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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stronger Backs

I read here, my friend Stacey's post about being content. I thought it was very genius of her. I realize that I can be quite a complainer. Stacey's post was refreshing and I fully intend to implement her personal brand of "turn that frown upside down." I really think looking for the positives in any given situation is much more productive than stewing on the negativity that has me angered anyway. Thanks for the inspiration Stacey!

All this leads me to my post for today. I could list the many difficulties I've been facing in my daily life, but that would be focusing on the negativity of my circumstances. Sister I know you have enough of your own struggles to deal with without dealing with mine too, so instead I am going to write about what I believe God is trying to speak to me in the midst of my crazy, annoying, negative battles these days.

Ever heard the quote "Pray for stronger backs, not lighter burdens." Well, I think the Lord has been driving that concept (or at least trying to) into me for weeks.

The truth is I like things easy. I really prefer not to have to break a sweat. Sure, I could roll up my sleeves and get dirty, but it's so much easier and more enjoyable not to have to!

That's my problem right there! God knows I've been doing a whole lot of asking for lighter burdens. He hasn't answered those particular prayers for me. It's not that he doesn't hear me, or that He doesn't care about my struggles. This I trust. I hear Him whispering to me instead that the whole point of these struggles is to learn to get down and dirty in The Spirit. His Spirit. Relying on Him when it's tough. Doing the things I have no desire to do, in obedience.

Lately this even means engaging in struggles I'd just prefer not to have to deal with. All sorts of arrows from the enemy are being allowed to penetrate my defences these days. Now, I am NOT saying that I think the enemy is winning or that I am really defenceless. (because I KNOW that's not true. See this , and this , and this.) I am also NOT saying I think God is mean or twisted to let the arrows hit their marks. I believe instead that God has a purpose even for the evil one's arrows and is bringing about the fulfillment of His desires to make me more like Christ and bring all things under one head. Part of God's redemptive work is in turning what the evil one intends to use to harm and turning it around for His glory.

With all that wonderful faith affirming stuff said why do I still resist at times? Some things I've struggled with recently are the feelings I have surrounding my current struggles. I've been known lately to say prayers like, "Lord, what do you want me to do with all these feelings? Even when I know that the way I feel about things is not, in reality, the way things are, I still have these pesky emotions hanging around me. They're bringing me down Lord!!"

I'd pay big money to any woman who had sound advice or counsel to offer on what to do with my emotions!!

For now, emotions still in tow, I am concentrating on moving forward. Evading my current struggles is no longer an option, so I'm jumping in head first. With the question of receiving a lighter burden resolved I am ready to dig and and do a whole lot of praying. I'm seeking an outpouring of God's supernatural strength and endurance amidst all these distractions and difficulties. If they are not intended to go away at the moment I am reassured that there is purpose in them. If there is purpose and knowledge to be gained by enduring these difficulties then I sure do want to receive them. Then maybe I won't have to repeat these lessons.

And, If I can spare myself from repeating a lesson I failed to learn from I just might succeed in securing a lighter burden for myself, because a lighter burden, after all, is what I'd really like right now!

Hahahahaha. Does anyone else see the irony in that!?


Stacey said...

Once again, you've taught me a lesson Jen! You are so amazing and always know just what to say. I know just what you mean about those crazy emotions!

I also appreciate the link love :-)

Brooke said...

Jen, we are constantly living a life learning lessons from our emotions and our actions from them. You'd think it would end from our maturity in Christ, but unfornately God made us women who struggle with that day in and out. The only things that gets me through it, is Peace, the only Peace that the H.S. brings. Sometimes it is all that is left when I have worn everything else out. I love you, and I praying that you have the peace beyond all understanding.