I’ve had one of those days or maybe not so much days, but weeks. One of those days when everything I throw at the trash can (think full coffee filter. Why do I throw those things?) doesn’t actually go inside the trash can and one of those days when you look up to the sky to try to get a handle on things and breathe, but a weird worm from a nearby tree drops onto your upper lip. (Ok, that didn’t really happen, but I did visualize it happening as I looked skyward that day. I have a very active imagination that can be a pro or a con at any given time.) So as I’m walking along, wondering about weird worms, I realize so much about our day is perspective and where we place our focus. My thoughts after I missed the trash can were, “Geeeeez, isn’t anything gonna go right today??” In that moment, I felt a much gentler thought almost audibly whisper, “There are many things that have gone right today.” That whisper, I believe, is the Holy Spirit. There’s no describing it, but I’ve heard it with my heart before many times. (“You don’t have to do this.” Is one of my favorite statements the Comforter has ever made to me. That was when I thought I had to drink. A lot. That’s a previous blog post.)
When I was gently corrected and reminded of the many blessings God had poured out on my ungrateful head that day, I realized that there are only moments of discouragement. Not “bad days.” It’s unlikely that every minute of a 24-hour period could be bad. It’s only moments we, in our fleshy ways, try to make out to be worse than they truly are by focusing on those instead of the good ones.
When Jesus left this earth after being raised from the dead, He said, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 (NIV) I know I need an Advocate. Somebody who’s gonna help me out by reminding me that every little thing’s gonna be alright (some of you now have a Marley song stuck in your head now. You’re welcome.) Even on one o’ those days I throw the banana away and start to eat the peel.
I am so blessed and lemme tell you why. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine being married. Now, not only am I married, but I’m married to a Godly, praying man who not only recognizes when I need prayer, but follows through with it. I think all of us know how difficult that can be. So, I am happily spoiled in a way that I never thought I could or would appreciate. And I could almost write it off as being a not-so-blessed, but-more-of-a-typical happening, but as soon as I begin to take it for granted, I feel another hand. A smaller, 5-year-old hand gently touches my back. There are no words spoken because I know she is listening to her daddy pray. She not only hears the power that those words hold, but sees them as I miraculously (yes, I said miraculously) regain strength and energy into my body. Maybe to some it wouldn’t mean much. Maybe you picture Benny Hinn yelling and people dropping to the floor. I don’t know what you think about miracles. And I’ll be really honest, I don’t care. (Yup, said that too.) I know that I literally go from being too weary to walk or lift my head because my muscles give out to being able to continue on, whether that continuation leads to putting breakfast on the table (ok, it’s the coffee table—the kids eat in front of the TV sometimes. Ok, a lot. I’m letting it go.) or heading to work to do what I love. That’s real. That’s true. That’s what I choose to think on today. And that’s why I’m blessed beyond measure.
The awesomeness and amazingly profound qualities of the God I serve are at the forefront of my mind today. The reason being, I think, is because my house is nothing but quiet. The only sound I hear is that of the baby monitor, patiently waiting for my dear blessing to awake.
Last night, I told God, I’m going to take some “real” time out to pray, you know, not the kind you do before a meal (although this has become more difficult being pregnant…patience is a virtue my unborn child has not yet learned) but the kind where you cry out to God for answers. You cry out to Him to change your situation or someone else’s. When was the last time I trusted God enough to just let go and allow Him to be my support? When was the last moment I felt so close to Him I could feel His breath on my cheek? I must say, it’s been longer than I would ever care to admit.
So last night was the night. I’m going to pray a really great prayer, one not unlike that of David. He sat and wrote and became closer and closer to God with every letter of every word. I want that! Ok, I’m going to pray a really great prayer. Oh! Look at that! I fell asleep in my chair. (I’d like to say this doesn’t happen very often, but I have noticed I am not above falling asleep with an empty plate on my lap. Yet another attractive “symptom” I’ll blame on pregnancy.)
Ok, well, now I need something to eat. It’s getting later…and later…oh! That show I’ve been wanting to see is on! I can DVR it, but when will I watch it? Now is when the baby’s asleep.
Oh my, it’s getting late! I regrettably make a half-attempt to muster the energy to pray to the God Who listens to my every word. He knew that if I didn’t pray RIGHT when I had the idea, life would take over. He knew what my excuse would then be. We can change lives if we just give up some of the time in ours. Isn’t it worth it? Why is it so difficult to “get around to it?” Because we have opposition. And unless we face that opposition head on, with a fury that is as determined to win as David was facing his opponent, we make no headway. If we make no headway, what is our purpose and the point of being here? Why did Christ give His life then? To save us and us alone? No one would argue that we need more time, but I would argue that we need more God more.
Arg! So I’m guilty of it again. I get down and look anywhere but up when things don’t go the way I planned.
Financial issues, family problems, whatever the case may be, where do you turn? I, first and foremost, call my mama. She is the one person in my life, who without judgment, (ok, sometimes, there’s some judgment.) will fight on my side as well as offer at least 2 viable solutions and argue their effectiveness. I, being the one “down in the dumps” as they say, in turn argue why that will never work. Why? Because I want to stay in the aforementioned dump. Why? Why would I want to wallow in the muck and the mire? Is that where I’m comfy? Surely not. I like to be up, on Cloud 9 (as humans, we have a lot of places that only exist in our heads, huh?) skipping to an upbeat beat! This is where I claim to want to be, and this is where we should be as God’s children, so why do we look at our shoes when we get discouraged instead of keeping our minds on what and Who matters?
We need to say what God says about the situation we find ourselves in and see how things change in our favor. Don’t you think we’d gain more ground than we’ve ever seen before! It’s a constant fight against what we want to do versus what God wants us to do. It’s not so much that we are opposing Him (of course, in some cases, there’s blatant refusal to do what He wants) but our “self” wants to do what it wants to do and nothing is going to stop it. Our self thinks that “freedom is bondage and bondage is freedom.” (Thanks Pastor!) We have to constantly remind our “self” that we are God’s creation and He has a plan for each of us. Anything that deviates from that plan is what we speak against. We speak against it by saying what God Himself says about the issue. We get to open our Bibles anytime and there ya have it! What God says! We need to agree to not say a word until we know the Word! Can you imagine how different our day would go if the only words that came out of our mouths were God’s words?