Monday, May 2, 2011

God and Me

I was doing pretty good at the Maximize your Mornings challenge (getting up before your kids and doing self preservation tasks like exercise and quiet time).  However, the last few weeks, I've fallen off the wagon.  I have been working to keep up with the Facebook Bible study that I'm doing baed on Priscilla Schafer's One in a Million.  The book has been okay.  Not earth shattering but not boring.  However, the chapter I read yesterday really jumped out at me so I thought I would share some of the words she wrote regarding the "in between"-when you've left a time where you have seen God's goodness and provision and are now in the wildnerness.

Schafer relates how she and her husband once arrived in a new town for a speaking engagement and were taken by a local church member to the hotel for the night only to discover that the hotel was near train tracks and that the train was not conducive to getting a good night's sleep.  As soon as their host picked them up in the morning, Schafer writes how she quickly began to complain to her host about the train.  The host replied that she had lived in the neighborhood a long time and had completely tuned out the train.  In fact, the host didn't even notice it.  Schafer then writes

"Something similar has happened in the generational neighborhood we call our own.  With a church on every corner and a Christian radio station at nearly every point on the dial, with Christian bookstores in many shopping districts and more Bible resources available than ever, we've gotten so accustomed to the blessings of god, we've grown virtually deaf to His voice and blind to His presence. 

He's met us so frequently with what we need-everything from putting food on the table to keeping us from catching the flu-that we typically don't stop long enough to chalk up these daily benefits to His active care and provision. 

But not only that, if He were to do something uniquely interesting in our lives, if He chose to display Himself outside His usual pattern, if the train of His glory were to come through in some remarkable way, is there a good chance we wouldn't even recognize it because we've lived in the neighborhood of His favor for so long?"

In her words, this wilderness, in between time can be not only things like sickness or financial difficulties but even something like having a dry spell in our relationship with the Lord.

She continues with

"The spirit of complaint is born out of an unwillingness to trust God with today.  Like the Isrealites, it means you are spending your time looking back toward Egypt or wishing for the future, all the while missing what God is doing right now. 

And even in the in-between times, He is doing something. 

That's why it is so important that you and I not see these as being dead zones.  As I said before, they are more like bridges that take us from one point to another, always in the direction of where God is moving.  If we can get it through our heads that this is not a waste of time or something to sleepwalk through, we can stand and celebrate the fact that God is active in our boredom.  He is teaching great truths even in the midst of a dry lecture.  When we believe this with our whole hearts, it lets us in on one of the keys to successful abundant living.  The wilderness is not the barrier between us and abundant living.  It may feel like it, but it's not.  The thing the barricades our entrance into Promised Land living is when we wander in the wilderness, when we delay our development program by refusing to stay near to God, even when He feels far away.  

Nearness to Canaan was not His goal for this in-between time in their lives. 

The goal was nearness to Him."

Too good not to share...

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