Friday, March 24, 2017

Whatever it is

I went to bed anxious last night.  Not a good thing.  Because anxieties are never singular.  They travel in an unruly mob.  I lay stiff, wounded, and not knowing what to do about a particular situation.  "O LORD, give me peace, or give me direction," I prayed.

I was internally hoping God would just evaporate my feelings and let me get some rest.  But instead, two words kept a unending loop in my thoughts, "forgive and love."  And as I pulled up each feeling, each infraction, each wound, the same two words, over and over again.

Forgive and love.

Despair was getting me nowhere.  It never does.  But those two words, forgive and love, softened me.  And I was reminded how, earlier yesterday, I had encouraged someone to bring forgiveness to a toxic relationship and an impossible situation.

And it was like God was saying to me, "Your turn."

I can't say that those two words lulled me to sleep, but they began unraveling the tightness in my heart.  And remarkably -- this woman who like David in the Psalms is awake in the watches of the night -- I slept until my husband's alarm, so deeply that I couldn't figure out what that noise was.

God granted me the peace.

And then, through reading His Word this morning, God gave me direction.  As I read my passages for the morning, I was amazed at the words in this ancient book thousands of years old, as if each verse this day was written personally for me.  Because it was.

Verse after verse was applicable to my situation.  Verse after verse encouraged me not what to do, but how to trust Him.  As hard as it is to figure how to work something out, it is even harder to trust Him through -- to follow Him in this, and not with my own patched together solution.  Because while I want to fix it to avoid the pain, God wants to heal it and redeem it for His glory.  And the only way to the redeeming is by my forgiving and being forgiven.

And as I have often quoted my friend Crawford Loritts, "The only thing harder than waiting on the LORD is wishing that you did."

I read in 2 Chronicles 20. 12:  "For we are powerless against this great multitude that is coming against us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You."

My eyes, my heart, my mind, my attitude.  Help me to follow Your slender scarlet thread through these volatile places and be prepared for the storms that don't even appear on the radar.

And immediately I saw God's reply three verses later:  "Fear not, and be not dismayed at this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's."

I don't need to fight this.  I need to follow You in this.

There is always a lot more going on below the surface than I can ever know ...or need to know.  If I don't respond with "forgive and love," I will always be in the midst of a battle.  Battles never end well.  Forgiveness always does.

Give me Your peace, O LORD,
      and give me Your direction.

Trusting God takes me to a different outcome, leads me through the thicket, and creates a path for others to know Him, and let His glory unfold.

I have no idea what you may be facing, and we all struggle with something.  But whatever it is, forgive and love.  And let God proceed with the redeeming.  He is faithful.  Always and forever.

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