"The God of the Universe knows you and STILL loves you."
Our pastor's words were a soothing balm to my heart and soul this Sunday. Only the Lord knew all the ugly thoughts and feelings that had raged through me on Friday. They were thoughts far from praise for our Lord, far from the joy I had felt the last week, far from the rest and peace that had flowed through me. They were angry thoughts full of self-pity. They boiled within, rising higher as I fanned the flame of "woe is me."
With the rising of the morning sun, life had suddenly turned impossible. Did I get up on the wrong side of the bed? Had the enemy of our souls launched an all-out attack on me? (I didn't even stop to question.) Were the few hormones I have left out of balance? What was my problem?
I wish I could give you a definitive answer, and say, "be on the alert for...", but I can't.
What I can tell you is that by evening our household was in disruption. I confessed to Hubby that I was having a pity party. And I felt as if the turmoil of the day could have been avoided if I had immediately taken my mounting anger to the Lord instead of running from Him.
Hubby, tenderly looked at me and gave a soft laugh, saying, "I'm glad you realized that." (that I was having a pity party) Hubby's tenderness and gentleness were reflections of what the Lord was trying to whisper to me. But I was sure I had blown that beautiful relationship.
I could list the problems that triggered this morose and angry attitude but I believe each of us has our own set of triggers that can cause a wildfire to race through us at a moment's notice. The focus does not need to be on the problems but on how to contain and extinguish the blaze.
- We need to go to the Lord immediately with the thoughts and attitudes that are assailing us. In Isaiah 40:27-29, the Lord calls us, "Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, 'My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God'? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
In James 1:19, we are cautioned, "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."
- When I believe I have run from the Lord, I need to run back to His forgiving arms. To believe He is waiting for me to confess my sin and return to Him who paid the ultimate sacrifice for my sins.
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.... My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 1:8&9 and 2:1&2 NIV
How refreshing is the Father's love and forgiveness. He restores us so that our hearts can soar again with love and praise for Him. His gladness and joy fill us more than when grain and honey abound.
Dear Lord, I pray that You will draw me near You when I flail against my circumstances, when I rant and rave within my heart, when I want to run from You. Draw me with your loving kindness to speak to the hurt within. To speak the understanding that only You have regarding me. Then forgive me, restore me, and strengthen me with your love to carry on in joy.
For this week, I give great thanks for:
66) the Lord's forgiveness
67) the fact that He knows me and STILL loves me
68) restored peace in our home
69) hard-working sons who cleaned rooms and washed cars
70) Bearnaise sauce that turned out yummy
71) enjoyable co-workers
72) our pastor who receives what the Lord puts on His heart
73) encouraging friends
74) the Bible Study, "Anointed" by Beth Moore
75) Hubby's tenderness
This post is part of Ann Voskamp's Gratitude Community.
Labels: Christian Inspiration, Faith, Gratitude Community