Tag Archives: control

Smashing the Remote Control

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How many times in our lives have when been faced with things that we just did not plan on happening?  Sometimes it’s a car accident.  Maybe the loss of a job.  A loved one passes on.  A sickness comes out of nowhere. Something happens that just stops life as we know it.  Our day to day activities are either altered or come to a complete halt all together and it is out of our control.  Often we have no say in the situation and this rocks our boat to the point of capsizing.  When we are faced with the moment of understanding that we have no control we kinda freak out.

We have been holding on to the remote so tightly that our hands are tired and white knuckled.  We have shaken and moved this remote in every direction possible and it seems to have stopped working altogether.  When the frustration of the situation sets in we are ready to throw the remote as far as we can away from us begging God to take it.  This is the moment when the light bulb pops on suddenly and you have come to the realization you were never in control in the first place.  Never. Not from the time of your very conception.  When we come to our senses and see that we were created for His purposes and we did not birth ourselves we can finally rest.

This is where I reside right now.  I have come to a complete stop.  I have refused to look past today.  How long did it take me to get here?  A very long time.  Now, I am not one to  plan out every detail of my life ahead of time, however I do like to figure things out and sometimes that can be very overwhelming and tiring.  Let me show you what I am talking about.

Back in April I injured my back at work.  I tried to fix it by ignoring it and the pain just worsened.  Finally went to the doctor and that started a downward slide of medications and physical therapy only to arrive at the point where I needed surgery.  In November the surgery took place and I began the slow process of healing.  I was told I would be off work for 4 to 6 weeks and now its almost February and here I am still not back to work.  Why?  Because I am not the one in control.  It’s not easy for me to take time to rest and in these past several weeks I have spent a great deal of time resting and seeking God.  Every time I get myself prepared to go back to work, something else happens to delay it, not my choice, God’s.

So let’s throw a monkey wrench into this drama just for a bit of fun.  The plan 5 weeks ago was that I would return to work on February 8th after my 6 weeks of physical therapy but after a recent visit to my OBGYN I discovered I was in need of another surgery to remove come polyps on my cervix so I have to have a D & C.  Guess what day it’s scheduled for? The very day I was planning on returning to work..What???  God what are you doing?  I now have to call my boss and tell her that I will not be back as planned until the 9th. (provided I even could)  So for the last two weeks I have been dreading going back to work the day after a second surgery.

At church on Sunday night I shared my heart with the people who have been on this journey of recovery with me.  We have watched God move time and time again.  I had finally submitted that this was out of my hands.  As I had spent a solid week trying to figure out how I was going to feel and playing out the what-ifs and getting all worked up I prayed.  I surrendered.  I let it go.  I finally chose to live one day at a time without fear.  I began to believe that God would not leave me hanging or stranded without a plan.  A close friend confided in me that when she first heard I was having surgery she saw it like I was never going to give myself a rest and so God was going to put everything into motion for me, hence the surgery and the multiple extensions of my healing.

What happens when you give it up?  He moves.  He removes doubt.  He moves mountains.  He takes care of everything along the way.  He squashes fears.  He shows up and shows off.  Yesterday as I was preparing for our team meeting making a dish to pass I received a phone call from my doctors office and they were canceling my appointment for Wednesday and could not reschedule until February 15.  My first reaction was: WHAT? What are you doing God?  Now I have to call my employer and once again explain that I will not be returning until a later day.

Then, as if being covered in a blanket of peace, I hear Him saying, “Be Still and Know that I am God.  I am taking care of all things.  All of this is out of your control.”  And with that being said all of my anxiety left.  I no longer have to fear going back to work the day after surgery, God took care of it.  I don’t need to worry about my job, I am only following the doctors and I have no control over that.  God took all of the decision making out of my weary hands.  All I have to do is what is right in front of me.  I don’t need to figure out how my boss will react.  I don’t have to be consumed with figuring all of this out, I just need to be consumed with Him.

Dear Lord:

Thank You for being in control.  Thank You for filling me with peace.  I stand here surrendered to whatever Your  plan is knowing You will always make a way. Help me to stay here on Your promises.  Help me to accept that I am not in control.  I choose now to render whatever control I think I still have powerless.  Thank You for figuring out this life for me so that I can just rest in Your Presence.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

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Yes but No

Psalm 91:1-13

You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon. Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you. You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses. Yes, because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door. He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling. You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path.
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Ever been told yes then it turns to no?  Ever been believing for something only to be disappointed when it does not turn out like you expected?  Ever plan for something and then have the rug torn out from under you?  How do you keep trusting in God when these things happen in our lives?  Sometimes we get our hopes so high we plan for things that really are not attainable.
Ever been praying for something and God says no?  This kinda of happened to us today.  We lost all of our tax money to a bill we owed on without warning.  We had already planned to split our taxes in half and made plans for the spending.  I wanted a new camera and to finance the rest of the publishing of my book.  My husband wanted to upgrade our car stereo and fix some other things wrong with it.  In one opening of an envelope all of those dreams seemed deflated.
It’s a good thing God is bigger than our tax refund.  It is no coincidence that we just saw a video on a sermon that said sometimes when God says no, it’s because He has a bigger YES!  I found comfort in this.  I suddenly found peace that God had heard my prayers and my desires and He has something already in the works on our behalf.  We knew this bill was too big to handle and in the small portions we were paying it would taken awhile to get it paid off, so praise be to God for taking care of that debt in a way we did not expect.
I know this seems like such a touchy subject and it is easy to get bitter about losing all that money but we have been so blessed that we know getting bitter is not the answer.  Disappointed a little?  Sure, but we KNOW God is in control and since we gave control of our finances to God we just have to trust in Him.  Doesn’t it say on our money anyways “In God we Trust”?

What Now?

Psalm 34:4

I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears.
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Okay Lord, what now?  Got out of the boat.  Rocked the boat.  Tipped it over.  Yet I still feel like nothing has happened.  I know I am suppose to be still and know that You are God, however, I still feel in my spirit as though You are waiting on me somehow.  I have placed all the faith I have into Your will for my life.  I have prayed.  I have surrendered.  I have not quit but I have given up.  I have given up my will to control the things in my life.  So now……..
Ever have one of those conversations with God?  I did today.  Matter of fact I got kind of frustrated.  I didn’t feel unworthy but unused.  I wasn’t angry just ready for something to change. Ever notice how right before a storm is broken all hell breaks loose?  Things get heated and frustrating.  Tempers may flare and surely insecurities are flashing about like lightening.  Things just seem to be getting stressful and you start mumbling to God when all of a sudden you reach a point where the only answer for the situation is…..breakthrough.
Perhaps this is where I am with my ministry at this point.  I know provision for the books is right around the corner.  I know God has already got this all planned out and all I have to do is follow the plan set before me.  How do we do this?  Conversations with God.  Reading the Word.  Seeking Him in all of the circumstances surrounding the storm.  Whether it be work related, relationship issues, personal battles or just stuck in a rut, the storm always gets worse before it gets better.  The intensity of the issues gets hotter and hotter until you reach a breaking point and you either deal with it or push it away.
If you choose to push it away, it will come back at some point, however if you choose to deal with it, a victory will arise.  Then you will be better prepared for the next storm.  When we just close our eyes to the issues at hand we enter the next battle unprepared and possibly in a worse situation.  God brings things to us so that we may become stronger and more dependent on Him.  As we go through the storms we learn how to put God right in front of us instead of looking back to see what He is going to do.

Are you in a storm right now?  How are you handling it?  Are your eyes closed hoping it will go away or are you facing the storm like your God is big enough to cover it?  Choose right now to go head on into your storm with your eyes fixed on Jesus.

Content to Wait or Should We Push?

“[Effective Prayer] “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”Matthew 7:7-8 NLT

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Sometimes the waves are crashing the shoreline over and over and over again.  Some go higher while others just don’t quite make it.  Other times there are no waves beating against the sand on land and an eerie quietness overtakes the area.  During the storms the waves are terrorizing the beach front and washing over the piers and lighthouses.  Can we compare this to our talking with God?  Sometimes we are calm and content to just flow with whatever is going on in our lives, knowing He is in control and taking care of things and then…..

Well, we get hurt by someone or a life circumstance changes and the “waves” to God start hitting just a little harder.  As we try to cope and just push the pain away the waves get a little stronger as we question God on the issue.  The more we push it away it begins to fester into a storm and pretty soon we are raging like a storm ourselves and asking God all sorts of questions.  We get caught up in the what ifs and the where are God’s that we begin to spiral out of control in our own fury.  Then, it takes one name to stop it all, Jesus.

He is the calmer of our storms and the quencher of our waves.  He gives us the answers and the grace to overcome.  He directs our actions and gives us the peace we were searching for before the storm even began.  Soon our storm does not seem so big and the waves die down to the calmness again….until the next eruption in our lives.

How do we get to a more even flow in our lives?  Do we stay content in our little boats and float along, accepting life’s ups and downs, knowing our steps are ordered by God?  Or, do we get our of the boat, tip it over and start some waves?  If we don’t rock our boats who is going to?  How do we ever get to a place of overcoming if we just sit and watch the view go by?

I know God is in control of my life but at times I wonder this very thing….am I waiting for God to move or am I suppose to move so that He can direct my steps?  

How can God grow us up or give us direction if we are just content to not be moved?  How will we gain character if we don’t seek Him and His advice?  How will be obtain wisdom if we let God do all of our thinking for us?  If we are to become warriors and overcomers, I feel we need to get out of our boats, tip them over and start the storm, for it is in the storm that things begin to change.  It is the storms of life which teach us perseverance and test our true faith.

I am getting out of my boat right now………..let the storm begin!

All of You

Matthew 10:39
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Today, the ministry is beginning.  I do not have the website just yet up and running but things are in the works.  The books are at the publishers, awaiting the final touches and the last bit of money to get them published.  I assure you all matters are in God’s hands and He will be faithful to provide ALL of my needs.  Today I reflect on what I have given up in surrender and I am wondering who else among God’s people are ready to push forward and allow God to be their all and all?

There once was a moment when I knew God was there for me, but I did not allow Him to take care of me like I do now.  I was a big girl and I was going to raise my kids and change my husband and do all this things I thought I needed to do, until I realized it had nothing to do with me but everything to do with God.  Just like everyone else I faced challenges (still do) and I took each one on as a walk in the valley or a grueling climb up the mountain getting stressed out and feeling as if I was getting nowhere.  Just the same cycle over and over again, never really making a difference in my life to have a better relationship with God.

When my life stopped three years ago and I surrendered it all to God, the amazing things began to happen.  I was separated from my husband so as not to go through the motions anymore, doing things I just did not want to be a part of.  I received my new smile, only after I surrendered it all to God in a moment of despair.  Both my kids have graduated from school and beginning their own lives.  I was promoted at work.  My books are about to be published, my ministry is starting and I am more free than I have ever been! Why?  Because I have finally put God first in my life above all else.

This means I have given God my life, my family, my job and my ministry.  I have allowed Him to work on behalf and do all the things I thought I had to have control over.  WHAT A RELIEF!!  Now I am happy and free.  My attitude has changed and I feel He is using me in ways I never thought would be possible.  I spent 18 years running around in circles and now that I have let go and let God, He has done more in 3 years time then I ever thought possible.  Now instead of the valleys and the mountain climbing, He has set me upon the mountain top and I get to soar with the eagles while He is moving and working through me, How Awesome is That?

I encourage you to choose to give it all to God right now.  Stop trying to do it all and getting frustrated, instead choose to give Him everything you have, focus your eyes on Jesus and rise above your current circumstances knowing that the God who loves you is in control!

Are You Wearing a Jesus Mask?

Jeremiah 29:11

New Living Translation (NLT)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Why hide behind masks?  Why push things away behind curtains?  How is it possible that we think things will “just go away” if we ignore them long enough?  When do we begin to take responsibility for the things in our lives and stop blaming everyone else?  Where does it stop?  Maybe it never stops as we are flesh by nature, but that does not mean we have to operate as if the flesh is in control!  We need to operate out of our Spirit man more often to get results in our lives with the things of God.  Christianity should not be a mask we wear, it should be who we are.

Once we accept Jesus as our Savior we begin on a path the stand out from the crowd.  God wants us to be different than the rest.  He desires us to follow His plan for our life and the only way we can discern what that plan may even be is letting God have total control in our lives.  When we let God have control, we are assured of the good path, for God is not going to go against His Word!  Don’t be fooled by the things of this world into believing you don’t need God because you do, we can do nothing separate from the Father.  Also, don’t not find yourself wearing a Jesus Mask around only pretending to be about the things of God.  Be real about yourself and have confidence that you are a child of the King.

Recent events in my life just make me want to scream!  I get so frustrated when things are not going the way I envisioned them.  All too often I look the other direction and just hope the situation will change or go away.  Sometimes I feel I need to DO something in someones life to help them see God.  Well, as my pastor said this morning:  “Only God can change people, you can’t” .  So here I am Lord asking you, “What are You going to do with this?”  I no longer desire to wear the mask of “all is well” or “I have it all under control”.  I want to be me as I am accepted in Jesus.

Okay, harsh message I know, but God is speaking to me and telling me He is control and that when things look the worse, it is when He does His best work.  I need to focus on the now moments and not what the future entails.  People cannot be changed by my actions, but God can work through me to heal.  In order for this to happen, I have to let God have TOTAL control.  Hard isn’t it?  I have no magic answers to life’s problems, I just have Jesus, and that’s all I need.  Jesus is all YOU need.

I encourage you to take off the mask or masks that you are covering yourself with and get real about God.  Begin to see yourself for who you are in Christ and start living as if you KNOW God is control.  No hemming or hawing about what you should know, take the verse in Jeremiah and run with it!  Be secure in your relationship with God and let Him show you where to run to.  If you have fallen, get up!  Dust yourself off!  Reach toward Heaven and say, ” Daddy, will you pick me up?”  There is power in letting go and removing masks.  Seek after that power today and see what happens when you let God have control!