August 2, 2017

Getting Down to Business

It is a blessed Tuesday in the valley of the sun! I slept well, praise God, and I woke up feeling refreshed. I am sitting at my computer, drinking my coffee, and blogging now, all the while I am thinking to myself how Great the Lord is, and how worthy He is to be praised!

I was praying this morning over my situation, and I was thinking that just yesterday, I was a mess of panic. My son asked how we were going to "ride" share to school, and all I could think about was my lack of provision. Oh Lord, where is that blessed provision!

Of course, I am well-provided for, but my son needs a car, has needed a car, and here we are at the brink of the start of the new year, and guess what? We have no car for him to get back and forth to school and work. My first thought was that the Lord had led me down the garden path, so to speak, but then after I collected my senses, I realized that the Lord has promised to provide, but He may or may not provide a second car for us at this time. He may provide for us in another way. No matter the outcome, the will provide what is needed, what is necessary -- it just might not be what I think, hope, or expect. Let me explain...

Hope and Trust in the Lord

As I calmed down, I started to think back to a conversation I had with the Lord the previous week. I asked the Lord if it was even feasible to purchase a car, given the fact that my son plans to study abroad in 2018. I casually said, "Is it worth the expense NOW to invest in a car that will sit in the driveway for a year?" The funny thing in all of this was that my son said the same thing, about the same time as I was thinking about it. Now, I wonder if this is the Lord's plan after all. While the thought of ride sharing another year doesn't sit well with me, simply for inconvenience sake, if this is the Lord's provision, I must rest in it. There is no point in receiving a gift that will not be used, in my view.

Thus, this morning, I am feeling rested though I still am stressed over the details of the coming weeks. I mean, I've got to get planning, and that means, starting to work toward the goal of being ready for fall classes. I am so not ready. I am so not ready, and I am running out of time. Today, as a consequence is devoted to getting my ducks in a row and really jumping into all the preparation required for this new semester. If I am to be at GCU, I need to make some changes to my lesson plans. If I am to be hired elsewhere so I can teach "full-time" online, well, I simply need to get myself organized so I can manage the extra workload. Regardless, I need to get down to business, and I need to start moving forward this good day.

The truth of the matter is that as of today, August 2, I still don't have any confirmation on the plans the Lord has for my fall semester. I haven't heard a peep from ASU, and with no word, comes more thoughts that I have been passed over for another candidate. It is getting mighty close to the deadline for their decision (actually passed), so I would think that since I haven't heard a positive result, I am to remain as an adjunct for another year. It is okay, as I have blogged, and even last evening I said to the Lord that I would remain as I am for as long as He determines it is best for me to do so.

My mind is rushing through details like a whippersnapper, and I am starting to worry about outcomes that I cannot control. For example, the whole car matter. I don't know what we will do in two weeks when my son starts school and I need to be at my faculty meetings on campus in Tempe and Phoenix. I don't know how I will handle school starting at the end of the month when I am on campus 3 days each week. My parents are getting to the point where they cannot or will not help, so I am really stuck between a rock and a hard place. My thoughts are moving toward some outcome, I know it, but I cannot figure out my next steps. I must wait for the Lord to reveal His will in the matter, and then let Him provide a way for me to navigate these difficult and turbulent waters.

Then there is this whole issue of moving, and whether or not that idea, that option is still on the table. I had believed that 2017, summer to be precise would be the "move" date for me, yet here we are at the end of the summer, and guess what? No move in sight. I still have thoughts about it, feelings toward it, but for all intents and purposes, I see no movement ahead of me for quite a while. Perhaps next year.  Perhaps when everything is finally settled and I am free to move. For now, it looks like business as usual and that means "remain as you are" for the time being. I am trying to be content. I am trying to be settled despite being unhappy about it. I am trying to keep a positive outlook even when I feel like the path ahead of me is fraught with very large boulders and a not so passable pathway.

Pleading with the Lord

Lord, where are you? Why do I feel so abandoned right now? Why can I not see the next steps on this path? Why can I not figure this out?

Is it because I have not asked? No, I have asked -- repeatedly asked Him for clarification. I think it is because I am confused or confounded as to the way to go, and in that confusion, I have simply lost my way. When I ask the Lord, He tells me I am good. I am where He wants me to be. I am on the right track, but this doesn't feel right to me. It feels as if I have misstepped again, and in that misstep, I feel so mixed up, messed up, and really mightily confused about what to do next.

In Psalm 18:16, New International Version, we read the words of David, who said:

"In my distress, I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears."

Again in Psalm 34:17, New Living Translation, we read the response from the psalmist when he says, "The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles."

In Psalm 120:1, Amplified, we read yet again, "In my trouble, I cried to the Lord, And He answered me."

How many times in Scripture do we read about the "distress calls" of the righteous? How many times are we comforted in knowing that the God we serve does indeed hear our cries?

In Whom Do We Trust?

I am confronted with this truth today, in the fact that I cry out to the Lord, begging Him for answers, but there are no real answers being provided. I am being told to wait, to be patient, to rest, and to trust Him. Yet, the days wear on, and the events draw nearer, and I think to myself, "When, Lord? When will your blessed provision arrive?" I cannot move forward without His provision. I cannot solve this problem on my own -- my hands are empty -- and so I wait on Him for His help. I cry out to Him for His help. I trust -- I believe He will help me -- I just don't know when it will be.

My Lord is faithful. He is good to me. I say that all the time, but some days, He doesn't answer me right away. Some days, He asks me to wait. Some days, He says to me, "It will be in time." I don't like it when I have to wait. I mean, I will wait patiently for a while, but I don't want to wait long term, know what I mean. I don't want to wait for years.

Perhaps my answer will come today. Perhaps it will come in the next couple days. Perhaps it will come later this semester. I simply do not know. I have two choices. I can wait with expectancy or I can wait in fear, doubt, and worry. I will choose to wait in expectancy this good day. I will choose to believe that the Lord does indeed keep His promises and that the promises of God are true, they are "Yea and Amen!" I will wait, Lord. I will wait for you to provide exactly what I need this good, good day. You are good to me. You care for me. I will wait for your blessing, provision, and goodness.

In Closing

Psalm 130:5, New Living Translation says, "I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word." Likewise, I remember the words of Isaiah 8:17, New Living Translation, where the prophet says, "I will wait for the LORD, who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my hope in him."

I will wait, Lord. Today, I will look up, and I will wait for your hand of blessing to come to me. Restore me to your goodness and your favor, O Lord. Restore to me the blessing and prosperity you have promised from your word this good day. I trust in you, Lord. I place my hope and my trust in you.

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