The day I dreaded for so long finally took place last week. I took my middle son, Dalton, to college. I was happy for him but sad that the college is four hours away. As I drove down the highway with Dalton following in his car behind me, my heart was breaking.
I was careful to make sure that there was ample distance between my car and Dalton’s so that he could not see me wiping tears from my cheeks. I tried to dial my best friend – no answer. I tried to call my sister – no answer. I then tried to call my wise, Aunt Carole – strike three. I finally just cried out to God. As I sobbed, I told him that I wasn’t ready to be an empty-nester yet. Even though Dylan, my youngest is a senior in high-school, I felt the impending pain of possibly making another trip like this next year. As I told God about the pain, God gently began to tell me about HIS pain.
He reminded me of the time that Abraham set out to take his son Isaac on a dreaded three-day journey. Abraham’s heart was breaking because he was going to sacrifice his son. They climbed the chosen mountain together and as Isaac carried a stack of wood on his back, Abraham carried the knife and the fire. I can’t imagine how heavy Abraham’s heart must have been going up that mountain.
Abraham is actually a picture of God – the Father who walked his son up a hill to become a sacrifice. God walked every step of the way with Jesus as he neared Golgotha. Jesus carried the cross on his back and God carried the fire.
Then God spoke to my heart, “When you understand how much I love my son, you will then understand how much I love YOU – because I gave him up for you!”
Suddenly, something clicked in my spirit and I finally “got it.” We love our children more than our own selves. God loves Jesus the same. But God would not withhold even Jesus for our salvation. Do you see that? God gave up his SON for us! Meditate on that today. You need to understand how much God really, really loves you. Enough to suffer the pain of separation from his son for you! Then, may you be filled with joy to know that are so loved.
Stress, stress, stress!! Crises after crises seems to be coming at me like a machine gun. Pow - pow- pow -pow...Most of this is stemming from my job. A recent shift in my duties has landed me in a hotbed of a problematic and faltering business. I've been told that if it doesn't turn around....well, I won't go there.
So, everyday as soon as I enter my office, customers, contractors, my bosses, vendors and staff hit me with a laundry list of problems that need immediate attention. Even when I try to leave for lunch and on weekends my phone rings with another "crises".
How have I dealt with all this? Well, I admit - I think I could have handled some things better. I feel as if I have been short with a few people - or at least not my usual perky self. And I noticed that my staff was becoming hesitant to step in the doorway of my office with another problem. Maybe I was giving off a vibe that this wasn't a good time. Maybe they were starting to believe that NO time is a good time.
I recently told the Lord, "I feel overwhelmed and pushed beyond my limits and my frustration is leaking out onto those around me. I didn't know this kind of frustration was in me! Where did this come from?!"
Evidently, it was in there all along but I had never been tested to this magnitude. It was time for the refining fire to rid me of a little thing called impatience.
But God is good and didn't allow me to go it alone. First he laid it on my heart to search him out on this. I could hear sweet whisperings in my spirit during prayer, "No-one should EVER find you unapproachable. Once they do, it gives them a sense of uneasiness." "Jesus in all things was tested just like we are....he understands the pressing crowds and overwhelming needs" "Each person deserves our best."
But now that I knew God's heart on this - the question was how to do it when I'm just not feeling it. For me, there has only been one way to handle these last few weeks; my prayer language. It has energized me, edified me, lifted me up and taken me beyond my normal capabilities. In fact, I think it's been a small miracle how much praying in my prayer language throughout the day has strengthened me.
I know it sounds crazy, but I'm glad I had to undergo such stress to discover such a wonderful key to our daily life. Praying in the Spirit.
Lesson learned. Thanks teacher.