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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Despondent Christian and The Broom Bush

This is a Broom Bush
How was your 4th of July?? Mine was spent with me curled up in the fetal position numb from the reality that my reality has taken a drastic change (relax, my marriage is fine). I'm not a pessimist, I'm more of a realist. I don't like facts sugar coated to give me a false sense of security. I was born on Thursday, in church on Sunday and spent the majority of my childhood sleeping under pews (and my early adulthood sleeping on them... Ha Ha, just kidding). During my younger years my faith was undeterred by the twist and turns life led me down. I remember a particularly traumatic trial we faced years ago. I faced it by coming home for lunch and planting my face in the floor, completely broken and crying out to God. God did what God does, and years later he lifted the veil so I could see why my prayers had not been answered according to my wishes. I was humbled that he had chosen me and our family to fulfill his purpose in such a way, even though it meant many sleepless nights, rivers of tears, and a lot of resentment in the the beginning. This week has been one of the most difficult weeks I've had since that time. It's been the kind of week where circumstances leave me feeling completely despondent. I feel too hopeless to pray and it seems like my prayers bounce right off the ceiling and back into my lap. I know "good Christians" aren't suppose to admit to feelings of hopelessness, but I've never claimed to be one of those. Have you ever had time in your life when you didn't think you could put one more foot in front of the other, fake one more smile or simply hold your tongue? Well, that's where I'm at. I am scared and I'm tired, and I don't feel like once again picking myself up, dusting myself off only to begin another crisis. This is definitely going to have to be a foot prints in the sand kind of miracle, because I don't have the strength for one more loss, the strength to face another ranging storm or the need to go back and start over at the back of the pack. Disposable, that's how I feel; tossed aside, no longer valued and easily forgotten for a plethora of reasons. Op, op, op... (That's what we say when we are kind of getting onto the dogs, it's what my husbands Dad used to say to his dogs) Before you judge me go back and read I Kings 18 & 19. I'm not the only Christian to ever wander in the wilderness; in fact there have been many (hello, Children of Israel). Elijah, a prophet who called fire down from heaven, found himself curled up in the fetal position (well the Bible doesn't actually specify he was in the fetal position, but if I know anything about being despondent, he definitely was) under a broom bush in the middle of the wilderness AFTER a miraculous experience of God's power. I'm in good company and probably if we could all be honest for a second, we've all been there, done that. I know it's often looked at as a big no-no in the Christian world, but I also believe that God wired us with emotions and understands that in our human state, we will be less than perfect and have days when we feel.... Despondent.... I know he loves me (I grew up singing that song). I know he'll carry me through and although it may  not be a pleasant ride it's one I'll come out on the other side. I believe at some point I can look back at the big picture that right now is hidden from my eyes and say "Oh, now I get it." Yes, God loves even the angry despondent Christian who is sitting in the wilderness just waiting to be served lunch by angels and waiting to hear the gentle whisper.... "It's going to be okay, you are by no means alone."

Take a peek at human nature vs. the nurture of God.....(go back and read chapter 18 for kicks and giggles to illustrate just how fickle our faith can be).

I Kings 19
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. (This is so me right now).
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (I love that... A gentle whisper). 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

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