Saturday, September 12, 2015

Letters to Danielle

I think humans’ attitude towards God is all wrong. There’s this huge belief out there that if there is a God He wouldn’t allow all the bad things in the world. That somehow the purpose of a God is to eliminate pain and suffering. That having a good and happy life is the purpose of life. But that isn’t what I think it is at all. I have one job on this planet and that is to get close to God. He doesn’t guarantee that it will be easy or pleasant. He doesn’t guarantee that things will go well for me or that I will be happy. He knows the hairs on my head, and cares deeply, but He isn’t about making things sunshine and roses. My job is to draw near to Him in love and to walk in obedience and grace. No promises of glittering rainbows. But that also means there is nothing that can stop me from doing everything God has called me to. No matter if I’m sick or well, making the world change through spiritual ministry or just trying to keep my laundry caught up and papers graded.

There’s such a desire in my soul for greatness….both godly and ungodly. I know it’s not a bad desire to change the world, but struggling physically isn’t keeping me from anything the Lord wants me to do. If he wanted me to be out there making it happen, I would be. So the joy of that is the fact that nothing stands between me and God’s purposes in my life. I am knowing some victory as I am continually being challenged to realize how irrelevant all the things I’ve wanted to do are. By that I mean…..it isn’t part of my plan until God puts it in. Until then, it’s actually contrary to what God wants for me and my pursuit of it means that I’m pursuing something other than God. It means I want it for myself, how I see myself, wanting to be someone I’m proud of or much more important…whom God is proud of. To justify my existence on the planet. There’s no God in that thinking. Those aren’t his thoughts or purposes. And I need to jettison them all. They need to fall away and not be part of my life space. I’m actually making some progress in this area, but it is something I continue to wage war with…..fortunately with more success than I ever used to have. When I read that verse below about needing to lose my life…..I’ve always thought that Mother Theresa lost her life. That Erin wanting to go to China is losing her life. But losing my life is exactly what God’s been working hard with me on for the last two or three years. It isn’t my life. I have given it to Him and now it’s His. 

Matthew 10:39

He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.

Note: I wrote this in a letter to my daughter Danielle and then read it out loud at my small group the following week when we were talking about what God was doing in our lives. A couple of people wanted a copy, so here it is.....this is for you Amy and Rachel!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Unseen World

I am currently experiencing some Holy Spirit pressure. The push to embrace the unseen world is something I can’t escape. When I go to my journal I hear God say, “Quit looking at the seen world. Focus on the unseen world.”  When I find myself anxious, I hear God in my head, “Anxiety lives in the seen world. My Word says, be anxious for nothing. In the unseen world, there is no anxiety because I take care of you, and you know it.”  As I face having to simplify my life due to illness, and I compare my life to others and feel lacking, I hear the Lord say, “There is only comparison in the seen world, the world you can see. But I tell you that you are saved through faith and not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Jockeying and comparing and looking to see if you measure up to your neighbor is only part of the seen world—this world of flesh and bone and dirt that we are living in. In the unseen world we are covered by the blood of Jesus. All of our trappings, position, money and appearance fall away. Only our hearts and character remain.

So today and every day this week, my quest is to remain in the unseen world; the place in the spirit where truth dwells and the lies of this world are not present.
  

2 Corinthians 4:18  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Trust is a Free Fall

Trust is a free fall. It isn’t even trust unless you jump while you are still unable to see the bottom of whatever cliff you’ve just gone over. If I can see what’s ahead and I know the outcomes, then I can be calm, calculated, in control. But if I can’t see the outcomes, if I have no idea what comes next, well that requires trust. 

I didn’t think I had a hard time with trust, but I do. When I can’t see the end game, I panic. I called it anxiety. I called it being a perfectionist. But in my case, it was just lack of trust. I don’t want to free fall. I don’t like those roller coaster rides where the seat drops and you feel your stomach climb up into your throat. I like my feet securely on the ground. I like to control my life.

Well, the last three years have been all about trust. It’s been about not knowing end games. It’s been about free falling. I can’t say I’ve joined a sky diving outfit, but I have at least begun to be accustomed to jumping without the end in sight.  Because trust is BIG to God. He wants me to believe completely in His sovereign goodness and His amazing ability to care for me and love me well, even when it feels like He is absent.

For the past four and a half years I've struggled significantly with sickness. I spent long periods of time not walking and using handicap permits to get into stores. I have spent untold hours in bed by myself because I felt too sick to be out and about in the world getting things done (which is what I love to do!) The causes of my sickness as well as the treatments were at times unclear and discouraging. One of the doctors I saw told me, "I have never, ever seen a patient try as hard as you have tried to address your health issues." But my efforts did not change things. My efforts did not stop pain. Neither did all my prayers and faith seem to make a dent in my problems. However,  somehow, somewhere, in the midst of a road that felt never ending, the Lord faithfully led and guided and brought me to a better place. And taught me some things about trust.  

So I dedicate this blog from here on out to trust. To free falling. To going with the Lord where ever He takes me. Care to join me?

Proverbs 3:5-6New King James Version (NKJV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.