Saturday, October 31, 2009

"God said"... or did He?

Where does the line lie between "God says" and "man says"?

Roughly three and a half years ago someone told me that "God said" that I was going to meet my husband soon - by that meaning roughly a year. He was going to be a dark man and he was going to be so kind, loving and supportive that my jaw was going to drop at just how much God blessed me with such a good relationship. I told her that I wanted a man that loves the Lord and I don't want to have to check whether he has checked with God about His will before making decisions for himself/life/our family. She said that I wouldn't have to worry about that because praying about things, acknowledging God and seeking His will was going to be a lifestyle for this man.

Two weeks later a man came to see me who wanted to sell me life insurance. He got onto the topic of my marital status, which is 'divorced', and wanted to know how I got through the pain of that experience. I tried to see psychiatrists but they made it worse, rather than better, so I ended up walking a journey with Holy Spirit as my Counsellor. I told the man that if it wasn't for Him, I would never have made it, and I meant it.

He got talking about how he ended up in his current job of selling insurance, and he started crying in my office. He said that God said that he would sometimes not see people to sell insurance, but to minister to them. He felt that I was one person like that. He continued to tell me very similar things to the woman who spoke to me two weeks before, and said that I was going to meet my husband soon. Let me just clarify that he didn't know what the woman said two weeks before, neither of them knew me, and they don't know each other.

Eleven months later I met him... But he was not the one. This man was involved in a relationship already when he approached me, but I didn't know. Then he actually went back to her three weeks later, and I thought that he was cheating on me. I found out later that I was rather 'the other woman'. I got hurt, but managed to shake him off and move on.

Then I met another dark man. We've had almost nothing but hard times. We don't seem to speak any of the same language, I can't identify that he loves the Lord, like I asked, he don't seem to have any emotional intelligence with regard to relationships, and every time when I've dared to stick my toe in the water and show feelings beyond a friendship, it seems to have blown up in my face. The most recent situation is where he said that he very much wants to be with me, and then he takes a job opportunity in another country. After months of him being away our relationship has again deteriorated to the point where I feel we have to start building it from scratch all over again. Somewhere along the line I've become so tired of starting over after every eruption of circumstance. By now I feel that we've had the trials and tribulations of a twenty year old marriage, but we've had none of the perks: no family holidays to exciting destinations, no sex, no children, no new adventures... Just problems.

I haven't met any other man since... (Initially I kind of kept this one 'on ice' in case God had someone else in mind, but He didn't seem to.)

So is this God...? My struggle has become one of whether God was going to make this man a man of God after which he would be this great guy that the woman said "God said"? Or is this an indication that this relationship is not meant to be and God is trying to prevent it by us having (what feels like) one disaster after another? Is God trying to tell me something and I'm supposed to use my common sense and I'm not 'getting it'? Should I break off the relationship, or am I walking in faith about what "God said"?

I've really been sticking around waiting for this guy to come around to being what "God said" my husband was going to be. There is no way I would marry him just the way things are now. But it is not happening. So am I wasting away my life waiting for something to happen that is not going to happen? Is my part "faith" or "breaking off the relationship"?

I've become so caught up in people saying "God says" that I don't feel like I know whether I'm coming or going anymore. I've become so filled with sadness and disappointment because "God keeps saying" but none of it is fulfilled at all, or it is opposite to what was said it was going to be. I don't understand: when God said, "Let there be light", there was light. Firstly there WAS light - what He said should be, WAS. Secondly, there was LIGHT - WHAT He said should be, was.

I've become so disillusioned and I'm struggling to trust the Lord in order to go forward. Now I find myself having the tempting thought of "YEAH RIGHT" and trying to resist that by standing on God's Word instead. It has become quite a challenging time for me. I have become angry and disappointed at God because people have said "GOD says". I don't know anymore. It is not fair that I be angry at God because MAN said. If it was God, then why ISN'T it, and why is it not WHAT "He" said it should be? This is a hurtful and difficult place to be!!

I think I've come into bondage over what man said "God" said. How do I get free from that and how do I move on?

I believe I have a calling on my life. For me it is vital to not marry the wrong man. I don't want to miss my destiny and I even think about every person who will be touched by God through my life (or not if I miss my destiny). I am terrified of making a mistake like this. My biggest heart desire is to fulfil God's will for my life.

I've decided to read a book again by Joyce Meyer called "How to hear from God". I think it is time for me to get back to hearing from God for myself and my own life. No one else has the answers. I think it is time to forget about what man said and to focus on God's voice in my own heart. He says that the sheep knows the voice of the shepherd. I know I'm one of His sheep.

Lord, make me free from the bondage of what man said You said. Lead me back to that place where I hear your voice in my heart; to become re-acquainted with You, so that I may find peace; thereby good to come to me. In Jesus' Name.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The wheels on the bike go round and round...

I seem to love things with wheels. At one time in my life I learnt a lot about life and about God through driving my car. Today I was thinking about it all while riding my bike.

One of the things I love about riding is the way the road moves underneath you as you pedal; the way you gain ground. That is usually what keeps me going whenever I feel tired and feel like stopping: I desire to move, to make progress, to gain ground.

When you are particularly tired, it is especially encouraging, because every inch is one more inch closer to home - the finishing line. I think it is important to see results of some sort; one has to feel like life is worthwhile, and that you are achieving something. I think we were born to feel a sense of purpose. This is usually different for everyone. What makes you feel this way?

Sometimes the weather conditions are not that favorable. I don't feel particularly motivated to go riding on a windy day. I'm simply of the opinion that I don't particularly need the extra resistance, causing me to tire more easily, and often I would rather choose to not ride. This morning I decided to ride anyway - that the conditions were not too unfavorable. I was reminded how life is filled with unfavorable circumstances from time to time, and we face choices on how to deal with it. Do you stop and go nowhere? Do you turn back? Do you climb off and walk? Or do you forge on, keeping focused on the prize? Sometimes the decision can be very difficult, but inevitably one has to be made. What will yours be?

I'm not particularly fond of riding up hill, but every time I do, I'm reminded that life also has up's and down's. What goes up must come down - we can't expect to ever travel to spectacular destinations if we only want to ride downhill all the time - the path of least resistance. For this very reason I deliberately stick it out, but what I've learnt to do, and I still discipline myself for this every hill I ride, is to keep my eye on the road right under the front wheel - to watch it roll forward - to stay in the moment. I’m not particularly inspired when I look at the top of the hill and it is still (what feels like) miles away and I’m exhausted and my legs feel like jelly. Seeing how far I still have to go, and thinking how tired I am makes me want to quit. However, when I stay in the moment I am able to move inch by inch until I reach the top, and I feel less overwhelmed. In the end I always get to the top, and on the other side is always a downhill as a reward. Are you busy riding uphill right now?

While I'm riding that hill, and my chest feels on fire and my tongue is hanging out, I'm so grateful that I'll have a chance to stop at the top and have a refreshing drink from the water pack that I carry on my back. I don't think we always realize the value of water, and neither is it only good for drinking. I once went riding with a friend and I didn't eat breakfast - VERY foolish. Not even halfway on the route I felt SO dizzy and nauseous. I tried drinking water, but even though it quenched my thirst, it didn't make me feel better otherwise. My friend took the little pipe of his back pack and squirted water on the back of my neck. I would never have believed that it could make such a tremendous difference. We should never attempt to cycle the journey of life without God, whom the Bible describes as Living Water. Water restores, revives, brings life. Are you thirsty?

The more weight you carry, the more exhausting it is to peddle. A professional cyclist watches the weight of the frame of the bike, his clothing and helmet, his water bottles, the thickness of the tyres, etc. Less is definitely more. If you're holding on to any baggage - any dead weight - you need to get rid of it. Since you're the one peddling your life bike, no one else is suffering but you. Why make it any harder than it needs to be? Is there anything you need to off load?

Sometimes - especially when mountain biking - the off road terrain can get a bit rough. There are times when you do nothing else but hold on for dear life. Some of the times pulling on the breaks can be detrimental, so you just have to try to keep your balance and just 'let the bike take you'. Sometimes it is scary, but it can also be adventurous and cause an adrenalin rush that can be addictive. It is always nice to remember that the rough patches don't last forever. It is wise, however, to keep your eyes wide open!

Then it's crucial to remember that amidst the challenges, you always have some things to enjoy; for me they are listening to the birds or spotting a beautiful flower and green grass. I like the wind in my hair and on my face, and I love the sunshine and the blue sky. Every now and again, when I notice something really scenic, I even stop to take a photo; to make a memory. What is there to enjoy and appreciate on your route? Are you capturing the moment?

Then there's always arriving at your end destination: home. What a relief when you feel like you're going to fall over, and then realize that you've arrived. It is a good kind of tired - when you're all sweaty and red in the face, with your tongue hanging out, but it feels g-r-e-a-t!! That is always the moment when I'm the most glad that I (1) went out riding in the first place, (2) I stuck it out when I wanted to give up, (3) that I got the exercise that is so good for me and (4) that I have a chance to rest and recover.

...And tomorrow I trust that I get to do it all over again!!! What a privilege to ride my bike!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Because God loves you..!

I stumbled upon something causing me to read 1 Corinthians 13 with new eyes. I wanted to share it with you as a way to start this day. As you read it I pray, ""that out of His glorious, unlimited resources He will give you the mighty inner strengthening of His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. Now glory be to God who, by His mighty power at work within us, is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes." Because God loves me He is slow to lose patience with me.
Because God loves me He takes the circumstances of my life and uses them in a constructive way for my growth.

Because God loves me He has no need to impress me with how great and powerful He is because He IS GOD, nor does He belittle me as His child in order to show me how important He is.

Because God loves me He is there for me. He wants to see me mature and develop in His love.

Because God loves me He does not send down His wrath on every little mistake I make, of which there are many.

Because God loves me He does not keep score of all my sins and then beat me over the head with them whenever He gets the chance.

Because God loves me He is deeply grieved when I do not walk in the ways that please Him, because He sees this as evidence that I don't trust Him and love Him as I should.

Because He loves me He rejoices when I experience His power and strength and stand up under the pressures of life for His name's sake.

Because God loves me He keeps on working patiently with me even when I feel like giving up and can't see why He doesn't give up with me, too.

Because God loves me He never says there is no hope for me; rather, He patiently works with me, loves me and disciplines me in such a way that is hard for me to understand the depth of His concern for me.

Because God loves me He never forsakes me, even though many of my friends might.

Because God loves me He stands with me when I have reached the rock bottom of despair, when I see the real me and compare that with His righteousness, holiness, beauty, and love. It is at a moment like this that I can really believe that God loves me.

Yes, the greatest gift of all is God's perfect love!!