Sometimes we all find ourselves asking the question, "why?" Like me for instance, right now I am asking, "Why God? Why? Why in every single house I've lived in since I've been married have there been the torment of invading ants? Why?" I'm serious, every single house. 17 1/2 years. How many houses? Hmmm, 6. I may be exaggerating- there might not have been ants in the Camas house- it was brand new after all... and there might not have been ants here at my dad's house the first time we lived here (for a year when KaLia was an infant)... but really, I feel like I have the curse of ants! I hate them! Ugh! We even had them inside the Guest House in Rwanda this last time (though I much prefer them to the rats we had the year before!)
Now, it may make you wonder, does it have something to do with my cleaning abilities (or lack there of)? Well, I have this on my side- we are living in the same house I grew up in with my parents- now my dad's house. And I may not be the best housekeeper in the world, but I am no worse than my mom & there were never ants here then!
Do you ever feel like certain struggles in your life keep happening over & over again? I'm sure there is a spiritual application for this... I'll get back to you on that...
Right now we are walking through a season with God- it's called "waiting"- I think maybe you've been there too. Sometimes God gives you a vision, but then he needs you to wait... To stop, so you don't run ahead, and wait for his perfect timing & his perfect provision. Praising God is not always easy in the times of waiting. Sometimes we feel like God's got us on hold, and we keep hearing that hold music playing over & over & wonder if we've been forgotten about. I'm just being honest here because I think many people can relate to what I'm talking about.
We had our TTI auction Saturday night. I am grateful for what God did that night- but when you are thinking realistically that you should have 50 people at an event, and you only end up with 15 people, that can be a let down. But we continue to press ahead, and believe that God is doing something in the background that we can't see yet. In our personal financial needs, no outpouring of finances has come our way yet, but little drops to remind us that He is still there.
I would like to read something with you, I'm going to share some excerpts from a book I started reading in Rwanda & was able to read some more of today. It's by Jennifer Kennedy Dean & it's called Fueled by Faith. This chapter is called The Process of Purity:
God is purifying you so that which He brings forth from you will be pure. He is cleansing you moment by moment, moving you from one level to the next, and never leaving you to "sit on your dregs" (see Jeremiah 48:11)
God says that Moab has been left undisturbed. He is describing what a person is like who has never been challenged and forced to face disappointment or disruption of his life. He is like a wine on its dregs. Wine left on its dregs becomes bitter and harsh. It is unpalatable. It is useless.
The art of winemaking involves stages. Each stage requires a vessel of different size, shape, construction. At each stage the dregs have settled to the bottom and must be strained out to prevent the ruin of the wine.
Do you feel yourself being emptied from vessel to vessel? You get used to the shape and feel of your life, and then you find yourself being emptied out. During part of the process you have been poured out, but not poured in yet. You know that your old vessel has been emptied out, but you do not feel yourself having arrived in a new vessel yet. There is a transition period, a pouring. It is disorienting and uncertain. Then you find yourself poured into a life of a completely different shape and size, made up of new materials. It is new to you, and it doesn't feel like it fits.
Sometimes you are in a vessel long enough to get very used to it, and when you are poured out of that vessel, you feel that you have lost your focus or that your determination has waned. Maybe God wants to show you that you have come to trust in the forms of your faith instead of in God. You have leaned on the expression of your faith instead of in the object of your faith.
Anytime you are poured from vessel to vessel, it is for your benefit, not your harm.
Faith is how the power of God gets into the circumstances of earth. Power flows from purity. "If you remain in me and my words remain in you (the process of purity), ask whatever you wish and it will be given you (the promise of power)." John 15:7
Don't seek power. Seek purity.
From the next chapter, The Prayer of Faith
There are times when the circumstances of your life would appear to call for anything but praise... When, in the face of difficult circumstances, you choose praise, you will find that your view of your circumstances changes. You choose your role as either victim or victor by how you respond in the face of difficult circumstances.
The ability to choose praise as an act of obedience in spite of your feelings comes from knowing God. When you face difficulties, disappointments, or heartaches, take inventory of what you know about God. Reason.
God is good (Ps. 100:5, 136:1, 119:68a)
God loves you (Ps. 13:5, 21:7, 33:22, 52:8b, 89:2, 145:8)
God is in control. He is working everything toward a good end. (Eph 1:11, Rom. 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11)
Determine to respond to every situation today by praising God. Commit to meditating on the power, the character, and the mighty deeds of God, turning those thoughts into praise. Ask the Spirit to remind you & teach you.
That's the end of what I wanted to share with you. Praise God for a timely word!
I praise God for you too- whoever those few of you who are out there reading this- I pray God uses this to encourage you also.
God Bless You,