For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
It’s a beautiful day in Charleston, SC. The sun is shining. People are out walking their dogs, jogging, pushing their strollers or riding their bikes. I gaze longingly out the window.
I did try to make it work today. I managed to get up, shower, pray, fix a quick lunch and get to my job on time, only to be sent home.
I am home for the eighth day with the flu. As each day has gone by, my symptoms have increased. I can barely get myself out of bed. I’m in one bedroom while my husband is hacking in the other. Yes, I’ve managed to pass it along to him.
My energy level is non-existent which is something that I’m not familiar with. I wake in the morning usually feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day. This has not been the case since this awful illness has hit me. Gone are the days of waking early to pray and worship. I’m lucky if I can manage a devotion or a page in the Bible. What I do read, I barely understand. I am having a difficult time comprehending and applying it to my daily life. This is maddening and deflating.
I am weak mentally, physically and now spiritually. I am no longer able to fight off the stinging words of Satan. He’s at me again in regards to my witness for God, my written words, my thoughts, my leadership in my Bible Study and in my volunteering. I have no guidance for anybody including myself. He’s attacking my gifts to serve and he’s out to paralyze my steps towards God.
In a moment of panic, I almost said, to heck with it all. Let me just go back to where I was! Life was quiet, comfortable, and simple. I don’t want this “new life” if I’m made to feel like the devil’s punching bag. I can’t take it!
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Day nine of the flu and reflecting:
And go ahead of me, He certainly did.
He warned me by using a message by Charles Stanley–sometimes the Lord has to stop me in my tracks by laying me out, just so I will listen. Dr. Stanley went on to talk about his service for God and how he can get so busy with serving that he forgets about spending one on one time with God. I am not comparing myself to Dr. Stanley and all his responsibilities but I am comparing myself to another human being. When it comes to spending time with Jesus, we are all equal. We all need this precious time with Him. It doesn’t matter what we do in life. He is our Strength and our Supply and without it, we get nowhere!
I continued on with my responsibilities of serving but as I did, I felt something was missing. My energy and health were declining as the hours ticked by. There was that opposition that I spoke of in my post, “Transformation.” It ate at me and caused great disappointment and sadness. The Bible Study that I co-lead was unfulfilling and I came away feeling negative in my abilities as a leader. It was a struggle to come up with enlightening posts for Focus on the Family. I felt numb inside. Where did that courage and boldness go? Forget about a post for my blog. All I was filled with were complaints, unease, and loss. Who wants to read about that? Certainly not me!
In this downtrodden state, my prayer for others became limited and in my opinion, ineffective.
I’m wandering around in my closet and who knows why, but I hear the word:
Immediately, (in my mind) I’m taken to the message by Creflo Dollar in regards to “Spiritual Warfare.” I wrote of this in my post, “The Adversary.” That when we rest, the Lord works. It was when the Lord told me this, that I felt the heavenly nod that it was okay to climb back in bed and close my eyes. I felt permission to give all my angst to Him and sleep and so I did.
Unfortunately, this is the opportune time for Satan to come in and cause disconnections and turmoil. Here starts the battle of good and evil and it has been nonstop until this morning!
I started my day with the ever-faithful Dr. Charles Stanley and in listening to his message I felt a glimmer of hope. That familiar feeling of warmth and love began to make its way back to my heart (not that God ever left it). There was light and it felt good, so good that tears of thankfulness fell from my eyes and I said out loud:
This is what life is all about! God’s love!! Spending time with Jesus is peaceful and rewarding. There is no room for negativity and ulterior motives. This time is safe and trustworthy. I can just be and know that God’s love for me is good and perfect. Why would I not look in His direction–daily and throughout the day? This is an escape from world views and struggles and it doesn’t have to be in quiet times only. I can run to Him in joy and in pain.
GET IN HIS BUBBLE!
Like Charles Stanley, I was focused on my service. I was so busy doing that I forgot who was in Charge and as one of my private duty clients always told me:
“Who do you think you are? Charles in Charge?”
She had advanced Alzheimer’s but she was wise and she knew!! I wasn’t pleased with my control either. I didn’t feel that the courage and confidence that I was exuding was coming from my Source. It was full-speed ahead which was why I was feeling empty and opposed.
My priorities were all in the wrong order!
Jesus spoke to my heart gently with warmth and love.
Don’t get wrapped up in your service and forget about Me. I come first. I am the One that gives you what you need. Relationship with Me is where you are filled.
I was so focused on my performance that I forgot to tap into my Source. I don’t believe I did it on purpose. I truly believe that I just wanted to do well. A veil slipped over my eyes and I couldn’t see what it was that I was truly doing. Thankfully, the Lord saw and He warned and He saved.
Matthew 7:24,25 (NLT) says this:
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
If something brings me down–where does my joy come from? What turns my mood, immediately?
It is found in Him! I find great joy sitting peacefully praying, listening to sermons, and reading His Word. He is my escape, my Comforter and my Help.
Nearing the end of my quiet time with Jesus, I hear these words and feel peace and love all over me:
Gentle and sweet in spirit
Child of God
Thank you Jesus for taking control even when I was fighting You for it! You are so faithful and so filled with love for all of us! Not one is forgotten nor left! Lord I ask in your precious Name that I remember all Your wisdom, not just for myself, but for others. That I’m able to deliver it as you do…with gentleness, love and warmth. I love You, praise You and give You all the glory…Amen!