with us. So we turn our attention on Him. We do not look to ourselves, counting on our strength to carry us through. Neither do we become discouraged because we believe our weakness must assure us of a loss in this contest.

That is not the case for us who are in Christ. He is our victory. We is the One who makes our weakness a joy because, with a dependence on His strength, we can obtain a greater victory than we could have on our own.

In Him our stubborn sinful nature is put to death, while our frail God-fearing nature is made strong. Therefore, we have nothing to fear in the fight. We have only to position ourselves to receive from God the grace that will carry us through and establish us in His wisdom and power. In this way, God enables us to face temptations so that we will be made more like Himself in the tussle.

Life, won’t You take me in?

I’m hungry–my soul waits for food. I can’t say that I’m exactly sure what I need, but I do know Who I need it from. If He doesn’t give me what I need, what I get will not be enough. It needs to have His signature, bear the imprint of His character and care. Nothing else will do.

I know, because I’ve received from Him before. I haven’t been left wanting when He cared for me. I have been left wanting more of Him, but I haven’t been left feeling like He didn’t give me enough of anything else. He is the One I want. He is the One I can’t bear to live without.

Yes, I get impatient in the absence of other things. But I grow faint when I’m distant from Him. I don’t need anything to keep me going except Him. But sometimes, even quite often now, the absence of other things makes me run to Him with greater urgency.

I recognize who I’m made for when I need someone else to claim me besides the fleeting ambassadors of my enemy. These things promise my heart happiness and leisure but can substantiate no security for my heart.

I need more than happiness and leisure. I need those things embedded in security. I need a relationship with Someone who provides for all these things but also waits with me through the dull times, and introduces me to wonder-filled arenas of life.

I need all of life to come from One source. I need to know that I can go to Him and receive all that I need. I need to know that He’s there and wants me to come to Him. I want to know that I am made for something more than myself; that I have meaning in relation to Someone else. That I am not alone in this world; as one who’s been left to discover who she is and how to define herself in a broken, vacuous world.

No, I don’t have to languish in such loneliness! Yes, all this hope is out there for me. And if you’re looking for it, it’s there for you too. We don’t have to wait until we know more about life. We have only to call out to Life and ask Him to take us in.

 

I hate how much I still believe the Liar!

Have you ever had a problem in which you  were trying to make spiritual ends meet and it just wasn’t working for you? I know I have. The reason I’m writing this so early is that I am struggling with that right now.

I am dealing with a strong temptation to let go of God so I can hold onto something else. So often I’ve been so blindsided by anxiety, so caught up in the emotional values of the fearful thoughts communicated to me by my enemy that I have not recognized the ultimate trajectory of the heart-attack.

You see, my enemy (Satan) doesn’t care whether I get disgusted in a huff of discontent, lose my peace in a wave of doubt or surrender my hope to a barrage of fear. All he wants is for my heart to be at some level disconnected from God. He doesn’t care about the rest.

I want to grow in realizing that every temptation that Satan bombards me with is a call to be consumed. A strong suggestion for me to call into question God’s right to fully dwell in my heart. He asks, What is He really doing for you? As if I should just throw out the very idea of Him because I have reason to believe He’s just not “doing it” for me.

I hate that lie! And I need to grow to hate it more. Oh, that the love of God would have such sway in my heart that the outward call to abandon Him would be the bitterest trial I could face!

Lord, I challenge You to a duel!

I don’t know what’s wrong with me at the moment. I just need more of Jesus, I know, but I’m just not sure how that’s going to change me. What does He need to do with me? And why doesn’t He get on with it?

Is my problem really with what’s going on or with what’s not going on?

Do you ever feel the need to challenge God? I do. My problem is not usually when I’m challenging Him, but when I am trying so hard not to–at least not audibly. And yet my heart holds the burden all the while.

Why do I think that I’m doing really well if I’m avoiding such vital honesty with Him? I want Him to be beholden to me; it is a far better option than conceding to the opposite. I can’t deal with that.

Or, can I? I don’t really want what I fight for. I just don’t know how to host a cease fire. Thank goodness God takes on that responsibility!!

But what does that look like?

Grace moves in and silences the fears that scream in my heart. I know of no other way He could claim my heart so lovingly.

I have a burden to be unburdened, Lord!

Have you ever felt like you had too much too do and you’re already impatient with yourself for what is not done? I know that the feeling is not so unusual in this crazy world of amp’ed up schedules and overburdened lives, but what I’m specifically talking about is an overburdened heart.

Can you identify with that? I know I can. It seems like my heart has been overburdened since birth. There have been so many things to contend with, so much to learn to understand. So much I’ve wanted to change and un-root from within me.

That’s a lot to have on one’s emotional to-do list. But I haven’t seen it that way; rather, I’ve considered it all to be necessary and so I’ve plunged in and tried to make a 24 hour workplace of my heart.

It will come as no surprise to you that I’m exhausted. But, to me all I can tell myself is that I can’t afford to be tired. If I slow down everything will just take longer and may, if I’m not careful, never get resolved at all.

I can’t live with that. I need to know that I’m making my way speedily along to healing. I need to know that the pain is quickly being overtaken by gain.

But while my desires for healing–like yours–are good, I think I need to pay attention for a moment to why I get derailed in this journey. I don’t think it is that I want too much. I think it is that I want too much from the wrong source. When I’m rushing along in this fierce pursuit of healing I’m not being still enough to be healed.

It’s like I think God’s forgotten that I’m broken. It is that I think He needs instruction on how to care. But isn’t this thinking pattern something that needs to be healed as well? Shouldn’t I hope for the day when I can be at ease in the knowledge that He is “it”?

I want that to be my reality. When doubts scream at me and try to tell me that I can be a better God than He, may I shut them up. May I tell them, tell Him I don’t want to be. I wasn’t made to be satisfied with such independence; rather, I was meant to be connected. Therefore, I want someone else to care for me so I can become who I was made to be.

Yes, I need lessons, Lord. So, would You help me sit and receive them?