Originally published Saturday, 31 January 2015.
First, let me say this: I've been pursuing Jesus with my whole heart. I've been listening for the still, small voice and trying to remain right in the center of His will, which means dying to myself and coming alive in Him. OUCH!
I write to encourage others to do the same and often receive personal emails from readers who say they admire the way I've dealt with tragedy. Those emails are hard to read because, friends, I'm a mess! My heart is trying to heal and it's one step forward and three steps back in the process of working to be healthy and whole again. But then I have to wonder if I was ever healthy and whole in the first place... Are any of us, really?
You see, I don't want to give you the wrong impression. I'm imperfect, and I grapple with God. Very regularly! I need you to know that It isn't about being perfect. We all have bad days and it's okay. You see, the bad days lead us to the good ones. And regardless of how bad the day is, there is new mercy in each one.
We can't pretend the bad days don't exist. If they didn't, how would we learn anything in life?
Sometimes, I get tired of the "prosperity Gospel." The Gospel is meant to be prosperous on the whole, and overall, as it pertains to the hope of glory: Jesus. However, it doesn't mean we won't have moments when we want to scream, "It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!" and then head straight to bed where we pull the covers over our heads and sleep. If you don't believe me, read 1 Kings chapters 17-19. Elijah, who is one of my heroes, will prove my point.
Elijah was living smack dab in the center of God's will doing everything he was supposed to do, yet, he still found himself overwhelmed by the situation he faced. Running for his life just wasn't cutting it anymore. He was exhausted. He was pursuing God with all his might and then he broke. Now here is the good news, and this is why I'm taking courage no matter how I feel...
In the story of Elijah, we have a front row seat to watch him chase hard after God. He was doing everything He was supposed to do, and then when he felt as if he wanted to throw in the towel, God pursued him. Hard. Yes, that's what I said!
But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a boom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, "It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!" Then as he lay and slept under a boom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, "Arise and eat." Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.
-1 Kings 19:4-8
God provided an angel to feed him and give him strength not once, but twice. The first time he went right back to sleep. It was the second time that he was refreshed, renewed, and ready to go after all God had planned for him.
Sometimes, pulling the blankets up high is necessary. We need to rest so that we can reevaluate our situations and allow God to provide what we need. We might be anxious about our problems, but God is anxious for us.
I lost someone I loved very, very, very much, and I'm hurting. No matter how happy my Instagram pictures look, underneath is a girl counting on God to send an angel to minister strength to her. And that is the difference between the bad days that lead us to God and the ones that lead us away from Him. No matter how difficult the day, if it leads us to the Almighty, then I would define it as prosperous. It's perspective!
And something else, if you're enduring a struggle, it doesn't mean you've done anything to cause it or that you are outside the will of God for your life. Bad things happen to good, godly people. The end!
Dear Hurting Friend,
Your day might be difficult and your life might be upside down. Count. On. God.
It's okay to have a bad day and pull the blankets up high over your head. As long as you are praying for strength from the only One who can send it, you're going to be okay.
When we allow God to work in our difficulties, our weak moments lead to His supernatural strength. (Tweet that)
May you find grace in every moment as you live counting on Him. He is pursuing you. You might not feel it, so please choose to believe it.
If you are interested in reading my book, Nothing to Hold but Hope, you can find it here.