Monday, September 19, 2011

I'll Wait For You

Gems this is one of those confession jewels so it may be a bit long and you may have to follow me but I will eventually make my point. I write these kind of jewels for a couple of reasons, one to keep me humble and two for you to hopefully feel better about yourself.
So here goes.... I had one of those weekends when your behavior sneaks up on you, and anyone else that might have been unfortunate enough to be near you, and it's not a pretty sight. Kind of like a pressure cooker, your dealing with stuff and the pressure is getting more and more intense but you think you got it under control and then your realize you don't.
I know many people have way worse stuff in their pressure cooker but this is some of the stuff that was in mine.
My youngest daughter has been sick and coughing for weeks and I'm sick of her being sick, I'm sick of fighting with my ex to get a coy of her insurance card, I'm sick of not having enough money, I'm sick of being hot, I'm sick of the crap my son and grandsons deal with because of selfishness and divorce, I'm sick of being alone, I'm sick of people, I'm sick of my hair being long and short, I'm sick of feeling fat, I'm sick of eating cake, I'm sick of bla bla bla.... You get the picture.
My oldest daughter was visiting for the weekend when the cooker blew. I have (had) a radio (picture above) it's really old and only one speaker works but it's all I have/had. I was trying to unplug it so I could plug in the computer so the girls and I could watch a movie. The cord was wrapped around the chair it was sitting on and I couldn't get it off. It was at this point that I lost my mind and picked up the radio and threw it to the ground. The speakers broke off but it didn't break enough so I picked it up and threw it down again with a bit more force and in the background heard Amanda calmly say to Jessica “I believe that's my radio.”
Trying to keep my composure I went directly upstairs to take a shower. As I replayed the scene in my head visualizing how it must have looked to my innocent bystanders, me wrestling with my half functioning radio and pieces flying in the air I once again heard Amanda's words “I believe that's my radio.” I just busted out laughing, I'm laughing now as I'm writing this.
My current journey has been on honoring God. Having a healthier respect and fear of who He is.
I woke up this morning confessing all my above junk to Him and asking Him to speak to me and give me some guidance on what to do with my current situation. I decided I would leave my phone off and get in the word. I picked up my Bible and realized I'm in the book of Job and my first thought was, great of all books how is this going to make me feel better.
I obviously was leaving out the honor and fear part of my journey.
As I began to read Job defending himself to his friends that he was innocent before God and didn't deserve what was happening to him I was right there with him. (IF you don't know the story of Job, read it) Not that I was comparing myself to Job, my life was not and is not as guilt free as his. Just ask the radio. But I was dissing his friends thinking why weren't they more supportive? Why were they so self righteous trying to throw him under the bus? I was cheering Job on thinking him innocent as well and feeling bad that God told satan he could mess with him.
To be honest I was joining in on the why oh why God aren't you talking to me and telling me what to do about my situation????? I was rolling right along with Job until.... God spoke!
These are a few of the things that God asked Job.
Job 38:1 “who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” (assorted verses)
“Where were you when I laid the earths foundation? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb? Have you ever given orders to the morning or shown the dawn it's place, have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? What is the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons? Can you set up God's dominion over the earth? Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you? Here we are? Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom? does the eagle soar at your command and build his nest on high?
Job 40:1&8 The Lord said to Job, “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him.”
“Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

It was at this point I was on my face crying out to God for forgiveness. Who was I to question God? I felt much like that radio in broken pieces before my Lord.
Gems this word is for me and I'm sharing it with you. I needed to understand that I can't let the size of my afflictions keep me from accepting them. We need to submit to whatever God requires with meekness not rebellion. Behind the trials of the Godly which may seem unreasonable at the time lies the wise purpose of God for His plan.
The amazing lesson of the book of Job is if we know God, we don't need to know why He allows us to experience what we do. He is not only in control of the universe He's in control of our lives and He loves us. Even if I don't always understand I should not criticize God for how he deals with me or others.
My place is to honor and respect Him because HE IS GOD!
I love how the book of Job ends. Even though God didn't mince words with Job, He gave it to him straight He still delivered Job once he repented.
Job 42:1-6 Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
The Lord not only forgave Job He gave him back twice as much as he had before.
I applied all this to my life and ended my time with the Lord knowing He forgave me. My next words to Him are “SO, I'll wait for you.” I pray to be content as I wait on the Lord and I will try really hard not to break any more electronic devices :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do's and Don'ts

I was wondering recently if we have become a people of don'ts instead of do's. What do I mean? Glad you asked. How do you feel when you hear a list of things you can't do rather than a list of what you can?
When I had my first child I was constantly telling him things like don't eat the dog food, don't eat the paste, don't drink the toilet water.
True story: When Anthony was about 2 years old we lived in an old house in New York. The window sills were low to the ground so he could see out his bedroom Windows. I walked into his room one day as he was watching this unexplored world outside his window and wondered what he was thinking. When I called his name he turned around and to my horror could see half a bug sticking out of his sweet little mouth with it's legs still moving.
I now had to add to my list, don't eat bugs unless your wearing camel hair, they are locust and your initials are JTB.
My daughter on the other hand loved to run around in just her diaper, this kid hated clothes so to her list I had to add don't take your clothes off in the mall...
I'm sure you have your own list.
One of the best pieces of advice I got as a young mother of 2 toddlers was any time you took something away from your child replace it with something else. This was great advice.
I could take the scissor from Anthony's hand and replace it with a wooden spoon and as long as I had a big smile on my face he thought he was getting the better end of the deal.
If we are the kind of parents or employees or friends that have a constant list of don'ts it can be exhausting for those in our lives to have a relationship with us and can often lead to secrecy.
Don't tell mom I did this. Don't let the boss know about that. Gems it is exhausting trying to constantly win the affection of someone. This applies to having a relationship with Jesus too.
Don't get me wrong I'm not saying rules are wrong BUT what if in our Christian walk we become too focused on the don'ts?
Don't smoke, don't do drugs, don't lie, don't curse, don't nag. Again all good advice but they make people think they have to get all the don'ts out of the way before they can have a relationship with Jesus.
This of course could not be further from the truth. Once we experience Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit all these things will eventually be taken care of. Trust me He's still working on my don'ts list.
We are a selfish people that want to know what's in it for us so let's use that to our advantage.
What if we focused on do you want to have a relationship with Jesus? You get to and all you have to do is believe.
John 6:29 Jesus answered”The work of God is this to believe in the one he has sent.”
What if gave you a list of Do's you get with being a child of God such as:
1. a delightful inheritance Psalm 16:6
2. Sweet communion with God Psalm 17:15
3. experience unfailing love, be filled with good things Psalm 107: 8-9
4. Never be hungry or thirsty again, be fully satisfied. John 6:35
5.Be free from the love of money, be content with what I have, have a helper that will never leave me! Hebrews 13:5-6

What if we changed the things you don't think about like sex outside of marriage, gossiping, pornography, lust you get the point and change it to a Do think about list:
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
I'm just sayin adults are not much different than toddlers take something away and replace it with something else with a big smile on your face and see what happens.
So Gems, as always, I would encourage you today to see if your a don't talker or a do talker. Let's all try to encourage each other with positive words and let the Holy Spirit DO what He does best, fix the don'ts.