“I removed his shoulder from the burden;
His hands were freed from the baskets.
You called in trouble, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah”
I had a long conversation with my friend, Indy, the other day. She shared this verse with me. And oh, how I needed it. I love that God uses the people in our lives to share His message with us. To remind us when we need reminding.
This year has been a tough year. I have had passports and money stolen in foreign countries and here at home, I have had two broken bones in my arms, I’ve had spiders in my house (THAT is a BIG deal to me!), I’ve had family legal battles, made big decisions to change things in my life and just the normal stress of having a home, children, and a purpose in life.
There are two things that I want you to get out of this: One is that throughout all these difficutlies, all the pain, all the strife, God has led me through all of it. What was meant for harm, actually came out strengthening my faith and resolve to be a follower of Christ. God has truly fulfilled that promise, that what is meant for bad will be good. Just so I’m perfectly clear, it hasn’t been easy. My flesh has wanted to scream in pain at all the progress in my spiritual life, because, you can’t be close to God and close to yourself. Surrendering it all, laying it down, and then saying and maintaining the attitude that God’s got this…is not an easy thing to do. But we have to do it anyway. That’s where a tough life gets into hardcore faith..by having the FEAR of the Lord and clinging to God and HIS way in every way possible.
The other thing that I want for you to get out of this, is Psalm 81. When we call upon God in our trouble, it says in Psalm 81 that he meets us in the “SECRET PLACE”, having tested us in the waters of Meribah. First, where is your secret place? That is where you meet God, where you read His Word, where you sing to Him, worship Him, speak to Him. If you are not meeting Him in the secret place, start today. That is where your answers are.
Second, Meribah means strife. God tests us in the waters of strife. Will you be able to grow spiritually when your life is in strife? This verse reinforces the fact that God does care, and especially in these trying times, when life is stressful, whether some big tragedy is in your life, or just the small stress of living life is upon you, if you turn to God, He will not only lead you through it, but will teach you to continue to put your faith in Him.
I know that the tough times in my life have become newfound, stronger faith. And I praise the Lord for that!
I have one of those personalities that I have to be very careful with my focus. I can get so focused on one project, get into all those pesky details that everything else in my life will fall apart, even my relationship with God.
Learning to balance all the many priorities in my life is a major obstacle that I am trying to overcome. In anyone’s life, we have so many things that have to get done. I used to think that I had to do everything and do it well. Now as I grow older and mature in my relationship with Christ, I am realizing that my priorities have to have an order to them. So what’s that order?
#1 GOD. My relationship with God has to be right, otherwise the rest of my life will fall to pieces. God is our fuel. It’s our relationship with Him, that keeps us going throughout the day. We need to be vigilant in taking the time to spend time in the Word, and in prayer and worship. God will lead us and guide us, and give us the ability to control our emotions, and be that “Jiminy Cricket” on our shoulder. We have to be able to hear His voice over the din of everyday life. By spending our time with Him, everything else seems to fall into place. I’m not saying that you won’t have trials, far from that, we will have trials constantly, but with God, He is the answer to every trial that we go through, and if you are not “fueling up” then you are going to miss out, and be constantly stressed by the trials of life.
#2 Family! Sometimes, you have to make decisions based on what is best for ALL your family and not just you. As a parent, there are many times that I have to say no, even when it’s something I want to do, like go evangelising, or jamming, or anything else. We have to put our families, especially our children first, because it is our most important responsibility to teach our children the way of Christ. If your stressed and you are a single mom, have one of your girlfriends make the decisions. 🙂 I have a friend that when I can’t make one more decision, I can send my boys to her and she knows my heart and will make a simple decision for me! But God does truly expect us as parents, to be vigilant not only in our words, but in our actions. So by making the right choices and choosing our family when appropriate, that’s what we are called to do as mothers.
#3 Awesome God Given Friends. I am blessed that I live in very close proximity to other missionaries. The women in my life encourage my walk with the Lord always. They help to remind me of those things that I may have forgotten and make me laugh. They are the ones that take your craziness and point you back into the direction of God. It is through our relationship with other christians that we our encouraged to take the right step. I cannot tell you how many phone calls, crying sessions and all that that my girls have heard me go through, and me them. God gives us each other for a reason!
#4 Staying Healthy. I’m not healthy yet by any means, but the Lord calls us to maintain our temple, and that is what we should strive to do. For me I’m trying to exercise (the Girls come in again here!) and eat a balanced diet. It’s a lifestyle that needs to be maintained. It’s one I’m working on!
#5 Sometimes you’ve got to let the laundry sit and the house be dirty. I’m not saying always but you have to know yourself. We need to rest. God purposely made cities of refuge in the Bible. They were for people in trouble, to find rest from the outside world. We need to also know our limits and rest sometimes. 🙂
All in all, it comes back to the relationship you have with Christ. If you are constantly fueling up and then you will be full of the Word of God and thus be able to give out to the world and your family. God will be behind all of your decisions and then all of a sudden..Voila!! You’ll have balance!
May God Bless You and Keep You!
Have you ever had a moment where it seems that your brain is taken over and you just cannot stop from thinking about all the things in your head?
That’s me tonight. I finally gave up trying to sleep, and decided to write. This evening I was thinking how awesome my boys are and how although I homeschool I’m going to add homemaking and car mechanics to the list of things to learn. Then I jumped to all the undone projects around my house and just what I need to get them done.
Then I thought that kind of surprised me. I was thinking of how satisfied I was with my life. And how I am so happy that God sent His Son for me. I grateful I am that He loves me and all those bad thoughts and the “worldly” me that used to be is gone.
I used to go from place to place, searching , seeking for something that would make me happy. I never thought of myself as much of a traditionalist but I find myself satisfied to have a clean kitchen and bake. To homeschool my boys. To work as a missionary and not have what I used to have.
How Great is Our God? He is greater than anything in this world. And He delivers us from evil and He delivers us from ourselves even.
I encourage everyone to really look at their life. Are you satisfied? Do you have the feeling that you are in God’s will and doing God’s work? Whether that be, washing dishes and taking care of babies or working at a job, or volunteering somewhere. Or like me, serving God as much as I can, taking care of my boys in the very truest sense, and finding satisfaction the only way I possibly can, through obedience to God.
New International Version (NIV)
11 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.
What hope we have in Him!
Today has been a very trying day! I got up late, knocked over this cute pinterest project of a jewelry frame off of my wall and into……my sink. Ta da!! Welcome to the madhouse, folks! That was just the very beginning of this very eventful day.
And I could dwell on the printer malfunctions, computer blowups, school not getting done and of course the most important thing, we ran out of COFFEE!!! But I choose to dwell on the fact that Jesus loves me. That tomorrow will come and this pileup of little details will simply fade away into the background. But what I will take with me is how I reacted to said craziness.
To be honest, I could have dealt with it better. I was constantly smiling, blow up, smiling, blow up, singing, smiling, blow up! Ugh, not the way to show my maturity in Christ. God reminds me that HE is the King and HE is in everything. And was I acting the way HE, the King of Kings, Our Creator meant for me to handle it? Probably not. I do think I handled it better than I have handled things in the past, but as for today, I’m still realizing and working on the fact that feelings, are in fact, just feelings. And as Christians, as MOMS, as women, we have to learn to deal with our feelings and set them aside in times like these.
I should have said a little prayer, which I did, by the way, many times, I also put it out on Facebook that I needed others, my warrior girls to say a little prayer for me too! And I did start to feel better. I think sometimes we just have to walk away from the pressure, the craziness and spend 5 minutes in a secret place worshipping and loving and seeking guidance from the One True God. Then HE will guide us and our behavior, IF we let HIM.