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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
Years ago I participated in a speaker evaluation that required me to craft a five minute faith-based teaching. I did everything possible to prepare my "talk." I prayed. I waited to hear from God. I journaled a few ideas, but it didn't come together like I'd hoped. And I am not I'm not a woman who struggles with self-expression.
Every attempt to prepare was met with weird opposition. A crisis at home occured. I was out of town. My computer crashed. Mid afternoon of evaluation day I entered the prayer room made available to conference attendees. With wet eyes, I bowed. Forehead to the floor, I prayed: Lord, I've made sincere efforts to prepare for this evaluation and yet I have nothing to offer. If you don't put Your words in my mouth I won't have anything to say other than, "Hi. I'm Wendy. Jesus heals. Thank you. Good-bye."
Having done all I could, I took the weight of my need and placed it in God's hands. I was called forward. I took a deep breath and opened my mouth. Guess what? God filled my mouth with His words for four minutes and forty-two seconds. The limit was five. I noticed a woman with tears in her eyes.
This is the power of God.
It would have been irresponsible of me to neglect my part. I continued to pray and do what I could do, but in the end my human efforts--while sincere, were not enough. God blessed my sincerity. He blessed me for trusting Him to accomplish what I could not. He moved on mybehalf.
How does this apply to every day life? Simple. Not easy. In 1999, I was a single mother raising a six-month-old baby and two young children. Most days I lacked every thing I needed to give my children the lifestyle they deserved. And I'm not talking about designer clothes and Chick-fil-A after school. I'm talking about a steady, non-dysfunctional upbringing with a clean and sober dad and a sane mother. I loved my children with all my heart, but it didn't negate the fact that they were being raised in a chaotic environment by a woman who'd only ever known a life filled with chaos.
I did the best I could to get to the other side of my personal and family dysfunction. I prayed. I worked. I ran my household and took care of my children. I received wise counsel from mentors and professionals who instructed me to take responsibility for my own actions and stop judging everyone else for theirs. But even only that took me so far.
In the end it was the unfailing love and power of God coupled with my willingess to suffer the intensity of facing my painful past that brought me to the shoreline of healing and forgivnesss. And I received the peace that surpasses all understanding, at last.
The take away for me is: Trust God with what you can do. And trust God to do what you can't do.
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11: 29-30)
Chief principle: Don't be hard on yourself. I've made countless mistakes in my personal life and with my children. But nothing--nothing can overshadow the redeeming love of God. I am living proof. Stay the course. It's only a matter of time before you are living proof.
Are you doing what you can? Thank Him for your ability. Have you entrusted Him with what you can't do? Thank Him in advance for His provision.
Your part: What am I doing that I CAN do? [List the need and the actions you're taking to meet the need.] What am I capable of doing that I neglect to do out of fear or sheer unwillingness to suffer?
God's part: To do what I can't do as I rest in His ability to act on my behalf.
There ya go.
Published on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 @ 11:21 PM CDT