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Friday, November 13, 2015

Leaning on a reed? Timber!




You know how in the Bible when something is said three times that it is very, very important?

That you need to pay attention or you are going to miss something you shouldn't?

Like Holy. Holy. Holy.

That means Holy. To the max. Holy inside out, through and through. Super important!

So I'm wondering if it works the same way when God smacks you in the face with the same truth three times in one week?

Is He trying to get your attention?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

I've been going through one of those times...you know, those times where you are slogging through a minefield rather than skipping through a daisy field?

Where you know you're heading somewhere because you are following that very tiny itsy-bitsy light in front of you...

But the process is so slow, and the terrain so unknown, that each baby step is an adventure in faith?

Now I have been trying my very best to be patient. With myself. And especially with God.

But sometimes it seems like nothing is changing.

So I can become a wee bit impatient...

Wanting to take things into my own hands to move things along. You know, help Him out a little.

Not good.

Not good at all.

So what is this "three-times-inflicted-lesson" that God smacked me with? (Don't blame God, I deserved it!)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don't lean on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Prov. 3:5,6

Oh, I love that one! It's so easy to quote to others!

But when it comes to saying it to myself...HA!

So, the order of events...


First encounter of this truth in Proverbs...during my morning devotions. That scripture was like glowing, illuminated, and I think angels were singing...evidently so I wouldn't miss it.

Second encounter...in a book I am studying. The author talked about Naaman and how he questioned his need to do what the prophet told him in order to be healed of his leprosy, reasoning in his own puny understanding that all rivers are alike so why THAT RIVER? He almost missed the blessing!

Third encounter...during a women's mountain get-away last weekend. One of the woman shared what she had heard in a sermon about the Ark of the Covenant, and the oxen, and those charged with carrying the Ark who were explicitly told not to touch the Ark no matter what. Or else. Unfortunately, they reasoned otherwise and we all know that did not end well.

So, I have these three lessons hurled straight at my heart like spears. I'm beginning to think God is trying to get my attention.

But I can be a little slow in my response time.

So it wasn't until this week, when all in the same day ...

A. I was convinced my expensive art exhibit was lost in the return mail...

B. I knocked over a table and a Mexican plate I cherished smashed to smithereens...

C. The toaster I had just bought for a pretty penny gave up the ghost...

D.  My Ninja blender had the audacity to stop working in the middle of making my breakfast shake. Let's just say what happened next involved a lot of cleaning up.

It took all of this craziness and more to make me finally realize...

I can't control anything. Big or small.

Only God can.

The only tool I have to get through this minefield called life is TRUST.

And the only one worthy of my trust is GOD.

Definitely not me.

I like what Matthew Henry says regarding this...

"We must trust in the Lord with all our hearts, believing He is able and wise to do what is best. Those who know themselves, find their own understandings a broken reed, which, if they lean upon, will fail...beg God to direct thee in every case, 
though it may seem quite plain. 
In all our ways that prove pleasant, in which we gain our point, we must acknowledge God with thankfulness. 
In all our ways that prove uncomfortable, and that are hedged up with thorns, we must acknowledge Him with submission. It is promised, He shall direct thy paths; so that thy way shall be safe and good, and happy at last."

And that's where I ended up folks...after all the craziness...

"Acknowledging Him in submission."

Confessing that I am nothing apart from Him...

That I can do nothing apart from Him..

That I understand nothing apart from Him.

Even though I think I can.

Until He allowed my flimsy reed to break, I was leaning on my own understanding...my abilities...

Me. 

No wonder I was stressed...tired...anxious...fearful.

Let God be God, Arlene. He is able to do abundantly more than we can ever ask or think.

And all His ways are good.

Valuable lessons learned, courtesy of the God Who loves me. And you.

Oh, and in case you are wondering...

- The artwork finally came in yesterday, three weeks late...after I had finally surrendered it to Him.

- The pieces of the shattered plate are now in a bag, awaiting transformation as a mosaic.

- A new toaster is on its way...warranties are blessings in that way.

- The Ninja and I are still warily eyeing one another.

- And Matthew Henry's quote is smack dab in the middle of my fridge door...

Just because I am a slow learner. 

Shine on, dear one!