Wednesday, January 21, 2009

God is near

So, I have been really busy...I know, not really anything new with that. We have taken the month of January to re-evaluate and look at some things, and work on setting up some better "systems", organizational type stuff that may take the month of January to get going, but will make our life smoother for the rest of the year. This had led to a little less blogging, but necessary. Having four children, two businesses, and being involved in others lives takes real purposefulness in order for all of them to be done well.

God has been really near in this past week. I don't know about you, but there seems to be seasons of life when His presence seems more near- that I'm more aware of Him being actually involved in my life than at other times. Probably because I'm taking time to slow down and be aware. Anyway, I wanted to share a few ways we have known His presence very clearly this past week specifically.
Well, one of those happened this past weekend. We'd gotten into an argument over something little- laundry- that was really about something bigger-communication, or the lack of good communication. It manifested itself through the laundry, specifically a load containing the baby's car seat cover which she'd exploded in the night before. (There's a reason I mention this so specifically.) Well, anyway- so we were getting ready to go to fellowship in the morning and it'd carried into Sunday's time of getting ready. We'd gotten into this disagreement so strongly, that Gary said forget it, I'm not going. He didn't want to be around people and try to act fine when everything wasn't, and needed time away to meet with God. He'd been around people lots, especially with him gone last week to Dallas for Market. Anyway, so I was like, well, I REALLY need to be around people. I've been home all week with the kids, some of it by myself, and I'm so tired, I need help to meet with God. I was just so tired that I felt like I couldn't even go to God on my own. He was gracious to understand and said, then you go and I'll stay home with the kids. Then we got into it a bit more, and it got late, so I told Bekah to tell her daddy I was going to FBC instead. As I drove away, I was convicted that I just told my husband where I was going through my daughter, when the last we'd talked he'd told me to go to our church fellowship. So, I decided it'd be best to just go where he'd told me. Then I started freaking out inside, thinking about how I explain that I'm there and he's not and how much to say that would explain we're in need, but without disrespecting my husband. Just cause they can act a little bit jerky sometimes doesn't mean their a complete jerk, ya know? It's more like sin at the time. It doesn't define us, it's just that we're living a lie for the moment, not living as free in Christ. Anyway, so I quickly called my mom, tried to get ahold of my parents various ways til finally my dad answered his cell phone. I asked him to pray for us and he talked me through some things, giving some really good wisdom for the situation through a man's perspective. In the meantime, I'd pulled over to talk with him and when we were done it was already 10:55- 25 minutes past our starting time, and I still had at least 15 minutes to get there. So I called Gary and asked him if it'd be alright to just go to FBC, where my family attends and we used to go. He said sure. So, I walk in to this: the chairs in a u shape, with partitions around the back except for a huge cross and Scripture posted on either side. So, you have to walk through the cross in order to enter, reading Scripture. Very cool...prep for worship. We sing a song that I often sing all by myself on the top of my lungs to Jesus, Sing to the King (or whatever the name of it is) and I know God's telling me he really is near and really is very in control. Then we sing a song I'd never heard before, Hosanna, with words that talk about God's grace being enough for us to make it through just today (I REALLY needed to hear that, cause I was just trying to get strength enough for the day!) and about God's presence being near casting out all fear. And I was reminded of the scripture in 1 Peter 3 that talks about being Sarah's daughters if we obey doing good and do not fear anything that's frightening. I realized then that all my responses toward Gary were based on fear, not in trusting God. Out of my fears, I was getting mad and responding in sin. So then we hear a sermon on 1 John, talking about if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with God and each other. So, if there's broken fellowship, there very well be sin...and that if I say I'm without sin, I'm a liar. So, I realize then that Gary's not the only one at fault in our specific situation we'd been arguing over. Here's what is hysterical. As I'm sitting there, the baby blows out her diaper. The car seat cover is again a mess. And I just started cracking up. It was like God saying...okay Lynette, I'm giving you opportunity to do this over again, this time do it the right way. I laughed out loud thinking about God sending me back home to deal with the "crap."  :)  I got to share this with some of the people who plan the service, how God used it to show me more of Himself and get me ready to go home and work through it with my hubby. It was then I found out that the music had been changed the last minute. It was so great. I know it definitely wasn't that God did it all for me. Oh my, how self centered that is! However, I do know He spoke very clearly to my heart in order to restore fellowship and then now we're able to share with the rest of the Church and hopefully it's encouraging to others too. When I got home Gary asked me how it was and I got to share it all with him. I asked for forgiveness for specific things and then asked him about his time at home and what he heard. He said to not isolate himself. I asked him how he heard that, cause that seems pretty wild to hear those words specifically. He said- Proverbs 18. (we're reading through Proverbs this month and Sunday was the 18th.) In our ESV translation it says- "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment."  I was cracking up. He said it made him laugh when he read it. And verse 22 says- "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." And he smiled at me. It was so funny...and sweet...and wonderful to restore that fellowship and then get to talk through and deal with the situation. It was so encouraging to us- hope it encourages you to go to God too.
And this morning, as our new President, Barack Obama, leads us for his first full day, I was reminded of these words from Proverbs 21:1- "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD: he turns it wherever he will." We could not vote for our first African American president. Not because of his race. Dern, that would've been so stinking awesome to get to be a part of that history making. Because of our convictions of life, we couldn't vote for such an outspoken very extreme pro choice candidate. Some things he stands for...or doesn't...get me worried. I think about living in America now and wonder what kind of change he really is going to bring. I was so grateful that God reminded me that God really is in control- STILL. Barack Obama's heart remains in the Lord's hands. There is reason in God's placing him in our leadership. Obama's leadership is still in submission to God's. And so we pray. And trust God. No worries. 
God is gracious to pour out his presence to us, to allow us to see that He is near. Spend time being still enough to hear Him. He is speaking. And it's oh so refreshing!