Friday, July 19, 2013

Cutting and Growing

It has been a loooong week!!!  A bit stressful, a bit crazy, a bit emotional...just lots going on.  It was just one of those weeks where one thing after the other was knocking me down...taking the wind out of me.  One of those weeks where Satan kept trying to get the best of my mind and my spirit.  One of those weeks where it was just a struggle to try to keep going.  One of those weeks where so many things were weighing heavy on my heart.  One of those weeks that exhausts you physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  One of those weeks that just seemed as if it would never end.  Well, it's Friday, and here I am at the end of this long, crazy, stressful, emotional, hot week!
Of course that has nothing at all to do with me, the Lord helped me through, even though there were some times this week where I wasn't sure if He was helping me at all.  Times where I was just feeling so beat up, pushed down, on the verge of drowning with no help in sight.  Then came yesterday!
 I read one of my devotions that I have set up on my phone that was titled "When You Are Weak, He Is Strong".  And one of the lines that stood out to me was, "Stop focusing on your weaknesses...focus on His strength."  I was definitely focusing on those weaknesses this week.  Thinking of my failures and how weak I felt, but forgetting that when I am weak, He is strong, and is my strength. Then Psalm 50:15 popped out at me yesterday morning as well, "And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."  I called out to Him and claimed that promise that He would deliver me.  I want to glorify His name and tell of the wonderful things He has done, but when Satan is constantly attacking and feeding me lies that's a hard thing to be able to do.  I love how God works, though, because then I hopped on Facebook for a bit, and one of the first posts I saw was from author Michelle McKinney Hammond, she wrote, "In spite of how you feel choose to praise.  Exchange the garment of heaviness for something lighter. Worship your way through the storm. #trust."  That definitely got my attention! Just minutes later she posted again, "If you are having a face pressed to the floor kind of day.  First, you are not alone.  Second, this too shall pass.  Wait before God. #trust."  And a few minutes later, this one that I truly loved..."Even if u can't see anything different happening in yr life. Anticipate it.  A lot goes on beneath the surface before you see a flower #trust." Isn't that good?  And a little later..."Anticipate God's best even when u can't see it.  Embrace His love even when u can't feel it.  Trust His Word even when u can't hear it. #trust."  Those were some of the exact feelings I had been struggling with!  No, I'm not done yet, these next two were hitting me right where I was as well..."Doubt is the devils way of distracting you from God's promises.  Speak faith to your soul and override his voice with worship. #trust." and "The devil specializes in making us question God.  It is a futile attempt to steal the joy of your salvation. Don't go there! #trust #Faithful."  Whoa!!! Love that, "Don't go there!" :)  Boy, did I need all of that!  The Lord woke me and got my attention for sure.  There were others, too, that were such a blessing that I will share at the end.  I definitely started to speak some of those truths and words to the Lord...and to Satan, reminding him that my mind didn't belong to him, but to God.
As I went to work that morning, some of those stresses that I had been so burdened with earlier were not looming so heavy on me anymore.  And at school I get to work with such amazing ladies that I couldn't focus on those negative things anymore.  Then Mama G and I got to talking and she was just randomly started telling me about the plant she had in the window.  It is a really neat looking plant that I have always liked. She started telling me that when she got it, it was pretty much dead.  She just started to cut the stems back a little and it started doing just fine.  She said she just recently had to cut it back a little bit again, and then she said, "Yea, I had to cut it, because then it gives it the strength to grow."  Right after she said that God jolted my mind and I looked at her and said, "Wow, that is a great spiritual lesson right there!"  And when she thought about it, she agreed and we both ended up with goose bumps!  We ended up sharing some things with each other, and were able to encourage one another!  I'll tell you, I don't like the cutting, I don't crave it or seek it, but I guess it just helps me to think and know that through that I can have the strength to grow in Him!  What could be more special!
Lord, you know this week has been a tough one for me!  You've been there through it all, though, I'm sorry I know at times I complained to You that I didn't think You were.  Satan was getting the best of me. I was weak. Thank You for breaking through to speak to me Your truth through Your Word and through others that you allowed to be a blessing.  It's hard to go through these times, and I don't like them.  I know they'll come again, but thank You for a little reprieve from Satan's strong attacks.  And thank You for encouraging me! Help me remember these truths!

More posts from Michelle McKinney Hammond:
"I shatter the power of discouragement over you today.  Take courage that God is God and is able to do what He has promised."
"Have a blessed day anticipating God's best for you.  Never settle for less.  Hope all things.  Believe all things.  God never fails."
"Sometimes you just have to talk to yourself.  Say self, God is faithful, no matter what. Bless the Lord.  Anticipate a miracle."
"Sometimes when you can't stand on the promises of God you need to cling to them.  It's always darkest before the dawn."
"You have to go through the storm to get to the rainbow.  So wait for the light. It's on the way.  Rest assured.  This too shall pass."
Amen! :)