A Swift Kick in the Patooty

For the last couple of days I have been in a rut. You know, the kind where whatever problems you are having consume your very being and it seems like there is nothing you can do about them or there isn’t a light at the end of what also seems like a very dark tunnel. The stresses of everyday life tend to feel even more unbearable when that’s all you are focusing on. When you factor in that it also feels like there is no end in sight to our current economical situation and that individual families feel the pinch more and more, well, it seems like it’s not going to get any easier. Right? Wrong.

I was reminded by several people the other day that I’m focusing too much on my problems and not enough on my blessings. As a woman of faith, my biggest blessing is that I believe in a God who loves me, cares about me, and only wants what’s best for me. I have been concentrating on the enormity of the problems I have been facing of late and less on my relationship with him. I was reminded that isn’t the way to go about my life. It’s not about me. It’s about HIM.

So this morning, I decided that since it’s July 1st, the start of a brand new month, I would begin the day and the month by passing up my computer first thing this morning and going directly into devotion with him. Two years ago I received this book in the mail from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for signing up for something online. I don’t remember what I signed up for but the book has been sitting on my shelf for that amount of time. Every now and then I would pick it up, look at it, and tell myself that I would start the 30-day devotional “next week” or “next month” and never did…until today.

The book is called (interestingly enough), All for Jesus – A Devotional. It is 30 days of devotions teaching you about how to “embrace the essentials of a life devoted totally to Jesus.”(1) I figured between the advice I have been given by friends and the little signs I have been receiving the last couple of days, today was as good a day as any to begin my… transformation of sorts.

So…I read the first devotion, “I Am Your God”. Powerful statement in and of itself, huh? The chapter is based on Exodus 3:1-6, the passage about God’s revelation to Moses through the burning bush in the desert. Then, I proceeded to open up to a fresh page in my devotional notebook, the one I hadn’t touched since Easter. Instead of the fresh page, I came to the very last page I wrote on from Pastor Matt Fry’s (of C3 Church in Clayton, North Carolina) Easter Message this year. The last thing I scribbled was the notation to the verse Hebrews 13:5 and what I got out of that “Stop focusing on problems. Focus on God! Be content with what you have!” Another sign. So, after Exodus, I went back to that verse and read it, only to be led to another chapter of Hebrews – 12:1-13, which spoke to me even further. And this is what I learned today.

Moses had been walking the desert for 40 days (on his own accord). When it came time to appear to him, God did so in the form of the burning bush. He reminded Moses that (1) God is his father and (2) he is faithful (and was faithful to Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob). He did this to clue Moses in on the fact that there is more in store for him.

A Moses moment – there is more in store for me.

Perhaps, my “burning bush” was the answers I received to a personal status message I wrote on Facebook two days ago and then the phone call I received yesterday from one of those very same friends that replied to my status message the other day? Maybe that was God trying to tell me –

“HELLO! Have you forgotten that I’m here? Have you forgotten that I am faithful? Have you forgotten that there is more in store for you?!”

Then, I read back to Hebrews 13:5, which once again told me to stop focusing on my problems (my lack of a good job, the effect that that and this economy has on my finances, the desire to someday own a home) and rather, focus on God!

After I read that verse, my eyes wandered over to Hebrews 12:1-13 where it reveals how “God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness” (Heb 12:10). Once again, I’m reminded to focus on God, not the problems. Maybe my discipline is just exactly what I’m going through right now?!

And here’s what I got out of it all –

Once I truly recognize that God is disciplining me to bring him closer to him for my good so that I can then move forward in whatever plan he has for me so that I can further share his holiness with others, then and only then can I free myself of the pain and burdens that I am experiencing.

Thanks to my friends, my Bible, and my God, I think I’m beginning to experience the difference between focusing on problems and how that doesn’t do any good and focusing on God, the good that it does. I’m not entirely healed yet but I’m on the mend and that’s a great way to not only start off this month but to start this transformation of focusing on God, not the problems.

I asked for a swift kick in the patooty. I think I got it.

Smiles,

Lisa 🙂

Photo courtesy of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
(1) taken directly from the back cover of “All For Jesus”

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Comments
2 Responses to “A Swift Kick in the Patooty”
  1. Ashley Sue says:

    Connections and signs abound around us in our lives. I am so happy to be on this same journey with you, though yours seems to be a reminder and mine is one of discovery… though, I think we each are discovering new things God intends us to learn.

    I love you girl. Keep your face to the sun…

    A*Sue

  2. Ashley Sue says:

    Connections and signs abound around us in our lives. I am so happy to be on this same journey with you, though yours seems to be a reminder and mine is one of discovery… though, I think we each are discovering new things God intends us to learn.

    I love you girl. Keep your face to the sun…

    A*Sue

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