That moment He stepped in....

Back to school. I’ve been done with school for a long time, but as I watch my kids grow up and enjoy what little summer they get compared to what I had as a kid, I join them in cringing as August has come and school is starting soon. Really? It is like as soon as we pass July 4 everyone dives right in to, “Well, summer’s over, school is starting soon!” No. It just doesn’t make sense to me to even utter the words “back to school” in the month of August. It just doesn’t seem right. I love summer! I wish life could be an extended, never ending version of summer. Even though I have to work outside the home in addition to being Mom to four amazing children, and I really don’t get much of a summer, I just simply don’t want it to end. Can you relate? So, the battle to balance our schedules between work, school, church and all of our activities is about to hit us square in the face. Are you ready?

This year I’ve felt compelled, called to embrace the balance of finding rest. Breathing in and leaning into the presence of God, being content to simply rest and listen. I don’t have an agenda when I pray each day, throughout the day, when I come to my time with the Father. I could easily come to Him with my Bible, my devotional, my journal, my notepad, my notes and reminders of who and what to pray for and how to be inspired, etc. all laid out around me and let out a sigh when everything is in its place, perfect order, and I am settled into my position of rest. Nope. It simply won’t do. I have purposefully been teaching myself to drop my preconceived idea of what my time with Him should be like and how I should prepare myself for it, and instead simply stop and sit and rest. No agenda. Yes, my Bible. Yes, something to write with and write on along with daily prayer requests. But simply getting myself in position, my basic tools nearby, but most importantly I’ve closed the door on every distraction and my own idea of how it should be done….instead coming to Him with open hands, open heart, open mind…..

Father, here I am….

I want to know Him more, seek Him more, love Him more, live His light more abundantly in my life today than I did yesterday. I want to literally vomit when I think about time I wasted yesterday allowing that “black cloud” to hover over me because of some things I was dealing with in my heart and mind. It is a horrible feeling when the realization hits me that I allowed that thing, that stress, that burden crowd out my abundant praise and thanks to my Father God! How dare I place any one particular thing I am struggling with above my focus on Him and His promise to never leave me, never fail me.

He is for me. He is for me. He is for me. He is for me. He is for me! I can and will do all things through Christ who strengthens me! He is for me! I know that He is for me! I believe He has done great things for me and will continue to do amazing things in my life and through me, so I will praise Him! So I will be thankful! So I will give Him glory even when I do not feel like it! He is worthy of far more than I am capable of giving simply because I don’t feel like making the effort. Every single day I have the choice to make the effort. Recognize my inability, and grasp tightly to His ability!

The moment I called out, YOU stepped in;
YOU MADE my life LARGE with STRENGTH. Psalm 138:3 The Message

Powerful scripture that stuck with me today after reading this chapter in Psalm. Check it:

The moment I called out……

Approach #1: I know in this moment right here right now, the crap has hit the fan. I am doomed. This situation I just came from is simply the worst. I don’t know how to recover from it. I don’t know how I am going to make this work. I don’t know how to make it to next week. I don’t understand how to make this better. What in the world am I going to do?

Approach #2: I know this moment right here right now, the crap has hit the fan. God, you are higher, greater, bigger, and better than anything I am facing right now. I give it all to you, Father. I can’t do this on my own and I will not drive myself crazy trying to figure it out or understand it. I won’t give up and dwell on the worst outcome. I won’t allow myself to get sucked into depression, fear, doubt, anger, frustration but will choose right here and right now to stand on the promise that you will never fail me! You are good and faithful, and I trust You with every aspect of my life. Teach me to rest in You now and trust You will provide!
What approach is yours? What approach will be yours from this day forward? I guarantee you when you choose #2, your burden will be lighter and you will find freedom you’ve never known before in Christ! The hard part is knowing you must choose this daily, and sometimes more than once during your day. The battle for your mind, your attention, your focus is constant and unrelenting. Make the right choice even if every ounce of you is screaming in revolt and you’d much rather sit and sulk in your tears, in your misery, in your doubt, in your fear. Don’t give in to it. Don’t allow your life to be defined by crappy circumstances. You are better than that because…..

YOU (God) stepped in……

You’re Father God, when you call out to Him, He is there, beside you, embracing you, carrying you, nudging you forward. He steps in precisely when we need Him to and He gives STRENGTH and POWER to the weak and weary. He renews us…..He will. So watch and be ready to embrace His presence more fully when He steps in.

When is the last time you expected God’s presence to step in and make your life LARGE with STRENGTH?! For some reason that verse went “KAPOW!” in my face today when I read it! The key is our complete surrender and willingness to trust Him to do it. How often do we approach our trust in God with conditions? How often do we approach our God saying we trust Him but we have this list of conditions, things He has to do to completely win us over? I’ll trust You fully God and here’s my list of things I’m going to do with my life to prove I am committed to you BUT if I don’t see Your abundance in my life in 3 months as a result, well, then I don’t know if I’m ready for this all out trust thing. I’m just not sure. Two words for you here: How lame! God has done so much more for you and me than we ever deserved and we certainly can never earn! We fail Him miserably when we hold Him to a set of standards, expectations we have conceived in our minds as somehow perfect. How dare we limit God to what we can conceive in our minds?! He is God, He is inconceivably, unimaginably amazing and powerful, and for all He has done for us we cannot dare refuse Him the love and trust He deserves! It is heartbreaking to me when someone I know and love has allowed themselves to become so sunk in what has taken them down in life. It is in these moments of helplessness, when I’ve prayed and poured out my heart for them to God, I realize the greatest thing I can do in that moment is release it to Him and to His perfect loving care. That’s hard! But God knows far better than I do what is needed and what is best. And so I will trust Him. Not because I have to, but because I know I’m helpless, and it has always been the simple truth engrained in my spiritual understanding from the moment I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, to just let go and trust Him! I struggle with it, wrestle with it, but I do it anyway. We try to teach this in our churches, we live it out as best we can, but nobody can be trained or programmed to completely grasp this. It has to be discovered for each one on their own. I know I need to trust You God, but why is it so hard?! Why can’t I get an easy button just once?

I’m compelled to embrace this choice to trust, to surrender to my God, in the face of what seems to be insurmountable odds, a perfectly impossible situation for which I cannot find a way out. I embrace this choice because of something in me that is not of me, but is the spirit of a Mighty God, the Holy Spirit living in me! He will do it. He will make my life LARGE with STRENGTH! Just gotta trust Him and surrender simply because of Who He is. That’s enough. He is enough!

Thank you, Father God, for reminding me and reminding someone who may be reading this today that no matter what they are dealing with at this very moment, You are here, You will step in, and You will make their life LARGE with Your STRENGTH! I believe it for me, for my family, for those who are in desperate need of You today.
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