Friday, June 29, 2012

Something To Ponder

In my little office (that isn't really an office it's more of a break room type of area), I have a little flip calendar of inspirational sayings.  It was a gift from my friend Amanda & I have flipped through it every year since I got it.  There are some favorites in there that I always anticipate & then there are the other quotes that seem brand new each time I read them.  I blame my bad memory on a vitamin deficiency.  You can claim the same excuse, if needed.  
Anyway, I flipped the page this morning & this little gem greeted me:

And I kind of caught my breath & furrowed my brow & blinked hard.  Hours later I still have to furrow my brow & blink hard because this truth struck me hard.  If there is one thing about 2012 that rings true for me, it's that I do not know where I am being led.  The Lord has dragged me kicking & screaming down paths that I never, ever would have chosen.  And even as I type this I know that I have brought a lot of additional heartache upon myself because of the kicking & screaming.  It's hard to go to the Lord for comfort when I am stiff-arming Him & daring Him to do something else that will again shatter my illusion of control over this life. I have been challenged to examine whether or not I love & know Him.  I think I thought I did.  But I also think that my knowledge of Him & love for Him have been shallow & academic, at best.  Yes, I have experienced God; I've seen Him work - answering prayer, providing, comforting, & sustaining.  But I have also been complacent, withdrawn, & independent when I thought I had things in my life under control.  And during that time I have forgotten Him - who He is & what it means to love Him & trust Him.

So, here I am again trying to sort out the twisted mess that has become my thinking.  I can only ask for His help & start leaning on His guiding arm.  And you know, I had better learn to lay off of the kicking & screaming.  Submission is a hard lesson, but a worthy one.  And the list of worthy lessons that I need to learn & apply is a long one!

Here are some verses from the Psalms that have been a help to me this week.  Maybe they will encourage you, too.  Hopefully I'll check back here sometime & see that I've made some progress on this journey with the Lord.  I guess time will tell...
*I've added italics to the phrases that I really want to remember.

Psalm 73:23-26
Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 43:5 
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

Psalm 84:11-12
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

I hope you all have a blessed weekend & if you are struggling through some things like I am, keep up the good fight of faith.  And challenge me to do the same.


Heidi said...

Again you encourage me, Mary Ann! Thank you for sharing these verses. They are ones I've gone to in the past, but I needed the reminder.

Praying that God will give you wisdom and strength as you continue to let Him mold you and lead you.

Mrs.T said...

Thanks so much for sharing these verses and your heart. I can relate so much to what you are feeling. My trials have been different, but, like yours, they have involved paths I would never have chosen for myself. During the hardest days, I found much comfort just in reading through the Psalms -- including those verses you have shared -- and applying them to my own situation (much of which is still ongoing).

Others that have been a huge help to me are the verses from James about counting it all joy when you fall into trials. The situation may not look at all joyful, and may in fact be absolutely heart-rending, but we may count it as joy knowing that God is in control and is allowing this for some good purpose of His own. Have you ever done Elizabeth George's study Finding God's Path Through Your Trials? I've worked through it three times and have taught a ladies' Sunday School class using it. Highly recommended. It will encourage you so much.

Thanks again for sharing and have a wonderful weekend. Hope your weather cools down! Any rain yet?