I have notebooks and notebooks of my "journey" of life. I remember having a diary as a little girl, and that turned into a book of who I had a crush on in jr. high school. After graduating high school and finding my way back to the Lord those pages turned into a spiritual journey--the ups, downs, revelations and questions. I have pages of asking God why He's not talking to me, and pages of what God has revealed to me through his Holy Spirit.
I am going through a rough period right now. I feel like I'm in a pit, I'm reaching to get out, and nothing is grabbing me arm and I keep struggling. I'm not seeing answers to my prayers, feel no direction in my life, and I just look at God and say, "What are you doing? How much more do you think I can take?" I believe that Satan wants me to feel smashed down and defeated, so I pray......and the battle goes on and on. Anybody who has been in this place knows how tiring---no, exhausting---it can be.
This morning, as I grabbed my Bible and notebook I also grabbed a folder that I had found the other day while cleaning my shelves. I knew exactly what it was when I found it and stuck it with my bible and journal. It was just a few sheets of paper---I had scribbled notes, printed off devotions that spoke to me, wripped out another devotion from a book.......they all pieced together to show God's revelation made clear to me. I remember at the time putting all of that in a folder, sensing I would need to be reminded of that time. Today is the day I needed to read those pages. I needed to see how God spoke to me and answered my prayers. I needed to see how He used other people to reveal His truth.
One of the items in my folder is a page titled GOD ALWAYS HAS AN ANSWER. (I found a printable version online--it has the full verses included.)
"It's easy to get discouraged sometimes when things appear to be going badly. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your way seems hard, and things are going up in smoke, it may just be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.
FOR ALL THE NEGATIVE THINGS WE HAVE TO SAY TO OURSELVES, GOD HAS A POSITIVE ANSWER FOR IT.
You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)
You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you(John 3:16 & John 13:34)
You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)
You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps(Proverbs 3:5-6)
You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things in Me. (Philippians 4:13)
You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)
You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I FORGIVE YOU (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)
You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)
You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 11:7)
You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)
You say: "I don't have enough faith"
God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)
You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)
You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
This was something I needed to read today. Not only the above scripture, but the struggles I faced at that time, my communication with a friend and the answers I ended up receiving. It gives me hope to know that God isn't ignoring me or that He doesn't care. I am reminded that He works all things together in His timing--and most often in ways we would never think of by ourselves.
These are a couple major things in my life that I can hold onto:
Aaron fought a battle with cancer starting at age two. This was at a time that following God wasn't a major priority in my life. It was also the time that God drew me so close to Himself that I knew I didn't want to go back to my old way of life. It was when I learned to hear God's voice through His Holy Spirit. God told me He would heal Aaron, and He did. God doesn't lie.
Dekar: God worked out the timing perfectly. A nurse told me that there was no reason for Dekar to start crying and make breathing attempts the way he did without medical intervention. I believe God worked that miracle.
Dekar met all his brothers and sisters and was held by each of them. Dekar also took his last breaths with all of his family around--each one of us got to say hello to Dekar, and each one of us were able to say good-bye. Nobody but God could have worked that out. We had no idea how long Dekar would live, and he was surrounded by all of us in the beginning and in the end. It wasn't a "lucky thing"--it was God showing His love for us, in spite of a terribly sad situation.
Those are two major things in my own life that I draw on when I get caught in the lie that God isn't hearing me/doesn't care, wah, wah, wah! Those are lies that Satan likes to hit me with. My friend, Diana, made an excellent point in one of the emails I found, "....realize the battle, but do not believe it's lies. Speak the truth in your head even if your heart is on a different page. Satan sees something worth fighting for, so recognize your worth. And stand up. Ask God to give you the ways to become strong." I don't think I caught that part originally. You don't do battle with something unless you see that thing or person as a threat. Satan sees me as a threat to his purpose of destroying God's people and purpose.
Today I choose to see the battle for what it is, "gird up my loins", and persevere, even if I can't see God's plan any better than before. And I can't. I am tired. I am lonely. I am tired of the fight and I want to quit. But, I will choose to trust that God will see me through. I will get over myself and put away the notion that I can screw up God's plan.
I don't know where I'm headed, or what I'm doing, but in obedience to God, I will trust Him. And I will print this blog post, stick it in my journal, knowing that it is another vital part of my journey and growth and I will need the reminder in the future.