Monday, April 15, 2013

Learning To Lean....In To The Blessing

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"
Jeremiah 32:27
(KJV)

Nothing is past the ability of God.


Nothing.

So often, I lose sight of that.
I fail to keep it front and center.
Therefore, I am driven by fear.
I know it doesn't come from God....to be afraid.
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

If God wanted us to be afraid,
Jesus wouldn't have said,
"Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
John 14:27

I have not verified the validity of this, but I heard there are 365
passages in the Bible where we are instructed not to fear....
one reminder from God for each day of the year.

So, why do I continue to become terrified....
when faced with a new challenge,
when bombarded with a new attack from the enemy,
when forced to the point of making a decision?


I am not good at change.
In fact, I think it would be safe to dub me severely "change-challenged".
I like familiar.
I cherish routine.

And, I am not a good decision-maker.
I'll admit it.
My continual reaction when faced with a crossroads,
is to turn to Kevin and say,
"What do I do?
What would you do?"

I am from-the-very-bottom-of-my-heart grateful for him.
I am ever mindful of the day my precious, newly-widowed sister, Sandi, said,
"Cheryl, you just don't know how hard it is to not have someone to turn to
and ask.....what do you think?"

She missed being able to do that.
She missed having that option.

I never take it for granted...not for a minute.

Life is full of crossroads.
Intersections.
Times where we feel pinned against the wall.
Situations that absolutely require a change, no matter how much we cringe,
draw back, resist, and try to pretend it isn't happening.
Moments when decisions have to be made...like it or not.
When I hit one of these difficult-for-me spots,
I turn to Kevin....and to God.

I had to do that....in a big way....recently.

I talk to Him every day, consistently.
I couldn't make it through the day if I didn't.
But, there are times when just a normal, run-of-the-mill prayer will not do.
There are days when I need more....
it takes more....
to really get what I need from Him.

Distressed to the point of tears,
I bowed my heart before Him.

"God, we need you.
We don't know what to do.
Which path is Your divine, perfect will?"

I began laying out all of my "what-ifs" before Him.

Gently, the Potter began speaking back to me....with questions.
"Have I ever let you down?
Has there ever been a time that I didn't take care of you?
In all of the past situations...that were exactly like the one you are facing now....
did I fail?
Was there ever a time that you did not have what you needed?"

He reminded me of a past situation when a wise man told me,
"Don't approach this with the spirit of fear", and I said,
"But, I am afraid of getting out of God's will", and he firmly and emphatically replied,
"You won't."

Have you ever been in a situation where God was doing His utmost to bless you,
but just because the blessing involved a sense of change and required a measure of faith and trust
you actually drew back from wanting to accept the blessing?
You actually considered staying where you were and dealing with the undesirable....
just so nothing would have to change?

I know...I know.
It sounds absurd.
Who doesn't want to be blessed, right?
Who doesn't want to run, arms-wide-open,
to receive what God is so graciously trying to bestow?

Is there anyone reading this who can relate?
Has anyone else ever been afraid to accept a blessing from God
just because change...and faith....and trust....was included in the package?


It was down to the wire.
I knew it.
My pulse quickened.
I felt cornered.
Trapped.
Like I was surrounded and closed-in....from all sides.
Decision time was upon me.
They kept talking...all around me.
The pressure was too much.

Suddenly standing up, I said,
"I need to go home and....and pray about this....for a couple of days.
I can't make a decision today."

My "fight-or-flight" response was kicked in to overdrive,
and I felt the urge to bolt.

I panicked...to the point of nearly running outside to get a breath of fresh air.
I felt claustrophobic.
Pinned down.
Short of breath.

"I'm going to the restroom", I said as I walked away.

I needed to get alone...with Him.
Closing the door behind me, I sought Him...again....with all my heart.

"God, please, please don't let us get out of Your will.
Please don't let us do the wrong thing.
Please, help us!
If this is not Your will, do something to block it....please.
Don't let this happen."

I meant it from the depths of my soul.
As great and tempting as this was....
as effortlessly smooth as it seemed to be going....
if God wasn't in it,
I wanted no part of it.

I walked back to the room and looked at Kevin.
Kind, sympathetic, knowing eyes...met mine....
looked back at me....seemingly straight into my soul.
He knows me...so well.
Sees clear through to the roots....
understands my past....
and situations that have sculpted me into the mess I am today.  :~)

"I think it will be okay...
I think we will be okay.
Let's just do it."
His calm, softspoken, familiar voice soothed my rattled nerves.

It brought a sense of peace to the midst of the storm,
his stability....his ability to remain calm,
gave me fresh courage.....
to the point of saying, "Okay."

So, what would have seemed like a no-brainer to most,
turned into an agonizing ordeal to me.

Most would have jumped at the chance....right off the bat.
Most would have recognized the magnitude of the blessing God so wanted to give....
from the very get-go.
Most wouldn't have had such a hard time taking it in,
taking ownership of it,
and just thanking God.

God sees our end from our beginning.
He knows our hearts....even better than those who loves us most.
He understands our issues...hang-ups....quirks....
even more completely than those who know us best.
More importantly, He has been there...all along....
watching as life unfolded...
as we endured the heartaches
that caused us to develop the issues, hang-ups, and quirks in the first place.

He didn't scold me for being a reluctant recipient
of the wonderful blessing He so kindly and lovingly provided.

Not one bit.

After it was all over,
there was an aftermath...
a period of me second-guessing....panicking...wondering....
if truly we did the right thing.
Knowing me, I knew there would be.

But, right in the midst, He drew near to me and spoke.


"Child, just enjoy the blessing.
Don't look at the big picture.
Enjoy each day.
Know that I am already there....in each tomorrow.
I will always be.
You can rest.
You don't have to struggle...and worry and fret.
Just relax...in My everlasting arms.
And just lean in to the blessing."

"Lean in to it, Lord?"

"Yes, child.
Lean in to it.
Stop fighting its flow.
Succumb to it.
Allow yourself to enjoy what I have given you.
I wouldn't have given it to you, if I didn't want you to have it.
I see the future.
You are going to be okay.
I have already taken care of it.
You have remained in My will."

How goes it with you, my friend?
Do you get a feeling God is wanting to bless you....
by leading you in a different direction, maybe....
but you stand paralyzed by the fear of change?
Are you worried about tomorrow and what will happen
if you leave your sense of familiar?
Has God opened a door and given you gentle urges to walk through it,
but you hesitate to take that first step
because you can't see what is on the other side...
of that open door?

Can I encourage you to lean in to the blessing?
May I persuade you to just trust?
To go ahead....take that first step....and walk through that open door...of blessing?

After I took my terrifying first step....or should I say stumbling leap....
of faith...through the open door,
after I leaned in and stopped kicking and screaming and trying
to refuse what God wanted to give,
after I listened to His reassuring words and promises to take care of us,
I finally started to be able to open the gift...
to peel back the layers....
to watch God's plan unfold.

And, guess what?
I am beyond thrilled to tell you that
the view from the other side is beautiful.






4 comments:

  1. Cheryl, What a lovely post about just letting God be God. I've been through so much and when I allowed Him to Be then I saw Him in everything. Every decision. Every step. Every moment.

    Thank you for sharing your candid moments of of just letting Him be Him in your life.

    Heather
    40YearWanderer.com
    (Holly Gerth - God Sized Dream Link Up)

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    Replies
    1. Heather, Thank you so much for your kind comments. They were such a blessing to me! I trust God will return that blessing to you a hundred times today. :) My heart goes out to you in all you have been through. I love your name of "40yearwanderer". Boy, is that what I feel like sometimes, too. I hope you will stop by again sometime. God's peace be with you, Cheryl

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  2. I don't say this lightly, but I. love. this. post! And I so relate. Things are a big deal to me, and I never want to get ahead of God. I know my flesh can deceive me. However, when I tell God how I feel (like you do)... When I tell Him I don't want to mess up -- I just want to be int the center of His will, He invades me with such loving peace that the fears have to flee!

    Lean into the blessing. That's what I want to do today and every day.

    Cheryl, I can tell you're the kind of person I'd really like to get to know.

    Thankful to be a God-sized dreaming sister with you!

    Love Cheryl

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    Replies
    1. From one Cheryl to another! LOL! Thank you SO much for your kind, encouraging words. I would love to get to know you, too and hope you will come by often. I'm so thankful to have met you and trust God to bless you in a BIG way today. Love, Cheryl

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