Friday, October 16, 2009

low and lower

There are points in life where a person has one other choice then to fall face first into the word and arms of the Lord Jesus! There are points so low that no words from man can suffice, no thought can warm and it seems no hope remains. The low points. The times where turning to God is the ONLY way to take the next step. And even then, some situations feel so hopeless that that step feels futile, empty, hopeless. You can only take it because you know it is what God wants you to do.

I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the enemy exists. I know that he strives to take our joy, to take our peace, to kill our soul. I know that he will do ANYTHING to attain his goal, but what I don't understand, what I don't get, is why so many PEOPLE are WILLING to help him. Why are there so many evil people in this world? So many people willing to be the mouth pieces and the arms and legs of the enemy, willing to do anything without question to the harm that it will cause?

I feel like I have been in this storm FOREVER now. I know that there have been small breaks in it, and I see little glimpses of sunshine, but then the storm comes back, stronger than ever. And another burst of it hit me yesterday.

I have been sick for the last few weeks. I got a cold about 3 weeks ago and it knocked me flat on my butt. I have not been able to gain my strength back at all, I am tired all the time, I am physically weak, and my blood sugar is constantly very low no matter what I do. It's horrible. I can't work more than a few hours without being exhausted. I can't do any of the physical work around the house or the shop that needs done. I can't even keep up with the kids, just a short while playing with them and I am saying, "Let's go play a board game, or read a book, or watch a movie (so not me), or take a nap!" It's been so hard to balance the needs that I know my body is communicating with the stress of life, and most importantly, with not short changing my children. My children are and have always been the MOST important thing to me, second only to the Lord. I will give anything up for them. I will do anything that needs done for them. They are the center of all I do. And now, once again, that is where the enemy is attacking me. With my children themselves and with the security I have built for them in this house which is our home.

If I were telling you that I am handling this most recent attack with strength and peace, I would be lying to you. I feel like the rock bottom that I thought I was out was just ripped from beneath me and now there is a deep, dark black hole down there. And I am being swallowed alive into that endless hole of darkness. I am clinging on by the thinnest thread, and need each of the support people around me more than they can even fathom. I know others don't even begin to understand how dark and consumed I am feeling. And that is ok, because I know that God will touch their hearts right when it's most necessary. But it's still a lonely place to be, and the ONLY place I can turn is to Him. And even then, I know that I can not feel, I can only step, for my own feelings are not of Him right now.

Last night, in the middle of the night, I felt so overwhelmed, so sad, so frustrated and so hurt that I could think of nothing but the pain. Dear friends called me. They tried to be encouraging I think, but I don't remember any of it, I just remember hurting so much with each word they spoke. I felt hopeless and worthless. If all that I have been given as my joy from the Lord is wrong, if I have failed at it as I have been judged by this situation, then what hope do I have? I had to escape. I and escape I did. As I was laying there in the grass in the very dark place I BEGGED the Lord for a verse, a chapter, anything that I may cling to His truths in this moment, because NOTHING else would sustain me then. I knew how dark I was. And He never fails, He NEVER leaves us without a window. This is what he gave my heart. And I laid there in the middle of the night, in the dark, on the grass that He made and read it over and over and over and over again, by the light of my cell phone!

James 1 (New International Version)

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

13When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

In that dark place in my soul I could not even begin to apply the words, or even process them. I couldn't do anything but speak them over and over again to the wind, and pray that the wind carried them back to my heart and buried them deep within it! The irony of it in the light of day is unbelievable. Only God...

You see Thursday night I met with a dear Godly woman. We had a fabulous time of sharing and of fellowship. When we first sat down and started talking she looked deeply into my eyes and stated that I looked at peace, the most peace she had she me in, that I looked good and my spirit seemed lighter. Oh how I cling onto that, for neither of us had an knowledge of what was coming. We went on the have a great time of fellowship together. We closed down the restaurant where we ate, then stood in the parking lot and talked more. And during the course of the evening this book, this chapter, this verse, was one of the key verses God lead her to share with me. Neither she nor I had any inkling of what was coming, but God used this time to plant the verses in my mind that He knew I would need so very soon! Only God!

I read this section over and over again until my soul finally stopped weeping, and I could breathe again, then I decided I need some freedom. So I kissed my darling angel goodbye for the time being, picked myself up off of that grass, and headed to the swing set. Is there anything more physically freeing than closing your eyes and swinging up towards the heavens? Feeling the breeze in you hair and against your skin? Feeling like, if you just pushed a little harder you cold fly right into the shy and straight on to heaven? Not for me there isn't. During this time God brought three more scriptures to my mind.

1Peter 1:3-9: 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Paul wrote: "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Rom. 5:1-4).

And in Romans 8:28:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I know that there are lessons, strength and grace to learn from this situation, but right now all I can feel is the bottomless pain and fear. I pray that each minute today God uses whatever He needs to to break through the pain and fear so I can start to function in His plan, His way and shine His light. I pray that my blinders are removed so that I may see His hope and focus COMPLETELY on it. I KNOW the only way to overcome the shadows of the enemy in my heart right now is complete focus on Him. Won't you join me in prayer today? Please remember us and pray that He guides EVERY step we take!

On a separate note.. earlier this week I was talking to a dear friend of mine who was very depressed, and he knows not the peace of the Lord. Since our last conversation on Tuesday I have been unable to get ahold of him. Not answer messages, emails or phone. My heart is completely burdened for him. Please pray for him too!! He is in an equally low place in his life right now, but he hasn't learned to fall into the Lord's arms in those times!

And here's an interesting quote to think on:
Henri Nouwen who writes: "In this crazy world, there's an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy. But in the eyes of God, they're never separated. Where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom."

Blessings Dear Ones!