Ever have one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days just like Alexander, or at the very least a day that you rolled out of bed planting your feet firmly on the wrong side. Those days when life seems off, your connection with God lack luster, and the cares of the world are in an all out brawl to swallow up your joy. Even though I know God’s word tells us, “This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it.”* Rejoicing in the midst of challenging circumstances takes work! Encountering days of all sunshine and roses presents easy peasy rejoicing that rolls off my tongue almost effortlessly; opposed to the contrast of rejoicing through hardship, set backs and disappointment. How I long to walk with more appreciation every single day, living in the life’s moments thanking God for what He offers me.
Allowing God’s truths to create deep roots, strengthening my trust in Him as it chokes out the relentless worries that cloud His far grandeur purpose. Choosing to count it all joy as I calculate with Heavenly mathematics rather then worldly equations. Banking on the truth that God is in the business of dividing our sorrows and multiplying our joys, turning our hardships into hallelujahs. These heartfelt desires the Lord longs for us to possess in far greater dimensions then we could ever imagine. For His word tells us that He came, “that we may have life and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
God is ever so faithful to keep me on the right path revealing His deep and unfailing love even when I flounder in my faith, doubt Him, myself or a myriad of other things that can rob my joy and peace. Recently, I felt that love in a tangible way with a hug to my heart from the throne room, delightfully bringing a touch of heaven on earth. On this particular stressful day a series of circumstances led to an all too familiar and unwelcome companion, a burdensome yoke called “people pleasing”; its’ pressure digging deep into my soul. Somehow this unwanted formidable foe sneaked in the back door of my stressful day, hanging his hat on my weariness and his coat on my well worn emotional peg. Hoping to cozy up for a long stay.
And now a normally pleasant walk was suddenly turning rather unpleasant with my twirling mind of self doubt! With each step I wallowed in guilt and condemnation, forgoing even a glimmer of positive self talk that could talk me off the ledge; which at that point seemed like too much extra work. Instead I forged ahead an all too familiar well traveled rut, that led me into a full blown pity party! Heck, why not I already had gotten the persuasive invitation. Keeping my head down with no party hat in sight I trudged up a hill while beads of perspiration collected on my furrowed brow. Just when my head felt like it could hang no lower without scraping on a tree root, all of the sudden I saw a glass marble nestled in the green grass. A beautiful shiny clear orb with a chartreuse swish of color in the center… it absolutely stopped me in my tracks picking it up with delight. Giddy I held it up with admiration, my heart flooded with childlike wonder as the weight of guilt and condemnation was exchanged for joy coming in the smallest form. After admiring this spherical wonder for several moments I tucked it into my pocket while sensing the Lord lovingly saying to me, “be childlike Lisa, enjoy the moment, the beauty, and don’t worry about “pleasing people.”
Like a tiny mustard seed telling a mountain to be cast into the sea, this tiny glass orb changed the atmosphere toward a richer love for God, myself and others. Allowing me to refocus, enjoy the journey, and its’ new fresh perspective. All in that in the tiniest of packages.
As glorious as this revelation was, I found myself in need of another teachable moment soon afterwards. Recently, after coming home one day, I was astounded to see a fire truck, and firemen putting out a neighbors house that evidently had been burning 15 mins prior. Though I was thankful to hear that everyone in their household was safe including their pets. While grieving for their loss, I also became sad and sentimental for our neighborhood of 24 yrs. For many years this particular house held fond memories of our boys childhood friends that lived there. Countless stories of 5 boys leaving their joyful mark on our little community with all their… ahem, “creativity.” My heart was heavy as I walked to our son’s house a block away to check on it as a precautionary measure.
Grappling with unsettling emotions I tried to get my bearings in all this upheaval surrounding our neighborhood. Once again, I found myself gazing at the ground, head hung low as I walked back home, when suddenly I saw a shiny ball bearing. I quickly picked it up only to walk a couple more steps and spotted another one, a few more steps and yet another!
Ball bearings are known for allowing movement, while reducing friction and handling stress. This gentle reminder revealed that I had lost my “faith bearings.” Allowing stress, fear, and loss to steer me off course of walking in His truth that “He works out all things for good to those that love Him.” God in His patience and loving ways lifted my spirits afresh in a tangible way to place in my pocket and nestle in my heart.
Thank you God that you are the glory and the lifter of my head and because of you “… we walk with uplifted faces” Psalm 89:17 Amp
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28 The Message (MSG)