March 7, 2015

Feeling Down But Not Out

It is a good Saturday here in sunny Phoenix. The weather is fine -- that good old spring weather -- where the temps are in the low-80s and the sun is shining without a hint of cloud in the sky. Yes, this is the weather that brings all our winter visitors to town. Spring training has started so baseball fever is kicking into high gear as well. It is also the time of the year when the flowers are in bloom and everything looks so strikingly beautiful. It is hard to describe what I mean when I say that because you would have to visit Phoenix to see it. It just means that between the desert brown and the brilliant blue sky there is this profusion of color everywhere you look. Flowers are bursting with color -- blues, purples, whites, fuchsia, yellow, orange and every color and variation in between. No matter where you look, there is gorgeous color. Then there is the variety of green that peeks through to tie it all together. Granted, we don't have a lot of grass, but the desert green we do have is perfect for our muted landscape. The green runs from a dark green pine to a silvery heather green. Suffice it to say, March is the perfect month to visit the Valley of the Sun.

So with all this beauty abounding, how can I title this blog post "Feeling Down But Not Out?" Yes, it is true, I am feeling a bit down today. I am not sure why (well, this is not true, I actually do know why) I am struggling so much, especially today, especially after I have had such a good week. Yet, I feel down, feel blue, and feel a bit overwhelmed right now. Let me explain...

I woke up this morning after a fitful night's sleep. I did sleep well, hard, but well. I woke up around 6 a.m. after hearing Winston or Ike getting into trouble in my room. I surmised that the issue was a lack of food in their bowls (I did forget to fill them before I went to bed last night). My Mom wasn't up early so the boys were getting antsy and they came calling to me. I shooed them out of the room, closed the door, and went back to bed. Sometime around 8:00 I heard Winston crying to get back into the room, so I got up again and let him back in. Then it happened. I laid down and crashed for about an hour. In that hour, I had a dream, and with that dream, I woke up feeling panicked.

I think the getting up and laying back down did it to me. That and the dream I had seemed to work together to create this feeling of being knocked down.

The Word reminds us to take courage, to remember to trust in the Lord, especially when we feel weak or afraid. In 2 Chronicles 15:7 we read, "But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded." We are reminded that what we are doing, the work we do for the Lord, will be rewarded (perhaps not in this life, but certainly in the one to come!) Therefore, we are encouraged to remain faithful, to be strong, and to not shirk back in fear regarding any of the plans the Lord has for our lives.

As I think about today, and I wrestle with some of the issues that are causing me to stress over, I remember that the Lord has me covered, so well-covered. I am doing what I know is the Lord's work. I am committed to following after the Lord, to trusting and to resting in His provision and security. There will be times when I feel overwhelmed and afraid. There will be times when I am faced with uncertainty, and when I need a God-size miracle. These are the times when my faith kicks into gear, and I stand firmly and with resolution, believing that my God is bigger, is better, and is more able to handle anything that concerns me this day. He is good, He is God, and He is Able.

Matthew 19:26 - But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Yes, my faith rests securely in the One who holds all things in His hand, and who is my Champion and my Victor -- I AM, the Great I AM!!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your presence today. Thank you for covering me with your goodness and your grace. Thank you for your provision -- it is enough for today! Thank you for providing me with a future filled with hope, with prosperity, and with good practical work. Thank you for standing by me and for keeping me safe amidst the storms of life. Thank you for the blessing of family and of friends, comforting companions who hold me accountable, who lift me up when I feel down, and who bring me joy (unspeakable) to remind me that life is meant to be lived and to be enjoyed (and not feared or abhorred). Thank you for your plans, your promises, and your provision. Thank you for everything you have done in my life, and for everything you are doing in my life. I look forward with great expectancy, with abundant eagerness, and with overflowing joy. You are good. You are God. You are everything to me. I love you, Lord, and I lift your name today. I praise you, I worship you, and I thank you! May God be praised forevermore. Amen. Selah!

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