Tag Archives: destitute

The Big Reveal

I used to pride myself on my faith – I’d tout what big faith I had. I was relishing all the good and all the blessings.  Even though circumstances weren’t perfect I was smitten like we get with our first love.  It was all good.  Then things turned very bad.  He allowed things in my life I frankly thought because He loved me He never would.  That’s the rub of the Christian life.

I’ve said it before while going through this desert – I doubted big time.  My “faith” crumbled and my hope faded.  What in the world had I done wrong, why, why why…poor little Barbie…devastated and messed up I found it a struggle to find a mustard seed of faith.  The whole experience thus far has shown me I’m not nearly as big a spiritual giant as I once thought I was.

There it is.  The reason.

I see all the time praises about God and how good He is when people get a good outcome.  What if we don’t?  Is He still a good God?  Some say losing a job, losing all material possessions, getting a divorce, children and other loved ones dying, addiction, homelessness and hungry is God’s will.  Is it?  If God’s good, how can those things be God’s will? It’s my understanding that God is good.  So why are things so bad?

All I know is this.  THROUGH all I have been through my shallow perceptions of Him have long since faded.  My notions of how He should handle me and my circumstances have gone by the wayside.  Through it all, my relationship with Him has deepened.  I had to die.  What I thought of Him and His ways had to be destroyed so I could have a heart, eyes and ears to see Him for who He is.

I believe He had to get me to a place where I had to let go of me, let go of my perceptions and my pride to see Him for who He is.  Had it all not happened, I wouldn’t have.  We don’t seek to have ourselves destroyed – we don’t like being wrong.  We think we know…and we don’t until we know.

I think He chooses many different ways through which we have opportunities to grow a more intimate relationship with him.  When we finally see that everything we thought is wrong and accept that, then He can begin to show Himself for who He really is, and His great personal love for us. His ways are definitely not our ways.  I had to come a hard way but it’s been a wonderful way.  Sorrow, loss and pain will reveal who we really are and what we really believe.

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Yes. Every Time.

Three times.  He asked Peter three times if he loved Him.  Three times.

How many times has He had to ask me? How many times has He spoken to “get me right”…to get to the core of me?  You?  How many times has He spoken to you?

You know, that whisper that silences everything else; that touch that stops you in your tracks; that cuts to the person you really are.  The voice that gets down to the truth of what is really going on.

When you hear it, you know that from that point on, you can’t be the same.  You know that conversation will change everything: the way you feel and think, how (if) you go forward from there…how you see things, how you respond.  Everything.  You know the significance of the question, and the response is critical.

This is no normal “do you love me”.  Peter had been with Jesus throughout His ministry years.  He had witnessed the power of the Messiah.  He thought he knew what it meant to “follow” Jesus.  He thought he loved him and was faithful and “sold out” – he even said he would kill or be killed for Him…then it happened.  He denied Him.  He followed at a distance and watched him be tortured and crucified. His Jesus – the one he had left his life for was dead.  Until that moment on the shoreline he thought it was over.

Then the questions.  “Do you love me?”  I suspect with every answer the realness of love became clearer.  The requirement of what it meant to say yes became deeper and deeper. With the third question, the deal was sealed and the proof is in the Bible.  This man, with his yes, was never the same and was completely devoted to Christ.

As hard as Peter’s life was – he was tortured, forsaken, probably hungry and without many times, imprisoned, chained up, beaten (on the list goes) he never wavered again.  His dedication and love for Jesus was undeniable.

I want a love like that.  I want to stand firm and follow Him regardless of the cost.  If my hands are empty and I have absolutely nothing material to prove He loves me, I pray I will still say yes.  If my life is hard and I’m destitute I still want to love Him.  I still want to lift my hands to praise Him. I pray I will.  Yes, Lord.  I love you.

Sacred Socks

While walking Sampson one morning, I was walking and praying, head down, looking at my shoes and socks.  My shoes were worn, I brought them from Alabama and since being here, my job changed and the bottom fell out and couldn’t afford to buy any more so they were looking pretty bad.  They still had good soles and no holes but they were sure ugly.  I had a pair of my son’s socks on because I didn’t have any of my own…couldn’t afford them either.  You know things are pretty dire when you can’t afford socks.  I looked like an orphan and worse, I felt like one too.

Somehow looking at my shoes and socks the desperation of our situation became very real to me. Fear and sadness rushed me and with it God recalled to my mind His words: “Pray without ceasing…” (1st Thessalonians 5:17) and “but my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) so in tears I prayed for socks.  “I’m thankful for my son’s socks Lord, thankful my feet aren’t cold but honestly, I would like to have my own socks.  Maybe someday soon, when things are better, You will see fit to let me have my own socks so I won’t have to wear his anymore…I believe it won’t always be this way but if it is thank You that we have what we need…” and kept walking.

Anyone else would think me silly; I kind of thought how petty I was being even thinking about socks when faced with so many challenges…so many mountains that I just couldn’t see my way over.  At that moment, it seemed like I was doomed.  I could barely buy groceries and faced with the threat of eviction on top of losing 75% of my income, I was feeling pretty hopeless and I was full of self-pity.

A couple of days later my next door neighbor stopped me and told me they had been given some clothes and after she went through them if I wanted them I could go through them to see if there was anything we needed. I walked over and got the bags and began going through them.  In one of the big bags at the bottom was a white, smaller bag.  When I opened the bag I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Socks, pairs and pairs of brand new women’s socks.  While going through them crying so hard I couldn’t see I remembered just two days before my heartfelt prayer and I was reminded, yet again, my Father knows every need, He hears every prayer and He provides.

A couple of things came to me while I rejoiced over my provision:  1) answered prayers may not look like we think they ought to.  See, I thought when I had the money I would buy my own socks.  I never considered hand-me-down clothes would contain my answer and 2) God answers prayer in many ways but one thing is for sure…He can’t answer if we don’t ask.  I wonder had I not prayed if my neighbor would have been prompted to even give me what she didn’t want!

I learned a valuable lesson that day.  Pray about EVERYTHING.  At a time when I felt absolutely worthless and that life as I knew it was over I still believed in God, His ability to provide our needs and He hadn’t abandoned me – He was there.  When I didn’t see how things were ever going to get better, He showed me with socks that He is intricately involved in EVERY detail of our lives.

The answers to our prayers may not come like we think they should which I have come to believe is exciting!  Sacred socks infused a new faith in me because now when there’s a need I have a renewed expectation of Him knowing He will provide…I just don’t know how which makes like more of an excellent adventure.  The important thing is, I truly believe He will answer.  Do you?

Those socks at that time in my life were like manna from heaven.  From then on, I gave Him permission to provide any way He wants to and I have a new gratefulness in my heart.  Every time I get dressed and put them on I remember He hears, He provides and I know if He will give me socks, everything else we need is covered.