Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Responding to great trial in a manner that is pleasing to God only can come by clinging more closely to God than the trial seems to weigh upon you. That is what I have been seeing the past couple weeks. Every time I have been tempted to want to give up or give in to discouragement I have instead been drawn back in to God. This has not happened by itself. Lately, in the flesh, I have desperately wanted to just quit or hide. It seems easier to try and avoid the problems by avoiding life. But each time I have come close, God has sent encouragement my way. Just this past Sunday my bosses gave me a gift and compared me to Anna, my favorite woman of the Bible. I don't even come close to being like her but just to have that comparison made  lifted my spirits and made me determined to walk through this time of my life. I am also very encouraged by gifts; it is part of how God made me. Their kindness was unexpected and at just the right time. This happens often with me. Of course it is my choice whether to take the encouragement or refuse it. There is a pleasure in self pity and in giving into emotional pain. Even writing that last sentence seems ridiculous but I know from experience it is true and that it is deadly. When I give into my circumstances I doubt the power of God and His wisdom. I conclude that I do not believe that He works all things to my good or worse, I do not care. I say in effect that I refuse to walk the path He has allowed (the paths we are on are not always His perfect will but He uses them still). When I am self-focused my prayers and actions lack power and while I may still believe in God and walk with Him I am of little use. Another encouragement for me has come through making a prayer list of the things I am most concerned about; the things that make me lose sleep and threaten my peace. I put checks when I see improvement in a situation and stars when there is an answer. It has only been a month but I am seeing lots of checks and one star already. As often is the case, there is one prayer concern that has no checks or stars but seeing the others makes me hopeful that they will come soon and keeps me persevering. I still feel shaky and often near the edge but am also encouraged by the faithfulness of God and by His nearness. I believe that "I will see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living" Psalm 27:13 and that God does not leave me alone or comfortless. He is good; He is alive; and He is able to meet us where we are at and answer our deepest needs.