Monday, July 25, 2011

Under Construction

Life at times is a series of ups and downs; lately, it's been more downs than ups.  I'm tempted to look at the negative aspects of my life instead of the positives.  Without going into details, let me just say the future looks bleak and lonely for me. I can't see how things will ever change. Of course, I know I have to walk by faith and not by what I see.

However down on myself I may get at times, though, I choose to believe what God SAYS over what I FEEL:  "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6, NASB) He's not done with me!

So, there you have it:  I'm under construction; I'm a work in progress.  To quote Joyce Meyer:  "I'm not where I want to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be."

Tonight, even though it is taking all my energy to do so, I am thanking God for that.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

In the Wilderness With No GPS

"Hear my prayer, O LORD, Give ear to my supplications!" (Psalm 143:1). I have turned to the Psalms tonight, in an attempt to encourage myself, as David did.  Ironically, these are David's words here in Psalm 143. A lot of the time, David was literally running for his life.  I am so thankful that he was a writer as well as a fighter, because we have most of the Psalms as a result.  In the not too distant past, I have practically lived in the Psalms, reading over and over of God's faithfulness. Tonight, like David did, I have started out my prayer like this chapter starts:  "hear my prayer!"  

"For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground;
He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead.
Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart is appalled within me." (verses 3-4).

I find myself crying these very words out to God on my behalf tonight.  Sometimes the battle gets so intense, I feel I can take it no longer. These are the times I run to my Father, who is truly faithful. "I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah" (verse 6).  It's not only hot outside these days, it's hot in this spiritual desert where I find myself.

There are no highway signs, no GPS to guide me through this valley.  Just the loving guidance of my Father, and I cry out to Him, with David's very words:   

"Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.
Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; I take refuge in You" (verses 8b-9). 

There's a lesson to be learned here.  I am always greatly enriched by these times, though they seem so lonely and desolate while I'm in the middle of them.  I trust in God, though, and He is always faithful. 

"Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; 
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
For the sake of Your name, O LORD, revive me.  
In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble.
And in Your lovingkindness, cut off my enemies  
And destroy all those who afflict my soul,
For I am Your servant" (verses 10-12).

Some of you might think I'm weak, and lack direction, since I go running to God crying so much.  I would answer you, yes, I am. I am weak, and I can't find my way sometimes.  But He--my God--is strong, and He alone knows the way through this wilderness.

Before GPS, we had to pull over sometimes and ask for directions, if we weren't too proud.  While I might be able to use my GPS to navigate in this earthly realm, God alone can navigate me through the hot, dry desert I sometimes find myself in spiritually.  

I'm not too proud to ask anymore. 

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation