I did something very stupid this week. I did quite a few stupid things this week, the stupidest of them being that I let my emotions get to me and I didn’t post nor read more than perhaps the daily verse on my Bible app. This past week has been one of the most trying I’ve had in awhile and I am ashamed at myself to think I went this whole time without reading. I had been doing so good, too, and enjoying myself so much. I am going to read tonight. I’m going to read 1 John 1. I don’t know why, it just came to my mind and I’m going with it. I may or may not post about it. I just wanted to use this time to admit to the world (the little world that reads this little blog, at least) that I failed this week. I failed myself, my boyfriend, my friends, and God. Sure, He still loves me but we all know that we can’t go around taking advantage of God’s grace, especially in times like where I find myself right now.
Thankfully this week hasn’t been a total blow. I reconnected with an old friend who is trying to straighten his life up. He even admitted to me last night that he was praying during church. He’s struggling a lot with giving up everything and finding his “happy place” but I believe he is really genuine about wanting to change and I am so excited that he is coming to me and opening up to me about it all. He trusts me with these feelings and decisions he’s making in his life and I really hope and pray that I can be smart enough to keep myself above water and on my own track with the Lord to be able to guide him along.
I guess now I would like to make a sort of public apology/confession to God now.
Lord, I let my anger, frustration, confusion, burst of rebellion and self-reliance, hurt, misuse of adulthood, and so many other things get in the way of Your love for me this week. I took advantage of how much you’ve helped me grow this past year, and especially this past summer, and I blew it all on a few lousy days. I am so sorry, God. I don’t have a clue what got in to me. I guess I lost sight of You and wanted to go off on my own for awhile. That is always a bad idea. I don’t deserve Your mercy and love, but I do hope that this weekend and this coming week will be better and I will continue to grow even more through You, and with Your help. You’re there for me even when I have no one or feel like I have no one. I forget that. Everyone forgets that. But yet You’re still always there. Thank You.
Since I finished Psalms a few weeks ago I am finally now making my way through Proverbs (for at least the 5th or 6th time in my life, and probably more). Typically the first few verses in a chapter don’t stick to me or make much sense with all the “To the church of blahblahblah and Cephus ans blahblah and the brothers and sisters in Christ, so on and so forth and whatnot. But this got me.
First of all, the section is entitled “The Beginning of Knowledge” which is interesting because the Proverbs are full of wisdom, as is Ecclesiastes. What really caught me is verses 2-4
To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity, to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth-
What is the beginning of knowledge anyway? Well, it’s knowing wisdom and instruction. It’s receiving that instruction wisely and openly. Further on in verse 7 it says that fearing the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Obviously with fearing the Lord comes knowing wisdom and instruction. But then, just think! That is just the beginning of knowledge! And knowledge never ends! How much more we all have to learn throughout our lives. The second bit that stuck out to me was another verse that I’ve heard and read a thousand times, it seems, in the past 7 or so years. Proverbs 1:8 & 9 which basically talks about children obeying their parents, or rather, listening to what they have to say and accepting their wisdom. Verse 9 says that a parent’s wisdom is a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. Basically they are riches for you. I’d never looked at it in that way before. I always saw it as “listen to your parents” not “listening to the wisdom your parents may ever share with you can further you in life”. It’s something to think on.
I come from a poor family. Yes, compared to many we are still extremely privileged but we still have spent many a year scraping the bottom of the barrel, wearing hand me downs, and buying food with government money. The past few months have been the worst I’ve seen since I was in elementary school. I don’t know what went down or how it happened but it’s really starting to take a toll on me. About a month ago my mom made me give her $100 to pay the electric bill. I asked her about it 2 or so weeks later because I wanted it back for my birthday. Didn’t happen. Today she comes to me saying she needs an extra $60 or our internet (which we both need for work and school) will be shut off tomorrow night. Now, “technically” I have the money in checking as well as savings but I absolutely refuse to touch my savings for anything other than emergencies. My own personal emergencies. It’s my money, I saved it all completely on my own, and I’ll touch it when I want to. Now, like I said, I have the money but it’s the slow season at work so I’m only getting maybe 8-10 hours a week if I’m lucky. So I can’t be just throwing my money around. I’m already having to buy all my own food both out and at the grocery store. I was already buying my own gas but now my mom rides to empty so much and for so long that I have to put in $5-$10 every time I drive, just to ensure I can get to where I’m going. (I’m terrified of running out and our gas gauge isn’t reliable.
Anyway, the point is that I am very frustrated. It’s getting to the point where I feel like I’m paying rent in my own house. I know this isn’t a devotion post, but it’s a God post. The Bible forever talks about what money can do to a person, having too much of it. In a way, they say the poor are the blessed. But I don’t consider getting all your power and water and internet shut off and not having any food in your house blessed. Especially when the rest of your family is just as broke and can’t help you out and all those Christian friends from the church that are more privileged and are supposed to help don’t exist so we’re screwed on every earthly resource God provides. I’m nearing rock bottom.
I dont know where the desire went that I had when I was in California. True that I still didn’t post every single day and keep up with it, but when I did I was genuinely excited to read. Maybe it was the whole thought of being away from my normal world as if I could be alone with God in a set apart place. I liked that… But then it made me think. God meets us where we are. That’s normally used in the idea that we dont need to prepare anything prior to giving ourselves over to Christ, which is completely accurate. But I also think it can be interpreted another way. God meets with us. He is here to meet with us wherever we are. In the living room in California, in the car on my way to work, and in the closet in my room while my roommates are getting stoned out in the living room just like every other day. I think they make me want to be better. It’s like… I want to show them what it really means to be different and not be ashamed of it. Not at all ashamed. But I think so many times even in my alone time in my room, I find other things to do. And I don’t want that. Tonight I wanted to bring back the love I used to have for writing to write something God put on my heart regardless of the fact that I did actually read a couple chapters in Psalms. And they did speak to me in other ways apart from this. But snuggling up in a cozy area in my room while the real world sits just outside my door, I feel secluded. I feel… safe. I feel like He met with me.
Yesterday in church I opened up my Bible app on my phone and the verse of the day was Joshua 1:8. I am making my way through the book of Joshua so I was shocked when I was so blessed by this verse and didn’t remember ever reading it before. That is why I decided it would be my sole study today and I would write about it.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
It always makes me happy when I find fantastic verses in the Old Testament because my whole life they always seemed so rare. This verse is so simple. So simple. Do not let the Bible fade from your mind because when you have it as your weapon you can always have the good conscience to do what is right and your life will flourish. But wait, we have to remember that, as Christians, a flourishing life does not mean so in the worldly sense. Doing the right thing may mean not taking that job promotion and earning less money or perhaps giving up the “cool” friends and the flashy lifestyle.
But in keeping the Word within us and keeping with the Word, we store up treasures in Heaven and we make our hearts strong against anything that may come at us in life. This verse made me think, personally, of all the friends I’m giving up. They were not, by any means, tearing me down but they were causing me distress and I know what is in store for me by giving them up. There will be much talking behind my back about how I’m falling away from God because I’m associating with other non-Christians instead of them. So, I realized that I had to start putting even more effort behind my faith to prove to them and myself that the talk is not true. I have never felt stronger or more knowledgeable in my faith than I have in the past couple months.
The more that happens the more I wonder if my friends were kind of holding up my faith for me and I just couldn’t live like that anymore. I should have friends with me all the time, good, positively influencing friends, but more I should have the Bible with me and within me at all times.
Ok, I have a confession. I read tonight. I read Proverbs 1. But my confession is that I was restless. I jumped over a few verses and I read through the whole chapter extremely quickly. I am sad to say I wasn’t in the mood at all. However, I can tell you that, like most all of Proverbs, this chapter was all about wisdom. Particularly the wisdom of a father or mother to the child. How ironic to my life right now. Ha.
This morning in my graduation devotional I read Romans 8:28. A typical and well-known verse, but a good one. That was a much needed quick little devotion. But I’m still just not in the mood and it sucks. But I am excited about my praying today. I prayed today while I took a nap and it was so wonderful. Just me and God, having a chat.
I’ve found a new love for finding worship songs in my devotions in Psalms. They pretty much come up every few chapters though so I suppose this new hobby isn’t very tedious, which is fine because I am lazy. Anywho, today I read Psalm 41&42. I never realized before that Psalms is split up into different books. For instance, chapter 42 is the start of Book II and it has a completely different feel than all of the other Psalms I’ve read thus far. The song today was “My Soul Thirsts.” The one that says, “Why are you cast down O my soul?” Bob does it in service all the time. I get so sick of his voice sometimes… Anyway, I really loved this one particular part.
Verse 1 “As a deer pants for a stream of water, so my soul pants for you my God. My soul thirsts for for God, the Living God.”
I am always thirsty. Like always. I know what it is to feel like I’m gonna die if I dont have a soda. Not water, soda. Which is probably why I’m always thirsty. So, more or less, I know how much desire comes with thirst. Longing and whatnot. To thirst for God. What an awesome thing to use as an analogy the same way God uses hunger in his Word. God is our cup and our portion. That’s why we hunger and thirst for him. We desire him in our lives. I don’t simply want a sip of Dr Pepper. I want a tall glass, ice cold, with a refill ready when I need it. And thats how God is. He overflows with more and more everyday. If grandma every went so far as to break the fountain from repeatedly pressing it for the syrup to the point of it breaking and it continuously pouring out, I’d like to say that’s one description of our God.