God has been doing a serious work in my heart over the past year or so. I have been praying for God to speak, and for Him to open my eyes and ears to see and hear Him directing and speaking in my life. Since I have started praying specifically for God to show Himself to me, I feel like His word has come to life in ways I never imagined it could! I’ve been reading through Exodus, and have seen myself reflected in the journey of the Israelites over and over again. It might as well have been my name written in their place. How easily I forget the incredible God I serve, how powerful He is, all of the miraculous things He has done in my life… I may have never seen plagues of pestilence cast on my enemies, a sea parted so I could walk through on dry land, manna from heaven, water coming from a rock and bitter water turned sweet… But boy, I could tell you all about how He has sheltered me from those who would harm me, the waters He has parted in my life, the way He has provided sustinance for me, and how He is the Life giving water and I will never thirst again!!!
All that being said, it was (ironically enough) “bittersweet” to read the passages of God telling Moses to place the branch in the bitter waters to turn them sweet, and then later telling him to strike the rock to bring water for His thirsty people. It was bitter, only because it reminded me of a poem I wrote as a new Christian who was wrestling over whether God could really be a good God. But even though it was a bit bitter, even more than that it was SO SO sweet because He has completely changed my heart! I can now lift my hands whether in joy or tears and say, “God, You are a GOOD, GOOD Father!!”
I debated whether to share the poem, only because my thinking and attitude when I wrote the poem are so far from where my heart is now. I can see now that while I am confident I was saved at this point, I hadn’t fully surrendered my heart and mind to Christ. Without that full surrender and trust, I couldn’t understand that peace that passes all human understanding. The peace of knowing God is in control, that His ways are ALWAYS good, His thoughts are higher, He is a good Father, and so much more!!! But I decided to share this, because there may be someone out there who is feeling now, the way I was feeling then. And I would love to be the person to tell you how wrong I was!
I’m sure the people who had known Paul before he was Paul, when he was Saul (arresting, and beating and murdering Christians…) those people probably thought there was no way someone could change their beliefs so drastically! But Paul didn’t hide his past. Check out Acts 22… And how many people now know and believe in the Jesus that Paul had persecuted, because of his ministry and the books he wrote? I know my relationship with Jesus has been impacted by Paul’s life, regardless of the fact that he once mocked Jesus for proclaiming He was the long awaited Messiah! So I’m sharing a piece of my past, because God said in Psalm 107:2 – “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from trouble!” Praise God He has redeemed me from the troubled thinking of my past.
I know that He declared me blameless,
Yet still I choose to take blame.
I wallow in my own self pity,
And tarnish God’s good name.
I know He promised to prosper,
My pain to be used for His good.
I know that He’s not sick and twisted.
I “know” all the things that I should!
That He has forgiven and forgotten,
And will never leave me alone.
That He loves me like no one else ever,
A love that brought water from stone…
But “knowing” and “feeling” are different.
And my feelings, they tend to take charge…
So I feel like I’m at fault for all things,
With my past and my present at large.
I feel like this pain is overwhelming
And that no one cares or understands!
I feel angry and say God’s a liar,
Because I cannot see what He plans.
I feel like His humor is twisted,
Ironically, painfully sharp!
I feel all the things that I shouldn’t
I feel guilty I can’t forget certain parts…
I feel like He left me alone here,
That His love has run out, turned to spite.
And like Moses I take blessings for granted,
And instead of a prayer, I strike…
Blessings were sweet but run bitter,
And now fear is the worst of it all!
I would hate to be locked out of heaven,
Because my rod took one extra fall…
I still remember the pain that led me to write this. BUT GOD… He has so completely changed my understanding of who He is, and thank goodness He shows grace and forgiveness when we choose to believe our feelings over the truth. Now when I read of Moses and the Israelites, I see God’s provision, and grace, and love!!!
If you’re feeling the way I was, I can tell you one of the mistakes I made. I ran. I also tried to distract myself with anything and everything. I was a master at distracting myself with TV, social media, exercise, work, my busy life, anything I could do to keep myself from actually reflecting on and facing reality. Here’s what I should have done, and I urge you to do. Run to Jesus! He will greet you with open arms, and hold you while you cry out to Him! Open His word, BE STILL and just listen.
If you ever want to talk, I’m here and would love to talk with you, but I’ll probably tell you the exact same thing. While I would be thrilled to share with you what incredible things God has done in my life, and how unbelievably amazing and loving He is, I can’t fix your heart or your circumstances. But Jesus can, and He so badly longs to! He came to earth to make broken things beautiful!
Romans 12:1-2: – “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. (Amplified)