Thursday, October 27, 2016

Peace for the Heavy Heart

Really, I should be cleaning right now, but I don't want to.

God has put something on my heart, and I have finally decided to share it. A mess can definitely wait.

My heart has been heavy the past few months. My first born went off to public school (which I totally support,) and we are in an election season that is so turbulent that you'd have to live under a rock to not be concerned. 

Or maybe not. Maybe you love one of the two major party candidates, and you're excited. Good for you. I cannot say the same.

But this is not a political blog post. 

I have just had a heavy heart over the past few months because it seems that my values and the values upheld by Jesus are not represented in the political candidates or in the public schools. Our school district decided to follow the president's executive order to avoid losing state funding. How is that acceptable? With no votes from the people? Anyway, to avoid a political discussion, my point is that my values are not represented in the decisions of the school district.

And similarly, my values and beliefs are not represented in either of the two major party political candidates. 

I have recently felt that I have no choices in these matters that are ultimately of great importance to me.

Sad.

But you know what? Christians should not be surprised. No where in the Bible are we promised that we will be the majority. No where in the Bible does it say we will have an easy life. Jesus says just the opposite. 
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
We will have sorrow and face things that weigh us down. But Jesus offers us two things. First, He came to earth and continues to teach us so that we may have peace. This is a guarantee from Him. No matter what we face, we can have peace in our souls if we seek Jesus. And second, Jesus already overcame the world. What this means for us is that we have hope. There is no reason to fear the future of this country. If we have faith in Jesus, it's all good for us in the end!

I also have taken great comfort in the fact that nothing, not even this election, is out of God's control. Not only does God control all government officials; He put them ALL into place.
"Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God" (Romans 13:1).
We have no reason to fear and no reason to freak out. I think all we can do is pray for God's wisdom before we vote and obey when His Spirit leads.  

I have prayed and have come to peace with who I will vote for. God delivers peace when we ask! He gives wisdom when we ask! 
"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you" (James 1:5).
And furthermore, we do not need to feel out of control. Humans love to have control (especially women, I think!) But we forget that we don't need to worry about things, great or small. 

There is a song on the radio now that has been giving me great comfort. It's "King of the World" by Natalie Grant. I will leave you with the lyrics because they are so powerful. For the youtube video click here.

I tried to fit you in the walls inside my mind
I try to keep you safely in between the lines
I try to put you in the box that I've designed
I try to pull you down so we are eye to eye
When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
How could I make you so small
When you're the one who holds it all
When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world
Just a whisper of your voice can tame the seas
So who am I to try to take the lead
Still I run ahead and think I'm strong enough
When you're the one who made me from the dust
When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
How could I make you so small
When you're the one who holds it all
When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world
Oh, you set it all in motion
Every single moment
You brought it all to me
And you're holding on to me
When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
How could I make you so small
When you're the one who holds it all
When did I forget you've always been the king of the world
You will always be the king of the world

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Sustainer vs. Stress

This is a rough time of year for me. Harvest.

As a farmer's wife, I'm learning to think more favorably about the harvest. It is the fruition of all my husband's hard work throughout the year. He eagerly looks forward to it every year. Me, I dread it every year. Like I said, I'm learning to like it.

But every year it is just a time of STRESS for me. I don't need to get into all the details. I know many jobs have busy seasons and many husbands travel often for work. Let's face it, women/moms deal with STRESS a lot. (I'm capitalizing it because it is yelling at me.)

I was thinking about how I could gracefully handle the STRESS this year because, I'll just be honest, I don't always do that well. I was thinking about how God could help me. I was thinking that God gives us grace. God gives us salvation and righteousness. God gives us mercy. I am thankful for all of theses things.

But in the STRESS, my mind doesn't focus on those things. So, I searched for an attribute of God that I could claim during my time of STRESS.

I need God to be my Sustainer. I need Him to sustain me through this harvest season.
Sustain: verb. "To support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of. To keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction"  (dictionary.com).
See, I drastically need to be sustained by God during this time. If you're like me, going through a time of STRESS or trial, you need a verse or two to cling to. Here's what the Bible says about God and His ability to sustain us.
Psalm 54:4 - "Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me."
Psalm 55:22 - "Cast your cares of the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken."
Isaiah 46:4 - "Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain and I will rescue you."
So not only is God full of love, grace, mercy, and righteousness, He is able to sustain me when I feel the most STRESSED. He will carry me. He will help me. He will sustain me. I'm going to rely on Him one day at a time. I'll make it. (Check back with me in November!)

He's my rock, my anchor and my sustainer.

Here's a great song that expresses these attributes of our great God. I always love a good song! "My Anchor" by Christy Nockels
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NG_D19wru0