Sunday, September 15, 2013

I love Mondays, Playing the Game of Life, and Just encouraging myself in the Lord

This has been a tough week for me, emotionally.  I admit, I did not hear what I wanted to hear from the doctor Friday; I wanted them to say Joseph's body was totally healed, and that did not happen.  I knew going in, it was unlikely, based on the way Joseph had felt last week, but I remained hopeful.  The truth is, God has brought my son a LONG, LONG way since his diagnosis in December.  But it's easy to latch onto those perfect dreams of healing, and not be thankful for where God has brought us so far.  And so I have struggled this past week, watching Joseph feel poorly, to be in the moment and present and not to run and hide on the internet or facebook or in a book---really anywhere but the place where I must sit and watch my son in pain, and feel powerless.  It's not that I am being neglectful of my kids; but it's been a struggle to be emotionally present. 

But I took a step yesterday.  I cried.  And then I got off the computer and played the game of Life with my kids, even though it was the last thing I wanted to do when I started.  And we had fun.  And then, even though church was the last place I wanted to be this morning, Joe stayed home with Joseph and our baby and I went with the other kids.  And it was good.  And I was glad I went.  The not wanting to go was not because church is bad, but because I feel so bad, and it's hard to feel so vulnerable around other people, afraid that I will once again humiliate myself by having an emotional moment in front of people inappropriately.  And several friends encouraged me, and I was glad that they were friends that I could shed a tear and admit my struggle, and they loved me the same.  Tonight, some of the verses about King David have been running through my mind.  In 1 Samuel 30:3-6, I read:
"So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive.  Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.  And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive.  Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters.  But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God." 

I love this story, because here we see David is in a tough situation.  While he and his men were off fighting, the enemy came in and took off all their wives, sons, and daughters as captives, and looted the camp.  The enemy basically stole everything they had been fighting for, and yet David does not lose hope.  Does he weep? Of course.  Trials can be painful.  That's where I've been, and I am sure I will be there again at some point, even more so than this week.  David was in so much grief he wept until he was spent, until the tears were no more.  And then, to add insult to injury, the guys he fought with are so angry, they start the blame game.  And who do they blame?  Their leader, of course.  David is utterly, truly alone.  I don't know if I have ever really been in a place like that, where no friend would stand with me.  But how like the enemy to kick a man while he is down! 

The most amazing thing happens in that moment of absolute agony.  In that moment of pain and loneliness, with no one else to walk with him, he doesn't forget that the spiritual reality is he is NOT ALONE.  And when no one else will speak Biblical truth to his life, he does something totally supernatural:  he chooses to encourage HIMSELF in the Lord!!

It's easy in America, where the level of persecution we face as Christians is still light and mostly annoying, to be lazy in our faith, and not to press forward in the things of God when trouble comes.  It's easy to get comfortable with others holding our hand, and the masses who seem to be walking this journey with us, to forget that this journey of faith is not about us and the masses.  It's about our relationship with HIM.  And if ever we are going to follow Him and trust Him, it better be when we don't have answers and the way is hard.  David was a man like that.  He was a sinner, he made mistakes, but when the chips were down, he chose to still trust God.  And he chose to humble himself and get his thinking in line with the Bible, and not just the circumstances he saw before His eyes.  That is a POWERFUL, powerful way to live life.  It's how I want to live my life, though I often fail so miserably.  

But that's what I am doing this week.  And while I know alot of people begrudge Monday, I actually like it.  Know why?  Because it's another new start.  It's a new work week, a new day, a new opportunity to rise up and be obedient to the callings God has on my life, and to be used by Him.  Hallelujah!  I tell you what, as Christians, if we never learn to dance in the rain, then we have never really learned to dance at all!  And tonight, I am dancing.  

The storm clouds haven't left.  But God is the God over all, and He's no less on the throne when Joseph is in pain, and I am discouraged, than He is when everything in my life feels like a bed of daisies (A bed or roses sounds painful to me, since they have thorns. lol)  

I don't know what hard things you are going through, but praise God, fellow believer, that God has a plan!  I may say that alot on here, but I think sometimes it's easy to just say that without really acknowledging it for the hope it is.  I am sure there will be giants to slay this week, but what a blessed thing it is that I don't have to slay them on my own.  Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world!  I will close with this verse, from church this morning, 2 Corinthians 7:1:

"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

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