Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Why can't things just be easy?

We all like easy don't we? We may not admit it, but we like comfortable living. We begin to assume we are doing something wrong when we go through hard times and things don't get better...but worse.

I've prayed a lot over the years for things to just be easier. Or at least ONE thing to come easy. There were days everything felt hard-EVERYTHING. Nothing went right. I woke up with tears mingled with prayers and fell asleep the same.

Why can't things just be easy?

I've been convicted of praying for an easy, comfortable life. As a Christian I can read my Bible and see easy is not a theme woven throughout. Hard love is.

I want my nice things, with easy people, comfortable income. But I've been asking myself, and maybe it's because I've found myself in the old testament a lot lately ( which I love), why? Why do I want easy and comfortable aka safe?

There's nothing in the Bible that says our lives will or are meant to be any of those things.

Suffering brings us to God. It's not fair and it doesn't feel right but it can be holy in the hands of God.

I ask God to lead me out of my suffering and then grumble and complain the entire way because I thought when I got what I wanted it would be easy and better. God doesn't take the easy, straight path. He usually takes us the long way round. As we witness His hand on our lives, we know He's our Father and protector.  We get a first-row seat to miracles.

We are shallow people who will always turn to the safest and less painful way. For thousands of years, God has been showing us the way to deep and lasting life is the hard way through.

Getting uncomfortable, loving hard and "dangerous" people, outcasts, staying put when we want to run, doing the hard work of healing when it's easier to live hurt, being ok with just enough and trusting God for your enough (so hard!), will do deep transforming work in our lives.



As a society, we've bought into this lie that God wants us all to be prosperous and happy.

Wrong.

God wants us holy. God needs us to know Him and what His word says. To live like we know Him and obey His word. He wants us to live like we are His beloved's because we are. He cherishes His children and adores us.

We medicate to numb the pain. We've created idols to take the place of truth because it rubs against our happy places and we don't want to hear it.

Over and over we see the cycle. When we make ourselves the gods, we head for destruction.

The Jews wanted easy, they wanted a king to set up shop and put the haters in their place. To save them from persecution. THEY WANTED THE GOOD LIFE. THEY WANTED EASY!

But that's not what Jesus did.  He didn't promise things would get easier, but he did promise a gift, the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). And He knew they would be persecuted and hated (Matt 24:9; 10:22).

Suffering creates warriors.

The warriors know that the suffering and the battles will not end until the day they die. Easy and comfortable are not our callings. Hard love is.

We won't always be accepted or popular or look hot and flashy, but the deep that is in us will attract.

The peace and healing we have found that keeps us moving forward will be a force that won't be stopped. Others will want it too and the fire of the Lord will spread. The time has come for us to stop asking for easy and to just trust Him with our suffering and broken hearts.

Will we just trust Him? 

Lord, forgive me for the times I've begged for an easier way...I ask you to prepare me for whatever lays ahead of me.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Navigating the middle seasons of life

I wrote this post on my Notes on my iPhone, over Easter weekend. I never got around writing it here until now.

I've been in a season of deep healing. Really working out and understanding what and why God brought me to Isaiah 61 four years ago. He was trying to tell me then He wanted to heal my soul- wounds and set me free. I didn't understand what He meant, until now. It took some more time and pain to realize what He meant.

Up until now, I've been in the middle.

The middle is where I've always felt I've lived my life-I'm the middle child, I always find myself neither hot or cold, neither left nor right, but somewhere in-between.

And that is where the words for Saturday, the day in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday came from.

I sat praying and realized how many "Saturdays" I've had in my life.

Days of waiting.

Uncertainty.

Wondering what would happen.

How did I get to this point? Can I be saved? Be healed? How will life go on?

The middle-Saturday- is confusing and feels never ending. It is riddled with uncertainty, fear and confusion.

This is the in-between. All we can do is wait. We pray. We praise. We hope. We wait some more.

(Waiting is excruciating to me.)

We are caught in what was and what will be.

So here I sit on this Saturday, wondering where God is. Does he see my fears about the future?

How long Lord? I wonder.

Why does it have to be this way?

Even Jesus on the cross cried, "Father, why have you forsaken me?"

And yet, I whisper still as I wipe away tears, "Not my will, but Yours be done." I surrender all. There is no other choice.

Mine for His. Because He's always promised to work ALL things out for my/our good.

We can't see how.

But somehow He does.

Sunday comes and it all makes sense.

"I will rise again," says Matthew 27:62

All the waiting. Pain. Tears.

He was working. He knew what you and I  were going through and what we would need to carry on our journey and finish well.

 It is finished, indeed.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

In The Potter's Hand


"It's called grog when you take a piece of already fired clay, and break it and shatter it just right, and add those shattered pieces to the fresh clay. A really wise potter knows how to shatter that pottery that needs to be added - the grog that needs to be added to the fresh clay -  the potter knows how to shatter it just right. 
If you shatter it too much, it won't add structure to the fresh clay, But if it's not shattered enough, the pieces will be too big and too sharp that when the potter's hands form it, it will cut the potter's hands and they'll bleed." Lysa Terkeurst, First Five App weekend teaching (Dust in the Potter's Hands)
We've heard it said that God takes the broken pieces of our lives and puts them back together again, heck I've used that line in reference to myself numerous times this year.

What if God doesn't put the pieces back but instead makes something totally different and better than before?

Bigger and Better-I stopped the devotion and thought, "What if all this time God wasn't putting me back together but making something bigger and better out of my brokenness?"

Sometimes it feels like all that's left is dust, but as Lysa mentions in the devotional, dust mixed with Holy Water forms clay. We are formed from dust. And dust is what we'll be after we die.

I never stopped to think of the symbolism of dust before. But dust is exactly what God uses.

What we think of as unusable, broken, shattered, with God it's the exact opposite. When we give God our dust He forms, molds, makes. Nothing stays broken. Nothing stays dust.

Trust is a five letter word that always seems to trip me up. How can I trust God to make something beautiful when all I see around me is broken sharp pieces and a whole lotta dust?

I start right there, with my dust.

I get honest about my doubts and my fears. Some days I get angry because life was not supposed to look like this. My kids are hurting and mourning what was while grasping what is. I'm trying to stay strong for them while figuring out what in the world our future is going to look like now.

It helps to know, God sees our tears and in His sweet way, He uses them for the clay. He's molding and making us new.

And while we're still in the forming process and ready for the kiln (the final heating process of pottery. It changes the structure of the clay and turns it from weak to strong) I will trust Him.

I can't wait to see the masterpiece He is making out of us.



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