It’s one of those days: the kind where nothing goes right, nothing feels right, and nothing fixes the problems.
On these days I like to stay in bed. I know that sounds ridiculous but actually staying in bed is better hiding under the bed. Yep, I have those days too but I don’t like to talk about them.
I’d be under the bed today if it weren’t for my BFF. He called and though he didn’t say much; he never does. He just always says and does the right thing at the right time.
He tells me what’s wrong with me without making me feel like pond scum.
He warns me of the approaching landmines and guides my steps.
When I’ve made a fool of myself; he holds me tight until I feel his tender kisses.
When the world is collapsing around me; he anchors me. He assures me he’ll never leave me. His presence shatters my fears. His love tenderly pulls me from the fetal position into a warrior pose.
When we’re together, I’m complete. His laughter makes my heart sing. His tears make my heart ache.
I am amazed by his love, astounded by his faithfulness. Having him is having everything.
He steadies my pendulum.
I can scream in his face, curse his name, reject his love, ignore his voice, avoid his presence, and spew my hatred over all his goodness. Yet when I come to my senses, see my life without him, he is waiting for me. He renews me without shame or guilt.
He’s my reality when nothing makes sense. He’s the only reason to get up each day: My first love, my best friend, my Supreme Satisfaction.
By the way, my BFF walked on water to pull me out of my pit.
Just saying his name, Jesus, brings tears of joy.
I can now get dressed. Jesus. Anyone have a tissue?
I heard an interesting discussion the other night. Young godly couples sharing their strategies for money management, tithe first, budget everything else. Their goals are to pay off their mortgages, live frugal lifestyles, and save for their children’s futures. I was impressed with their wise and godly objectives.
But I sensed one major ingredient was missing, day-to-day trusting in the Lord. They know their lives are in His hands. They acknowledge that He provides their jobs and overall care. They sought His wisdom about the homes they bought, cars they drive, and their big item purchases.
Yet I sensed a stress level in each of their lives that should not be there. Their budgets cause them to micro-manage every penny, every detail of their lives. I wanted to ask them the following question and then encourage them to take the challenge of ultimate trust.
Which is more terrifying to you: One, to be in total control of every budget penny and know where the money is coming to pay every bill or two, to let go completely, live your life to the fullest and trust God to meet your every need?
If God told you to marry that beloved one He provided,
If God provided that job in answer to your prayers,
If God lead you to buy that home,
If God blessed you with that child (or children),
If God allowed that illness,
If God knew you needed that vacation,
If God loves to bless His children then would He not provide, could He not be trusted, is He not the One to put in complete control?
These past twenty years as I’ve walked with my Lord, I’ve learned to yield my will to His, to minute-by-minute seek His advice, and to trust Him to provide for my every need. If He has called me to a ministry that honors His name and brings Him glory then He will provide my daily bread. We learned to pray The Lord’s Prayer as children, yet we often don’t live it out in our daily walk.
Mike and I don’t budget, we pray. We have been tested along the way. We’ve had seasons when money was tight and we were clueless where the provisions would come. Yet He never failed. When we are obedient, He is faithful. Actually even when we fail, He is faithful. He can be trusted to always care for His children. He deserves to be trusted. He deserves to be praised for His faithfulness.
I will use my next few blogs to share testimonies of His goodness. I hope to encourage my readers to learn to walk by faith, to let go of the control panel, and jump into His outstretched Fatherly arms. The secret is to find that perfect balance of complete trust and immediate obedience.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Romans 12:1 in the Message
By faith Jacob, when he was dying blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. Hebrews 11:21
Once strong masculine hands are now twisted around his staff unable to loosen its grip.
Unable or unwilling?
As long as Jacob had breath and his heart still beat, he would grasp that staff and worship His God.
As a young man Jacob fled his home with only his staff. His staff was in his hand when he wooed his beloved Rachel. I imagine they carved their initials deep into its bark to symbolize their undying love.
I wonder how many times Jacob bashed his staff against the boulders of afflictions hurled at him from Laben or pounded the earth over his frustrations at the injustice of Leah.
That staff staved off danger from the beasts that threatened his family and his flocks. It supported little hands as his children and then grandchildren wobbled to walk.
After an all-night angelic wrestling match, I wonder how much that staff bent to hold his limped weight for the rest of his steps on this earth?
Somehow I suspect that after his beloved Rachel died, that staff shortened in stature as Jacob drug it along side his broken-hearted body.
I imagine the notches marking the growth of his blessed Joseph covered by hideous indentions as he bit hard into that wood in hopeless attempts to silence his sorrows when Joseph was lost to him.
That staff told his life. That staff was a symbol of the faithfulness of God.
In Genesis 32:9-12 we hear Jacob pray, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant, I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become….
Now at the end of his life, his eyes beheld a resurrected Joseph. His feeble gnarly hands blessed his descendants. His grasped tightened as he replayed every chip, notch and bend of his life engrained in his staff.
Absent from the stage were choirs, instrumentalists, priests, or Bibles. In this scene, there is a man grasping as tight to his cherished staff as his dying body grasped his adoring heart.
One other was there. His God.
Worship is the response of an adoring heart to the magnificence of God. In the highest sense of the word, it is the occupation of the created with the Creator Himself. It is the pure joy of magnifying the One whose name is above every other name. Dr. Henry Blackaby
Jacob worshiped because his God was there with Him in every memory of his past and in every promise of his future. He could worship for he had the assurance of the mighty hand of God holding him tight. His staff was proof God had never left him or forsaken him.
What in your life is equivalent to Jacob’s staff? What bears the bends of bruises of your life? What reminds you of His faithfulness through the years?
For me it is my Bible. I bought it over 20 years ago, the day after God revived my heart. He took an arrogant selfish heart and created in it an undying passion for Him and His holiness. Through the years, I have recorded personal messages in the margins, crinkled the pages with my tears, and wore the book ragged until it nearly falls apart in my hands.
But every time I open it and read, God is there, and I worship.