Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't give up...but give it up!

There comes a time in life when we feel that we have hit rock bottom. I say this because I have been there. I have seen me at my lowest and it wasn't a beautiful sight at all.

The bottom feels different to everyone. I have the opportunity to talk with some individuals about what that pain feels like at the bottom. But what really intrigues me is one statement made by all. "There is no where to go but up"

When you think of up....what do you think of? Where do your eyes go? What do you see? What does "up" look like to you? Is it worse? Is it better? Or is it just another long journey that you are about to embark upon?

For me, looking up means looking to the Heaven's. Looking to God to lead the way. Sure, he is everywhere. I can look up, down, right, or left, and He is in every direction. But when you hit bottom, your natural reaction is to start working your way back to the top.

I find it interesting that when we are there, we find it easier to give up than let God take control. A lot of times, this is the point when we are crying out and begging Him to give us NO MORE! We question our strength and how much we can really handle and we don't put our total trust in Him. Trusting Him means taking a leap of faith and letting go of all that control we are use to having. Sometimes, it means you lose some of the dearest things you love the most. But when it's right, those things that are dear to you will come back into your life and into your heart more than you could ever imagine.

Daniel expressed some of his thoughts in the second chapter He said, "May God be praised for ever and ever! He is wise and powerful. He changes times and seasons. He sets up kings. He removes them from power. The wisdom of those who are wise comes from him. He gives knowledge to those who have understanding. He explains deep and hidden things. He knows what happens in the darkest places. And where he is, everything is light" 2:20-22 (NIRV)

I think we get mixed up in something. Just because our God is sovereign doesn't mean that our lives will be simple. We have to trust Him enough to let go of it all and trust Him with the earthly decision we have to make. Sometimes, those decisions aren't ours to make. They are His. We can open doors and windows, but God only needs a willing spirit to work in their hearts. They may not even know they are willing! But the hardest thing for us to do is to let go. Especially when it hurts so badly.

Over the past few months, I would cling to Psalm 25:
Lord, I worship you. My God, I trust in you.
Don't let me be put to shame. Don't let my enemies win the battle over me.
Those who put their hope in you will never be put to shame.
But those who can't be trusted will be put to shame. They have no excuse.
Lord, show me your ways. Teach me how to follow you.
Guide me in your truth. Teach me. You are God my Savior.
I put my hope in you all day long. Lord, remember your great mercy and love.
You have shown them to your people for a long time.
Don't remember the sins I committed when I was young.
Don't remember how often I refused to obey you.
Remember me because you love me. Lord, you are good.
The Lord is honest and good. He teaches sinners to walk in his ways.
He shows those who aren't proud how to do what is right.
He teaches them his ways. All of the Lord's ways are loving and faithful
for those who obey what his covenant commands.
Lord, be true to your name.Forgive my sin, even though it is great.
Who is the man who has respect for the Lord?
God will teach him the way he has chosen for him.
Things will always go well for him. His children will be given the land.
The Lord shares his plans with those who have respect for him.
He makes his covenant known to them. My eyes always look to the Lord.
He alone can set my feet free from the trap. Turn to me and show me your favor.
I am lonely and hurting. The troubles of my heart have increased.
Set me free from my great pain. Look at how I'm hurting! See how much I suffer!
Take away all of my sins. Look at how many enemies I have!
See how terrible their hatred is for me! Guard my life. Save me.
Don't let me be put to shame. I go to you for safety.
May my honest and good life keep me safe.
I have put my hope in you.
God, set Israel free from all of their troubles!

God has a way of reaching people and doing what needs to be done. We have good intentions, but sometimes, we wear ourselves out just trying to get it done for Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways remember him. Then he will make your paths smooth and straight.
Psalm 18:30 God's way is perfect. The word of the Lord doesn't have any flaws. He is like a shield to all who go to him for safety.
Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people.Tell him all of your troubles. God is our place of safety. Selah
1 Timothy 4:10 10 We work hard for it. Here is the saying. We have put our hope in the living God. He is the Savior of all people. Most of all he is the Savior of those who believe.

I pray for those tonight who have a hard time letting go. Those who fear losing so much that they are afriad to do what needs to be done. I pray that God gives them everything they need to conquer those fears and to let Him be in control of the hurt. Only He knows the outcome. He wrote the book. I pray they can find peace, comfort, and contentment in knowing they serve a mighty God who will never let them go. I pray they can realize just how far the east is from the west and that no matter what, that distance is nothing in comparison to what God can do with the hurt, pain, and struggles we go through in this lifetime. One day, it will all be clear to us and we will rejoice in His presence.


Chad said...

Ok, this one really touched me. I mean really touched me, I am sitting here in my truck reading this and I can't stop. Its amazing how much passion is in you, and its right there in front of me and yet I never see it. Its like your post on "wake up". I need to open my eyes more to those around me and allow God to work. And the greatest gift he has given me is you. And yet at the most important times I find myself ignoring it. Brenda I love you with all my heart and if it wasn't for God putting you in my life I don't know where I would be. Thank you for being you.

Brenda said...

I love you too Chad! ;o) Thanks for being you...and putting up with me.

Linda L said...

Wow, great post Brenda! I find it interesting how reading scripture in a different version than what your used to can make it come alive. I found your whole post really encouraging. Especially today when I am struggling with an issue that just keeps coming back to haunt me. I think I've given it to God and then I fall right back into bad habits. So thank you for the encouragement of your thoughts and Scripture. Love you~

Brenda said...

Linda, I really am enjoying the NIRV version. It is what we are going to get for Ian.

I am happy you are encouraged today. We all have our moments where issues creep up on us. Happens to me all the time. But the glory of all of it is that we can make the choice to give all that to God. No matter how many times we choose to pick it up, He never gets tired of us coming back to Him to hand it over.
I often wonder if He ever looks at me, rolls His eyes, shakes His head and says "Silly Girl...when will you learn" and then I imagine Him having the biggest laugh while hugging me as I keep starting over and over again.
I think I serve that kind of God. ;o) I like that!

Terry Rush said...

A typical Brenda writing full of heart and passion for things that matter.

I'm proud of you and.....I love you today!