Staying with the breaking is what produces the blessing.
Pastor Steven Furtick said this during one of his sermons I listened to recently. It reminded me that one of my seasons of most intense spiritual growth, and a time that I felt that I finally set roots that will not be shaken, was during the darkest time of my life.
This exact word I got from God – STAY. Nothing was getting better, nothing was changing. I didn’t feel good or happy. It didn’t make sense to stay and keep doing what I was doing based on the world’s standards.
But God KEPT telling me to.
I eventually got to a point where I felt bitter, but decided that if He was going to make me stay in this place, then I would do it – even it is was with a spiteful heart. I felt like a petulant child, but was determined to just do what He told me.
I daydreamed of the things I could be doing instead. I know you hear me; you’ve been quarantined for 16+ weeks, too. The grass is looking greener pretty much anywhere but your own yard. The stress of staying at home and feeling the disappointment of missing out on the things you anticipated during this season can be overwhelming, leaving you with a void you try to fill with everything else.
But in this case, I stayed. Just to see. Just to see what would come of it. Half way trusting that He would make it all better; half way being too tired to actually make other plans.
This time built my faith and allowed me to see that I could survive on Jesus alone – despite the heartbreaking things around me.
Then it occurred to me that maybe I had to wait where I was because other people in God’s plan weren’t ready.
I was able to walk through my valley because God knew that I could, and because He never gives us more than we can handle without offering us His assistance. God knew that I would stay, and that He would use that time to mold my heart into what He needed me to do next.
Maybe your waiting is because He’s preparing something or someone else that will play a part in what’s coming to you next. Maybe He has positioned you right where He wants you – amidst craziness, hurt, disappointment, and the longing to flee. To another job. Another town. Another relationship. He has not abandoned you, sweet friend.
He laid these words on my heart: Don’t just survive.
Some of you need to hear me say “Get out of the grave”. The things around you that are cluttering your mind are killing your soul. They are making you feel less than; inadequate; unsatisfied.
Get out of the grave. Make an effort. Stop waiting for it to just happen and instantaneously get better. Stop asking for answers. Seek HIM just to know Him and He will reveal Himself, making His plans known.
Put down your phone. Stop hanging around that negative person. Get in your Bible. Stop consuming and taking everyone’s word for it. I hate to tell ya, but your mama’s faith isn’t going to be enough to create a personal relationship with Jesus for you. You have to take charge of what’s happening to you and make conscious efforts to seek Him.
Look for opportunities to serve those around you. Work as if you’re working for the Lord when you are performing your job, cooking dinner, picking up your family’s clothes, or calling your friend back.
More than that – read your Bible. Listen to worship music or a sermon. Don’t know any? Message me. I’ll share all of my favorite songs, pastors, speakers, and verses with you. Don’t like the church you’ve been going to? Try another one.
And yall, once you do these things, you’ll be left wanting more. You won’t find spending time and trying to figure this thing out as a cumbersome task. No, you’ll find it a welcome reprieve from the fallen world around us. The things that get under your skin and cause you to see the worst in everything all day? Those things are much more tolerable when you are being led and fed by Jesus.
I’m telling you, the things of this world will surely fade, but the word of the lord endures forever.
Job 17:1 “My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me.”
Esther 4:14 “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Galations 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”