[Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God]
This Season has been interesting, to say the least. I’ve been up and down more times than I care to count or admit. Metaphorically speaking, I’m running the race, but I’m tripping over myself. I’m back up and limping, only to feel lost. That’s faith. We walk by faith not by sight. This requires a great deal of trust.
Sometimes I’m surprised by what’s happening, but I’m reminded that God is faithful. He keeps His promises. (1 Corinthians 1:9) I’m encouraged to continue pressing on.
“We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up.” — 2 Corinthians 4:8 (CEV)
Ask and You Shall Receive
As I wake feeling beat, I remember that I’m receiving what I asked for: a stronger faith and deeper understanding. We ask for a lot—not only for our own journey, but also for others, and those prayers aren’t always answered overnight.
This makes it so easy to lose track of all that we’ve asked for. Of course we can’t anticipate in what manner our prayers will be answered either, and often it’s not how we’d prefer.
Nevertheless, God answers, so I’m learning first hand what those who’ve gone before me have experienced: struggle, persevering under trial, and that things can take some time. (A long time even.)
So we ask the Lord to increase our faith. This means that our faith will be tested, and as they say, the struggle is real. It’s much more challenging and sometimes painful when you’ve been drawn into deeper waters. If this isn’t enough, the devil works overtime to discourage and confuse you.
I’ll admit, there are days when I’m feeling worn and weary of the trials and testing. These hills and valleys start to look as if they go on for miles and miles, and some days I’m not feeling so patient. However, this is how we recognize how truly weak we are and that it’s His strength, not our own, that will carry us.
I’m Tough on Myself
When I feel worn or depressed (emotions that I don’t particularly enjoy and I don’t feel showcase the real me) I tend to turn it back on myself. I refuse to turn on God. (I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me, though sometimes I fear that I will.) So I’m tough on myself. I have yet to figure out how to handle this in a better way.
When I feel as if I’ve hit my limit, that’s when the tears can start to flow. I know that I can’t give up. I know that I won’t give up. Either I’m very stubborn, God’s Spirit in me won’t give up, or it’s a combination of both.
On my worst days the giants look enormous, but I’m told that they can be defeated. It just takes a little faith (and those steps of obedience in the right direction.) I remember the words of “Mercy Me’s” Even If: Well good thing–a little faith is all I have right now.
I’m encouraged to know that giants serve a purpose: God wants to be known and honored for who He is. Giants are the primary opportunity to make His power and goodness known to a doubting world. And when He chooses to defeat a giant with a miracle—that is, an event that cannot be explained in any other way other than “God did that” He receives all the glory. (The Dream Giver/Bruce Wilkinson)
When God acts on our behalf our confidence in Him is also strengthened, reenforcing that trust. Whether we receive that miracle or not, He does act. He acts every time we receive a word from Him; when we are comforted in our grief; when we gain some new/deeper understanding, and when we are drawn closer to Him. These are all things that I’ve asked Him for in prayer, though sometimes I fail to recognize it right away.
Thirteen years ago I asked to have a closer walk with Him. I was inspired by someone else’s walk with Jesus. I wanted that too! There may be giants in them thar hills, but they’re not bigger than my God!
He is With Us
These hills and valleys aren’t easy, but we were never promised easy, just that God would be with us. Sometimes He takes us out from under our burdens, and sometimes He says, Let patience finish it’s work. (James 1:4)
This doesn’t mean that we won’t receive those other things that we want. It just means that some things must come first, but even if we don’t receive those miracles, let us remember what matters the most, what He’s already given us, and let us keep singing His praises.
I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” –Exodus 6:7(NKJV)