It’s been awhile since either Mark or I have written a blog. Sometimes, life just gets too busy. Or, it gets too hard. Whatever the case may be, I know that personally, I don’t blog unless I feel something burning within that I need to share so that others might benefit. This is one of those days.
I’m looking at my journal, trying to figure out where I need to begin, and am realizing that I wrote more in January 2013 than the months of August through December 2012 combined. My journal tends to be a hodgepodge of my thoughts, scriptures, and things that God talks to me about – a lot of ‘listening,’ when He speaks and I sit and just write. There was a lot of that happening last month.
Our family chose to go on a corporate, 30-day Daniel fast on 2 January. It’s the first time we’d ever done it all together, and it was a pretty strict deal. I’m not bragging; rather, I’m just setting this up so that you understand our commitment to change and growth at the very start of 2013. And, God didn’t fail to respond. Boy, did He ever. But, not in the way that I expected.
The changes started happening on the 5th of January and kept rolling from there. Thought processes hitting our minds that we’d never before considered. Situations both within and without Finland that we could not possibly handle or make decisions about on our own. Incredible obstacles of both a physical and spiritual nature that threatened our core understanding of life as we currently know and live it.
On the 10th, God spoke to me and said, “It is in the midst of the impossible that I do my best work.” I don’t know what to pray, God. “Pray My Will.”
In the midst of everything that was happening, I could feel my attitude worsening by the day. I started seeking alone time in our bedroom, making sure my family knew I needed ‘space.’ My tongue became more sharp, even as I was praying, seeking, crying out to God. My spirit knew what was happening, knew that I needed help — it was at total war with my flesh, which sought an immediate answer that simply did not exist. I was daily crucifying my flesh with the fast, being faithful to my Bible reading goal, praying and seeking God. And, my attitude still got out of control.
On the 16th, at mid-month and in the midst of total unknown, God reminded me of Exodus 12:41 and how He had delivered the Israelites from bondage. I had never paid really close attention to the exact wording of the verse before: “And it happened at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even it was on this very day, all the armies of Jehovah went out from the land of Egypt.” (MKJV) God had promised deliverance after 430 years of captivity. Not only did He deliver, but He freed them on the last day of the 430 years. It might not have been what they felt was timely on His part, but God delivered. Just in time.
Did I mention that I had a bad attitude? God was trying to help me. He used different sources to try to encourage good thoughts. Focus on the good, Glenda. Not the negative. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9, KJV) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13, KJV) “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” (See Nehemiah 8:10) And in the midst of it all, I would cry and write in my journal, “En ymmärrä.” (I do not understand.)
The hardest part was when He took me to Proverbs 22:10 and showed me what I really needed to change. “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” (Proverbs 22:10) What? Me? A scorner? I felt like someone had slapped me in the face. Scorner: open dislike and disrespect or derision often mixed with indignation; 2: an expression of contempt or derision; 3: an object of extreme disdain, contempt, or derision: something contemptible. (see www.m-w.com) In my mind’s eye, I saw the comparison of my attitude to those who had driven my Lord to the Cross. Instant conviction and shame flooded my heart and mind, tears began to fall, and I started to repent. I think that we Christians don’t understand how serious our ‘bad attitudes’ can be, and how they must appear to God. He faced a whole mob of scorners on the day of His crucifixion. How many times do we participate in activities such as those and don’t even realize it? Needless to say, I am working on my attitude. The beautiful thing about God is that if we are willing to change, He is quick to help us do it. When I speak out of turn, He’s right there to show me the error. When I’m ‘hard’ or react improperly, He reminds me to use grace.
On January 31, God awakened me in the early morning hours. I thought that I was getting up to spend time in deep prayer. Instead, I sat with a pen while He spoke to me, filling pages in my journal with things that will help me in the days to come. I wish I could say that He had given me answers that would fix all of our problems. No… but He did remind me how to dwell in the midst of peace while we wait.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6, KJV)
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)
“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me has flourished again. Although you indeed did think, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak according to need, for I have learned to be content in whatever state I am. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. In everything and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:10-13, MKJV)
And again this morning, when I didn’t know what to pray, Jesus said, “Pray My Will.”
Do you have an impossible situation? Do you wonder where your help comes from? Don’t despair, friend. God is faithful, He cares, and He sees you and me. Join me — Trust Him — and pray that His Will would be accomplished in your life.
A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
“For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:11-12)