These past few weeks have been hard-pressed. I’m overwhelmed with the challenges of life and what appears to be a continual onslaught of curveballs smashing my way. For the first time in my life I experienced panic attacks. I prayed, I read Scripture, I sang songs… everything I knew to do. But they didn’t seem to be working. I’ve questioned my faith and what I’ve believed and taught to others all these years. Many friends sent me words of encouragement, offered up prayers and yet the battles continued.
Many would say, “Lean into Jesus, he’s got you”. Trust in the Lord”. “Read and believe the word”. All great words of wisdom. I thought I was leaning, trusting and believing. Maybe my life has been a complete façade. I found myself wondering, “How does one specifically lean”? How does one trust when you’ve prayed for your world to stop spinning and it continues to spin?” I do believe and yet….. “At one point I even began to question, “Am I truly one of God’s children?” And if I’m not, where does that leave me.
The devil has a field day with one’s mind when life overwhelms. It’s in these moments the enemy loves to get in our heads and mess with our thinking. God’s not answering your prayer because you’re not really his child. Or, if God really loved you, if you were really his child…he would heal your body, find you a good paying job, take away your addiction to drugs, work in your children’s lives, and he would never have allowed your loved one to die, or (you fill in the blank)_________ . The devil wants us to feel defeated, isolated and alone. He wants us to doubt the Father’s love and goodness. His “soul” purpose is to drive a wedge between God’s children and God. When outward circumstances belie what one knows to be truth; when circumstances cast dark shadows over the truth of God’s word that’s fertile soil for the enemy. And believe me… he knows when, where and how to strike. He tailors his accusations personally to each of us. He knows which phrases, which words, which doubts and fears to place within our mind.
As a woman who believes in God; who walks with him every day to the best of her ability (okay…. honestly….sometimes not to the best of my ability) and who believes in the power of prayer, I don’t understand the why. For a person who learned at an early age people could not be trusted and who learned to never take anything at face value the why always needed to be answered. I’m learning that God is trustworthy and is always with me and the whys don’t matter; for he is God and I am not.
A master weaver when creating a tapestry knows the pattern and what his finished project will look like when completed. He chooses each thread with care and painstakingly weaves to perfection. Then one day his masterpiece is complete in all its glory and splendor. Each of our lives is a part of God’s tapestry being woven to perfection. Sometimes God will allow me to see a glimpse of the work in progress. I need to be better at storing away those precious moments so that when the storms hit and all I see is the tangled mess of threads I will remember I’m a work in progress and God is not finished with me yet.
I’m reminded of the song, “I never promised you a Rose Garden”. There are many who believe that as a child of God our lives should be easy, without trials, without troubles or challenging situations. I kind of believe that too even though I know that to be false thinking. One day my life will be very much a Rose Garden, but not this side of Heaven. God did not promise his children a bed of roses here on earth; he did promise to never leave us nor forsake us. He didn’t promise that his way would be our way. In fact quite the opposite, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord” Isaiah 55:8 He promises no matter what valley or pit we find ourselves in, he will be there with us all the way. And that my friend makes all the difference in this life.
My battles are far from over. At least for this moment, today, I have “joy” and I have peace.
Until next time,
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1