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Monday, July 28, 2014

You aren't alone in your agony

Ever have one of those mornings when you don't just "pop up" out of bed singing hymns of praise and feeling like you could take on the world?  I have them all the time!  I don't think I am alone in this, either.  In fact, if you wake repeatedly just feeling like you are on top of the world and have this cheery attitude all the time, I need to have you in my life so you can rub off on me!  I can overcome my pain and fatigue, but I have to focus on it - purposefully putting Christ in front of it.  It isn't just "automatically" an attitude of victory that I feel every morning - it is a practiced victory which I walk in and count on to overcome my feelings of being fatigued and slow to move!  The best part of waking up (and going to sleep for that matter) is that I can make a fresh start with God every morning (or night).  I might be feeling terrible - feeling like things couldn't go worse in my life - but I can count on this one fact:  God wants to see me up on my feet again!  So, in being forthright with him about how I feel - he sets me upright once again!


I’m feeling terrible—I couldn’t feel worse! Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember? When I told my story, you responded; train me well in your deep wisdom. Help me understand these things inside and out so I can ponder your miracle-wonders. My sad life’s dilapidated, a falling-down barn; build me up again by your Word. Barricade the road that goes Nowhere; grace me with your clear revelation. I choose the true road to Somewhere, I post your road signs at every curve and corner. I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me; God, don’t let me down! I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how. (Psalm 119:25-32 MSG)


David often experienced things in his life which just didn't keep him "positively" focused.  He certainly spoke often about feeling "low", "aching in his bones", "afraid", and even "pursued" by his enemies.  In those moments of agonizing "feelings", he is repeatedly found doing one thing - talking to God about how he feels.  I don't think it comes as a surprise to God to hear about how we feel.  In fact, he already knows, but there is something of connection and catharsis which occurs when we come to him with our worries, agonies, and distresses.  It is in the "pouring out" of our heart we become empty enough to be filled with what it is we need to be filled with in the first place!

David's second piece of advice to us is to be trained well in God's deep wisdom.  I have often shared how this walk with Christ is not based on what we "do" to get God's attention or affection.  It is based on what Christ has already "done" for us in bringing us to the place where God's attention is continually upon us and his affection is as near as our next breath.  It isn't about "doing" - it is about "coming into" what God has prepared for us.  There is so much of his wisdom he wishes to impart to us which will actually help us move out of some of the tensions we hold so close and into the regions of peace he has for us.  This wisdom is discovered - learned - and learning requires a little bit of work on our part.  It isn't through osmosis or magical impartation - it is practiced and practiced until we get it down pat!

We are built up by the Word of God - torn down by the words of this world, and sometimes even our own words of negativity and "impossibility".  We need restoration - continual renewal - not just a moment in time touch from God.  How we experience life's journey if often a matter of what we will do when faced with the obstacles in our path.  We can choose to dwell upon the impossibilities of the obstacles, or we can choose to remember the hope Christ gives when we put our focus squarely on him.  What we need to be asking God each opportunity we have to commune with him is to place a "barricade" at the cross-roads in our lives where we could make a wrong turn, causing us to come smack-dab face-to-face with these very obstacles we would much rather avoid!

God's greatest joy is to allow us to have "clear revelation" of what our path holds.  His greatest accomplishment in our lives some days is to just get us past our "feelings" and into his presence.  It isn't because we "get life right" that we avoid the hazards in the road - it is because we get our "focus" right! We only have a change in focus because God is faithful to hear our cries and then he intervenes with a deep sense of his presence and power.  It is as we grasp and cling to what he reveals, faithfully taking each morsel of his wisdom into our lives, and then acting upon what he has revealed that we make strides forward.  Overcomers aren't magically made - they are magnificently transformed by his grace!  Just sayin!