Every year I pray for a theme verse.
2013… God highlighted: “Be still and know that I am God.”
So, I begrudgingly obliged and gave God about 30 minutes MAX scattered throughout the day. I was disobeying, and I knew it. But didn’t God know I had “things to do”. I justified my sin by calling it “service”. Service to “HIM” nonetheless.
2014- God spoke again “Be still and know that I am God.”
Okay, okay. If someone (let alone the Creator of the Universe) is going to repeat something… #1: they are afraid I’m going to forget it, and… #2: it’s probably important. But I didn’t get the hint and with both children in school full time, I was taking full advantage of all my free time, by filling it with every “good” thing I could think of. The problem is… the “good” was keeping me from godly.
July 2013- I got really sick for a few months. As I lay on the couch day in and day out… God gently reminded me of the words “Be still”.
Me: “OHHHH!!!! God…. You mean to tell me that when You speak, you actually want me to listen and obey?”
Me: “But I am so accustomed to just memorizing your commands and I’ve really enjoyed teaching them. This obedience thing seems counterproductive.”
3 months later… no one else in my family got this “flu” that I had. But I did get a positive pregnancy test. AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Zoey Esther was born on April Fool’s Day 2014! Thank You Lord! We’re still laughing! Joke is on us for thinking we had our life all planned out. God, I guess You really are in control.
2015- God highlighted “Walk by Faith, not by sight”. Again… this is one of my favorite verses to teach on, to conclude a prayer with, to write in a card and tweet it out to the masses… but to live by… “COME ON LORD… THROW A GIRL A BONE”.
2015 started off rough. Really rough. Like 6 months of “drought” for our family. Long story short… I left my little girl and went back to teaching full time. We traded in our 2 beloved cars. We learned the difference between “want” and “need”. We questioned, we cried, we prayed. Our anthem became 2 Cor. 4:8b “we are perplexed but not despairing.”
We chose to WORSHIP instead of worry…. PRAISE instead of panic. It wasn’t easy. It was only out of Faith.
We were desperate to hear God’s voice. “Where we in sin?” “Where did we go wrong?” I began to question everything I’ve ever believed. I discovered that some of my theology was tied to roots in somewhat of a prosperity gospel, which had no Biblical backing whatsoever.
Looking back… it was a season of “more questions, than answers.” It felt lonely.
May 4 2015… I hear God so clearly tell me to write a letter to a certain group of people. The exact moment I sent it… was the exact moment my husband received really good news.
Fast forward to June 7…. I had a big decision to make about if I would return to teach full time the next school year. I heard a clear “No” from the Lord and this definitely DID NOT make one bit of sense. But I acted in faith (obeying the Lord no matter the cost) and not by sight (what I could see/ the knowledge I had based on things that ‘made sense’). Perfect peace covered me as I shared my confident “Thanks, but NO thanks” with the school district and a door opened up for me to share the gospel with the HR lady on the phone! Crazy awesome story! The next day my husband received MORE REALLY good news.
It seemed like things were beginning to turn around.
We saw clearer than ever that the Lord was after our hearts…. And not stressing one bit about our circumstances. HE IS ALWAYS AT REST! I have a lot to learn to be like Him.
I was (and am) completely hung up on the verse that says “It is impossible to please God without faith.” Faith is essentially :: hearing God and obeying whatever He said. Seriously… it’s not fancy. It doesn’t take a Master’s of Divinity to understand and yet ALL of us are called to walk in this way!
I’m guilty of living with the mindset that says “I’ll do good things for God and ask Him to bless it”. I didn’t even bother to ask God if He wanted me to do all these “good things”!
What I was learning now… was that through all the INCONVENIENT and UNEXPECTED circumstances of my life… God has a purpose. HE is THE Creator and Perfectly Sovereign. This means that He “works all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose”. THAT’S ME! THAT’S YOU! And my comfort is not His highest priority. (GASP! … jaw drop! …. But…. But…. But….insert temper tantrum here)
Walking by faith means that when my tire pops and I find myself unexpectedly (and inconveniently I might add) at the tire center at Costco… God is not surprised and He has brought me there “for such a time as this!” Could it be that He wants me to love others unconditionally so “they will know Him”?! No rushing required. Getting your tire changed is “Kingdom business” when you are walking IN FAITH!
When your child suddenly becomes ill and you find yourself in a series of inconvenient and unexpected appointments/ tests/ meetings/ calls… The Hope that is within you. The Hope of Glory is at those appointments as well and is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY in this dark and dying world. No despair necessary. Medical events are “Kingdom business” when you are walking IN FAITH!
My challenge to all of us today… is how can we “walk by Faith, not by sight” in the INCONVENIENT and UNEXPECTED situations of our day. And ask ourselves… “Am I more concerned with how this will make me look/ feel?” or “How can ‘they’ see Jesus in me?”
FAITH brings God glory even in the inconvenient and unexpected messes of life!