Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm hungry, are you?

So much is happening in my little world. I am finding myself so hungry and nothing is satisfying that pang that is aching in my stomach. You know that feeling of hunger? That one where nothing in this world is giving you what you want. The presentation is not pleasing to the eye what so ever, but you are still expected to eat what is on your plate. I am hungry my friends. This old world seems to want to devour us, piece by piece, spitting out the bones. When we are hungry we grow weak. We become unstable to where we can no longer stand. It's like the smallest thing causes us to turn to our bed and want to stay there until something is smelling good again. Filling the air with an aroma that overtakes all our senses.

I too am thirsty. My thirst is not being quenched by what I am seeing when I look out my window today. Oh, there is water there, enough to wet my tongue, but not enough to drench me. I just want to jump in fresh water. I want it to overflow and stream for miles. I want to float along and rest in the sun.

I want to be made new. I want to be refreshed. I want the sun to continue to shine, bringing with it an abundance of nourishment and refreshing water to quench this girl who feels as though she is in a drought. I am longing for so much more than what I am finding today.

Ever feel that way? We turn and look in every direction, but nothing is filling us anymore. Why? Am I basing my "filling" on the turnout of my circumstances? Yes, I am. I feel like I am simply stuck. I know where to go for nourishment. The Lord. I know He knows exactly what I need to fill me. I know where to go when I am thirsty. The Lord. He can quench my thirst to where I thirst no more. So, why am I not going there? Why is it that today I feel so empty? It's not that I do not see beauty around me. I do. It's not that I don't see laughter. I certainly do. I see the good things happening in my life, but I am at that point where I keep asking, "Why are the bad happening?" Is it going to get better, or is this as good as it gets for now?

Where is that job for my husband? There is no paycheck each week. Ever had to borrow money? Now that is a humbling experience. When I look at my husband, I am not seeing that sparkle in his eye today. I am seeing a man who is hurting and confused. I see a man who has worked his whole life, given and sacrificed beyond all measure. I see a man with a love for his family and God like no other. But I see pain there. I see a man who only wants to work. I see a humble man before me. When a man at the age of fifty walks in for a job, he is left wondering, "Are they not hiring me because I am fifty?" This is a man that is highly qualified in the area that he works in. How is it that a family can go from making an awesome income  six years ago to making absolutely nothing today? We heard on the news Sunday that the recession is over. Really? Are you kidding me? I would like to meet these people taking these polls. I would like to introduce them to the people I know. The recession is not over. Those jobs that were there six years ago are simply just not there any longer. If they are, for a fifty year old man, do you know what he hears? "You are over qualified!" Who cares, just give me a job and let me care for my family!

You know, we all have dreams. I use to have dreams of traveling the world. Now? My dreams have changed. I dream of having food on the table and having a paycheck each week. I dream of having our needs met enough we can help others meet their needs. Is that really asking for too much? Is wanting your family taken care of really too much? To have insurance and to go to  the doctor?

Believe me, I have searched God. I have asked all the questions. Did we do something? Is this a consequence for a sinful action? Is God teaching us something valuable? When trials come you begin to search your heart and ask God the whats and whys. I have been flat on my face, crying out to him, wanting Him to show me.

Oh, I have learned. I am more humble. I am more compassionate. I look to my husband with more respect and honor than ever before. I know life is not in my control. My tears fall at the drop of a hat. You know what? I think I am home sick. Yes, this girl is longing for heaven more and more. The more I see our struggle, the more other's struggles are brought to light to me. I see people losing their homes and scraping money together for medication and trying to put a meal of just basic food on the table.

So, what do I do? All I know to do is trust Jesus. Give Him everything I have. Give Him my weakness to turn into His mighty strength. I seriously don't think we would be making it without our faith. I know we wouldn't. Can things be worse? Oh, they can always be worse. There are struggles of all kinds. Others are hurting more than us and in different ways, but it doesn't make our trial any less important. He tells me, He is sufficient. All I know to do is trust Jesus. He is all I need. Am I just not trusting enough? Is my faith just not strong enough? I want it to be. I want my soul to only seek higher ground with Him. I don't want the things of this world any longer. I just want to see a smile on my husband's face again. I want to look into his eyes and see that man who knows his worth and thinks his life has meaning. I cannot begin to imagine how he feels as a man. I can only know by looking into his eyes and his walk. He too is searching. Our son is watching all this happen. I want to be that example to him. Showing him through all we can trust Jesus. I want him to know hope, faith and love. I want him to see the Lord do a work in our family through prayer.

I have learned after all I was taking things for granite. We take for granite everything. If we say we don't we are not being honest with ourselves. We take each sunrise and sunset for granite. We think it will just be there tomorrow. We leave our home without saying goodbye thinking we will see each other again in just a bit. We spend all we have thinking next week more will be there. We waste what we have. We simply waste the moment we have away wanting more for the next. Why? Why can we just not be satisfied with today, with right now?

Even being a Christian I have been living for myself and my wants for too long now. I get stuck in thinking this or that will make me happy. I am learning the material things of this world do not bring lasting joy. Sure, they quench that midnight craving, but in a few hours you are hungry again.

Somewhere along the way we stop thinking of others and we just concentrate on ourselves. We stop reaching out, we stop giving and in that process people lose hope. Not so much in Christ, but in other people. Where is that Christian love? Where is the simple caring of another? We see so many in need and we just pass them by. I think somewhere we begin to look for others to satisfy our needs that only Christ can. No one else can fill that God spot inside us. We must stop looking for others to meet our wants and look to Christ for all our needs. He knows each need and He knows how to cultivate the greatest blessings to bring us the most out of life, giving us life abundant.

I know through all this the Lord is still teaching me. I must really be a slow learner, but I too know that my walk with Him is one in that I can learn everyday if I will allow myself to see past myself and all He has for me.  I know when I was young I was that spoiled little daddies girl. Yes, I simply had to hold out my hand and say, "I want." Daddy would give me that credit card and I would be a happy girl, until that purchase got old and I needed another. We can become addicted to want of any kind. I am learning my wants go  much deeper than that. I am not being fed. That is no ones fault but mine. I simply need to soak myself in God's word. I need to stay there until I hear from Him. I need to drink in His word until I am of thirst no more. I need to turn off everything and shut the door and simply wait on Him. I am waking up each day just expecting life to be handed to me on a pretty platter, ready to serve. All I must do is reach in and grab the best parts. Ouch! You too? We tend to want to throw those that don't look so pretty back for someone else. Someone else much stronger than we who can handle it, right? We want to take the easy route. We want to go up to that buffet and just do a tasting test. If it doesn't taste good we simply move on. Life is not like that. We must be willing to take the bad just as willing as we are the good. See, what doesn't always look good has more nourishment. Water simply looks boring, but nothing can quench your thirst like fresh, cold water. Jesus knows just what we need when we need it.

I must learn to wait on Him. I cannot expect things to appear just when I snap my finger. I must stop looking for each day to meet my needs and begin to meet the needs of each day. Things may not appear to be moving forward right now, but God is working behind the scenes making things happen in His time. It is in His time that the best of the best of blessings appear to us.

What if life was a big box of chocolate? Me, I reach in that box and pick one up thinking it's what I want, but end up putting it back for someone else, because it just didn't fit my taste. We seem to leave what we don't want and take all we do. That my friend is living for self. I am still learning to die to self. Maybe, just maybe this is the lesson the Lord is forever trying to teach this slow girl. To follow Him I have to be willing to give up everything. In giving up everything God comes in and fills my life with more than I could ever imagine.

I have to stop wanting right now to happen and just rely on Him and His time. I must say, even though things are hard, we are still here. We are making it through this storm. He aren't going under and if we do, the Lord will throw out that life preserver and bring us back in. He isn't letting go. I must remember no matter what He is here. Job or no job Jesus isn't going anywhere. It is His presence that has kept us going and not just going, but striving for more through Him. There is always hope. Hope fills us when all else seems impossible.

I ask you to pray for me and my family. Pray that we allow God to be our Rock and Corner Stone. He is our foundation. I don't want to move away from that. I want to seek Him daily with a new attitude and a refreshed soul for Him. I want His word to be what I am seeking with great effort. Pray my husband receives that perfect job I know the Lord has for him. Pray our marriage strengthens and our family grows even closer. Pray God uses this trial as a testimony to bring Him honor and glory. This valley is taking a little longer to walk through than we expected, but I know through the walk, God will open our eyes to things we would have never had the opportunity to see unless we were right where He has us.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 "We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; stuck down, but not destroyed."

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 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."

2 Corinthians 12:9 "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'"

Philippians 3:7-14 'But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
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