Saturday, October 14, 2017

No good thing...

This morning in my quiet time I wrestled with this verse:

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
Psalms 84:11

Actually this portion of the verse:

The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

I struggled because I can think of MANY times when I "did what was right" and the results were anything but good....

*forgave someone... then THEY rejected ME

*told the truth,  the whole truth, and NOTHING but the truth with TERRIBLE consequences

*defend someone... they respond by ATTACKING me

So the first time I read the verse my heart said,  "Yeah right."

But then as I re-read and pondered it occurred to me...

What if the "good thing" is that icky result? What if the gift of God was removing that person from my life so I could be free? What if the good thing was that hellish walk through NIGHTMARISH experiences. What if the attack was my blessing cuz it made me stronger?

It all boils down to this... we have to BELIEVE and TRUST God and His word ALL OF THE TIME. His word says:

The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

I will choose to believe that is true even when it doesn't SEEM like I'm getting a "good thing."

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fear

Writing soothes my soul.  When my heart is all jumbled with feeling, the way I untangle that mess is with writing. So let's work it out then.

Fear... I'm really afraid.  On the outside and even a little on the inside, I look like I trust God, but deep inside in the secret parts of my heart fear lurks and sometimes even reigns.

I'm afraid of bad things happening to my children.  I'm afraid of not being able to pay the bills.  I'm afraid of the bad things people say and think about me. I'm afraid of conflict. I'm afraid of making mistakes.

If I'm being bare-naked honest here (which is what I strive for on this blog), all of those things I'm afraid of have happened to me.  My fears are like an emotional PTSD.... I remember the pain and I'm afraid to repeat it. Bad things happening to my children... yups! some truly terrible things have been traveled on that road. Not being able to pay the bills... yups! been there... done that... People thinking horrible things about me... sure! every.  single. day. Making mistakes... yes! my failures abound.

I guess the fact that I've been down these roads and survived should ease my fears. I should stand firm in the knowledge that God has NEVER let me down in the past so logic would say He won't let me down in the future. But my fear isn't that God won't get me through.  I believe 100% that He is bigger than ANYTHING I face.  My fear stems from a deep desire to avoid those painful journeys.

Ahhhh but THERE it is... the clarity that comes from writing it all out... my aha! moment..... pain is a part of living on this sin-soaked earth. Pain is unavoidable. Not until Heaven will I get the sunshine,  rainbow and lollipop existence I so long for.... it's actually GOOD that I don't like the flaws of this existence. I SHOULD long for my heavenly home. And that is what my fears stem from... a longing for a place with no more crying, no more pain, no more death.

Maybe tomorrow I'll blog about how I'm currently slaying the daunting dragons advancing against me... for today I just needed to hash out why I can't seem to put my fears completely to rest.  Thanks for journeying with me. 

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.
Revelation 21:4

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Theology of Suffering

I read this in my devotional this morning,

"If we do not have a correct theology of suffering, we will be shocked, devastated, and angered when adversity strikes us or those we love."

It got me thinking... what is a right theology of suffering? I'm not sure yet.  But here's what I know about suffering,

*From experience I know that suffering comes to EVERYONE... the godly and the ungodly...

*From experience I also know that if I allow it to, suffering produces growth in my life...

*Finally from experience I know that suffering allows God to show Himself to me... through His word... through His people... through His miraculous works.

Each of these facets of my theology of suffering is from scripture as well,

*In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
Matthew 5:45

*Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
James 1:2‭-‬3

*He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:4

I'm planing to ponder this for awhile.  Cuz for some reason my mind KNOWS these things about suffering,  yet STILL when thrust into the midst of it my heart is still shocked,  devastated, and yes, angry.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Two roads...

In any situation, two distinct roads lie before me... joy and pain-filled. Both of these roads travel through the same forest... the backdrop does not change... both paths are lined with the same foilage.... whether it be death, divorce, illness.... or birth, wedding, and health... the forest is the same.... it is the path we CHOOSE that makes the difference.

Will we CHOOSE to focus on all our troubles? Our pain.. Our need... Our misery... Or will we CHOOSE to focus on our blessings? God's provisions... loving people to walk the path with us... small miracles....

The difference (and the POWER) lies within us.  We CHOOSE if our lot will be joyful or pain-filled. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying ANYONE can walk through the forest of adultery without pain. I'm not saying ANYONE can travel the wilderness of childhood cancer without agony.  I'm not saying the landscape of foreclosure can be experienced without hurt. What I'm saying is we ALL have ICK in our lives.  You can't control that.  You can't avoid much of it. What you can do is make the most of it. As long as you're there,  why not learn something? As long as you have you carry this load,  why not find some joy in it? As long as you're weak and hurting,  why not give God the glory?

Lest you think I'm getting too preachy, let me just admit that I'm writing this blog from a rocky road. The exact struggles that line my path aren't important.  What's important is I'm hearing God LOUDLY tell me to keep my eyes fixed on the GOOD that lines my path and let Him worry about the bad.

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
Philippians 4:12

Monday, September 25, 2017

My husband... my family... my country

I love my husband.  I don't love him because he's perfect.  I don't love him only when he's doing things that make me happy. I love him. Period. All. The. Time.

Somedays it is EASY to love him... like when he's giving me handmade farmhouse benches or making me the perfect eggs.  Somedays I just stubbornly make a CHOICE to love him... you know he's not everyone's cup of sunshine.

I love my family.  I don't love them because they're perfect.  I don't love them only when they're doing things that make me happy. I love them. Period. All. The. Time.

Somedays it is EASY to love them... like when mom is taking me out to breakfast or when we are gathered around a table laughing together.  Somedays I just stubbornly make a CHOICE to love them... when you live life closely with people they can be offensive and unpleasant.

I love my country. I don't love it because it's perfect.  I don't love it only when it's full of things that make me happy. I love it. Period. All. The. Time.

Somedays it is EASY to love my country... like when I hear about everyday people helping stranded hurricane victims or I read about a couple adopting an entire family of orphans.  Somedays I just stubbornly make a CHOICE to love it... like when I am assaulted with the knowledge that we have made it LEGAL to murder babies in the womb... or when I watch people using their freedom to assemble to trash and destroy the property of others.

If you love only when the object of your affection is lovable, might I suggest that is not love. Love  isn't loving only those you like.... Love isn't being supportive when they are pleasant... it isn't just pretty pink or red heart shapes.... it isn't just red, white, and blue bunting... love can be dirty and ugly and flawed and DIFFICULT... but what makes it love is that it NEVER ends. No matter how offensive, rude, unjust, and even unlovable... love. NEVER. ends.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:7‭-‬8

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