Pressing on is where I’m at right now. I AM determined to finish the cleaning up stage of our trial. However, I am finding myself exhausted right now. Instead of continuing on to Canaan, I find myself wanting to get off the path & just sit for a while. But I can’t! I was an athlete growing up & am still VERY competitive to this day. I look at everything as a game situation. I don’t give up as giving up means I’ve quit & athletes don’t quit, they persevere. This is one of the reasons I love reading about Paul. Paul reminds me of the type of player everyone wanted on their team. Look at what he says here:
Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
2 Timothy 2:5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
Did you catch that? I won’t receive my victor’s crown unless Icompete according to the rules. What are my rules as a Christian? To trust & obey. I have to continue to trust God & that He IS continuing to make something beautiful out of this mess. I have to continue to obey Him when He calls me to do something that I really would rather not do. He’s calling me to press on & I need to obey & put my running shoes back on. Just like it says here:
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
I am a running witness as others are watching me to see how I act/re-act to what God is doing in my life. I need to purge the sins/thoughts that are entangling me & making my journey that much more unbearable. I need to find my determination to continue on this path that God has me on. Is there something that God is calling you to keep pressing on towards? Are you determined to keep pressing on or like me, do you find yourself wanting to get off the path & rest? I’m praying for you & that you’ll keep pressing on as that’s just what I’m doing as I’m to continuing on to Canaan.
Have you ever woken up & just knew that day was going to be a bummer before you even got out of bed?? That’s how I felt this past Monday. I just woke up in a bad mood & couldn’t even understand why.My first inkling that my mood wasn’t about to change for the better came when I opened my dryer & was greeted with this:
There is waaay more to this picture then what you see. Such as….see that splattered pen? That is one of my favorite pens as it’s the old school type that let’s you choose which color ink you’d like to write with. The culprit of this mess was asked on numerous times to please give me back my pen. Sooo not only did he keep forgetting to give me my pen back, it was left in his pocket where it not only destroyed itself & his pants but THE REST the clothes it was washed with!!
Now as the mom of 4 boys this wasn’t my first “I can’t believe what went through my dryer”. I have dealt with crayon (take a hot iron, place a paper towel over the melted crayon & it should come off the fabric & adhere to the towel). Gum? Freeze whatever it’s stuck to & scrap off with a plastic knife. Thanks to google, all it took was rubbing alcohol (or nail polish remover). While I sat & started scrubbing my load of clothes with alcohol, my other son came in & informed me our toilet was gurgling! (By the ultimate grace of God the ink culprit was at school giving me PLENTY of time to pray for peace before he got home:) Sooo I set my clothes down & got to deal with this:Lovely isn’t it? My catch word that day was, “Seriously?” Yep, our toilet was overflowing. That meant NO water can be run in the house as it will immediately come up through said toilet. Of course, remember from my paragraph above I was also in the middle of A LOT of laundry too 😦
I called Jeff who called a plumber to come out, which they did 2 hours later! To top it off, when the plumber asked where our outdoor clearing pipe was I told him for whatever reason our house didn’t have one. He then told me that his company will not unclog a clog unless it’s through an outdoor pipe. Seriously?! Our house is only 18 years old so the fact that it doesn’t have one of these is INSANE!! The plumber left….well, actually he gave me a $2600.00 estimate to have a clearing pipe put in so that in the future he could fix my clog. The crazy part? We HAVE had other plumbers out before & all you do is remove the toilet & run the snake through the hole. Of course this guy was having none of that! I about put my size 9 shoe on the back off his hiney as I slammed the door shut behind him.
I ended up calling 2 more plumbers, while Jeff called another one too. Neither of us could get another plumber to come out that day. I then sat down & prayed. I prayed that God would just help me to continue to stay sane & not give in to the bubbling anger I felt rising up. I asked God to find favor in me for remaining calm. I also asked God to please please please fix my toilet.
After an hour of scrubbing all the ink off the clothes I had to re-wash them. Ugh! I figured I would sit in the bathroom & when the washer rinsed I would dump the water out of the toilet & into the bucket. (All day long I had been plunging the heck out of the toilet & flushing to no avail, hence I was already used to filling up & dumping the bucket) Sooo I ran the clothes & waited. NOTHING happened, the entire cycle ran & my toilet did not overflow!! I started flushing EVERY toilet in the house & it didn’t overflow. I then said another prayer & flushed THE toilet…..IT DIDN’T OVERFLOW!! I called Jeff ECSTATIC & told him God had fixed our toilet! The BEST blessing of all?? We saved at least $200.00 as a result of the plumber leaving & not fixing it! I was sooo mad when he left, but look how it turned out.
I truly believe that God blessed me for remaining calm & not giving in to my anger & frustration. My verse I kept clinging to was: Galatians 6:9And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Although I WAS growing weary from remaining calm, I knew I couldn’t give in to sinful behavior. As a result of my trial, I have honestly learned that I TRULY cannot control somethings so why get all bent out of shape? It’s much easier to except what we can’t change then freak out & try to change it & fail. My day ended with clothes that were ink stain free & a toilet that normally would’ve cost $200.00 to fix, working again for free. Monday may have started out with mayhem, but it ended with blessings. I am thanking God for those blessings as I’m continuing on to Canaan.
My trial continued to wear me out. I really felt like the boulder God dropped on my path was much too big to climb over. My instinct was to naturally go around it. But that wasn’t God’s plan. He intended for me to slowly & agonizingly climb over that boulder if I wanted to make it to the other side.
During this time I began to continually ask myself, “Why?” Why me? Why now? Why not them? (I know, shame on me, but I’m being honest here!) Why?! Why?! Why?! Then one day my husband told me I shouldn’t be asking God why, but what. Huh?! What do you mean what?! What’s wrong with why? He then proceeded to explain that God didn’t owe us an answer as to why, we owed God by asking what. As in: What does God want us to learn? What does God want us to change? What, if anything, does God want us to give up? What might be God’s reasons for allowing this trial? Hmmm…Jeff was right. I needed to shift my thoughts off of why God was allowing our trial to what God wanted me to learn/change as a result of it.
One lesson I learned from our trial is that God truly wants us to be Heavenly minded in our earthly world. I could see Jeff & I becoming earthly minded & falling into that trap of keeping up with the Jones’. When God started to take away our financial safety net, we no longer cared about keeping up with the Jones’, we became more concerned about keeping up with bills. It’s amazing what the Scriptures forewarn about money traps too:
Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Through prayer and reading God’s Word we began to realize just what God wanted us to do. It’s amazing by asking “what” how you become more pro-active in trying to climb up and over that boulder, versus sitting down in front of it and having a pity party full of “whys”. My times of waiting were VERY hard, so I embraced when God revealed what changes we needed to make and went about making them.
I understand that not all trials we face are our fault. Sometimes, like Job, God allows trials for His own reasons that most of the time we don’t understand. Even though I did keep asking God why, I did know why, our trial was completely justified and needed. I am grateful to God for refining us and purging us so that we may be more like Him. God knew we needed to be pulled back into His loving arms and God knew exactly what He needed to do to make sure that happened.
For those of you who honestly don’t know why you’re in your trial, I know it must be very hard to ask God what instead of why. Don’t give up! WHATEVER you are going through, God has allowed and I HAVE to believe if He’s allowed it, He has a reason for it. Our part in that plan is to submit to it by asking Him what instead of why. Can you do that? I’m praying for you and that like me you’ll ask God what instead of why as I’m continuing on to Canaan.