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"...I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I am doing, and I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
Jeremiah 29:10-11 (MSG)
I sat in front of a blank screen, trying to decide what to write. The cursor kept flashing, but the words felt like they wouldn't readily come to mind to cause my fingers to actually type something. I'd asked my family to give me some quiet time to write, but that was like placing a toddler on skates for the first time. Everything is moving forward wildly, only to crash at some point.
I was unsure what I was to write; I just knew the Holy Spirit was prompting me again to just sit down and type out something. I had stories circling in my mind for the last two weeks. I could hear them in my head, but I was stuck when I sat down to do the work. So, I did what I had been doing the last couple of months when I found myself coping with the death of my father; when I was worried about an upcoming doctor's visit, or when things seemed to be overwhelming as a wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and stay at home homeschooling mom; I distracted myself.
Today's distraction of choice was my email. My inbox was screaming at me that I was almost out of storage. I knew as I have known for the last few months, that distracting myself with a "quick" game of candy crush or social media scroll is of no benefit to me. Just like I knew looking at the emails would derail me as soon as I got into it. I figured I'd delete just enough to free up some space, and it wouldn't shut me down from receiving emails altogether.
As I switched my email view from newest to oldest, I was shocked at just how old the most senior email was... November 2009! Yes, emails from almost 13 years ago. Oh, the shame I almost began to feel because who in their right mind keeps that, but then I saw my life in those emails, and oh how my soul was overwhelmed at God's goodness towards me.
I saw moments where I had my heart broken and where God healed it. I saw where I booked my Uhaul in faith to move from Virginia to North Carolina just following the prompting of the Holy Spirit one bright fall morning. I saw where I made some missteps and endured some failures. I saw some of my greatest triumphs, and mostly what I saw as I sat in front of my computer, almost struggling to delete those emails, was that I am currently holding what I prayed for. I see the nights that I sought God and didn't hear or see an answer, but I trusted what He promised in Jeremiah 29;10-11. The promise that He wouldn't leave me. However, when I read that scripture this time, I saw it differently. The Message version of this scripture shows God telling us, " I KNOW what I am doing. I have it ALL planned out " (emphasis added)
How many times did I over the last 13 years, or if I am being honest, how many times do I STILL think that when it comes to what concerns me, God doesn't know what He is doing? I am not shaking my fist and calling God incompetent, but I am afraid or anxious instead of resting in Him, which implies He cannot possibly know what He is doing. Or I am conversing (rather complaining) about a concern I have with anyone willing to listen, yet, I am not listening to God. The only one who could provide the perfect answer if I just sat down and kept quiet. God tells us He KNOWS what He is doing because often we need that reminder since we often have no clue what we are doing. We think we know everything because of our limited education or training, but God tells us He knows because He does. There's never been a time when He hasn't, nor will there ever be a time when He won't. He isn't hiding from us and taking us on a wild goose chase to find Him and His will for our lives, but He does require that we truly seek Him. Verses 12-14 in the same chapter, God is saying: "When YOU call on me when YOU come and pray to me, I'll listen. When YOU come looking for me, YOU'll find me. Yes, when YOU get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'LL make sure you won't be disappointed.
We can be sure of that promise if WE do the work. Look for God, not just what you want Him to do for you. Look for Him by opening your Bible and getting to know Him, so you won't always think He's out to punish you for every misstep, and your view of Him isn't always distorted. Look for Him so His voice is louder than the world, which seeks to distract you with things that will leave you empty and depleted. When we seek Him wholeheartedly, He will see that we won't be disappointed. He will make certain that when we look back over our lives and think things over, we can genuinely say that we've been blessed and have a testimony. Even if that view is through emails.