I have been painting furniture for several years. I actually started when I was in my twenties and still love to do it today. I love taking an old piece of furniture that looks like a hopeless cause and turn it into something beautiful. The other day while I was painting, I was praying about several things and I had a revelation. As much as I enjoy working on furniture, God also enjoys working on me and my problems. You see, a lot of times when I go to God with my issues, I feel like I am bothering Him—especially when it is the same thing over and over again. But, that just isn’t true! I have a God that is actually waiting for me to come to Him so He can help me because He wants to show me His glory!
I will even go a step further and say that the Lord is delighted when I come to Him. Psalm 149:4 (I like to picture a big smile on His face.) And, He actually takes pleasure in meeting my needs. I have also been learning that God can do so much more than I ask or imagine. He wants to do more than my brain can comprehend. I have had issues in my life that have just about killed me. My anxiety, depression, panic attacks, abuse from my father and others, brother’s suicide, etc. I could go on, but there is something I want to share with you that I am learning about God. I think Priscilla Shirer says it best. “Yes, God in His providence has ascribed deep value to you and to me. And yes, our lives do matter. Our concerns do affect Him. He has chosen by His great mercy to elevate us to a height of dignity and significance.” I don’t know about you, but I have struggled with feeling significant and having dignity. The fact that the God of the Universe thinks I am significant is sometimes hard for me to grasp.
She goes on to say, “But let’s be crystal clear about things—ultimately, our lives are all and completely about Him. We exist for His fame. We are examples of His patience and long-suffering. We bear witness to what His love is like and can do. We honor His name with our living, breathing presence. We’re here for Him. We’re here for His pleasure. For His praise and His glory.”
Here’s the deal. God is telling me and He is telling you that He wants to be involved in our lives. When I don’t ask Him to help me, I am missing out on actively participating in what He is doing for my good and for His glory. Of course He is God and He can help me anyway, but the thing is—He is a relational God and He wants me to come to Him and ask for His help. My first reaction needs to be to go to Him in prayer instead of calling or texting a friend. He wants to be the first one in my life that I turn to because He is able to help me. So, God first, then phone or text a friend. (I feel like I am on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”)
Now, this next part that I am going to share is the absolute best part of having a relationship with God. I love it when I read something and it makes me look at Him in a different light. Priscilla Shirer states, “But just imagine—little old us and our little old needs— being commissioned by Almighty God for the purpose of giving tribute to His power. That’s strong. It changes the whole color scheme. This problem that used to clash with everything, stick out like a sore thumb—it was all you could see. But when you turn your head a certain way now and change your perspective a bit, while it’s still very noticeable, it looks like it might hold some promise here. It’s a glory maker, not just a troublemaker.”
I don’t know about you but I am encouraged to change my perspective by that statement. My issues are glory makers not just troublemakers. When I look at them that way, it kind of calms me down. It makes me want to sit back and watch and wait on God instead of getting bent out of shape. You see, my brain has been conditioned to get upset at myself and at God when my troubles keep bothering me. But now, if I can just calm down and get the right perspective about those issues, then I can sit back and wait for God to work in me and in my issues.
It’s kind of like watching a super hero go to work. When God gets involved, He is going to get Him some glory! He is going to wield His sword and shield and go to battle for us. He is going to use His power to fight for us. The problems or issues we have are going to be dealt with by Him. He is on our side and He won’t quit until His job is done. He really is the only One who is equipped to fight the battle and He knows exactly what to do.
I have my own personal super hero. I just want to lay everything at His feet and say, “Go get ‘em God! You do what you need to do. I need to quit telling You what to do and let you do it your way because your way is far better than mine. Go way above and beyond what I can even imagine. I still have a hard time conceiving the fact that you love doing things for me. Thank you for your goodness, your patience, your love, your work and your forgiveness. Thank you that each day is a new day in your eyes. You don’t keep a record of my wrongs. You just want me to look to you for help. You want me to come to you with my issues. You are ready to work on my behalf so you can show me your glory!”
Life is not about me. I am not supposed to get the glory. I will take the compliment, but it is God who gets the glory in me. He gets the credit for telling a very frightened woman 18 years ago that He was going to take her on a journey to freedom. And when I began that journey, He told me He was going to use it for His glory. I had no idea what that meant at the time and I certainly had no idea that I would be writing a blog. He has taken me through some very dark times and He has loved me every step of the way. He has taught me so much! He has been working on my behalf every single day even when I didn’t ask Him to. There have been many days that I didn’t want to live, but He has gotten me through those days and I am so glad He has or I would have missed out on so much. He is truly everything to me.
Yesterday, I celebrated 58 years on this earth. I am a testimony to what God can do in a person. Honestly, all the horrible things that have happened in my life have drawn me closer to Him. Now, I am also going to admit that I have had several conversations with Him over what He has allowed. I have been angry, hurt, defiant, and I have had a ton of questions. (I am kind of a rebel, but in a good way!) But, I know deep down inside that He is God and I am not. He is also good. He is large and in charge and I need to trust Him. I also need to remind myself that my problems are going to bring Him glory! Hallelujah! (Or as Madea says, “Halleluyer!” I don’t really know how to spell that one!)
I would like to leave you with one more gem from Priscilla. “What a miracle that we can trust in God’s ability, that we can sit or stand in this place and be part of what He’s doing all over the place, that we can stretch out our faith, and even our need, and give Him the honor, the glory—the tribute—He deserves. Forever and ever. To all generations. Amen.” We praise you Lord! Until next time…….