Thursday, July 16, 2009

Overwhelmed...and thankful

I woke up at 6am this morning. Can't sleep...can't seem to stop my mind from racing...feeling a bit more peace now that I feel Darcy and I are communicating and on the same page. I decided to get out of bed and try to have some quiet time to myself. I picked up Oswald Chambers and today's devotional is this:

"How much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?"
Matthew 7:11

He writes..."Jesus is laying down rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit. By the simple argument of these verses He urges us to keep our minds filled with the notion of God's control behind everything, which means that the disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to seek."

(this has not been my attitude...nor have I been walking as one who has His Spirit. In fact, I have been the one pushing God away lately. Angry at life circumstances, not angry at Him...but feeling my calloused heart slowly grow more cold with a demeanor that says "I don't want anyone's help...I will make it on my own." Obviously this plan has backfired as my previous post reveals, as well as living the past 4 days through tears, self-pity, and self-induced isolation.)

He further writes..."Notion your mind with the idea that God is there. If once the mind is notioned along that line, then when you are in difficulties it is as easy as breathing to remember--Why, my Father knows all about it! It is not an effort, it comes naturally when perplexities press."

(It's funny that he uses the terms "as easy as breathing" when describing this. Even the simple act of breathing has been a struggle for me lately as I have felt the weight of anxiety press over me covering me with physical feelings of suffocation. My mind has not been notioned with the idea that God is right here with me. I know it...but I haven't been believing or living it. This is not something that has come naturally at all. In general, when times of trouble strike, it has seemed natural for me to fall into the arms of Jesus...but this time around there has been such an internal struggle for me to push Him away...for me to run away from exactly what I need...for me to choose to dwell in a pit. And as much as I have wanted to turn to Him and turn my attitude around I have just been fighting it. I knew I should be focusing on blessings and have an attitude of surrender and trust...but I've just had trouble getting there.

Part of it may be the fact that so much is going on in life right now that I just haven't been carving out the time for Him. So this callousness has slowly taken over. It's summer, the kids are home, the Home Group has stopped meeting for a while, the Ladies Bible study is taking a break as well...I am not getting up early as I used to to spend some quiet time alone with God...the praise music isn't as abundant in the house as we are scarcely home, and my prayer life hasn't been up to par. I guess this summer has kinda been a season of drought in regards to my spiritual nourishment and in my efforts to stay nourished. Especially after experiencing a long season of such rich closeness to God. Not that I will use that as an excuse...but I definitely think that has clouded my perspective.)

Chambers goes on to write..."There are times, says Jesus, when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but trust Him. God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural Father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the notion of the mind of God behind all things strong and growing. Nothing happens in any particular unless God's will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. Prayer is not only asking, but an attitude of mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. 'Ask, and it shall be given you.'"

(Last night, I sat alone in desperation asking God to just show Himself to me, for me to feel His peace and His presence...for Him to increase my faith and have trust and confidence in Him and in His promises. I wasn't feeling any of these things, bus so desperately wanted I asked. I asked for a softened heart that'll turn to Him and see a clearer picture. I repented and reminded Him that although I hadn't been acting like it, I believed that He was still good and He was still God. I'm not asking for Him to lift the darkness right now. I am already seeing glimpses of light. But I am asking for Him to carry me through any bouts of darkness that may soon come again....and that I will keep the notion of the mind of God during these times.

While outside alone yesterday evening, I just happened to have a book in my purse called "Falling in Love with Jesus" (not by coincidence, I am certain.) So I began to read it...with a calloused heart and lack of desire...but slowly I began to allow the Lord to melt away some of my stubbornness, self-absorption, and independence. One of the things the book mentioned was that we often ask "Why are my circumstances so difficult?" When we should be asking "Is God in my circumstances? Is He capable of giving me peace, hope and perspective?" I wasn't allowing Him to do this for me. I wasn't asking for it either, but I was trying to push Him away.)

So...I read this devotional from Oswald Chambers this morning and spent a few moments in prayer, allowing much to sink into the depths of my heart. Then I get online and begin to read comments from my previous post. And I am overwhelmed with thankfulness...for God using others to speak to me, to encourage me and to lift me up...for the prayers and the friendships He has provided me here on earth. I am thankful that He doesn't plant things in life coincidentally...the messages I have received through the thoughts written by famous authors and friends alike were timed perfectly by Him. I feel like I am viewing life again through a clear and truthful lens. Makes me feel not so alone...feeling hope again...feeling a bit like my old self...feeling a bit refreshed...spirit renewed. Overwhelmed with thankfulness.

1 comment:

  1. I love you and I am here to listen ... anytime. God IS in your circumstance and He WILL carry you through any and every point of darkness. Lean into Him, trust in Him and let Him love YOU!