December 16, 2011

Ps 23:1 vs. Is He Enough?

I started this post weeks ago. 2012 is coming very soon, so I hurriedly finished it up tonight (12/31/2011). Here it is:
Ever felt like crying and couldn't? This happens to me often if I stuff a grief wave because I don't have time or privacy to just have a good cry. Later when I am alone and could cry, I just can't.

Sometimes I am not even sure why I feel the need to cry. I know, I am a woman, do I need a reason? Yes, I do.Usually writing or talking with someone helps me sift through the emotions and figure out the whys.

On a particular night, I found myself in just that position, heavy hearted with tears frozen within, so I dug out my journal and began to figure out why I felt this choking sorrow.

  • Christmas was coming.........I usually go through a blah time as the world gets so focused on material things and making big bucks. The Babe in the manger is forgotten, and if He is remembered He must just stay a cute babe. They don't like to remember He grew up, bled and die on a cruel cross, and rose again.

  • My oldest son had his birthday. Birthday are hard sometimes without Jim here. This one seemed good till that night when I realized we hit another milestone. Snipp has had more birthdays without a dad than with his dad.

  • That just brings up fears of the future. How to help him and his brothers grow up to be godly men. How to make it victoriously through teenagehood.

  • Realizing no one can fill that void in their lives or mine...............

Then the wrestling began as the tears flowed.... and the real issue was revealed.

I was once again wrestling within me having the faith that Jesus is enough. I know what scripture says in Philippians 4:19 "But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus"

That promises--all my needs will be supplied.......I know that Psalm 23:1 says "the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." He is my shepherd...yet I felt so wanting. I am not content with just Him. The realization felt like cold water in my face......

I prayed and cried and no peace came as it so often will. I knew that this wasn't just a grief wave, this was attack, and I felt too weak and wounded to fight. I prayed for God to show me which prayer warrior to contact. He led me to a sweet young widow. She understands and never fails to point me to Jesus. She shared a few thoughts I knew but ones I needed to hear like "God didn't take them home to destroy any of us." Then she prayed to God right then for that void to not feel so deep and empty. After awhile she sent me three scripture to look up. Hebrews 13:5,6; Proverbs 3:5-6; and Psalm 31:24.

I grabbed Jim's Bible with shaking hands. I looked up the first referance and I let out a gasp and just hung my head and sobbed. Jim had it circled in his Bible......Emotions I have no words for flooded over me. Once I could read again, I read the verses......and again it was like cold water to my face. Instantly my heart was smote. I knew why I had been attacked. The verse says "Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as ye have for He has said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee for I am thy helper................."

Coveting there it was, the sin that led me down this road, that sucked my strength and joy. Coveting makes me discontented and then, of course, God doesn't seem like He is enough. The next day I shared that verse with the boys and they got excited. See their Sunday School teacher had been teaching on coveting that day. He described coveting as wanting what God didn't give me or wanting what God didn't want me to have. Wow! I always thought of coveting as wanting what belonged to someone else. But when you described it as their teacher did, it just takes God and puts Him right in the middle of the issue. It makes the sin of coveting more personal against God.

He is enough...He is....when I stop longing for what God hasn't given me and start trusting Him as Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths. When I do what God says, He is enough. Sometimes I am a sssssllllllooooowwwwwww learner.

And I am so thankful God is the most patient, loving, merciful teacher.

Day by day, trial by trial, night after night, He keeps teaching me that He is enough and I just need to trust Him with Everything, including the future, my children, and my heart.

The final verse of encouragement from my friend:
Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
And now, Goodbye, 2011! Hello, 2012!


I was reading a book recently where a mother is sharing wisdom with a young bride-to-be. She shared that there will come a day when her charming husband will say or do something that will hurt and that how she reacts or responds to it will affect their marriage. The husband was a carpenter and the young woman's father was a carpenter as well. So the wise mother told her that God uses a husband like sandpaper to smooth out her rough edges and shape her into what God would have her to be. Instantly I reflected back to moments with Jim that I could identify as sandpaper moments. I can see more clearly now how the Lord was using Jim to sand certain "rough edges" down in me. Then I thought to the present. How does this work in my life now? A few paragraphs later the author shared how the absence of a husband is also sandpaper................let me repeat that because I didn't get it the first time.......the absence of a husband is also sandpaper.
Now there is a new way to look at widowhood!

As I pondered this, I also thought of people God has brought into my life to sandpaper me. Faithful friends that tell me truth and what I need to hear not just what I want to hear. One of these people is my pastor. Now some people call a hard message as "in your face" or one that "stepped on my toes." I decided I am going to call them "sandpaper sermons." I know that God, who loves me more than I'll ever understand, uses these tough messages to smooth out my rough edges and shape me into what He wants me to be. That is, if I respond to this sandpapering with a meek and humble attitude. How I choose to respond does affect my relationship with God. If I take it as attack instead of in love, I better prepare myself that rougher sandpaper will be needed the next time.

Get Out of the Judgement Seat

Ever get mad at yourself?
I was really doing that a lot several weeks ago. Mad at myself for not doing what I ought to do. As God often does, I read something in a book that I felt was straight from Him. It said something to the affect that I need to stop judging myself, get down out of the judgement seat and let God be there again! To get down and just bow down......
.......Wow! and Yikes! who am I to try to take God's place and pass judgement on myself or others for that matter?
Was definitely a "putting me in my place" moment!

Catch up

It has been sooooo long since I posted. I hope to be able to do some catching up tonight as well as before the new year comes. Thank you to those who read and encourage me to keep writing. Many hugs!