Sometimes, God will stir me in my sleep and I feel in my heart that He has a word, so I get up right then, not wanting to miss it.
This morning I got out of bed; grabbed a sweatshirt and my house shoes; made my coffee; grabbed two Bibles and my Mac Book; put on my worship music; and sat down with a prepared heart- willing to stay here, to dig, and to share with all who’s hearts will listen.
I turned to the last pages I remembered that brought me a real peace before my mom died. It hasn’t been the last time I’ve wept over my Bible, but the last time I felt in my heart that God was working out the things I have been tirelessly praying for.
I’ve left them for you here… Sort of.
This wasn’t it. The last chapter that held me with reassurance wasn’t this one, but the one after. You see in 1st King chapter 18 a huge display of God’s power against evil. It’s one that is undeniable. The night I read this chapter, I kept turning the pages because I remembered from past study which story came next, and it was the ‘next’ that my heart felt.
After Elijah encountered God in arguably one of the greatest displays of God’s power in the Old Testament (chapter 18), one that was even undeniable to the enemy, only one chapter over, the very next page, we see Elijah cry out to God that he may die all because one person named Jezebel.
“It is enough; now, O Lord take away my life.”
Elijah lay down and slept under a broom tree, and an angel told him to arise and eat. Elijah ate and laid down again. An angel appeared a second time, touched him, and said, “arise and eat, for this journey is too great for you.”
He arose, he ate, he drank, and he went in the strength of that food for 40 days and 40 nights to the mount of God.
Yesterday I was at my moms looking through pictures. I found a letter she had written telling a piece of her story to really anyone that might listen. It was one of desperation. I handed in to my husband when we left and he agreed it was tough to read.
I see myself sitting in some of the same situations she faced all those years before. As the tears fell, I asked Neal what I was supposed to do? How do I fix the things I want to be better? How do I change things for my own family so one day they do not sit in the very same places?
I’ve asked the same questions over and over since the Lord changed my heart, but lately I’ve had new ones.
“What am I even doing; Can my heart feel this way one day and testify for God the next; Is it fake?”
I could tell that one bothered him when I asked, but he just answered my two questions for me matter of fact and we kept moving.
“Yes, it’s real; you don’t fix anything.”
Driving, I took those two answers and I let the tears fall. How helpless she must have felt. How incapable I feel, too.
Nearly half an hour later, he looked at me again and said, “Katie, don’t ever say that, after all I’ve seen Him do in your life, heck all He’s done in my life. He saved our lives. He saved us. Of course it’s real.”
“Yes, I know spiritual warfare is real,” I nodded in response.
Then he said it again, “so quit, the answer is you do nothing. You don’t fix it.”
I think what he meant to say though is this: “You go, but I’ll send the healing.”
He tells me all of the time that my gifts are words and how I use them for this ministry, but his gift is me. At first it sounded silly, and I thought that was just another ‘not-so people-y’ person trying to get out of talking to people, but as time ticks on, he may be on to something.
“After many days, the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the Earth.” !st King 18:1.
Sometimes God wakes me up for pages and pages of things to sort and sift through and today He put my feet on the floor at three A.M. for one verse.
We are the messengers, but God is the healer.
As a nurse things hurt and I make them better; as an administrator of nurses, people call me and I give them the answers; as a mom, they cry and I hold them until they don’t anymore.
I am a Type A person. I want the right answers, preferably aphlabetically and color coded appropriately so that the next time I need them, I can pull them quickly, under the rare instance that I’ve forgotten, that is, because type A people are memorizers also.
I’m a do-er, a know’er, a performer, a cleaner upper.
I’ve reached a place in my faith where I trust that God is good. I’ve seen God in the smallest of details. I’ve seen Him show up in thousands of verses of scripture and I’ve seen Him show up in one.
I’ve had so many people ask me how I’m doing lately, and I tell them I’m okay. People don’t want to take that answer because I think “I’m okay” translates “I’m not sad” and it doesn’t. Of course I’m sad, but I’m okay. I believe that our dad died when we were so young because my mom needed more time as just our mom, and now that she is gone, too, it’s hard but I know that God is good- to me that only means had she lived, it could have been something worse.
When I was told her air bags didn’t deploy, that didn’t change my grief; my heart knew that God had a plan for that too.
I trust God is good, but I still want the healing I’ve been praying over… and now that she is gone and he is gone, and my grace is gone… I want it sooner not because no one else is left, but because time runs out.
“You don’t do anything, Yes, this is real.”
“You go, but I’ll send the healing.”
I think sometimes we get ahead of ourselves.
Yes, time is short. No, we don’t know how much time we have… but God is infinite… and He does… and He’s good.
That letter read so desperate because it was, and gosh, I feel so incapable because I am.
God needs willing hearts, not ones full of their own answers.
He needs hearts ready to surrender all of their plans, their ways, and their petitions… their ‘but Gods’ and their timelines… and just go.
Go to the Word; Go in prayer; Go to the alter; Go back to the word again; go down into your heart and keep culling away; go in prayer; go running back when you fall away; back to the word, back to the alter, back to prayer.
When I first felt called to ministry, God told me He was going to do big things, that I would speak to large groups of women. At first, I assumed that I was crazy, but when it still felt real I assumed it was true… and some of it has been, and maybe He’s not done, who knows, but what time with God has taught me most is that the only thing I can truly, truly change is myself.
I have the ability to hang scripture all throughout my house, but if I don’t use kind words and calm voices, to my kids, they are just pictures.
I can type the prettiest words, but if I don’t live them they are just decorations for an otherwise just expensive webpage.
You can even read them, make comments like ‘this touched me’ or ‘needed this’ and they help encourage my heart to keep going, to keep writing, but they do nothing for yours if you don’t apply them and I can’t make you…
but I have the ability to make me…go in the presence of the Lord, to sit here and to wait… on God’s timing, on His plan, on Him to send rain.
He will provided sustenance when we need it because the journey is too much for just us. “In many days the word came…” “in the third year saying.”
It’s all measured.
He’s already made a plan.
We fix us, God fixes everything else. Isn’t that such a hard concept?
He has a healing for you, too. Whatever you’re hoping for, the thing you’re needing… God is only good. It doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen, that you won’t experience loss, or that following God won’t hurt sometimes because they will, you will, and it does, but it does mean He is a healer.
Many died in the flood while Noah’s family was spared because of Noah’s faithfulness.
Egypt was swept away in the waters of the Red Sea while God made a way for Israel through Moses’s obedience.
Jesus, without sin, died a shameful death outside of the presence of His Father as a sacrifice for sin just for you, just for me, just so we could know and fellowship with God… and that one, it was just because He is good, faithful, not because we did anything.
God will go that far to keep His promises to His people.
He is all powerful, all knowing, and fully capable.
“Yes, it is real.” “You don’t do anything.”
I’m sorry I’ve asked for answers. I’m sorry that sometimes I don’t want the ones you’ve given, or that I wanted them differently or sometimes I’ve not wanted them at all. I see you in the big things and in the ones not big, Lord; I trust you in both. I pray for a stillness God. Lord, in places where we are incapable Lord, I pray we are dependent, and in the places that we’re able, I pray we surrender those too; that we would let you have all the pieces, Lord, and not just the ones that are heavy. Thank you, God, for knowing the need, for knowing the details, and just for knowing me. Thank you for your promises, Lord, Thank you for you.