Whew! You can't imagine the enormous transformation of both mind and body that has occurred in the last 48 hours or so. Ladies, hear me out on this one, eyeliner makes a profound difference in my overall outlook on life. Is that silly, or what? Some women are content to go day after day with a completely natural face. And, if you are one of those sorts, bless you! Perhaps you and I need to get together for coffee or you need to come to my house and do a seminar on how to appreciate one's natural beauty. That is certainly an area that I have not yet conquered. After being au naturale for 4 whole days, and not leaving the house for 4 whole days, I was starting to feel that my rough appearance was permanent. For me, joy in the Lord is synonymous with a palm of hair wax and a generous amount of eyeliner. Certainly, I do kid, but it was nice to get completely ready today.
Yesterday was a good day. I felt MUCH stronger and more energetic than on Saturday. But for some reason (which will call Satan's lies), I started today by feeling defeated. My whole life seemed to have gone to pot and my joy in the Lord was draining out of me at lightning speed. Finally, a small but bold voice came into my head. "Spend time with me, Lindsey. I miss you," the familiar voice of the Lord whispered to me. Don't think I'm strange for saying the Lord's voice. I feel that I have an ongoing dialogue with the Lord on most days. Well, on good days. So, I feel as though He is as present and alive as you and me.
Anyway, after having a miscommunication with Brian and a fit with the dogs and an all-out war with the computer, I decided that when all else fails, it's time to pile up on the couch with my Bible in hand and my heart opened and mouth quiet before the Lord. Please don't follow my lead in this. Go to Him first each day. I promise, life will be MUCH easier.
Ya'll, in no more than five minutes, my joy in the Lord was completely restored. 100% back to trusting Him with my whole heart, just as He desire for me to do. Do you see my point here? If I had simply made Him a priority, then I could have saved myself, my husband, my dogs, and my computer from a lot of heartache. He simply is a jealous God who demands that He be first in our lives - that means above ALL else!
And, for the record, please know that this is not new information to me. I've known this about the Lord for years. But, I had surgery. And, when I had surgery, I decided that I was too tired, weak, exhausted, lazy,... (you fill in the blank) to spend time alone with the Lord. In my weakness is when I needed Him the most. In my weakness was when Satan was most welcomed into my pitiful little life. In my weakness was when I left myself wide open to attack. Like I've said from the beginning, this is so much more about a spiritual fight than a medical one. In this case, I was defeated.
So, please know that through your prayers, but mostly in His own might, the Lord has gracefully ushered me, an undeserving failure, back into His loving care.
Today, as I was waiting at the doctor's office (good reports all around and drains out! Praise God!), I read this in Francis Chan's Crazy Love (p. 41-42), "When I am consumed by MY problems - stressed about MY life, MY family, and MY job - I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice. In other word's, that I have the 'right' to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities. Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives. Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control. Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance."
Now, if that passage alone isn't enough to convict a self-proclaimed "worrier" like me, then nothing is. I was pretty much struck between the eyes with these words, and I hope that you'll find challenge in them, too.
(I just started this book today, so I can give you a complete review of it, but I do know that Francis Chan is anointed man of God, who seeks to make major eternal differences in the lives of others every single day. I had the privilege of hearing him teach in person at the Catalyst conference a couple of years ago. )
So, I come to you tonight with renewed strength, refreshed joy, and a desire to shake the earth to its core for the cause of Christ. May He be well pleased in me because of His presence in my life!
Please pray for me on Tuesday as I return to work. For you "worriers" like me, know that I'm taking it one day at a time. My practice has always been to listen to my body and to rest when I need rest. At this point, I feel that I'm ready to try my hand at a workday.
I love you all, for you keep me challenged and real! May the Lord richly bless you and clearly teach you today.