April 20, 2012

Spoiled "manna", worry, & fear

Do you ever look at your circumstances and even though your needs for today have been met...you soon begin to doubt that your needs for tomorrow will be taken care of too???


In Exodus 16, God not only gave the Israelites miraculous "manna" & provisions, but also where God gave them instructions for gathering and receiving it.  


God's instructions as written in Exodus 16:4-5

4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

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 Simple enough, right? Go get manna for each day, except on the 6th day, get enough manna for two days.  


So this foreign substance miraculously begins to form on the ground (verses 14-15), and the people questioned each other, saying, "What is it?" 


Moses explained it was the bread God had given them to eat and explained how much they were to gather. In verse 19, Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it until morning."


Needless to say, some people kept some of their manna until morning, only to find it spoiled and filled with maggots. (vs. 20) 


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Can you relate? At all? Or are you the one who totally, 100% trusts God to do EVERYTHING He says He will do. Can you take God at His word? Do your own doubts and fears resemble those of the Israelites who kept some manna for the following day? Do you ever wonder "how, and why, and when God???"


Yesterday, I shared how God provided toilet paper for me through my friend. He ALWAYS provides for me like that and remains SO faithful to me. Yet this morning, I found myself wondering where my next pack of toilet paper will come from when this runs out. 


REALLY?!?!?! Hello Heaven! It's no wonder I lose my joy so quickly! The more I study this journey of the Israelites, the more I see myself in the words on the pages of Exodus.  I used to laugh and deny I could EVER be as...ahem...SO ungrateful!...as the Israelites were!  Now I'm beginning to see more and more why I am on this journey in my own wilderness!  I pray I will NOT spend 40 years here though because I would be totally ancient by then!!!


Anyway........(babble, babble, babble...)


Oh Jesus, help me!  I'm gently reminded of Matthew 6:25-27


25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?


God IS SO trustworthy! I KNOW this! I've SEEN this! I've LIVED this! God is SO faithful! God IS my Provider! He NEVER leaves me without what I NEED!


So Heavenly Father, I pray the words from the boy's father in Mark 9:24, 


"I DO believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"


It's IN the presence of God that our fears and worries will lessen. It's IN the act of worshiping and praising God, that our focus is shifted from looking outward and inward...to upward...where it belongs :)

April 19, 2012

Toilet Paper, "manna", & other provisions

Manna as defined by Dictionary.com: the food miraculously supplied to the Israelites in the wilderness. (Exodus 16:14-36)


If you read Exodus 16, you will get the full version of this amazing story of a God who provided manna and quail for His people.  For the sake of time, I am going to give you my paraphrased version and relate it to my life and my journey.


God did amazing things, even performed miracle after miracle, from the time they left Egypt. God helped them win battle after battle. They journeyed. They got tired. They started complaining. They were forgetting the promises of God. They couldn't see beyond the circumstances in front of them. All they could see was their misery and their struggle. I'm sure they just wanted their Promised Land...yet it seemed no closer than when they left Egypt. They murmured. They doubted their leaders, their promises, and their God.


"Oh God, why didn't you just let us die in Egypt? It has to be better than this!!!"


Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever had to fight for something that, after awhile, really didn't seem worth it. It seemed too hard. Too tiring. Too many tears. Too much pain. Too...too...too...


I live from paycheck to paycheck. I started my business in September and to be honest, I spend more money on my website every month than I even bring in sales. I know God wants to use my art and other talents and SOMEHOW have them be part of my business, but I don't have the "go" yet from God. I feel like I'm wandering aimlessly around and around and around, going no where really quick, with little to no direction.  


I believe God is the one who gave me the ideas, but He also has to give me the business mind, the resources, the right connections, because in the natural, I have NO CLUE what I am doing.


I'm getting weary. Along with everything else going on in my life, I can easily get overwhelmed with the details, and usually "shut down" because I don't know what else to do.  


I KNOW God has a plan far BIGGER and GREATER than I can EVER imagine or dream, but I don't know what it is! I don't know how to get there! All I know is to keep doing what it is I'm doing and pray I won't miss the connections He wants me to make...waiting for His timing to see His promises fulfilled for my life.


I am living on daily manna. Literally. Well, not like "Israelite manna", but "daily provision manna". I step where God wants me to step. I move when God wants me to move. I "be still" when God tells me to be still.  Most of my time is spent in preparation: physically, spiritually, and emotionally...and right now, God says, "This is where I want you."


Ugh! I want to be soaring! Going forward! Moving! But God says, "Be still my Child...be still."


I fight the urge to grumble and complain. Not because I'm unhappy where I am at. I just feel like I 'SHOULD" be doing something...more...significant...with...my...life.


This morning, I looked at my toilet paper roll stash and realized I only had two rolls left. Not only that, but I am running out of dishsoap and guinea pig food. 


"Really!?!? Is this really the story of my life? For real? Do I have to do this EVERY month? My son's birthday is next week and...blah.blah.blah!"


Complain. Grumble. Murmur.


"Oh, those Israelites! If only they would have just "gotten" it, they wouldn't have stayed in the wilderness for 40 YEARS! I would have learned not to grumble and complain so much!!!"


Um...yeah...maybe I would have!?!?


Yikes!


I allowed my worries to swallow me up for a little bit this morning, but finally decided I could do nothing but trust God to provide. 


I praised instead. I "won" back my day because I chose not to worry about something I could do nothing about at the moment.


"O-kay God, I will be still..."


And I was. And it felt good.


Fast forward much later...


5:00p.m.--My friend shows up at the door with toilet paper for me. It was on sale. She was thinking of me. 


Uh yes! That's the God I serve!


The "wilderness" can get tiring at times. But God hasn't left us out here alone! Just keep doing what He's asking you to do and trust Him to do what He said He will do!!!  Be on the alert for complaining murmuring coming from your own heart and keep your eyes open for the miracles and manna from heaven.


Most of all, keep your focus on God! He really hasn't dumped you "out here" to rot. He's taking you on your personal journey that only you and He can go on...to prepare you for what is yet to come!


He is good...all the time!

April 18, 2012

You WILL make it!

I write.
I write a lot.
I go to hit "publish".
I push "close" instead.
Some things are private.
I wish I could share.
I wish I could give you hope.
You are not alone.
You're not the only one struggling.
I wish I could tell you my story.
I pray I can one day share.
But for today...I cannot.
I can tell you that God is FOR you!
Not against you!
He HAS a plan for YOU!
It's good.
You WILL make it!
Today!
Tomorrow! 
And the day after that!
Call out to Jesus...
He's there.
He's here.
And we're going to make it!
I'm praying for YOU...
will you pray for me?

April 12, 2012

Gaining focus...

Possessing your Promised land...


Requires action...
Walking forward...
One foot in front of the other...
Making required changes...
Becoming a participant, not just a spectator...
Living, moving, and breathing...
Seeking, remaining & abiding in God's presence...
Falling down...yet standing back up!
Stumbling...yet never giving up!
Pressing on toward the goal!
Persevering in...through...& despite!


"But I feel..."
"DESPITE my feelings, I press on..."


"But it's hard..."
"I CAN do ALL things through Christ!!!"


"But I can't do this..."
"I AM MORE than a Conqueror!"


"But I'm so weak..."
"God's strength is PERFECT in my weakness!"


Re-gain your focus. Put your eyes on the prize. Grab a hold of the outstretched hand of Jesus. Wipe the sweat from your brow. Tell your pity-party to take a hike. Get back up! Fight the good fight. No one can walk this journey for you! 


God has promised to go before you and behind you and beside you. God has promised to carry your burdens. God has promised to strengthen you. God has promised your destination, but you still have to walk forward. You have to possess it. You have to want it. 


You have to do your part...whatever it is God has asked you to do. The instructions for each of us may be different, but it will require an act of obedience on your part. Are you supposed to "let go" of something so He can give you something better? Are you to lay down your offenses and forgive? Are you supposed to trust Him and keep your mouth closed instead of taking matters into your own hands? 


For me, I'm learning to believe God IS who He says He is...not just for everyone else, but for ME!  Will I TRUST, and THEN OBEY what He asks me to do?  Will I TRUST God is who He says He is, and that I AM who God says I AM despite how I feel????


So I am going through my personal journey of TRUSTING GOD, BELIEVING HIM, & THEN OBEYING HIM DESPITE MY FEELINGS. 


What action is God calling you to today?  Will you walk another step toward YOUR Promised Land by CHOOSING to obey?








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