Are we there yet?

Photo by Quintin Gellar on Pexels.com

So, the other day I was watching an old 80’s movie. The film started in a park, on Easter, with kids running and playing together. Adults were hugging each other, saying hello. There were people having a picnic together. There was an Easter egg hunt. It was sweet. (The movie was Steel Magnolias for anyone who wants to know. And of course I was bawling at the end!)

Then you know what happened? I got really sad. Because those were the good old days when we could be around each other. We could hug, shake hands, stand closer together than six feet, meet friends for a picnic, WITHOUT MASKS! It seems like so long ago! I never thought I would see the day when I would get sad about something like that. You know, not being able to be around people? I feel like we are living in a sci-fi movie. Anyone else feel that way? With the masks on everyone?!

And then came the time when we finally got to move forward a bit. Stores opened, restaurants opened, churches were allowed to open up for in-person services… one step forward!!! Oops, just kidding, two steps back. Come on, Father! I know you can do anything! Why would you give it and then take it away. We were almost there! Almost to the ‘promised land’. What now?

And there it is again…’Do you trust me?’

I started to feel a bit like a complainer. Like when the Israelites left Egypt and started their trek to the promised land. They started complaining right from the start! Exodus 14:10-12 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Seriously? They are basically telling Moses they would rather be owned, in slavery, most likely treated horribly, work every single day in the hot sun… until they die! They wanted to go back to the way things were. Kind of like how a lot of people are feeling right now.

That wasn’t the only time they complained. They complained about not having water. Exodus 17:3 But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, ‘Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?’

They complained about not having food. Exodus 16:3 The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’

At another point in time, they decided that Moses took too long on the mountain with the Lord, so they made their own idol as their god. Exodus 32:1 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’

Even though they had seen time and time again what God will do for His people, they still weren’t trusting Him. I mean, come on! They saw the Red Sea part and walked through it on DRY LAND! There was a pillar of cloud by day to lead them and a pillar of fire by night to lead them. They saw water come out of a rock. And each evening quail came to them and each morning manna fell from the sky to feed them! How can they still doubt? Man these people are hard headed!! And what should have been a 11 day trip to the promised land ended up being a 40 year trip!

But if I’m being honest, I’m just as hard headed as them! I’ve been grumbling and complaining. I’ve been quick to get mad at God because he hasn’t fixed things. I’ve been sitting here saying, why can’t we go back to the way things were? We were much better off! People can get ‘herd immunity’! Wear your mask, open everything back up!

Yet God is so patient with us! I can’t see what God can see. He sees the big picture. And when I say things like 99% of people recover from this virus, I need to remember that people aren’t just a number! What about those 1% that lose their lives, or could lose their lives? What about how I go around reminding people that God leaves the 99 for the 1? Does that 1 only matter when I talk about specific things? No! That 1 always matters to God and should also matter to me! Am I just caring about myself at that point? Because I know God doesn’t teach me to be selfish like that. But if I’m honest, I have been having those selfish thoughts and I don’t want to be that way.

So, will I trust God? YES! Will I do what my Father asks through this pandemic? YES!! Will I continue to complain and grumble and moan? (I may screw up on this one every once in a while, but I am going to try really hard not to!)

God knows what He’s doing, He knows how things will happen. He’s still on His throne! He’s still the one who is ultimately in control no matter what anyone thinks!

And do I really want things to go back to the way they were? I see how much I’ve grown through these times and how much I am continuing to grow. How my relationship with Jesus is so much stronger. I see how many people are coming to Him at food pantries. I see things starting to change for my black sisters and brothers and people of color. Eyes are being opened. Conversations are happening. Our Father’s family is growing!! Maybe through this pandemic, He is transforming His people in this world for the better. Let’s just hold on a bit longer! He’s got this!

Hills & Valleys… Valleys & Hills

Photo by Johannes Rapprich on Pexels.com

I’m the kind of person who loves stability. I like a schedule. I like to know ahead of time what I’m going to be doing. I mean, I’m OK with some spontaneity, but lets keep it within safe bounds!

So when 2020 started, and things started to go awry, well, I gotta be honest here… I was freaking out! I’m not sure why I am the way that I am. (For all you Office watchers… Why are you the way that you are? Ha! Ha!) Maybe it’s because of my past, but stability and schedules make me feel secure.

So the question comes to mind, how does God define stability? Is it like my definition? Keeping a schedule, knowing how the day will go? Planning? Controlling? Keeping a certain amount of money in the bank for emergencies?

The definition of stable is ‘not likely to give way or overturn; firmly fixed’. OK, got it! I want things to stay firmly fixed. My day to day, my job, my house, my schedule, everything!

So why does everything seem so out of control in our world right now? We have no idea what’s going to change or happen day to day. God, don’t you want us to feel secure?

There it is again… ‘Do you trust me?’ Yes, God, yes I trust you! What does that have to do with my stability? (said with a whiny voice) His response… ‘EVERYTHING!’ Then this verse comes to mind.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLT

So, could it be that my personal definition of stability is way off? Am I too worried about worldly things? Do I need to change the way I’m thinking? Where do we find our stability in the world right now when so much has been taken away? I mean, we can’t even go to our church building right now! It’s been so long since I’ve been face to face with my family at church.

Jesus says…

…I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food or drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:25-27

Wow! I’m still not fully trusting! And I really have no stability if I’m not trusting the one who thinks I am so valuable and is truly running things! Matthew 6:33 goes on to say…

Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

Seek God above all else! ‘Firmly fix’ my eyes on the one who will never ‘give way’. I mean, I know this! I’ve been taught this at church! I’ve read this in my bible many times! But have I really been doing it? Apparently not as well as I thought I had been.

So help me to do it, God. I want to have that stability. Because what I thought stability was, never EVER truly made me feel stable. Maybe these hills and valleys will start to feel less scary, uneasy and frustrating when I am ‘firmly fixed’ on you, Father. I’m holding on to your promise…

But blessed is the man who trusts me, God… the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near rivers – never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season. Jeremiah 17:7-8 MSG

I’m starting to be grateful for this weird, uncertain season. I’m learning how to fully trust in Him. I’m learning just how much He truly loves me.

White Privilege

Have I gotten your attention? Good! I’m gonna go there today. I’m gonna touch on a touchy subject. You see, I have been trying to stay away from the news because our world is just crazy right now. But then I see another video. Another family destroyed because someone was treated differently because of the color of their skin.

I’ve never been a prejudice person. I mean, I married a handsome Native American! His dark skin is one of the things that attracted me to him! However, when it came to people telling me there is white privilege, I would be like, ‘What? No way! I’ve worked hard for what I have! I haven’t had an easy life either! If everyone just works hard, they can eventually have a good life too!’ I wasn’t about to put myself in a category of racism and pride. I had too much pride for that! (Wait, what?)

But these past couple of years, I have been praying a certain Psalm to God. Wanting to allow Him to mold me, teach me, make me who He wants me to be. You know the one…

Search me God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

Yep, that one. Let me tell you something, when you start praying that prayer, God starts working big time! First thing He started working on was pride. I am not better than anyone else, I don’t know everything, I’m not God and how ignorant of me to think that I know more than others on certain subjects! I had my moments of finding these things out the hard way and am still learning, cause things don’t happen overnight.

I started researching. Not just researching things that validate my thought processes, or finding things that I want to hear. That’s not researching. That’s just trying to find confirmation for what you believe. I mean listening to people who have experienced things first hand. Hearing their stories. Talking to them, joining in on discussions. Reading! Opening up to the fact that maybe, just maybe, I’m wrong and there is something going on here. What will it hurt to do that? If I find out differently, no harm done. Just more education.

So I listened, I read, I joined group discussion online, I read more. I allowed myself to move past the pride. I opened my heart. I prayed… please God help me understand. Change my heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekial 36:26

I needed to stop living in my bubble, because, friends, if you live in Orange County, you are truly living in a bubble.

And there it was! Redlining, Jim Crow laws, the real stories of the Native Americans, (What? That’s not what I learned in school!), whitecapping, the KKK (who are still around), segregation. I mean, black children couldn’t even use the same books as the white kids. I knew about segregation, but not really in depth of it all. RIDICULOUS!!! And the list goes on! Sadly, a lot of these things are still happening today. I urge you to research redlining, which is a clear explanation of systemic racism.

So where did this leave me? All of this new knowledge, hearing first hand experiences from close friends, and I really don’t think I have even touched the surface yet.

My heart dropped… and then it hit the floor… and shattered into a million pieces. And I cried. I cried a lot. And I felt stupid. And then I felt mad at myself for being so ignorant. And then I asked God to forgive me. I’m so sorry God! I wanted to believe that everything was OK, even though it clearly isn’t. We’re not in Heaven. I’m so, so sorry to the people who have been and are being affected by this. I’m so sorry for my ignorance.

So where do we go from here? The one thing that comes to my mind is love. We need to start loving one another! It’s part of the greatest commandments!

Jesus replied, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

Love eachother! It doesn’t say love only the people with the same color of skin as you! It doesn’t say anyone is any better than anyone else so only love those people who are better! It says, ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. So how would you treat yourself?

This is one of the many ways God is working in me. Showing me how to love. Making my heart new again.

I’m sorry, (not sorry), if I’ve made you uncomfortable with this blog. But maybe that’s exactly what God wants to happen. Get uncomfortable! Allow Him to work in your heart! Who knows, maybe YOU are the one He will use to help make things right!

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com

Trust Issues

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

So, I’m done with this COVID thing! Can anyone else relate? It seems everywhere I turn, there’s more bad news. It’s just getting worse. When will it end? Will it EVER end? Come on, God! Where’s that miracle? And then there He is again… ‘Do you trust me?’

So I start reeling in those thoughts and fears. 2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. YES LORD! I hear you and I’m sorry you have to keep asking me. I do trust you. But this is hard! And it’s taking forever! And it may last forever! But I’m not you, God. And I can’t see all you’re doing in the midst of this. And I know that even though there’s so much hurt and pain in the world, you can, no… YOU WILL bring good from it.

I start searching your word again, God. Trust… Hmmmm, what does it say about trust? As I’m searching, a page in my journal falls open to something I wrote a while back.

Romans 4:20-21 Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He promised.

Then below that verse, I had broken it down for my blonde brain to process. (Ha ha!)

Abraham…did not waver. He kept the faith through everything. He was strengthened by his faith. He gave glory to God in ALL of his circumstances. And he was fully persuaded of God’s power. Not just a little persuaded, FULLY persuaded. Now that’s trust right there! Wow! And can I just say that being a woman with trust issues, that is really hard to do?

Funny I should say that because on the opposite pages in my journal, I wrote…

Do you really trust? Or are you giving conditional trust? Are you trusting God only with what you think He can or will handle and trusting yourself for the rest? He needs your full trust, your full faith! Not lukewarm faith, not trust in only certain things. FULL TRUST! Revelation 3:15-16 says, ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

Whoa! What a conviction to my heart that is! And I wrote that to myself! For years I’ve picked and chosen what to trust Him with, which has affected my faith. Which ultimately affects my relationship and love for Him. And I certainly don’t want Him to ‘spit me out of his mouth’! I can’t handle life on my own. I’ll for sure make a mess of it again!

So where do I go from here? Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

Yes, do what Jesus did! Trust God, even when things look dim. Find the good things. And know that God is still in control! He’s still in control, guys! He’s got this!

The Search for Joy

Photo by Kourosh Qaffari on Pexels.com

I’ve made lots of mistakes in my life. Made stupid decisions, said stupid things, believed stupid things, allowed people into my life that were not good for me. In my heart, I believed in God and I believed in Jesus… however, as a teenager and young woman, I wanted to do my own thing. And boy did I!! (We won’t go into specifics here, just suffice it to say I was dumb and young, or young and dumb, definitely both!)

But you know what is so awesome and still amazes me? That whole time when I was choosing my way, and not God’s way, He was still loving me! He was still taking care of me. He was still being patient with me. Even though I know I must have broken His heart multiple times… He never stopped offering me His unconditional love. The Message version of Romans 8:35 says…

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in scripture…

Well thank goodness!! Because I’ve screwed up a lot! And I’m pretty sure that I’ll screw up again in the future since I’m not perfect.

When I was a younger woman, it seemed pretty amazing to me, and too good to be true, that someone could love me that much. I mean, so many people had let me down, abused me, and basically broken my heart. It seemed impossible to me that that kind of love even existed. So, even though I was involved with church, I would still go my way, and pick and choose the things that God was asking me to do for Him. And I was unhappy. I had no joy. And I couldn’t figure out why. I mean… I was going to church and serving in a ministry, how come everyone else was so happy and full of joy and I wasn’t? And why wasn’t anything going right in my life? I mean… what do you want from me God?

Then I remembered that day. It was a day I’ll never forget. It was the first time I heard Him speak to me.

I had just left my abuser and I was living in a shelter. I was alone, and to top it all off, now a single mom, with nothing to my name. I was in the bathroom on my knees, crying. Crying out to God, asking Him, ‘Why?? Why do I have to go through this? Where are you? Why don’t you help me? What do you want from me?’ I had never spoken that way to God before. I mean, I was yelling at him. I was mad, and hurt! And then I heard that still, small voice, ‘This. This is what I want from you.’

That was a special moment for me. I felt His love in that moment. Like He was holding me as I cried. He had listened to me! And I’d like to say from that day on I was making better decisions. That I was listening more to God and trying to do what He wanted me to do, but that wasn’t the case.

It wasn’t until years later that I remembered that specific day during a sermon at church about prayer. A little light bulb lit up above my head. He wants to hear from me!! And He wants me to hear from Him!!

The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him, He also hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:18-19

So I decided to try these ‘quiet times’. I decided to sit and listen. I decided to talk and share things with Him. I decided to say ‘yes’ to Him, instead of ‘yes’ to only myself. And you know what? Something started to shift. I started feeling more relaxed, more calm, and wait… what’s that? Is that?… It is!… JOY!! I finally felt it! And it felt amazing! It FEELS amazing!

Pastor Rick Warren defines joy as this, ‘Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.’

‘Settled assurance’ – I can feel that now. ‘Quiet confidence’ – I’ve got that (even though I’m really loud sometimes). ‘Praising God in every situation’, I am doing it, even when it’s hard. Of course it didn’t happen overnight. But it did happen, and if I start to lose that joy, I know where to go and what to do to get it back!

Do you want that joy? Are you ready to believe and know that God loves you so much and that He’ll never stop? Talk to Him. Listen to Him. And trust Him enough to do what He asks of you. Knowing that He will bring you joy in it. Just give it a shot! I promise He won’t let you down!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the holy spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises. Romans 15:13 AMP

In the waiting, God is working

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This pandemic has got me so annoyed, and frazzled, and annoyed, and stressed, and, did I say annoyed yet? I’m so tired of it! I want to leave my house! I want to go to a restaurant! I want to go to church and worship with my family! Why can’t they find a cure? A vaccine? Something to make this all go away? My son wants to go back to school! He wants drumline and marching band season back! (Boy do I sound like a spoiled rotten kid!) But I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way.

And yet I hear God telling me, ‘Be patient. I’m not done yet. Do you think I have no control over what’s going on? Do you think this is all a surprise to me? That I’ve been caught off guard? Do you trust me?’

Whoa, there it is again! That same question God has been asking me a lot lately. Seriously, for the past year, He’s been posing that same question to me. Do you trust me? Do you trust me?

Remember how Aladdin is standing on a flying carpet and he reaches out his hand to Princess Jasmine and asks her, ‘Do you trust me?’ I mean, he’s basically doing something that seems impossible, he’s standing on a carpet… that flies! But she makes the choice to trust him, takes his hand, gets on the carpet with him, and ends up going on the ride of her life.

Right now this pandemic seems to be the ride of the world’s life. No one knows where it’s going, what will happen next, and when it will end. But you know what? God does!

Corrie Ten Boom once said, ‘We can trust an unknown future to a known God.’ Whoa, did you read that? Read that again! ‘We can trust an unknown future to a known God.’ And what do we know about God? We know that God is good. We know that God is always working for our good. We know that God is in the business of bringing good things out of bad situations. Romans 8:28 says, And we know that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (emphasis mine) We also know that God loves us too much to allow us to stay the same and not grow into the people he wants us to be.

Could it be that God knows better than us? That because He is the almighty and the creator of all, that He can see how things will turn out more than our feeble, human minds can? I love it when Job, after losing everything and getting sick with a disease, says to God…

“I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I – and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.” Job 42:2-3

The Message version says…

“I’m convinced. You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head.” Job 42:2-3

That’s me!! I’m the babbler! I’m sitting here babbling on about how this is just going on and on and not ending. I’m over here pretty much telling God how to fix it, even though I’m not Him. I’m not God.

Kind of like Sarah and Abraham. Instead of trusting God when He said they will have a child, and being patient and waiting for God to finish His work, waiting on His timing (which is perfect, by the way), Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She goes and offers Hagar to Abraham so he can have a child with her. They jumped the gun. Then she gets mad, and jealous and blames Abraham! If they just would have trusted God, they would have saved themselves a lot of hardship and trouble. Ultimately, though, it does happen. Sarah does have that child. God was still faithful. Nothing stopped His plans. And nothing will stop them now.

I don’t want things to go back to ‘normal’. I can’t wait to see what good God will bring out of this horrible pandemic. The evil one once again thought he would triumph. But I know how the story will end. Yes, Father, I trust you! And I will continue to trust you. And when this pandemic is over, my worship, my singing and my day to day life will be a lot less taken for granted. And, hopefully, God will have, and will continue, to work through me for His glory and His good.

I’m Struggling

I wrote this on April 7, 2020, but I think it is still very valid right now.

A little honesty here in this post… I’m struggling.

I’m struggling with this quarantine. I’m struggling not knowing how long this will last. I’m struggling not seeing my church family face to face on a regular basis. I’m struggling… with depression right now.

And I know that it’s good to be positive. I know that I need to get into the word and remember God’s promises. I know I shouldn’t give the devil a foothold. But I have to be real and admit that I’m struggling. This sucks!!

It’s horrible that so many people are losing loved ones. It’s horrible that the professionals don’t know how to stop this virus. It’s horrible that we can’t go out somewhere and meet a friend for coffee.

If I’m being real… I’m going to admit that, even as a Christian woman, knowing what I should do daily is really hard for me right now. Not that I am not having my quiet time, or getting into my bible reading, I am. But, it’s just hard right now.

And I think it’s OK to feel like this, but not live in it.

I’m giving these feelings to God. Allowing myself to feel them. Telling Him everyday ‘I’m done with this! But Your will be done’.

Praying for our world, for healing.

And it’s OK if you’re feeling that way too. Just don’t stay in it. Tell God! He already knows what you’re feeling anyway, He just wants to hear from you. I’ve been blowing up his ears daily!

And ask people to pray for you and with you. I have! The devil wants nothing more than to make us feel alone and think that what we are going through is too stupid to ask people for prayer. It’s not!

I just wanted to put this out there for those of you who may be feeling the same way. You may be hearing others say to just keep being positive, but it’s OK if you’re not always positive! It’s OK to feel. JUST DON’T STAY THERE. And tomorrow morning, wake up and give it all to Him again. Trust Him, because He knows how to handle this. He’s the King of the World.

Pity Party

I feel like I’ve been under attack. Not by people, but by that pesky evil one! Anyone else been feeling this way? Anyone else feel like it’s one thing after another right now? Ephesians 6:12 says…For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Man (oh man!) do I feel exhausted, beat down, helpless, useless, and just plain sad! And yet, as I sit here wallowing in my pity party, in my ‘woe is me’ train of thought, this verse pops into my head… (Wait, did I hear that? Yup, that’s the holy spirit talking!)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3

So let me get this right, God, I’m supposed to consider this ‘pure joy’? Exactly how do I feel joy in these times when all I want to do is have a pity party? As I open my bible to this verse and read further, to my surprise it says…

Let perseverance finish it’s work so that you may be made mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4

You mean there’s more? I’m not done? Can’t I just wallow in my own misery for a while? Can I be done yeeeet? (Said with a whiny voice) But I mean really, can I??? Then I realize the longer I sit in my pity party, the more I’m giving the devil a foothold in my life. The bible says…

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

When I’m wallowing in my pity party, I’m not being alert and of sound mind. When I’m living in my pity party, the only voice I’m allowing in my head is the devil’s. When I’m wallowing in my pity party, I’m not allowing God’s sweet whisper to come through and remind me how much He loves me. How He has never left me. How much He desperately wants to hear from me.

The Message version of this verse says this…

‘Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. (Or in my case, stuck in a pity party) Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ – eternal and glorious plans they are – will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, He does.’ 1 Peter 5:8-11

Wow!! Are you sure I’m not the only one, God? Cause it sure feels like it! The devil loves to make us feel alone though. Which will cause pity parties all over the place! And where there are pity parties, there is loss of faith. Where there is loss of faith, there is loss of trust in God. And when we’re not trusting, we are losing hope. It’s a domino effect. The enemies sly way of wearing us down.

So we need to put on the full armor of God. We need to put on…

The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and hold onto the sword of the spirit.

We need to pray on ALL occasions. Even when we don’t feel like it. Even when we just want to sit in our pity party. Because our heavenly father is GOOD! He is ALWAYS good! And He has good plans for us!

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11

I’m starting to feel that joy that James was talking about now. I’m starting to remember that God is in control and these bad times won’t last forever. And tomorrow, if I want to start a pity party again, I’ll pick up His word and His truths, and flood my mind with them again.