"O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."
2 Chronicles 20:12
Have you ever had one of those moments when you don't know what to do (aka you're stuck between a rock and a hard place)? You want to do the right thing. Your heart is in a good place. But, you're not sure where God is calling you or why He continues to allow you to struggle through something?
It's tempting to become so frustrated and allow hopelessness to sink in. I think one of the devil's most effective strategies is through our thoughts. A thought sneaks in that is less than cheerful and uplifting to the soul. Left unchecked and left to linger this thought festers within. Once in, it then opens the doors for other untruthful thoughts to sneak in. And, before you know it, the doors open wide and untruthful thoughts are no longer 'sneaking in' but are in fact walking straight on in as if they were meant to be there. It doesn't take long before these untruthful thoughts take up residence and do what they do best - wreak havoc.
It happens subtly at first, as the thoughts casually meander in. But before you know it there is a full on out pity party taking place within you head. It becomes so crowded in there that there's no room for the truth. In order for the truth to enter in something has to leave (or rather be kicked out). And so, just as the lies and negative thoughts took up residence over time, so must they come out through the process of refinement. They must be exposed - each and every one of them - and then healed.
Some of these lies we have allowed in have taken a lifetime to build, and thus will require time (and the healing hand of the Lord) to evacuate. The good news is - we can be free from them! When we ask God to expose them He does. He then helps us to see them for what they are - lies from the devil meant to hold us captive. The only way to freedom from them is through God. The only way.
And this is not exactly an easy process. There is struggle in the process, in the journey. There is pain. There are tears. But, it is the only way to freedom. How long God keeps us in one of these refining periods, I believe, is as He sees we need. His perfect timing. His ways, not mine.
I think of where I am right now. I want to say to God, "Okay, thanks for the lesson, God. I've had about enough now. I think I get what you're trying to teach me. But, I've about had all I can handle now. Are we good then?" I feel God has taught me much on my journey as a SP - unconditional love, self-sacrifice, patience, forgiveness, self-control, gentleness and kindness. So, naturally then, I ponder what else could He be trying to teach me through all this (yes, to some of you the answer to this question is quite clear)? Still there is more?! And then He reminds me refinement is a process. God's process. His perfect timing.
It finally dawned on me (so sometimes I'm "slow" but I blame it on the sleep deprivation) that God continues to teach me faithfulness and trust. I often wonder how much longer the sleepless nights will continue (my 11 month old still does not sleep through the night and my 3 year old wakes up just about every night). There is no explanation that I'm able to get up the next morning (and by the look of me you'd probably shout out a 'Lord have mercy! This mama gonna need lots of that mercy today!'). But God continues to pull me through this. I'm not dragging my sails at work (for the most part). I'm actually accomplishing things. He is my strength. Of this, I'm sure!
Daily, He shows me how faithful He is and that He's not forsaken me to go out and do this all alone. Trust. Faithfulness is a journey. We build our faith when we trust in God along, in,and during the journey. Our struggles produce faithfulness. And, yet, another thing I've learned through SPing. And, I'm awestruck by Jesus' majesty. He's teaching me how to be and live like Him by being a SP. He's developing the Fruits of the Spirit within me. And I'm honored, humbled, amazed, awestruck that He has chosen sinful me - that He loves me so much that He wants me to be like Him - to witness for Him. What a privilege! What a gift!
Wait Upon the Lord
My Lord tells me to wait upon Him alone.
And great blessings will reign down from the throne.
I come before You with the needs that are in my heart.
Holy Spirit, come and dwell within and never from me depart.
I will look to You to fulfill me in every way.
Set Thy perfect Will within me - this I pray.
Daily You show me Your mercy and grace.
And through Your power give joy to live in this earthly place.
Let my life be an instrument for You -
To witness in love and do as You do.