*** I originally sat at my computer today with the intentions of writing a completely different blog with a completely different title. I put my title, “I Am Mother, Hear Me Roar!” at the top of my screen and then proceeded to type. After I typed for a few minutes I stopped to read what I had so far and realized that my words had NOTHING to do with my title. This was not the message I intended to share today, but I think God must have wanted me to go in another direction. Fairly typical of my relationship with Him. I’ve learned it’s always best to let Him take the lead…. so, in obedience…. here goes….***
Today in church our pastor gave a very interesting sermon. He discussed with us that as Christians we do not all necessarily view God in the same way. He explained that there are some Christians who feel that when they are in the midst of a struggle (of whatever nature) all they have to do is sit back and let God handle it.
I realize upon first glance you may think to yourself, “Sure, I feel that way too.” However, the point of the sermon was that although God IS in control of all of our circumstances, He expects us to have a participatory role in our lives. Say, for example, you cut your finger rather deeply and it begins to bleed. Are you going to simply say, “Oh, I’m not worried. God will take care of it.” and then just stand there and continue to bleed all over your linoleum floor? Or are you more likely to go to the medicine cabinet and pull out the Band-Aids? We all have choices we have to make and actions which must be followed through. We should not feel that we have been given the luxury of simply sitting still and letting our lives fall into place around us. Christ did His work for us on the cross. That was His calling, His “action” role fulfilled in completion. It is up to us as Christians to live our lives in every sense of the word, not as passive players but as active participants.
When I was going through my difficult time last year (whole ‘nother blog, whole ‘nother time) I was inundated with advice from well-meaning friends and family. “Let go and let God” was the jist of much of my counsel. I agree with this plan in theory. I do think we are supposed to let God lead us and give us direction. However, we have to be actively listening to be sure that we hear His message loud and clear, and then we must have the strength and determination to follow through with it.
I remember waking up some mornings last fall and feeling like my head would literally explode with all the impending decisions which seemed to be bombarding me from every direction. Difficult decisions in the sense that whatever choices I made would be life-altering for both me and my children. Maybe a better word would be “excruciating”. There were painful choices set before me and essentially I was being forced to decide which would do the least amount of damage. It almost hurts my stomach to think about it still to this day. I remember immersing myself in the Song of Psalm. Just as David had I would cry out to God, “Where are you in all of this darkness? I know I’ve made mistakes, but surely I don’t deserve THIS.”
I wondered how I would know what it was that God wanted me to do. Yeah, yeah, yeah- I know God is in control and I know He already knows what choices I’ll make, but I don’t. How can I be certain beyond a doubt? I mean, I knew what my heart felt, and I knew what my mind thought, and I knew what my friends and family believed, but how would I know it was coming from HIM? I jokingly told my girlfriend Kelli that I would be so relieved if I could just wake up one day and see on my living room wall in God’s handwriting the detailed instructions for the rest of my life. Whew! Imagine knowing the perfect plan for you from A to Z. Sure it would take some of the mystery out of life, but think of all the heartache and trauma you could avoid….but realistically friends, isn’t that the whole point? We are put on this planet, in one perfectly ordained time and place, and our journey begins. I believe our lives become exactly what we allow God through us to do with them. That can be a wonderful thing or it can be detrimental. If you chose to play a passive role in your life, perhaps making decisions on a whim and not really tuning in to the voice of our Father, you will most likely find yourself in a world of confusion. Lost in a dark and lonely place. However, if we make a conscious decision to actively live this life of ours and listen for instruction, submerging ourselves in His Word to help us better distinguish what is true from what is not- I believe THIS is the only way we will genuinely know His plan for our lives.
Some of you may be wondering what happened with me and all of the heart-wrenching decisions set before me. Well, I promise to blog on this in more detail one day. I have to be sure the time is right because I want the words to be from Him. But today I can tell you this- in spite of being human, making some bad choices in life, and finding myself in an almost unbearable place… He delivered me from that darkness. It was not an easy road, but I listened to Him. Throughout my study in His Word, my prayer time, and the counsel of Godly friends- I heard His voice coming through loud and clear. It was unmistakable. I have more peace in my life at this moment than I have known in 30 years of Christianity.
When your situation seems bleak and your mind races wondering in which direction you should turn, I would encourage you to do one thing- commit to living your life with purpose. Don’t sit idly by and let life “happen” to you. Do any and everything you can to ensure that your life is aligned with God’s plan for you. If you’ve got garbage in your life- get rid of it. If you have habits that need to be broken- break them. If you are surrounding yourself with bad/negative influences- stop it. Our journey is too short for us to act as though this is just practice for us. This is the real thing, baby. Make it count.