Sunday, March 9, 2014

He Is Always Enough!

I'm trying to lose a few pounds before I head to Florida in three weeks. 

Been there, done that!! 

So far, my strategy is not working. 

This morning as I was getting ready to pour my cereal into the bowl, I remembered how I had lost weight originally several years ago.  Back in 2004, I decided I was not going on one more diet.  So, my plan was to eat whatever I wanted to, just eat a lot less of it at one time.  I lost 75 lbs doing that!!  I would check the label of whatever I was eating and just eat what their "suggested serving size" was.

 So I had one of those "Duh!" moments this morning - Do what you know works! 

As I was measuring out 1 cup of cereal, 1 cup of almond milk and 1/2 banana, I was thinking - why do I always feel the need to "stuff" myself.  What am I afraid of? 

As I followed this thought through, it occurred to me that I fear "emptiness."  Heaven forbid that my stomach should be empty before I have a chance to fill it again!

Basically, I fear - we fear - because we don't think or we don't believe God is enough!

We fear because we don't know God in any given situation.  We've never "met" Him at this place before.  We don't believe He is enough or we have not yet experienced Him as enough in this particular situation.  I overeat at one meal because I don't know if I'll be able to eat at all for the next meal so I want to make sure I have enough - afraid of being empty!!
We fear, too, that we don't have the capacity to bear this storm - to hold up to the pain of it or we simply don't want to feel the pain of it!
I remember shortly after Phil died - maybe a week or so - I got a glimpse, just a glimpse of what my life would now be.  I stamped my foot and declared out loud "I am not doing this!  I am NOT doing this!"  Then I looked around the empty room, shrugged my shoulders and said, "Duh!  You don't have a choice.  You ARE doing this!" 

Seriously, I did have this conversation - I thought - with myself, but I realized later I was actually engaged in this conversation with God.  And He showed me, as time passed, that I could do this the easy way or the hard way, the choice was mine, but I WAS indeed doing this.  I chose His way.
You see, I think as I got a glimpse of the future, I also felt the fear. 

Fear of the unknown - how would I live the rest of my life without Phil? 
How would I be able to stand up against the debilitating pain of this loss?
Would I get through this?
What if I started to cry and I couldn't stop?
What if the pain was too much for me to bear?
Would I have enough money to live on? 
Would I be able to stay in my house? 
What kind of life would I have now with him gone? 
Who would take care of me? 
So, so many questions that didn't have answers.

What I really feared was that I didn't have the capacity to endure the pain and come out of it okay.  What I really feared was that God wouldn't be enough to see me through.
Isn't that what we really fear when faced with something we've never faced before?
My husband left me after 23 years of marriage?
My child has cancer and the prognosis is not good?
My daughter is pregnant out of wedlock.
My son is strung out on drugs and goes from one high to another.
My marriage is so difficult; I just don't know how I can go on if my husband doesn't respond. 
My son just told us he is a homosexual.
My father is sick and needs my constant care.  I have a life to live.
My daughter is living a very promiscuous lifestyle.  She wasn't raised that way.
My spouse died after 52 years of marriage.

These scenarios and far worse face many of us every single day of our lives. 

And our fear is - God, can you get me through this? 
God, will you be enough? 
God, will I even know how to find you in the midst of this?
God, will I make it?

And while I would never make light of any of these trials, I truly do KNOW and BELIEVE that God is enough for all of them!!
Many times God miraculously delivers us from our trials, but so many more times He does not.  Why?  Why?  Why? 
The question we ask is always - Why; why does a good God not do anything when He could so easily? 
I do not have the answer to that question because I am not God, but again,
I do KNOW and I TRUST that because He knows the end from the beginning, He walks us THROUGH and redeems every single time! 
God never wastes anything!

We rob ourselves and we rob God when all we ask is Why?

We rob ourselves of experiencing God's faithfulness in the midst of our situation and we rob God of blessing us in ways we could never imagine!

Sometimes I wonder if God has some Why questions of His own?

Why don't you trust me?
Why don't you seek me?
Why don't you ask me?
Why don't you let me?
Why don't you believe me?
Why don't you love me?

We miss the opportunity to grow in His grace and strength and character when all we ask is Why.
We miss seeing His hand move mightily on our behalf.
We miss the joy of walking intimately with Him through it.
We miss the ultimate blessing of coming to know Him in greater ways than we ever have.

And, I believe, there are other questions we miss that we need to ask also and then wait for God to unfold His answers.

We need to ask -

What - do you want me to learn from this, God?
Where - in the midst of this, can I find you?
When -  can I see your face?
Who - needs to see your grace working in me?
How - do I glorify you in the midst?

Through the pain and loss of my husband's death, I have found a greater depth in God than I ever had.  I have found a joy I never knew and purpose beyond my wildest dreams!
I have found the greatest provision - God Himself!!

God felt my pain, understood my pain, and walked with me through my pain.
"If I'd never had a problem, I wouldn't know that He could solve them.  I wouldn't know what faith in God could do."
(words to song, Through It All)
It seems we feel our main purpose in life is to always be happy. 
I deserve happiness! 
I deserve this beautiful, brand new car! 
I deserve the huge house on the hill!
I deserve to be healed; I've certainly prayed enough! 
I deserve that wonderful vacation in the Bahamas!  After all, haven't I worked hard to earn it! 
I deserve to have my children healthy, happy and secure. 
I deserve a good husband/wife who will make me happy and if they don't, well, I'll just ditch this marriage and find my true soul mate, because I deserve to be happy!

We have bought this lie - lock, stock and barrel - and will settle for nothing less.  And when we aren't happy or things aren't going our way, we point first to God and blame Him.  "See, all this talk of God and religion and it doesn't work!"   Doesn't work??  Since when does God work for us??
What if God said - I didn't send my Son to earth to die on a cross for your sins so you could be happy!  My goal is to make you holy!!

Not getting our own way breaks us!
Not having our dreams fulfilled breaks us!
Not finding that pot at the end of the rainbow breaks us!

All these things drive us to seek answers to ALL the questions.  And I know of only one who has ALL the answers.  Won't you give Him your questions today and your fear that He is not enough?

"O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him."
Psalm 34:8


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