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When your bad day defeats your confidence
On the heels of the euphoria of going live with my web site (the very one you’re reading now), I spent two days getting kicked off it. Trying to figure out how to set up email, back up the blog, and discern what plug-ins to use and which ones are junk.
Am I speaking a foreign language here? Believe me when I say an emphatic –
Yes I am.
And so I went to my favorite nail technician for a little R&R.
Only she was having a bad day too. (We’ll call her Karen.)
Disgruntled customers, health issues with parents and in-laws, and concerns that her customers chose to share pressed in, weighing her down.
I’m telling you, she’s like the psychologist of the beauty world.
My friend is a believer. Her nail salon is a ministry as sure as I’m typing these words. We’ve discussed her profession at length. She is right where God wants her. You can read about it here.
“Every time I think of you…I thank God for your lives of free and open access to God, given by Jesus. There’s no end to what has happened in you – it’s beyond speech, beyond knowledge. The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives.” I Corinthians 1:4-6
And then, this happened.
When nail polish and tile collide…
Clean up on aisle 6.
Quickly, she grabbed her calendar verse for today, shoved it in my lap, and cackled, “Read this!!!”
“Trouble is a part of life. Having fulfillment and peace in the midst of trouble is what living in God’s will is all about. There is a great confidence in knowing that you are walking in the will of God and doing what He wants you to do. When you are sure of that, you can better deal with what life brings you.”
She could hardly breathe from laughing so hard.
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1.) We have everything we need in Christ
I came home and figured out my email problem just like that.
It was as if God smiled down and said, “Yes, my child. You are still supposed to do this. But it ain’t gonna be easy. Good job on figuring it out.”
My friend, Karen, got doused with gasoline at the pump on her way home.
I’ve been wading through Job for two weeks. It’s depressing. I told Karen about it. I think we both felt a little like Job.
I can’t wait till the part where God blesses his later life even more than his earlier life.
But for a couple more days (at least according to my Bible reading plan) he’s still going to have to sit in misery with his no-account friends and a wife who’s given up on him.
“Why don’t you just curse God and die?” (Job 2:9)
Thankfully, I’m also reading in the New Testament. The earlier verse from 1 Corinthians was in my Bible reading this morning as well. (Reading through the Bible in a year gives broad perspective.)
And then, I read this:
“Just think – you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale.” I Corinthians 1:7, MSG
All God’s gifts are right in front of you???
2.) God has purpose in our bad day
Mary is a friend who recently moved out of state and her teenage daughter cries every day after school, wanting to return home. She’s angry. Mom has guilt.
Tom recently lost his wife to cancer. It takes everything inside him just to get through the days. Don’t even talk about the nights. He’s taking it hour by hour.
Kelly’s husband left her for another woman. In their 34th year of marriage, plus kids.
Maybe you’re a young mama trying to home school your kids with a toddler underfoot.
Or you just wish you could get a break from laundry and dirty diapers to even get to the grocery store.
The bills are piling up. There’s no end in sight.
Life won’t slow down and you can’t even see that light at the end of the tunnel, you’re so covered up.
“You’ve got it all.”
“God is right alongside you to keep you steady and on track”
“He will never give up on you.”
How do we reconcile these seeming contradictions?
I’ll never forget crying my eyes out at the kitchen table, having done the bills. Six months pregnant, no way to pay the rent on a unit we didn’t even live in anymore.
I saw no way out. “God! Don’t you see we don’t have the money for this? What are you doing?”
An hour later, my husband walked through the door with a giant smile on his face, “They rented the apartment!”
3.) God is The Uncaused Cause
A.W. Tozer’s book, The Attributes of God, helps me focus on God when my thinking tends to narrow and my focus is on my (seemingly) hopeless situation.
“He (God) is the Cause of all things, the uncaused Cause.”
God is kind and good and wants us to ask for what we need. If it’s according to His will, He wants to grant that request.
But we must remember that He is working things to His purpose, and the bigger request that should be on our minds is that God shapes US into what He wants. Those gifts of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, faith, etc. – those are His will for us every day, in every way.
“He gives, but in giving He gives us Himself, too. And the best gift God ever gives us is Himself. He gives answers to prayer, but after we’ve used up the answer or don’t need it anymore, we still have God.”
We still have the Uncaused Cause.
“God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of His purposes.” (I Corinthians 2:7)
“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, never so much as imagined anything quite like it – what God has arranged for those who love Him.” (2 Corinthians 2:9)
“Isaiah’s question, ‘Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what He is doing?’ has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.”
I don’t have your answer.
More than likely, the nail technician doesn’t have your answer either.
But if you are a believer, you have Christ’s Spirit in you.
You have the “uncaused Cause“.
After Karen had her gasoline shower, she texted me. “Time to REGROUP!!!”
Ya’ll, she’s giving my blog a shout out.
But more than that, she gets it.
In this case, regrouping looks like refocusing. Coming apart before you come apart.
Take the time to ruminate in awe of God. Cast aside YOU for a little while.
Find a spot – be it behind the door of the bathroom, your closet, or underneath your bed.
Focus on the uncaused Cause. Worship Him.
It changes you. He changes you.
And then, get back up off the floor and get back in there. I hate to say it, but you know I’m going to:
Put your big girl panties on.
I’ve had to do this several times during this blog migration. In fact, I almost threw in the towel.
I sent a text. “Brb, jumping off a cliff now.”
And then, I received this advice from two different sources. And one of those was from an 84-year-old, godly man, so he should know:
“This too shall pass.”
So, I got back in the ring.
Everything is still not resolved with this blog. I feel like the little guy with his sword in the Legend of Zelda that fights off the fire and the guy and the thing. Every day brings a new problem. I’m a right-brained, techno ignoramus.
But I have to also admit, there have been victories along this path. BIG ones.
And every day, God gives me a little ray of sunshine somewhere, whether through a new blog follower, a sweet comment, or a fellow blogger cheering me on.
There are a TON of blessings, if I just open my eyes long enough to look around and take notice.
And I’ll just bet my megabytes that you have some too.
Let’s go, girlfriend. You and God have got this.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV
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