Monday February 9, 2015
In the middle of good days, that start full of faith, there are moments of despair and questions of whether this time of being stripped will ever end. We have many conversations about aspects of God that we never wanted to acknowledge before. One of them being that it appears, when there was famine, trials or even imprisonment it was often God that caused them. He brought them about so that the character of the person/people he was wanting to use could be refined. When we first started on our “seek first the kingdom” journey, Aaron would often quote this line from ‘The Hobbit’ that Bilbo Baggins would say, whenever there was too much going on for him to comprehend, “Struck by lightning, struck by lightning!!” After one of our discussions about this time of famine in our life we decided to change that phrase to “Famine, it’s a famine!” Ha! We have to do these things to keep ourselves from complaining and also to bring a little levity and silliness to our life. Which, is usually easy for us to do, we all think we’re really funny. Well, Aaron thinks he’s funny and I think I’m funny and the kiddos usually just stare at us with vacant expressions. They’re totally laughing on the inside.
Wednesday February 11, 2015
I feel like I’m continually saying, “Something we’ve learned on this journey…” and I have to say it again, yet another thing we’ve learned (we might have learned it before and forgotten) is that we can go from fine to freak out in 60 seconds flat. Usually we take turns with the freak out; this time it hit us both. We decided to just go to sleep because we knew we were hungry and over-tired and therefore irrational. Nothing would be solved when we are in that frame of mind. Next week our friends have clients coming to stay with them so we have to be completely out of their house for the whole week. This means our only option is our van. Neither one of us is ok with that. Are we completely out of our minds? Have we taken portions of the Bible and words people have spoken and applied them to our lives when they were never meant for us? How can so many words, from different sources, align and then nothing comes of it? Aaron decided he was going to send his resume to a place that a friend had recommended a few weeks ago. We don’t feel like God is telling him to do that, but without having any other direction this is the one we’re going to take and God can shut it down if he wants to.
Thursday February 12, 2015
We talked about the consequences of us walking away from this journey we started. What happens to us if we give up? Where does that leave us in our relationship with God? Up until this point it’s been in our minds that if we can’t do this then we might as well just hang it all up and figure life out on our own. I think we were finally able to see and understand that if we don’t have the strength to follow through with what God is asking of us, that’s ok. He is not going to write us off. He’s not going to ignore us or shame us. God does call us on grand adventures and gives us dreams that are too big for us to understand, or accomplish, on our own. He is perfectly aware of the fact that we can’t do it. He calls us to these things because he wants to be on the adventure with us. He wants us to let go of the dependence on our own strength and abilities and allow him to be the source of our strength. This was my devotional today:
“Nothing is so disastrously enervating as disillusionment. We much prefer our fictions and fairy stories about ourselves to the stern realization of what we really are in God’s sight. In spiritual life disillusionment generally comes in relation to other people. For Ezekiel, the disillusionment came in connection with the national life and in relation to God:the people began to realize that God is not what they had vainly hoped He was. The way we act when we come up against things proves whether we have been disillusioned or not; do we trust in our wits or do we trust in God? If we trust in our wits, God will have to repeat the same lesson until we learn it. Whenever our faith is not in God, and in him alone, there is still and illusion somewhere.”
After our conversation and reading this devotional I received a text from a friend giving encouragement and sharing a verse they use whenever they are seeking direction from God. “O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced.” Psalm 97:1. I read the rest of the chapter and was encouraged by verses 20-21 as well. “You have allowed me to suffer much hardship; but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.”