It seems as though another digression from God’s Relationship Builder is at hand. When I prayed before writing this post (as I do before EVERY post I write here :)), I fully expected to receive some Heavenly wisdom centered on the 90-day plan. Instead, God moved me in another direction. He gave me peace about some issues that are going on in my life right now that someone out there needs to hear. So, whomever you are, this is for you.
I may or may not have mentioned before that at my part-time job, I have a lot of free time on my hands (you can only patrol a half a mile in any direction so many times before you go stir crazy :D). I try to use that time wisely, which means that I spend a lot of time talking to God. I’m so thankful that He has afforded me that opportunity. It just so happens that I’m using some of that time right now.
Prior to heading out this morning, I prayed a prayer of peace and protection. The protection part is from any evildoers that may try to prevent me from going home to my family at the end of the day. The peace part is for the feeling of being overwhelmed that I’ve been experiencing of late. This feeling centers around my jobs (having two that require me to work virtually seven days a week!) and my future. I’ve been praying for a way to cut back at either or both of them to be able to have more time at home with the family and become more active in my church. However, the house payment will always be there. So will the electric…child support…car payment…insurance…etc. Can you see why it would take nothing short of Divine Intervention to grant me some of that time? To top it off, there are other issues at my main job that keep telling me that a change may be in order. Don’t get me wrong. In today’s economic climate, I’m EXTREMELY blessed to have two jobs and some future potentials. I encounter people every day that ask me to help them find work. However, God knows the desires of our hearts. He knows what we need and what He has planned for us. And He wants us to do things that bring honor and glory to His name. If something in your life, at home, work or otherwise, isn’t in alignment with that, the chances are that you’re not experiencing the peace God wants for you. Which is where I am now.
So why write this post today instead of a segment for the 90-day plan? Because God answered not one, but BOTH of my prayers this morning. I find that as I continue to grow in my faith and seek God’s counsel in all I do, I’m more attuned to the little things He does in my life to show me He’s there. When I was a teenager, I used to visit my grandfather in Brooklyn Heights. He was a wonderful poet (gave readings with the Poet Laureat of Brooklyn and published several books of poetry :)), and he taught me how to notice things other people might pass by. Instead of walking with your eyes down on the path before you, look ahead, up, down and all around you. You never know what you might miss. I tell you that to say that God has blessed me with the ability to do just that. When I opened my inspirational daily planner, I turned to today’s date. The passage was from Psalms 94:19, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” Then the excerpt from an author follows at the bottom of the listing, “No matter what problems we have in our life, Jesus has already overcome them. -Stormie Omartian.” Hmmm…I just prayed for peace of mind because I was feeling overwhelmed. Remember, I don’t believe in coincidences.
From there, I opened my bible and turned to 94:19. As I read the entire passage, I felt even more at ease. A side note here…I’m not getting the Holyghostbumps I’ve become accustomed to with this journey…simply peace :).
“…I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’ but Your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
There was more to the verse that spoke directly to me, but I’ll reserve that story for another day. It’s a great verse, but there was nothing in the study guide to interpret it. In the side column, however, there was a listing for Isaiah 57:18 and 66:13. Both spoke of comforting those in need, but neither really applied to what I’m experiencing. There was another verse listed alongside 66:13, 2 Corinthians 1:4. When I read that, it all just clicked, prompting me to share this encounter with you. The title of this first part of 2 Corinthians says, “God Offers Comfort to All.” It’s a letter that Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, so he begins with praises to God and asks for His grace and peace for all of His people.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.”
With this verse, there was an explanation in the study guide.
“Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him. We must understand that being ‘comforted’ can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles.”
It goes on to say…
“We often depend on our own skills and abilities when life seems easy and only turn to God when we feel unable to help ourselves. But as we realize our own powerlessness without Him and our need for is constant help in our lives, we come to depend on Him more and more. God is our source of power, and we receive His help by keeping in touch with Him. With this attitude of dependence, problems will drive us to God rather than away from Him. Learn how to rely on God daily.”
Overwhelmed? I was. Not any more. I pray that the comfort God has given me during my time of distress is transferred to you, that you may experience His peace as well. Thank you, Father!