Bragging on the wonderous works of my God

Archive for December, 2009

Where is God??

As I’m drinking my morning coffee, my dog is lying next to me snoring, jerking and twitching.  I glance over and wonder what she’s dreaming about.  I turn back to my laptop and sigh.  My heart is heavy.   It’s two weeks from Christmas and I don’t even know where I will get grocery money, much less Christmas presents.  I have a tree only because a friend of mine had extras and loaned me one so I could at least decorate.

I have applied for jobs on Craig’s List (which are all scams, by the way).  I have been searching and applying on legitimate sites regularly for the past year or so.  The job marked is so saturated.  I’ve had maybe 3 interviews, all of which didn’t pan out.  Real Estate is all but dead.  Mary Kay sales are few and far between.  My husband is on salary, so he can’t pick up overtime.  Again, sighing, I am trying not to cry.

You know, Christmas just keeps reminding me of how broke we really are.  My daughter stopped me in the hall the other day and says, “Mom, I know what I want for Christmas. Another blanket and lots of candy.”  My heart sank.  Where was I even going to get money for that?  For a teenager, that is a very small request.  I would love to be able to do that for her. 

We just wrapped up our three night production of our Christmas dinner theater at church and it was so much fun.  Every night was something different, whether it was forgotten lines or comedic relief from the impromptu acting of one of our Sunday School teachers. 

It seems like every devotional I read or sermon I hear is how God is always there, working on our behalf, whether we see Him or not.  I know He is trying to tell me this and deep down, I know this very well. 

But yet, I can’t help but be hurt and frustrated at this situation.  I don’t know what’s going on in the spiritual realm.  He doesn’t afford me that luxury.  Is He trying to get my attention?  He already has that.  What if He’s trying to get the attention of another one of my family members?  What if it has nothing to do with us? When will this be over?  When will He show up and “save the day?”  Or will He show up at all?  Why won’t He open a door for me to get a job? And on and on the questions go….

I know He never promised that this life would be easy.  We live in a fallen world.  Life will only be perfect on the other side of eternity. 

You know what I love? I love to read the Psalms. The psalmist was blatantly honest with God. He poured out his heart. God didn’t strike him dead.  Instead, God longs for us to be honest with Him. He knows what we are feeling anyway. Maybe He’s trying to get me to be that honest.  More often than not, I bottle up my feelings and suck it up and go on.  Or like yesterday, lay down to take a nap just hoping that when I awake, I will not be so broken hearted. That usually works—temporarily.  Or I’ll eat chocolate. It’s soothing to the palate, yet not so much when I look in the mirror.

We can’t hide from pain, no matter how hard we try.  I guess that’s why so many people end up alcoholics or drug addicts. 

You know, I guess that is why one of Jesus’ names in Scripture was the “Balm of Gilead.”  He soothes our broken hearts. He puts salve on our wounds. He is Wonderful, Counselor and Prince of Peace.

Where is God in all of this?  He’s here. He’s carrying us through the tough times. He’s loving us in spite of ourselves and our brokenness. He’s working on our behalf, whether we see it or not.  Romans 8:28 states that “He CAUSES all things to work together for good.”  You can’t “cause” something without being active. Think on that.

In the Flight Path of Geese

It’s cold and rainy outside and a Saturday at that.  I awoke early this morning and an inaudible voice compelled, “Meet with Me.”  I somewhat wanted to but started to argue, “I’ll pray when I lay back down” knowing full well that I would fall back asleep before I got a few lines out.  It’s too early. But it will be quiet. You won’t regret it. Why am I arguing with myself about meeting with God?  He delights in me, says the Psalmist. He wants to spend time together…alone – without all of the family, animals, TV, phones, and computers. The God who created the universe wants to meet with me.

So, I stumbled down the hall and into the kitchen, gave the dog her morning treat and ushered her out the door. The cats ambled up wanting their treats as well so I obliged them.  As they munched and purred, I pulled the coffee out of the cabinet and put on a pot.  I opened the blinds and the gray day met my eyes. This is a day for reading, snuggling by a fire or sleeping, I thought.  According to the weather, it is supposed to rain all day.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, the coffee is ready. I pour myself a cup, put some french vanilla creamer in it and sit down on the sofa.  I opened my laptop to glance at my email to make sure nothing urgent needed attention, closed it and grabbed my Bible off the end table. 

I have three different devotionals so I usually read one that is just for women/mothers and gain some encouragement. Then I will pick up another to have a starting point in Scripture.  More often than not, I’ll read more than the passage required because I am getting so much out of it.

The back door was still open as I began to read and then I heard them.  There is a huge gaggle of Canadian Geese that live down the street in our neighborhood pond.  Every morning they fly over the house headed out to wherever they go for the day.  Each evening, they come back.  Sometimes there are three different sets that fly over.  These birds are amazing to watch, even if it is in brief. The “V” formation they fly in and their squawking gets my attention every time.  This morning, I didn’t see them but heard them as they chatted noisily amongst themselves and flew over my house.  I smiled.  God created these gorgeous creatures and I never tire of hearing them or seeing them.  They always put me in awe of my Creator.   God knows that I love them and He woke me up early to meet with Him and to enjoy His creation, as He does. 

We read in Scripture that God loves us.  But it never occurred to me until hearing Beth Moore this week that God is kind to us.  He actually wants to be nice to us.  For some reason, that brings God into a whole different light in my mind.  I will never completely fathom all that we mean to Him.  I am still trying to comprehend why He delights in us. 

Being in the flight path of the geese may not mean anything to you, but it means a lot to me.  It is a gentle reminder of the gracious kindness of a loving God and that He is in control.  Even if bad things come our way, He reminds us that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord. There is a reason, a purpose for everything. Including you.

Sex, Celibacy and Monogamy…Oh my!

Does it ever strike you as odd that advertisers seem to use sex to sell anything?  Unfortunately, in the society in which we live, sex sells or rather I guess I should say lust sells. How depraved we have become. Sex is not the whole reason for living.   I get disgusted watching TV because it seems that every single show has to have something sexual in it.  Do we, as a society, actually talk to one another like that or is TV trying to push a liberal agenda to get us thinking that it is OK to degrade one another?

God created sex in a marital environment so that the man and woman could share an intimacy with each other and no one else.  It brings pleasure and procreates.

It is still not the entire reason for living.  In marriage, it actually plays a small role compared to the rest.  What happens if your mate becomes paralyzed or dysfunctional?  Does that end the marriage?  Of course not. But how many people today actually honor their marriage vows?  “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health…” 

Jesus taught to esteem others better than ourselves.  It’s kind of hard to do that if you get frustrated with a mate who cannot “service” your needs and you seek fulfillment outside of the marriage.  You’ve broken that trust and committed adultery. 

The world has tried to ingrain in our psyche that we cannot live without sex when the truth is, yes…we can.  True love is a commitment, not a feeling.  You married for better or for worse and seemingly the “worse” is here.  Your spouse cannot function.  How do you handle it?  Think if it were you.  Would you want your spouse to just give up on you and go find someone else?  How selfish would that be?  Don’t berrate your spouse because they have a physical issue and cannot perform. If you are loved, cherish it.  Do you know how many people are in an unloving marriage?

I used to think that older couples who slept in separate beds was horrible.  I see now that being able to sleep while your spouse snores like a freight train in another room is coping.  I used to think that being celibate after a certain age was a death sentence.  I was wrong.  God has given me the grace to get through this just as He does any other “obstacle” that may come my way.

How do you do it? Stop listening to songs about romance and sex.  Refuse to watch anything on TV that has sex in it. When a scene comes on in a movie that has a couple having sex, leave the room until that scene is over.  Focus on the Lord and what He wants.  Stay in His Word.  He will give you the grace to get through it.

Life goes on….even without sex.  There is beauty in so many every day things. Look for the beauty.  It is there!  God is giving you a gift of life every day.  Cherish it. Serve Him.

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