I have to admit that January 2009 started out with a dark cloud permanently hanging about. It seemed that no matter what I tried there was this sense of impending doom.
So how does one combat that?
Well first you turn to your family that is looking at you for the prompt on our families mood, I had nothing to give, so that was a dead end. Then you call your friends and hear that they are in the same fog that you are in, no help there, but still good to comiserate together. Then you turn to your bloggy friends and see that so many are in the same boat as you are. So one day in my funk as I perussed the many posts of so many, it became painfully clear that we are all in the same dilema and all asking the same question, "How do we get through the job loss, the lack of a buyer for our home, the health issue, the deaths, the never ending turmoil around us." I have tired to change the tempo in our home by using that much cherished Christmas money towards fun and not bills. Going to Chuck E. Cheese, FatCat's and even taking Drama Queen for a much needed Mommy-Daughter pedicure. But still it was not enough to truly shake the almost sadness that had found a home in my soul. Then I went to this site and read this.....******
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Deep thoughts by me, The Motherboard.
Recently, I have been watching someone I love go through a very difficult thing. My heart aches for her, as we sit and talk, and run the "what if's" over and over. My heart hurts as I watch her struggle to make sense of her new reality.As this trial for my loved one has unfolded, I have found myself reflecting on one of my favorite stories from the Old Testament, the story of Shadrachm Meshach, and Abed-nego.
I love this story because of 3 little words...
But if not...
The 3 amigos, as I lovingly call them (please don't thrust me down to hell for that one...) refuse to bow down to the kings idols. He is angry, and tells his servants to make his fiery furnace 7 times hotter than usual-- so he can burn these guys alive. The King mocks them, and says that if they didn't fall down and worship his idol properly, he would thrust them into the fiery furnace and they would burn to death, and really, who did they think would deliver them? Not their silly God... he, their king, was the one with all the power.
I love love love this next part... My 3 heroes say: "17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to a deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not a serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up"
I love that whole but if not part. Because that is where our faith comes into play.
But if not... Essentially they were saying that they know that God could deliver them from the Kings hands, but if not, they would never stop believing in their God, and they would never turn their hearts from Him.
We are all faced, at various times, with things we wish the Lord would take away... Things that we would rather not have to deal with or even experience. Sometimes we can pray and pray and pray, and nothing seems to change. Our trials do not go away... they are still there. Some would find themselves wondering where God is? Why is he not answering my righteous desire? That's where that whole but if not phrase comes into play.
Sometimes we have to do hard things. We can go to church, read our scriptures, pray, and those hard things are still there, every morning waiting for us. No matter what we do, they just won't go away. That is when the but if not phrase comes into play... "Lord, I need you take this trial from me. I can't do this anymore. But if not, I will still be true and faithful to you." It's how we react in the but if not part that Lord is interested in seeing. And I think, that's the hardest one to give.
I mean, who doesn't want to have their trials removed? I know I do. But if not, I will stand firm. It will be hard, but I will not waiver. I know, just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego did, that the Lord is perfectly capable of delivering us from our own personal "fiery furnaces", however, sometimes he doesn't. And the whole but if not part means that even if my crappy stuff is still here in the morning, I will be steadfast and immovable in my commitment to Christ.
Sometimes our faith is pushed to the very edge, and we have to rely on that but if not principal. We have to trust that even though things aren't turning out the way we want them to, God is still in control, and aware. We know that Heavenly Father will not try us beyond what we can handle, and further, we know that these trials are what make us not only a better person, but also one step closer to being more like Him.
We have to have faith that God will deliver us from the trials of teenagers going astray... but if not...
We have to have faith that God will deliver us from the trials of sick children... but if not...
We have to have faith that God will help our home sell... but if not...
We have to have faith that God will deliver us from a wayward spouse or a difficult marriage... but if not...
We have to have faith that God will deliver us from the trial of not being able to have children... But if not... We will still believe in God and we will still press forward in Faith.That is the test that God has sent us here to perform. He wants to see what will happen when we are faced with that but if not part of our faith.
After reading her words it was like a 2X4 to the forehead. I had lost my faith, but I am happy to say that I am finding it again. I am finding it in the small and simple things of the smiles of my children. I am finding it in the delight of an impromptu dinner with The Man. I also found it in the most unusual place, a small yellow envelope from Ohio.
A dear bloggy friend (Heather) that took it upon herself to not just send thoughts of hope to me over the internet but took time from her busy life and made, handmade, the most beautiful cards I have ever seen. They arrived today and I was so elated to get them. Especially since all the other things in the mail were bills it was so nice to recieve something made out of the hope that their arrival would bring a smile to the recipients face and it did!
I also need to thank Motherboard for her post. She had no idea how much her words stirred my soul and helped me to find my faith again.