Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The next thing

Sometimes, life is just overwhelming. Do you ever feel that way? For days, weeks, now, my prayers have been variations of "Lord, please help me. Help me just do what you want me to do, because I don't know what I'm doing or where I'm going."

Do you ever have dreams where you want to run, but you somehow feel like you're running through marshmallow? Or you have a hundred things to do, but you can't even start?

Our faith in God doesn't depend on happy families, healthy bodies and brains that work right. Our faith depends on who God is, not who or what we are. Our faith hinges on HIS character, not ours - His work, not ours - His love, not ours. When we feel like we are at the bottom of a well, and the little light that comes through is so far above that we can't reach it, God is still there. His love for us doesn't change with our feelings or our circumstances.

If you are mired in something that drags you down, holds you back - then cry out to Him for help, and believe that He will help you. KNOW that He hears you, and that He cares.

You may be one, like me, that likes to have a plan - likes to see the the path lying clearly before you. It might be a difficult path, but that's OK, as long as it's a clear path. Well, sometimes that path isn't so clear, and our brains are foggy and our bodies are tired, and if we really, really admitted what we feel deep down inside, we might just start crying and not stop.

God has a plan, dear ones. No matter where you are in your walk with Him - whether you've just started or you've been following Him a long time, He has a plan.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 
 
That was written specifically to the Jews, but spiritually, it applies to every believer. He has a plan - and it's a good one. This world is passing away. The time remaining is very short. If you are ready, that idea may fill you with joy. If you are not, it might create terror. Or, you may believe it, but you are tired and sad and confused, and life is just really too hard right now to think much about it at all. 
 
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
 
Stop trying so hard, and just be that little toddler who trusts that His daddy is there, taking care of him. Getting ready for Jesus' return is not about what you do - it's about trusting what He has already done. 

Speaking as one who likes that plan, likes to have everything mapped out - it's OK if you don't know where you're going. It's OK if you have no idea what this whole "Jesus is coming" thing is going to look like. When your children were very small, did they know what their whole day was going to contain? Of course they didn't - and they didn't worry about it. They went about their day, fairly oblivious until you scooped them up and said, "Time to go!"

It's really OK if you are like that toddler. The important thing is that your trust is strong (which you remember is not a feeling, but a DECISION based on who your savior is and all that He has done for you), and that you are depending on Jesus. 

He does have work for you to do, but it's nothing to overwhelm you: "my yoke is easy and my burden is light." It's nothing that should make you frantic, wondering how in the world you're going to get it all done. 

When my father was dying, I couldn't bear to think beyond the immediate. I couldn't deal with what came after. All I could do was ask God to help me do the next thing. And, at that moment, the next thing was just holding my daddy's hand while his body died. 

In some ways, that's still where I'm at. I want the plan - I want the clear path, the whole picture. But, you know what? God says, "No, that's not what I want for you." He might be saying something else to you, but to me, He says, "Just do the next thing - and I'll take care of it beyond that."

That's tough, you know, for a planner. If I ever appear to be spontaneous, it's only because I've planned very, very quickly. I'm not very good at winging it. But, God appears to be asking me to wing it these days. 

Jesus is coming. Time is very, very short. And, I have no plan. I have no plan, but I do have trust. I trust that my God who is my savior has a plan - and if HE has a plan, I can be that toddler who has no idea what's going on. 

Please, Lord, just keep my on that path. Keep me in the center of your will, because I have no idea where I'm going. Help me do the next thing.

If you are feeling any of these things, I'd love to hear from you. If you don't want to say it here for all to see, just send me an e-mail.


 

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