For whatever reason this year has been really hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit. I feel as though I am just going through the motions, checking things off my list. Can we just get through this season so we can all carry on with our lives as regularly scheduled? Is all this really necessary? But then I look at my daughter and see the way her eyes light up when she sees Christmas lights and the sheer excitement and rapid speech that ensues when she plans and rehearses every moment of her Christmas break. After watching her for a few minutes my inner grinch is silenced and I remember the main reason for the season and I decide not to look on my life but look to His life.
When you are living in between the promises of God life can get kind of real. It seems lately as though I have really struggled with negative thoughts. ie: My life is always going to be this way. Everyone else has their dreams coming true, what about me? I guess God has forgotten me. And then I begin to question myself, Maybe I did something wrong? Maybe there is something wrong with me? Maybe I’m just not good enough?
As most often is the case, we become our hardest critic and our own worst enemy just through our thought life alone.
Quite honestly there are days where it is easy to look around and feel as though you are in a real-life game of Monopoly and you somehow got stuck with zero properties and someone else owns the whole board (probably the banker) and laughs this sadistic laugh every time you land on one of their properties and all the while you are silently praying to just get put in jail. Maybe I’m the only one who sometimes feels this way. But I know that is all my flesh speaking. It is easy to get discouraged and down trodden when what you see in front of you is not what you really had planned for your life, or for your families life at all. But that is why, in my humble opinion, faithful church attendance, a consistent pray life and daily Bible reading are all so vital as we walk after the Spirit and not the flesh.
Every time I begin to feel as though life is against me I have to reevaluate my time spent in the Word, my prayer life, and my fasting. When I go back and look, I realize I have allowed life to interfere too much and I have not been spending adequate time in the Word or praying and fasting like I should. The Word of God provides this great re-alignment we need on a daily basis.
As I was struggling last week in dealing with negative thoughts and emotions God just began to show up every where I looked. In my personal prayer time I felt this closeness to Him I had forgotten about. I felt His arms just wrapping around me and Him saying, “I Love you! I died for you! I purchased you with my blood!! I created you with a purpose and you are so much better then the negative thoughts which flood your mind! You are above that, don’t lower yourself to those levels.”
Oh how the enemy would love to see us down trodden with negativity but we must capture those negative thoughts quickly, throw them out and focus on the good!! Sometimes it is hard for us to see just how far we have come and we continue to beat ourselves up over past failures and mistakes thinking we are never going to go anywhere when all the while we fail to realize the potential that lies within.
My daily Bible reading last week was in Romans, and I was reminded of the great faith Abraham had while he was walking day by day with God in between the promises God gave him.
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
It goes on to say in verse 23 & 24…
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.
What Abraham went through all those years ago was not just for himself and Sara, but for us as well. That is amazing to me. This brings a new perspective to our lives. The struggles we each may be facing are not only to bring glory to God, but when we overcome them, grow deeper in our faith through them, face & conquer them, as Abraham did, it is for our future generations.
I know I don’t want my grandchildren to look back at my life and say, “If Grandma only would have just kept the faith and not made the decision she did then we wouldn’t be dealing with what we are dealing with now!”Oh it would be so easy for me to go out and make decisions and try to change my situation to my own liking and become this manipulative vindictive person always pushing my agenda on everyone else. But would I be happy? Would I be on my way to heaven? The answer is probably no. I might be happy for a short season, but down the road I would regret it. I would rather grow in God today through the season of life I am in, get to know Him intimately on a level I have not yet known, then to try to do it all on my own and have an Ishmael birthed that future generations are going to have to deal with. As my Pastor told the congregation last night, there are situations facing many of us today which we have never faced before and we will never understand them on a human level, but it is only through consistency in reading the Word, prayer, and fasting that true revelation will come.
I never want to lose hope. I never want to lose sight of all that God has already done in my life. There is no going back option for me in my book, I am happy with where He has placed me and I may not ever understand it all, but in between the promises of God, I want to be like Abraham, who against hope, believed in hope and he staggered not.