Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Giving it all up

The Lord has been doing a work in my heart. He has brought me to a place where I know He is enough. I have decided I can sit here each day and think about our circumstances or I can decide to focus on Christ. I can allow my attitude and actions to show my pain and hurt or I can just give it all to Him. I can find myself in anger or I can let it go and choose to find joy. It's just like the Holy Spirit washed over me and said, "Give it all up and let Me."

I could be sitting here crying and my tears would keep coming with each thought of just how hard things are right now. I never imagined this struggle. Job loss touches your whole family. It brings hurt, anger and questions.  My son sat next to me a few days ago and said, "Mom, why has this happened? Why are things so hard?" I sat before him and said, "Why not?" I must admit I have been so confused. I mean we are good people. We walk with the Lord. We serve. We reach out to others and oh, have I cried out to God. You begin to wonder if God hears you any longer. You begin to wonder if anyone really cares. Satan loves to fill our minds with falsehoods. He is the creator of lies and deceit. He would love nothing more than for us to think the Lord doesn't care. He wants us to feel lonely and far from others. He would love it if we would just give up!

I am giving up, but in a different way. I am not giving up to him, but I am giving up everything and just letting God have my control of every aspect of my life. I want Him in my thoughts and actions. I want Him to be the center of all I do. I refuse to focus on what we don't have. I am choosing to focus on what we do. To the world, it might not look like much right now. I mean, if our house wasn't paid for, we could very well be living in our car. If I just focus on our circumstances I would not get up out of bed. I would simply stay there until things got better. But, I think that is just it. We keep waiting until things are better to praise God. We wait for the perfect situation until we offer up what we have to Him. We live our lives thinking about tomorrow. What if it never gets better? What if my husband doesn't find a job in the next two years? We never know what tomorrow will bring. We keep waiting, but the Lord is saying, "Live today!! Don't wait for better!!"

1 Peter 5:6-7 "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you."

Just maybe that is what He has been doing the whole time. Maybe this girl, who has always had everything she ever needed or wanted just needed to come to the place where all that was gone to truly see the Lord is all I need. We let our stuff taint our eyes. We let our stuff become our world. I have to admit. It didn't matter what I spent because I knew next week there would be more. Ever do that? We live spoiled lives.

So much happens in our lives that we are waiting on. We want everything to be perfect with our family. We want our children to visit and be part of our lives. Sometimes, they are not seeing what we see. Sometimes it will take time before they fully understand the depths of the love you have for them. As parents we want close relationships with our kids. We want to know what they are doing and have them ask, "What are you up to?" How do we think God feels about His children? He wants His children to come together. He is waiting with perfect patience. Do we ever fully understand the depths of His love for us? Just like our kids, sometimes we have to go through much before we really understand how much we need Him.

We are all in different circumstances and all have different hurts and needs. No one can understand our situation unless they too have walked in our steps. There is one who has. Jesus Christ. He has felt rejection, loss, pain, suffering, and loneliness. Just think, he didn't have to. He chose to go through suffering and loss for us. He has felt temptation. He gives us example of those who have walked in our steps through the pages of His word. Your story is there too. As the Holy Spirit wrote through men and women to bring us His word, He knew our stories could be found there too. He knew what we would go through and just what we would need to make it through.

Two years is a long time for us, but there will come a time when these two years have seemed like two days compared to our time we will spend forever with Jesus. My friends, wherever you are today, whatever you are going through, simply give it up for Him. Don't allow your worth be found in others. Don't allow your circumstances to define who you are. Find yourself in the love of Jesus today.

Psalm 84:10 "A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather be a gatekeeper on the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked."

Psalm 27:14 "Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord."

1 John 2:15-17 "Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. There are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever."
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