“I begged and pleaded with God to get me through things, and with His strength, I survived. I'm not saying it was easy in any sense of the word, but my family and I survived and are still surrounded with the love from friends and family that many people only dream about." ~Darci Escandon
2010 was the beginning of my decision to set aside God time every morning. I was bound and determined to spend 30 minutes a day, just me and God. I wanted to be still and just be in His presence. I remember wanting to go out and buy a journal, new pens, highlighters and a few different Bible studies… but I remembered what God was asking me… He wanted me to:
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." ~Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
I realized that I didn’t need to go out and spend all that money… I didn’t really need the thoughts and words from a bible study series based on what I think God is trying to say to me...What I need to do is just sit in his presence and let His word guide me to what He wanted me to learn. I need to open my heart, sit down and listen. Let God's words flow through me, into my heart and mind... and that is what I did.
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.” ~1 John 2:15 (NIV)
In doing that, I recognized that I was restless...I wasn’t at peace.. I wasn’t at a peaceful place in my because I didn't uphold my commitment to God... I was just starting my serious walk with the Lord but still had one foot in the world. I wanted my relationship with God, but I also found myself wanting to please the people that I had in my life as well as not loose what I thought I needed. In doing that, I made a lot of enemies. I realized that I was serving two masters. I was trying to serve Man and God. It was like mixing water with oil. As I started working on my relationship with God, I realized that I had developed a conscious in the Holy Spirit who indwells in each and every one of us.
Things that used to be “no big deal” became a “bid deal”. Things that would blow off because I didn’t want to deal with them, became so big that I had no choice but to face them and deal with them. And, most importantly, I realized that the things I had started to loose, were things of this world. I started to recognize that I had friends who were really not friends. That was ok. Because now, I know, that I allow God to bring people into my life, rather than go out and find those that I think I should be with.
“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” ~Matthew 10:22 (NIV)
My salvation is worth more to me than anything else in this world. My relationship with God is number one in my life. What does all of this have to do with the suffering that I wrote about at the beginning? It was through my suffering that I was drawn to God. It was through my suffering and my heartache at the loss of so many things in my life that I got to know God on an intimate level and it was through that suffering that I was able to see my life as God saw it. It was because of suffering that I was able to dedicate and surrender each and every part of my life to God.
God never promised me a life full of roses and butterflies. God told me that life will be hard. That I will suffer and that bad things will happen. That’s life. God also promised me that He would be faithful. He promised me that I would never be alone and He promised me that He would be active and alive in my life and give me the strength I need to face any situation head on! His Word is alive and speaks into my life. All that I need, I can get from Him.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
As I look at what is left of 2011, I am full of praise and Thanksgiving for Him. I am reminded of His faithfulness in the past and look forward to the future and to the wonderful things He will reveal to me. I look forward to growing through suffering and the peace that having Him active and in my life brings.
Thank you Lord, that you work in me. Thank you Lord for the relationship You have with me. Thank You Lord for Your faithfulness and for Your mercy and grace!! Amen.