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I just need to be okay

  

“I just need to be okay.”
I wasn’t sure of anything anymore. Everything in my world was different and I was questioning everything around me. I was hurt, offended, broken, and at a loss as to what I’d do next. In the past, my go to was to get busy, listen to some good preaching, and just move. I was still doing that to get through each day, yet I still didn’t feel okay. Everyone else could praise the Lord and cry at the drop of a hat over His goodness and I’d become so frustrated because that wasn’t me anymore. I was angry with myself. The old saying was to let life’s troubles roll off like water on a duck’s back and yet mine were sticking like glue. Why am I in this place and why is everything that was once so easy, so hard?

I just need to be okay!
I would pray and ask God to help, simply in a hurry to get my prayers answered and get on with the show. I didn’t really want to get to the heart of anything or try to understand all that had happened. I just needed to be okay. Life was going to pass me by and I didn’t have time to be resting in Him or listening to what He had to say. I just needed to be okay.
How often are our prayers like that? We want a solution right then and there. A sign in the sky, a fuzzy feeling, a giant confirmation. And yet we sit there disappointed and angry because we feel we have left yet again empty handed.
I wanted to be where I needed to be spiritually without doing anything I needed to do. I wanted my joy back, my love for serving. I tried to engulf myself in work, hoping that would bring about more excitement. Instead, I found myself even more angry and frustrated. I just needed to be okay.
What in the world did I think okay was?! I guess I just figured being problem free. Or perhaps just able to pick my feet up without them weighing 500 pounds. I looked at other people in church services and would think, “if I could just be like them!” I was more focused on a synthetic, outward appearance of being okay. I was angry that I couldn’t keep it together half the time and that I felt so weak.
There came a point where I had to hit my knees, right where I was, and be honest with the Lord. He already knew what was in my heart. I suppose I felt that if I admitted how I felt, right or wrong, that I’d be a bad Christian. I knew He would hear me, but I figured He didn’t really want to hear about my petty life. I realized that if He already knew my heart, I was doing myself a disservice by pretending He didn’t.
What freedom I found when I admitted to the Lord what was on my heart! When I could just be real and come to Him, broken, insecure, scared, and unsure. Oh the grace I found there! I wasn’t okay and He didn’t expect me to be. What He wanted was for me to talk with Him, to tell Him what was on my heart.


Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

I’m still in an awkward spot in my spiritual life. However, I can rest knowing that even though I’m not always “okay” … the Lord is with me, still growing me, and still guiding me. The best thing I know to do is to follow His Word, run with patience, do the first works (the things I know to do: church, prayer, Bible study, witnessing), and rest in Him.
Friend, it’s okay if you’re in a place in your life where you’re just not okay. Stop fighting this fight yourself and give it over to Jesus. He wants to hear about your troubles, even the seemingly smallest and silliest. Move forward by doing what is right, but give yourself grace if some days you just aren’t “okay.”

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The big and little things

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“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Phillipians 4:13

Lastnight, I heard the preacher say that God isn’t a God of the big things – He’s a God of all things. Sometimes we look at our life situations and think, “well surely God isn’t interested in my petty trouble when there are people out there facing much worse. I just need to get over it.” Indeed, it’s true. There is always someone who has it worse and that can often put our worries into perspective, perhaps even make us grateful that our personal trouble isn’t worse. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bring even what may seem like our “small” troubles to God.

The problem is when we try to just get over something, push forward, get through … a lot of times we leave God out of the equation. We get a bright idea on how to solve it and without ever putting any prayer (or not much more than a headache prayer of “please make this go away”) and we struggle in our own strength. As time continues on, we feel defeated, discouraged, and tapped out. We’ve used every bit of our own resources and strength. We may even get a little mad at God for not doing more, although we didn’t really ask for help in the first place.

This verse in Phillipians says we can do all things and we typically stop right there. We have that humanistic, worldly mindset where we use all of our own strength without ever consulting our all knowing God. God says we can do all things THROUGH Him!

We can also be assured by this verse that God is truly interested in the big and little things of our lives, that we need not be ashamed as we come with even the most petty requests. He wants to be ever present in every facet in our lives and doesn’t despise us in our weakness. He wants us to humbly come to Him and strengthen us. His strength is made perfect in our weakness, right?

As you go to the Lord in prayer today, don’t feel too silly to tell Him what’s going on. Don’t feel like you need to handle things alone. Whatever is weighing on you today, it’s important to Him too.

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Fakin’ It

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Fake it til ya make it.

Sometimes I can find the strength and energy somewhere from deep within as I try to muster up determination. I’ve done it a lot. But you’ll notice, all of that working myself up left God entirely out of the equation. I have His indwelling Spirit, I have His Word, and yet many times I’ve tried to push through something hard in my own power.

There are two things to consider with that:

1. The obvious: I should always seek God for help. He desires that I come to Him so that He can carry my burdens. In a determination to prove myself or to stick with it to prove something to someone else, I was motivated either by fear of man or the flesh. God wouldn’t have it that way. He wants to be the one who gives me power and in turn, I can rest knowing He carries the yoke.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 8:28-29

2. Some situations just aren’t right for you. That’s not to say they’re wrong entirely, but sometimes we move before God gives the green light and wind up in a mess He never intended for us. In that case, we are entirely working from the flesh – trying to prove we can hack it when we have no business being there in the first place. Slow down and seek out what God would have you do or where He would have you to be.

Both of these points tie into one another, because they’ll leave any well meaning child of God feeling exhausted, burnt out, and just done. God never intended for His ministry to do that to people. That’s not to say there aren’t struggles that’ll wear any person out, but if we are facing them with His strength, He can renew us and energize us. Doing it on our own is a recipe for failure.

There are times when you have to fake it til ya make it. (ie when you have had 2 hours of sleep from a sick baby and you have a full day ahead) Sometimes we won’t “feel” like doing certain things like going to church or setting aside time for personal study. In that case, yes, do it anyway. ¬†However, when it comes to serving Christ, He should be our motivation! Fear of what people think or even simply just going through the motions will not get the job done. We need the help of our Savior!

As always, it’s very simple: get in the Word. God gave us His Word and so often times its watered down to two or three different kind of ideas, when there is such richness dwelling in the wisdom found inside. We need more than the preaching we may hear 3 times a week in church. He speaks to us through it and He can change our hearts and lives. He can give us pure strength and desire to serve.

Don’t fake it. Ask the Lord for help. Rest in knowing that He understands you’re tired and weary … and that you aren’t perfect. Get in the Word daily and allow it to change your perspective and your life.