The Fire That Is In Me

My heart won’t settle for living for myself. It doesn’t allow me to be satisfied with “normal”…whatever that is. I’m far from being prepared for anything great, and I’m incredibly weak physically—it is not unusual for me to struggle to do an everyday task…yet sometimes I feel like I’m on fire. There’s something burning inside of me that doesn’t allow me to give up, something that makes me keep pressing on. Sometimes it seems as though the more challenging things become the more I move forward. I know it’s from God—He is the fire that is in me. Anything that gets thrown at me quickly becomes engulfed in His flames because nothing can put Him out. I could be too weak to take a breath and still He would be burning inside of me.

I don’t know in detail where it is He’s taking me, and I especially don’t know how—other than by His own capabilities and capabilities that He gives me. As far as when…I believe I am already there. I’ve not completed all the tasks He has for me yet, and they won’t be completed till the day I die, but I’m where I’m supposed to be for now. It is moment by moment and day by day that He will continue to guide me.

If I could only have one hope, one dream, one success—it would be to reach the finish line and hear Him say to me, “Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to me.” (Matt. 25:34-36)

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Only For A Time

“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭

Since I have had brain surgery (the last one was mid-September) I have not been able to sleep laying down and been waking up multiple times through the night with bad headaches. As I’m waiting for tests to be done and answers to be found there simply hasn’t been anything to do but wait. Of course, as with many other similar situations, I find God only using this situation for good.

When we go through any kind of challenge, whether it’s physical or spiritual, we pretty much have two options: to accept it or deny it and be stuck with it anyway. While much can be learned from acceptance, nothing good comes from denial.

What is acceptance? Looking for good in the situation and learning from it. Choosing not to be angry even when you don’t understand why you’re being allowed to go through a difficult situation.

I’m not going to deny that there have been times I’ve asked why, and there’s nothing wrong with asking why. We just may or may not receive an answer and need to accept it either way. In fact, what inspired writing this was my asking why and not receiving an answer.

I was, however, reminded that this is only for a time. And I find this is applicable to many other hard times we go through in life. I also find that it makes it much easier to bear when we fix our gaze on what we cannot see—God and our eternal life with Him, as is referred to in 2 Cor. 4:18.

One of the ways to shift our gaze to Christ is through prayer and worship. Just last night as I was kept awake from my head hurting and feeling quite miserable I was reminded of a chorus in a song called “Steady my heart” by Kari Jobe that goes:
“Even when it hurts
Even when it’s hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
‘Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
You steady my heart”

So many times it’s like God is the glue that holds me together—and not just holds me together, but shapes me into something beautiful—and He can do the same for you.

So, remember that when you go through something, it’s only for a time, and God can hold you together through it. Focus on our eternal life with Christ. Our time on earth is such a small, tiny portion of that.

 

Taking Root

C6D7C6A0-BDE0-4725-822E-9C9F9F319C54“Every dream, no matter how big, starts out as a seed. And like a seed, it often goes underground for a season. That’s when we get discouraged because we don’t see any physical evidence of the dream’s progress. But it has to take root before it can bear fruit.”
-Mark Batterson

As this year has been quite a challenging one, this quote from “Chase the Lion” (and the book itself) has really hit home. Picturing a seed breaking open in order for what is inside it to take root and grow—meanwhile seeing no fruit of any progress—really seemed like an accurate description of me.

The most important thing in these situations is to be where we are supposed to be. To be in good soil where we will get strong roots—to be where God wants us to be.

A lot of times at these points in our lives it seems like we are distant from God, in the dark and unable to see the “Son”. But still, He is there. As long as His Spirit is “raining” down upon us, if we continuously seek Him eventually we will break through the soil. We will see Him and His light will cause us to flourish.

How we react to being planted is so critical. Choosing to take root in where we’ve been planted will often affect our lives long-term a lot more than we realize.

Slowly, I am learning. Though it may be hard, I know it will be worth it.

Learning To Fly

As I woke up this morning feeling rather constricted to my hospital bed and I was feeling quite weak, I pictured a beautiful flock of birds flying by. As they flew by, I was left behind with injured wings unable to fly. Oh, how I wanted to fly!

After a while of waiting and preparing, I was healed. After some time of some more preparing and learning, I was flying, and boy did I fly! Not only was I soaring through the sky, but hundreds, if not thousands, followed behind.

God had prepared me. The process of being prepared was painful and hard but it was worth it.

God Is Never Late

One of the things I’m having to constantly remind myself is that God is never late. So many times I think I’ve figured out where God is leading me when suddenly it becomes impossible or quite delayed. My instinct reaction is frustration, confusion, and disappointment.

This is where it gets hard. It’s where we can’t rely on our own understanding. It’s where our faith, trust, and patience are tested. It’s where we need to be surrendering ourselves to Christ, allowing Him to shape our lives however He sees fit.

Slowly, I am learning. Learning that if I can’t do it, either it’s not God’s will for me to do it at all, or it’s just not time.

We need to realize that if we are allowing things like worry, anger, and doubt to reign in our lives we are giving Satan control and missing opportunities of a lifetime that God has in store for us! What good is that?

Instead of worrying, let’s put our faith in the One who gave His life for us. Instead of becoming angry because things aren’t working out like we expected, let’s put our trust in our Author. Instead of becoming frustrated with the timing of everything, let’s rely on the Creator of time.

Let’s remember: God is never late.

The Weak, Hurting, and Broken

Last night, in my time of prayer as I was thinking of all the things I’ve been wanting to do one day and believe God is leading me to do, I was feeling rather discouraged. It was as though the Devil himself was there trying to discourage me—reminding me of things like how exhausted I get doing things as simple as coming up the stairs. But God had a really good comeback. He reminded me of how He uses the weak, the broken, and the hurting. I literally laughed out loud and prayed, “Well, I qualify for all three, don’t I?”

I think many—if not all—humans have experienced these hardships at least once in their life. Some simply don’t acknowledge the fact because of pride or cold hearts.

Here are some verses I wanted to share…you can always find more on google. 😉

1 Corinthians 1:27b “…God has chosen the weak things of this world to put to shame the things which are mighty;”

Psalms 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite heart.
These, O God, You will not despise.”

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”

Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged when you are weak, hurting, or broken…this only allows more room for God to be glorified through us!

A Car Ride To Remember

Tonight, while spending some time listening to some of my praise and worship favs, I was imagining Jesus in the driver’s seat of a car and myself in the seat behind Him. Before driving, He made sure I had my seatbelt on and frequently looked at me through the rear view mirror to check on me. When our eyes met it was like every fear, worry, and sadness melted away. Part of me wanted to lean over and look over His shoulder to try and see what was ahead, but somehow I knew I shouldn’t. Instead, I found peace in trusting that He knew where we were going and with the windows down I enjoyed the breeze and beautiful views that I may have otherwise missed.

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While trying to see far into the future and what is ahead of us it is easy to miss what is already here. People, events, opportunities…if we’re not careful it is easy for time and things that we could have taken part in slip by completely unnoticed.

We need to allow God to be our driver, let Him do the focusing on the road ahead, and see where He takes us.

A Dance With Jesus

One night at a recent hospital stay I was unable to sleep, so I played some of my praise and worship music and watched out the windows at the city’s lights in deep thought. As the music played, I pictured Jesus walking up to me with a smile on his face asking to dance with me. I accepted, and as we began to dance, of course, I imagined my clumsy self stumbling around, quickly becoming red in the face. But Jesus only smiled and encouraged—giving me confidence and over time gradually helping me make the correct movements in the correct timing.

It was a long dance. There were times of asking lots of questions and quiet times of contentment. There were times of joy and times of sadness—but it was all okay. It was okay, because Jesus was always there. I was in His arms and I knew He wasn’t about to let me go. And I was very grateful for that.

Later, as I thought about these things, I thought of how so many walk away from Jesus as He offers to dance with us. He waits for us. He wants to be near us–to love us, to guide us–but it’s our choice whether to accept, and allow Him to take us into His arms.

Confidence

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Something I’ve observed over the years is a lack of confidence despite many efforts. All the time I’m hearing people say things like, “I am worthy”, “I am special”, “I can do this”, and “I’m proud of who I am.” …yet this seems to be one of the most insecure generations ever!

Why is that?

Well, I think one of the main reasons is it’s like we’re talking to ourselves—we’re giving ourselves a pat on the back, saying, “Great job!”

To be sure, we need encouragement. We need reminded that we are loved and special—that we matter, and can make a difference in this world. But trying to provide these things with our own words isn’t going to build our confidence quite like when it’s coming from a different source.

So where do we find it?

While we need  to have people in our lives who help keep us straight and keep us going and who share words and do things that build us up not tear us down, there is only One who can always, without fail, help us remain confident no matter what the situation—and that is Christ.

I see many saying they don’t really care what others think about their makeup, what they believe, and how many followers they have on the internet, when clearly they do care as they spend hours trying to be presentable and going with what’s popular—being people-pleasers, and really—building up their pride.

Ironically, one of the most important things to build our confidence is humility…not pride, as the world often leads us to believe. If we build ourselves up in pride we are bound to fall at any moment, simply because we are imperfect humans. Rather than taking pride in ourselves, we need to take humility in Christ. With our confidence in One who never fails, we will not be disappointed!

Let’s humbly before God place our confidence in Him knowing that He gave His life for us—we are loved. He created us—we are beautiful. He has a calling for us—we are special. He gives us power through His Holy Spirit—we are strong. This is a confidence that never fails!

Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”