Last night I went to bed in dark and quiet. This may seem normal but in my house it used to be a rare event. Normally, Joe and I fall asleep to watching TV with our great danes surrounding us. Earlier this week we snipped the cable line and we are using only Netflix, Hulu and will probably soon add Pure Flix. We let our danes sleep downstairs, mainly because the puppy refuses to stay off my side of the bed at night. Without the distraction of TV and animals I drifted to sleep in somewhat unfocused prayer. (By the way…best sleep I have had in a long, long time.)
This morning I woke with a song in my heart. No, I literally mean a song, or rather a line from a song, in my heart and head. When I was little in children’s choir at church we sang a song “Hallelujah Anyhow”. The only part I can recall is “when life’s problems come your way, lift your head up high and say – hallelujah anyhow”. This is followed by the scripture for our morning devotion. John 16:33 (NLT) “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
As a family, we are facing storms and I see no indication of those being calmed. One gale stills and another blows us about. I hear the word on Christians living lives of victory, “from glory to glory” and sometimes I feel dismayed. You hear of tithers being blessed with financial windfalls that pull them out of debt – we are on the verge of bankruptcy. You hear and witness miraculous healing, I have experienced a healing personally but I still ache in my body. I look to the word and I am pulled to Deuteronomy 28 which talks of the blessings of obedience. I find myself asking “where is my pressed down and running over”? No, these inner thoughts are not anything I am proud of but I have to address them in order to get beyond this rut I have been in.
Then it occurs to me. It’s not about my tithe check. It is not about me serving in church. It is not about reading the word and praying daily. This is a faith problem. Sunday we had a visiting evangelist who addressed this perfectly. It’s not about believing God can do something, it is believing that He will do it for you, that he is willing. It is about understanding that – no we are not worthy of blessing, but God – Our Heavenly Father – wants to bless us. He wants to take care of us.
When I went to see my brother-in-law after his accident, I prayed and read scripture with a vigor that I don’t remember ever having before. My son returned from Cambodia having seen miracles and prayed for healing of others, but gives into sickness when it strikes. I have seen God move in miraculous ways in the lives of those around me…why do I question willingness to do it for me?
Quit Playing Games With My Heart
A friend and mentor of mine has said we have to say “Enough” to the enemy. We have to see him for the worm he is and step out in faith and victory. When she speaks I feel like I can throw a right hook at the devil and walk away a champion. The enemy usually does not come at us head on and certainly there are no horns or trident when we face him. Yesterday, it was him stealing my gratitude. My husband received a small raise. Insultingly small for what he does and frankly I was mad. Mad that his boss did not value him. Mad because he does the work of 3-4 people in similar positions. Mad because my husband did not fight for more. I tried to stifle my anger, but it kept overflowing. My husband, though disappointed, lovingly said “at least it is something”.
There is was. Yes the amount was small, but it was something. Gratitude for the small things is what my husband recognized and I had missed. I would be lying if I said we were not still disappointed – especially since Joe is now managing two locations. We have to be faithful with little before we can be master of much. Perhaps this is the lesson to be found here. (Perhaps my husband needs to improve his negotiation skills. Kidding honey, I love you.) Regardless, my response should have been praise and gratitude, not irritation and attitude.
Faith to Receive
As the childhood song continues to play in my mind “hallelujah anyhow”, my prayers are changing. I have faith, but I need faith to receive. God can bless me all day long and if I fail to receive it – it is my loss. So HALLELUJAH ANYHOW! Life’s problems are here and I am going to lift my head and say hallelujah anyhow. My prayer is to recognize God’s gifts and his guidance. Make my heart ready to receive and accepting of what the Lord has in store. This is my ENOUGH moment. Have you finally reached yours?