Recently when I have looked at life, it seems to be filled with a bunch of uncertainty. Even in some the most certain things in my life there is uncertainty. While this can and sometimes does cause anxiety or worry but I have learned there these two emotions don’t get me anywhere. Worry keeps me in this place of uncertainty. “Worry is like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”―
I do know there is one thing that I can trust in and be certain about is my Creator and who He is. I know that I can trust in Him as He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8
So when life is full of uncertainty, I choose to believe in the One the who is certain because He knows the future and is sovereign over it all. I have to make a conscious choice to choose this rather than my default reaction of worry and anxiety. I also make the choice of joy in the uncertainty because I choose to trust in the One who is certain. And from these choices there comes peace in my Father.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7
Recently I have been faced with one of the hardest things that I have had to go through in my adult life. While I am still in the midst of it all, there are a few things I have learned in last couple weeks.
He is here with me in my sadness.
He is here with me in the joyous moments.
He is here with me in the moments that I don’t understand.
He is here with me when I pretend to be ok and ignore my feelings.
He is here with me when I don’t understand my feelings and can’t put a name to it.
There is a song that I have been identifying with the last couple weeks.
Maybe it’s ok if I’m not ok
‘Cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me
Maybe it’s all right if I’m not all right
‘Cause the One who holds the stars is holding my whole life
“Maybe It’s Ok”by We are Messengers.
While I don’t know when this will end, I do know that God with me in the midst of the storm. He is teaching me new things in this storm. I trust Him in the midst of the storm.
If you are going through a hard season in life, look at what you can learn through it all. Look to the peace in the storm rather than focusing on the storm.
God has been teaching me patience and to wait on his timing for probably the most of my life. There are times in life that I have felt like I was in the waiting place(according to Dr. Seuss) for a long time and in many ways I am still in the waiting place. Excerpt from Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss:
“You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.”
It is in this waiting place that we often get impatient and frustrated with God and life. And we can ruin what God make have in store for us. Granted God can use us in all situations to even if its not in His plan but for His glory. But where we may end up might not be as good as God intended us to be. We humans have a way of getting in the way of God because we think that we know best for us. But in reality the creature(us) does not see the whole picture like the Creator(God) does. So how can we know what is best for us over the Creator that created us into existance.
Sometimes we need to stay in this waiting place for God to prepare us for something greater than we can imagine. The waiting place is not an easy place to be but it is in that waiting place we can experience the peace and love of our Creator. Even though we may have no idea what is going to happen next. In uncertain times, there can be peace and joy because we have our Creator walking beside us in life.
Do I have life all figured out? No, I will never on this earth but I do know that I am a child of God who has a God that loves me more than I can imagine and fathom. (It still amazes me that God would love me and that He wants a personal relationship with me with millions of people on this earth.) And I would rather be in the waiting place with my Creator than in a place on my own. When we are in this waiting place, we need to sit back allow God to do the work and be ready to follow His calling for our lives out of the waiting place.
There are times that we think of something we want. And we think of ways to make this thing we want happen. So often we don’t talk with our Creator about it. We rely on our strength to make it happen.
Recently there was something in my life, that I have wanted for a while and originally when the opportunity came up I passed on it because of lack of finances. This opportunity was possibly coming up again. This time around I prayed and I envisioned myself taking advantage of the opportunity. I thought through several options so that I could take advantage of the opportunity. But God decided to take care of the finances so that I can take advantage of the opportunity!
A couple weeks, I was talking with a friend about their life and she told me that God recently provided her a sewing machine and a kitchen table. The kitchen table was the exact color she wanted and it matches her kitchen cabinets! These are both items that she wanted but due circumstances she was not able to get these items herself.
God does really care about our wants and needs! “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – Luke 12:7 I love that God cares for every detail of our lives! He delights in providing for His sons and daughters. God cared enough to not only provide a kitchen table for my friend but He cared enough to make sure it was one that matched her cabinets perfectly and it was the right size for her kitchen. These are details that are so small but they made a huge impact on my friend and her faith. In my situation, God cared enough to take care of the one barrier that was in my way and might I add it was a large barrier in my eyes. But in His eyes the barrier was nothing!
So the next time you think that something is too small to take to God, think again! Speak with Him about your wants and needs and then let them in His hands to take care of them for you. And there are times that He will give us what we want. He will always provide us our needs. I am not saying that God is a genie that He will give you your every want and desire. But I am saying that He want to hear about your wants and needs just like you would tell a friend about them.
Last night I experienced something at church that I did not understand but yet there was a peace and sweetness about it. When worship started, I felt the need to walk away from the crowd and find a spot to sit against the wall. At my seat I started to get teary eyed. But once I sat down against the wall on the floor in the back of the room, the tears started and did not stop. As I sat there in my Father’s presence, I could not figure out why I was crying. Rather than getting frustrated I just sat in the presence of God and let the tears fall.
During the time of me being present with my Creator, the only word that came to me was healing. And two images came to mind. The first image was my Father standing there with His arms open for an embrace. The next image was me laying my head against the Father as if I was an embrace with Him.
While I was sitting there, I remembering wishing someone would come to pray with me. I then felt the need to go to the next steps room for prayer during worship and I told God “I am not sure what I am asking for prayer, since I do not know why I was crying and I don’t know what is going on right now.” A still voice said to me “You don’t need to know. I know and I will give the person the words to say.”
I walked up to a friend, she hugged me and asked me “if everything is ok?” I explained to her that I have no explanation for my tears, I can not stop crying and that I am not sure what was going on but I feel the need for prayer. The Holy Spirit was right! He did give her the words to pray and the exact words that I needed.
All this to say, sometimes God does something that we have no idea what is happening but through it there is a peace and sweetness. I still am not completely sure what happened last night and I pray that I will understand someday. But even if I never know what last night meant, I would do it all over again just to spend time in His presence. There was a peace and sweetness in His presence that I want to experience over and over again!
Scenario #1: Have you ever seen a mother at the store with her children who are screaming and crying; you wish she would tell her child to be quiet because you had a long day?
Scenario #2: Or you meet someone who is struggling to pay their bills and they may go to a food pantry or use food stamps for food? And you think if they would only work harder, they would have money to pay their bills.
Scenario #3: Or you see woman park in a handicap spot at the store and when she seems to have no physical limitations that would warrant the handicap placard? You wonder if she is using some else’s handicap placard, just so she can park close to the front door.
Scenario #4: Or you go someone’s home and they do not have electricity in the home because they could not pay their electric bill. They ask you if you can help them pay for the electric bill. As you look around the home, there are nice things in the home that you think they could sell to pay bills.
These are all quick judgements that we make and we think these are things they can do to improve their lives. And if I am honest I have been the person who has had these thoughts at one time or another in my life time. It is so easy to judge others when we know little to nothing about the other person. We don’t know their story or what has brought them to where they are today. And perspective can change this for us very quickly. Let me explain the scenarios above in a different way.
Scenario #1: The mother at the grocery store with her children that is screaming and crying, has had a day of appointments and this is her last stop before she goes home. She prayed before taking her child out of the car seat for the 8th time that day, that they would be happy long for her to complete her grocery shopping. She needs to finish the shopping trip in an hour to her other children get off the bus. And the other 4 year old daughter that is with her, is cranky because she missed her nap that day and the last thing she wants to do is go into a store!
Scenario #2: The individual that needs additional assistance with food is working a full time job at McDonald’s. Right now the only place that will hire this person the area, they live is McDonald’s because they aren’t many jobs in the area and they live in a rural community. They are not able to work more hours or get a second job because they have children that need childcare and a family member that lives with this individual provides it when they are working. And this family member has a part time job when this person is not working. And if this individual gets a second job and makes more money, they lose the very benefits that is keeping their family afloat.
Scenario #3: This woman who from the outside watching her may not think she does not have physical limitations that warrant her parking in a handicap parking spot. Reality is that she has breathing issues that cause her to go into a asthma attack if she walks too far.
Scenario #4: In the past, this individual has always been on time with their bills because they were working. Their credit score was excellent. But while at work they got hurt, they were receiving worker’s compensation. After a period of time of getting worker’s compensation, the company decides to stop paying worker’s compensation. This individual has not been cleared to go back to work. So they can not go get another job but there is not income coming into the home to pay their bills. Meanwhile they credit score is decreasing rapidly. And they are worried about losing their home, that they worked so hard to acquire.
We are commanded to love others and not judge them.
Imagine how this world would be if we would judge others less and love others more. It would transform our communities into communities that care for each other and transform the hardest of hearts.
So I challenge you before you judge someone, take time to love on them and learn a little about their story. Most of all show them Christ’s love first because Jesus loved us first and did not judge us for our sin that He did for.
Recently God has shown me that He listens to everything I say or think even the smallest things. A week before Valentine’s Day this year, I wrote down in my planner a desire that I had “God, I want flowers for Valentine’s Day and I didn’t care where they came from.” I did not tell anyone about this desire or thought. Normally I don’t care about Valentine’s Day and whether I get something or not. The morning of Valentine’s Day, when I came into work and there was a ceramic flower on my desk from a coworker. I did not have time to process it till later on in the morning. Once I did I realized that God gave me the flower I wanted through my coworker! As I was getting to head out of the office for a meeting later on, my CEO came into my office and gave me a real yellow rose. He had bought a rose for all his female staff for Valentine’s Day. So not only did God fulfill my desire for a flower once but twice in one day!
He listens to us and cares about even the smallest things like me wanting flowers. The ceramic flower will always be a reminder to me that God does listen to me.
You knew the shame and guilt I would struggle with and you still chose to create me!
You knew my failures in my life and you still chose to create me!
You knew the fears that would hold me back and you still chose to create me!
You knew my frustrations and you still chose to create me!
You knew my struggles and you still chose to create me!
You knew the insecurities I would struggle with and you still chose to create me!
You knew the pain and hurt I would carry and you still chose to create me!
You knew there were things I am going to choose over you and you still chose to create me!
You knew everything about me and you still chose to create me!
I created you because I knew that this world needed you in it. I created you for a purpose that only you can fill. And guess what, when I created you I told all of heaven with delight “look there is my beautiful daughter!” “My daughter, I love you more than you can imagine. Daughter, just as the grains of sand at the beach, the stars in the sky and the rain drops in a rain storm can not be counted. My love for you can not be counted.”