Good morning LORD!
To paraphrase that renowned poet, Ice Cube, “today IS a good day!”
Not just because I’m up and healthy. Has nothing to do with me at all.
It’s because You have already taken care of this day and everything that will happen in it.
People always think of problems when they think of the line “if He brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it.” But how about it means ANYTHING – good and indifferent. It means this day.
I’m up and I’m ready. Let’s get it.
I just had to put this out there…especially for those, like myself, who have trouble putting themselves on display.
What I mean by that is that I realize that I am human. I change. By the second sometimes. Most of my life I didn’t deal with anything emotional, but I have the FULL range of emotion today (and I thank God for that). And now having that gift means that I also have the gift of expression. And express I must. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
The problem I find with being and feeling completely human is that SOMEBODY is going to criticize it. SOMEBODY is going to dislike it. SOMEBODY is going to want me to be any way except how I am.
Some people mean well, they just don’t know any better. Some people know better and are just mean.
Either way, the response to them is the exact same. Keep being.
I checked my grades this morning. All A’s. Nice (insert sigh and slight resignation).
Now don’t get me wrong. I definitely put work in. I was burning up at the beginning of the semester. On fiyah. But as life started happening, I also started to fizzle out until there was nothing left in the end but smoke.
So I simply didn’t think that was gonna be the case. Especially at the rate I was going this last month. I wasn’t expecting to pull out more than a B- (even a wicked C) in either class.
Still all A’s.
It beeez like that sometimes. Grace. When you get what you don’t deserve.
Ephesians 1:4-5 (CEV) Before the world was created, God had Christ choose us to live with him and to be his holy and innocent and loving people. God was kind and decided that Christ would choose us to be God’s own adopted children.
It’s about time I get to be part of somebody’s family. But what does that even mean? How am I supposed to believe you, Father dearest, when you’ve seemed a little shady Yourself sometimes? And we ain’t gonna talk about your people. I’ve been stabbed and left for dead more in THIS family. It ain’t a whole lot different from my flesh and blood folks. Those holy-rollin, bible thumpin, evil attitude havin, saints. They can quote a scripture but don’t have no idea what you said. Don’t know You at all and definitely can’t tell me the truth about you.
Oh, but ain’t that the story of life.
Recently, I quoted a book I was reading. It basically stated that before God “moved” for His people, they had to be desperate. I had to sit on that for a while, because I completely understand desperation. I’ve felt at the end of myself more times than I can count with all the numbers I know.
In deep spiritual terms, our backs are never against the wall – even if we feel like it. If we understand the true and living God, then we know his characteristics and those characteristics never leave us wanting in any way.
So what I didn’t know was what he actually meant by “desperation”. It’s not desperation of the circumstance that he was speaking of. It was the desperation FOR God that moves him. And that’s the desperation I want to always have.
“I know I can….be what I wanna be…if I work hard at it…I’ll be where I wanna be…” -Nas, “I Can”, Stillmatic
Just what do I wanna be? Who do I wanna be? Where am I goin?
It seems that those questions are being asked later and later in life. Who am I, really?
The problem is that the farther along in life you go, the more “stuff” you pick up (under the umbrella of responsibility). And it’s those things make you think that the “what you wanna be” is a distant memory.
It’s a lie from the pits of Hades.
“You can be anything in the world, in God we trust”
-Nas, “I Can”, Stillmatic
“Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but of deep people.” – Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline
What has happened to us? I’m not that old, but I remember a day when people took the time to think. When they contemplated. When they applied, and possibly failed, then rethought, contemplated again, and reapplied. This process took time, but not only were people willing to do it, it was mandatory for a well-lived, well-rounded, grounded life.
I also remember that this was the day when there were no microwaves, cell phones, or remote controls. You no longer have to take the time to seek God out because He’s delivered to your BlackBerry twice a day. You don’t have to be concerned with the effort it takes in fostering relationships and fellowship with people because the word you need meets you in bed on Sunday morning at 9a.
Technological advances are fabulous, but we’ve also become a world of rocky ground and thorn bushes. Nothing of substance penetrates our being anymore because it all comes and goes so fast. Everything gets tangled up and smothered out in the hustle before we can even take any of it to heart. And it works for us because who has time to stop and listen anyway?
That must break His heart because it is so easy to simply sit with God. Listen and look for God. Strong, deep relationships take that kind of time and this one is absolutely no different. Remember, He made the full allotment of your time anyway.
There is no limit to the depths which he will go in you and for you once you shake off the shallow.
Esther…who knows…maybe you were elevated to this place for such a time as this. Know that if you do not do it, someone else can be put in your place. (adapted from Esther 4:14)
You’re quite comfortable now aren’t you? Once you were invisible, but now you have been groomed and shined to perfection. You have everything you could have imagined and more. You’re the Queen.
Oh but wait. What about your people? I know you didn’t forget about them because we’re talking about your family here. But, maybe you hadn’t really considered them either. I know you appreciate where you are, but we all have a tendency to forget to think back.
Maybe the point of you being elevated to greatness wasn’t so that you could lay on your pillows being fanned all day (although I’m certain it’s a perk that you just get used to over time). Maybe it wasn’t about you at all. Maybe it was to save them.
So, Esther, what are you gonna do about it?
If you believe in prayer…especially prayer to God – I AM, Yahweh, Jehovah Jireh, the Big Homey, whatever you call him- through Jesus Christ …KNOW that he hears you. KNOW that he answers and that he answers EVERY prayer.
Now, you may not like his answer, but know he answers it. You may not even remember your prayer, but He did.
And in that, I would pray that you are very careful in what you pray. Not “scary” careful, like booga-booga…but like understanding that if it is his will, whether you think you’e ready for it or not, whether you only breathed your request, you will see it.
It’s already done.
“The world is neither so full of evil that we can’t enjoy it, nor so full of goodness that we can abandon ourselves to it. When we see something beautiful, there is always the qualifying thought that it is tarnished. When we see something ugly, there is always the qualifying thought that there is something of the Creator hidden there.” -Steve Turner, Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts
When did everything become so rigid and unyielding? Left or right. This or that. Why can’t I disagree with you but still love you? Why can’t I disagree with you and SIMPLY disagree…not hate or disapprove of or disassociate with you? Why do I need to pummel you in order to get you to see what I’m saying (which is basically that you’re wrong)? Is it really necessary? Is the fact that I think I’m right the sole basis for making you wrong? Or could we both be right with different approaches to how we got there?
Ain’t nothing changed. The truth of the matter is that people can’t help drawing lines and then making judgments on what’s across the aisle. Because it’s easier to see the speck over there than the plank right in front of them.