Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Was that for me?

Spiritually and emotionally, my body is beeping "overload, overload..." but I'm thankful for God's mercy and His patience in speaking to my heart. Since I'm a little deaf, it's vital He says it more than once...even to the point of obvious redundancy. Not too far from my own experience as a mother with my kids, is it? As parents, our phrases are on automatic replay. And God often forebears to say it again and again.

“And like an echo, God often uses the repetitive events and themes in daily life to get my attention and draw me closer to himself." - The Sacred Echo” 
― Margaret FeinbergThe Sacred Echo: Hearing God's Voice in Every Area of Your Life

Lately, I've been trying to pursue prayer in every area of life (What would you have me do here, God? Yes, for this? No?). Realizing how brief this life is, I don't want to waste my time (or His) chasing after something that shouldn't be on my radar.  God answers with yes, no, and not now. The dilemma confuses when I don't know if His answer is "no" or just "not now."

This week, I received a rejection email over a manuscript I'm working on. In his gracious care, God prompted me to read various blog posts, devotions, and hear songs with a similar theme--namely, how to move on when life disappoints. We won't always be on a mountain top; this life is pitted with shadowed valleys too.  And, I'm all too familiar with the word "no." However, I'm slowly starting to see it as a helpful boundary instead of a squelch in life.  And indeed, we are called to a life of "yes."

Yes, He is with me.
Yes, He calls me to live abundantly.
Yes, He has bestowed talents, passions, and a drive in me for a reason.
Yes, I am going to keep walking forward even if I don't know exactly what the next step is.
Yes, He cares.
Yes, He hears.
Yes, He answers.

May I ever listen to His answer and not conjure up a god who can only give one answer to satisfy me. He is the One who satisfies...not the things He gives me (or takes away).

His vision supersedes my limited perspective.  What arrogance to say "this is my life...this is my plan...this is only what's good and acceptable to me."
For His understanding has no limits, His goodness is untainted, and His care over my life is unmatched. With confidence I can open my hands wide and say, "whatever you wish, show me the way to walk forward. What do you have for me?"

Remember that any time you ask a question to Almighty God, you are going to get an answer from the Enemy too. He doesn't want us seeking God, and he certainly doesn't want us to hear how God responds. He would love nothing better than to confuse us, and make no mistake, he won't be after truth. Our enemy's middle name is deceit, so be on your guard. Know ahead of time what God speaks over us so that what the enemy says won't throw you off course. 

After I read the email I knew was coming, I sighed. God had prepared me, and yet, my heart was still susceptible to the pain of past rejections. The email triggered a vulnerable insecurity in my heart that the enemy taunted and tugged at, "You aren't surprised...of course, why should you be? You're just a second-rate writer. Why keep trying? It's pointless. Who cares about what you write when others have written it before...and better? You don't have the knowledge, experience, or platform to get published. Who do you think you are really?" 

Thankfully, God's Spirit in me put down a figurative foot and stopped the chaos erupting in my head. "I don't have any second-rate children."
"You have a gift I put in you and I will use it."  
"Rest, my daughter. Remember."

Abundant doesn't mean easy or comfortable or "my way," but it's the best way, the most satisfying way, and certainly the most connected to our Creator and Savior.  And who wants to miss out on that?

John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."   

Isaiah 58:11
"And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail."          

Phil. 4:19 "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

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