In my post yesterday I wrote about being more of a “Martha than Mary”, as I often express my love for Jesus through deeds and I do need to fight my flesh to stop 'keeping busy' and have quiet moments of reflection and worship...I was writing about this as I lost all the work I had done over a year on a new book, but believed I heard The Lord say to me that I needed to let go of the book as He had a better plan...you can read the post here.
The moments I have found the most difficult in my own life are the ones when I am struggling with something going on, or even something I desire is simply not happening. Yesterday's incident was a minor storm in comparison to some I have endured.
When I was a relatively new Christian I heard a woman deliver a message related to her own life with a warning that the Christian life was not easy, and to be prepared for the unexpected storm that would come and knock one flat. When I heard this I was actually both a little shocked and upset thinking, “My pre-Christian life was such a struggle, and since turning to Christ has been wonderful. I understand I may face persecution for my faith but being knocked down flat, I don't think so. Perhaps this woman is bitter, also she has been a Christian her whole life and doesn't have MY past! No, God will protect me and won't allow such tragedy to happen...” This woman's speech was in a series and I liked everyone's message, including her's...Just not the warning! I thought, “Who does she think she is...she doesn't know what will happen in my life!”
What I did not realise was this woman was wise, much wiser and mature than me. For indeed times have come when I have fallen to my knees and called out to The Lord in desperation...and yes, this was way later than when I repented and was saved!
Yet this is something I have found to be true...
The Lord may allow storms to impact our lives but it is to grow us in our faith. He may take something away, or allow someone to leave, but if He does it is a necessary work of pruning to make way for something worth much more to come forth!
I know what it is like to feel disappointed, or to be in a season of winter while awaiting new growth. If you're in this place please do not despair or turn away from Him. Rather trust in the truth that He is good and has a great plan, so much bigger than our own dreams, and hold on tight for the fresh joy will come in the right time!
It may be years, where you only see tiny promising buds but do not lose hope. NEVER FORGET our God is a miracle worker, who also grows us through trials to become more and more like Jesus. When things aren't great that's when we truly have to exercise faith.
No-one is inspired by a testimony that has no real struggle or message of deliverance coming from God alone...and when we pray, “Jesus save me, make me Yours...forgive me and transform me!” We are praying for Jesus to make our life a testimony to HIS GLORY!
There is nothing more powerful than a Christian's life testimony to impact other human beings, because without a testimony to God's power all our good deeds are simply humanitarian good deeds. Oh how He desires our lives to be living testimonies to his Goodness, Faithfulness and Power!
Yesterday I did lose my entire year's work on the book I was writing. It felt like another disappointment but I did think I heard The Lord basically say, "Let go and trust me, I have a better plan" and I felt this had to do with music. Oh the spiritual attack of doubts and fear came, but I kept praying and continued to work on a new song. I finished the song and was happy with it and after practicing it today I began strumming some chords and singing a tune from deep within...I just let go and worshiped, playing and strumming. What came out was an amazing worship song from The Lord...So simple, moving and beautiful, all in maybe 60 seconds! I kid you not...The verse, pre-chorus and chorus all just flowed out in that moment of surrendered worship.
I just had to share this as I feel so encouraged and strengthened by what just happened. I love you all. May you also be blessed by worshiping Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and experience this intimacy as I have. For indeed it is His BREATH in our lungs and it is in Him we live and move and have our existence and purpose.
Never forget we have a GOOD FATHER in heaven, who LOVES us more than we could ever imagine. He desires for us to become more and more like Jesus from our experiences, and obedient to His will and good plan for our lives, so that His Kingdom work here will be done as it is in heaven. Never give up your HOPE in Him to meet you needs and carry you through the storms. FRESH JOY will come! Be free from any fear that clings close by praying, “Your will be done and not mine...protect me and guide my steps...shut this door if it is not Your will for me!”
Let me leave you to reflect upon these lyrics and the song, 'Just be held' from Casting Crowns:
Just Be Held