Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Things I'm Thankful for: The Promises of God.

Hi. My name is Tina and I’m afraid of spiders, bats and life.

That is what I felt like I should stand and say during the testimony time following our weekend Ladies Retreat. I didn’t, mostly because I felt like anything I said beyond that would just be a grouping of unintelligible sobs, stutters and sniffling broken only by deep, staggering breaths.
Earlier in the day, I had a moment when I just broke. I mean, broke. There was no holding anything back, no being discreet. I was shaking, I was audibly sobbing, if I didn’t have on waterproof mascara, my face would have been streaked black. (By the way, Thank you Lord for waterproof mascara. Amen)

The hows and the whys of my break really aren’t important to anyone but me, but the gist of what I felt God communicating to me was this:

I’m not living out my calling because I’m afraid. I hold back. I avoid. I resist. I disobey because I fear the outcome. I am convinced that if I step out in such and such or continue in this or that things will be (or stay) dissatisfying, uncomfortable, lonely, bad, difficult or (insert your unpleasant word here). While there is no guarantee that every risk or act of obedience will result in sunshine and butterflies, what is more true is that God works all things together for our good and His glory.

What God communicated to me in that moment of breaking, aside from just His goodness and bigness and steadfast love and specific, continual personal care for me is that regardless, what is guaranteed on the other side of a step of faith, of obedience, of laying down my life is the promises of God.

It is written that all the promises of God find their Yes in Christ (1 Cor 1:20). It is also written that we know Him, experience Him, abide in Him is to keep His commandments. So we know Him and experience the promises of God as we step out in faith, obey, and lay down our lives as He laid down His.

So what does this mean to someone who is not me? It means that, whatever your thing is...whatever area you have quit or not started or avoided or ignored...stop! The outcome you fear may or may not happen. There are no guarantees in that, but we are guaranteed the promises of God...the one true God...the God who changes not...the God who's steadfast love surrounds us all the days of our lives.

No one yet has ever set out to test God's promises fairly, thoroughly, and humbly, and had to report that God's promises don't work. On the contrary, given a fair opportunity, God always surprises and overwhelms those who truly seek, with His bounty and His power. (Peter Marshall)

I don't know about you...but I want to test, I want to give fair opportunity to God to surprise and overwhelm me with His bounty and His power!

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