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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

No Pat Answers

Have you ever been in that place where you're tired of the bad things that happen? Are you tired of the pat answers that people give you telling you that everything will be okay? That there is something better, something more coming in the place of that which you have lost? Something better than you could have asked for or imagined? What if I told you that even in the midst of the storm you're in right now, all that is really not only possible, but it's the Truth? Would you believe me? 


Trust me that I know that believing that to be True in the midst of where you are what you're going through is not easy. If you're feeling like God has forgotten you and moved on or has turned an apathetic ear to you, that is not the case. He's there. He's listening. He's maybe even answering. But the question is, are you listening? Are you asking the right questions? God makes us promises in Jeremiah 29:11 for hope and a future and tells us that He would not harm you. But wait, there's more...in believing that to be your Truth...He says, "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." (v. 12) Did you hear that part? You have to come to Him. Pour out your heart to Him. Tell HIM where you are and what you're feeling. It's not because He doesn't know, it's because He is asking you to seek HIM. And when the words escape you, come in silence before Him and let the Holy Spirit intercede on you behalf. God hears and understands. The final part of the message Jeremiah shares from your Father is this, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (v. 13).


Are you thankful for the good and the blessings in your life or are you focused on the mess of the storm you're in right now? Or the confusion of the hurt you see beside you or around you? What if the real answer is to embrace where you are right now? I don't mean you have to love that your best friend lost a baby or that your mother has cancer or the love of your life is no longer there, but to see past that and focus on the things you have, the things you can control change or impact, the things that bring you joy and remind you that you are blessed. 


There's a book that I read years ago by Stormie Omartian called, Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On: Trusting God in the Tough Times, and she talks about being in the midst of some of the things in life that make even the most devout Christians ask if there really is a God. And if there is (and I assure you He DOES exist and He IS good), why isn't He here in this moment? Why did He allow this to happen to me/my friend/my loved one? Why did He let this happen to the world at large? When we ask these questions, and we all will at some point in our lives, it's because we're angry and we're afraid and we hate both of those feelings because it reminds us that we don't control the world--even our little piece of it. I remember when a good friend told me that the reason I was angry was because I wasn't getting my way...and he was right. When life doesn't meet our expectations, when plans fail, when people fail us and promises are broken, it upsets us.


In Renee Swope's post on Proverbs 31 Ministries blog today, she said this, "Can I whisper some hope into your heart today? If you are living and breathing, your purpose has not yet been fulfilled. No matter what you have done or what has been done to you, God does have a plan for your life." And that is what I hope you hear whispered into your desperate situation. It is my hope that you embrace that thought and let it seep deep into your heart. Drink in the promise. Accept that it IS meant for you...even when it doesn't feel like it in this moment. And remember, you were made for more....more than this moment, more than this storm, made to take the bad and have it be redeemed through Him for good for you and for others. Our experiences are just part of a journey that makes us into who we are meant to be. So wake up, and embrace His Truth as shared by Renee, "God’s love is not only unfailing, it redeems and restores. His Truth cuts to the core of our struggles, bringing purpose to our pain, redemption from our past and hope for our future!"


It's not a pat answer, it's God's Truth and His Promise to all who choose to believe. Remember, we must believe in order to receive...so take a chance on the one, True God and skip the pat answers.

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