Friday, March 30, 2012

Who am I? - The Weak One

Growing up I was always kind of small for my age and never the strongest girl on the team, but now that my playing days are done and 5 children have changed my body...I hadn't thought too much about this answer to my question until the other day.

I was wrestling with God a bit about all He's called me to do and in my mind I responded with this, "I'm not strong enough." This time the problem is not physically, but instead spiritually and mentally. I'm sure I don't need to tell you, but have you noticed anytime you step out in faith or really begin to believe God, Satan attacks.

And friend, he brings his A game...he knows which lies to tell me and can plant doubts better than my husband can plant corn! He can knock me down and leave me defeated. He can get me to that place where I want to give up and then I wonder what I was thinking in the first place.

The other day I was there, but thankfully God showed me this as I came across a blog post that included this line,

“When the Lord gets ready for me to leave this church, He won’t send the message by the devil.”

I wasn't contemplating leaving the church, but I was questioning what God had called me to do and my ability to do it. It was then when my mind uttered those 4 words, "I'm not strong enough."

Just as quickly as I said that, God responded with these words to my heart, "But I am!!" Instantly I felt I could relate to Paul as 2 Corinthians 12:9 came to mind, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Perfect in weakness...that seems like such a contradiction. I mean would you ever put those two words together? Think about what perfect means, "Lacking nothing essential to the whole; complete of its nature or kind. 2. Being without defect or blemish." Now take a look at the definition of weakness, "Lacking strength, A personal defect or failing."

I would say these two definitions support my thought: perfect and weakness don't go together. At least not in human terms. Think of it this way, if the batteries in my child's toy are weak, there is no way it will work perfectly. That's one simple example and I know you can come up with endless others.

I have to believe it's normal for us to look at our weaknesses as something that can hinder our performance...everything around us, the battery and toy example, tells us that is true.

Well everything but God's Word. Read this with me again, "my power is made perfect in weakness." God's power, the power that spoke this world into creation, the power that supplies every breath we take, the same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead, that power is made perfect (without fault) in my weakness (my faults).

That can be a hard truth for me to wrap my mind around...honestly feeling weak has never left me thinking I was strong. Really that's good because I'm not strong, but friends God is!! Psalm 147:5 says, "Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit." He is mighty and when I allow Him to work through my weakness that power is perfect.

That my friend is why we must not forget the last part of verse 9, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."

So if, like me, you find yourself saying, "I'm not strong enough Lord" today I pray you hear Him saying back to you, "That's OK because I am!!"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Praying for our Sons

Recently I've started following "Warrior Prayers - Praying the Word for Boys" on Facebook and have since enjoyed the blog, The Mob Society. Today I want to share an upcoming challenge with you!

In May, actually the 1st through the 21st, they are hosting 21 Days of Prayer for our Sons! With 3 sons of my own I know how vital this little men need it and so do I!! You can find more details on their website by clicking here!

And now a story from just yesterday about how God uses His word and prayer! I received this message from a friend and am still amazed at how God works! I believe you will find it encouraging as well -

"Yesterday morning God put it on my heart to write out all of Psalm 119. 176 verses. But He had me personalize them about my 17 year old son Aaron. The last verse reads: "Aaron Preston Chealey has gone astray like a lost sheep. Seek him Lord for I know he has not forgotten Your commands." It took me 2 hours to write all of them out and pray them.

Last night a detective came looking for him. Over the weekend he was involved in a robbery. One of the young men pulled out a gun and so it has taken on a whole new twist. Because Aaron was there he will be charged. With what we don't know yet. We met with our lawyer this morning and at 4:30 central time meet again with him and the detective.

We're not sure if he'll be arrested but if he does he'll spend overnight in jail, possibly until Friday.
My heart is beyond sick, but let me tell you that when I read through all 176 personalized verses out loud twice last night my heart found comfort. God is something else, such a tenderhearted Shepherd we have."

Friends, God knows what our sons need and He knows what their moms need as well!! This story from my friend is one example of the amazing ways He works!

Today I ask you to join me in praying for my friend, Lelia and her son, Aaron and praying for our sons as well!! Also take a minute to check out the challenge and an opportunity to win "Warrior Prayers - Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most!!" Find the info here!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The story I should have told...

The other night we attended a youth group supper at our church. This year they had a sports theme and during the event they asked former athletes to share a story from their playing days. For a sports fan like myself it was fun to hear stories, some I'd been a part of and others I'd never heard before. I was amazed at how those memories came back and people could recall details from years ago like they happened yesterday.

But after we returned home, God brought a story to mind, one I told my husband I should have shared. Since I can't go back to that group of people, I decided I'd share it here instead.

First of all to set the stage, growing up basketball was my life. I had the shirts to prove it -
My life revolves around basketball.
Basketball is LIFE - the rest is just details!
A Boyfriend or BASKETBALL? When do we play?!?!

Honestly I wore them and many others with pride, but more than what my shirts said, in my mind basketball was God. Thankfully I now realize that is wrong, but God had to do a few things to show me that and recently reminded me of the process.

So here's the story I wanted to tell...
About a week ago I was looking through some of my old treasures and came across a letter from my old high school basketball coach. In college I had written her a note looking for advice as I worked to come back from a major knee injury and this is part of her response,

"Basketball has always been what you lived for, not many people have been as intense and worked as hard as you have. It has been a big portion of your life and now there is a possibility that that portion may be empty. If you aren't able to play can you find some way to fill the void?"

I read these words and it was like it was 1995 again. I remember the fear, the pain, the loss and even the depression I wrestled with as I said good-bye to a game I loved. She was right a portion of my life would be empty, but looking back I realize I was empty.

All along I'd been trying to fill myself up with success, other's approval and everything else basketball had to offer. When basketball was everything that didn't leave room for anything else, especially God.

Now I'm not saying He caused my injury, but I clearly know He's worked through it. There was a void in my life, one only He could fill. Though it took sometime for me to realize that, He eventually opened my eyes to see basketball is just a game, the world revolves because of HIM and my first love must be Jesus.

Perhaps this story isn't as exciting as the one about scoring the last second lay-up to win the game or heartbreaking like the ones about free throws that were missed to lose the game. But lately I've been reminded stories aren't just about the highs and the lows, the stories we need to tell and others need to hear are the ones about our walk with HIM.

My coach was right, something would have to fill the void - I'm so thankful I found the only One who could!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Question of the day - "Why do we go see people when they die??"

Last night as we prepared to go to the visitation for an elderly man from our church, one of my little girls asked, "Why do we go see people when they die?"  I explained how we were extending our sympathy to Leo's family and how it was a way to show we loved them.  She accepted my answer and moved on with what she was doing.

Over the last 24 hours God has used this question to stir me up a bit though.  In a way, I think Joy was on to something.  In her mind it didn't make a lot of sense to go see someone who had passed away and realistically she's right - once we've breathed our last there's no conversation, no hugs and no smiles to share. 

But still when someone passes away, we do go see them.  I'm not saying funerals and visitations are bad (God uses them in mighty ways), but what I am saying is I often find the time when it's too late. 

Lately it seems life has been busy, either mine or those who I long to connect with, and we keep saying "one of these days we'll get together."  Soon a month has passed, then another and soon a year goes by and the relationship starts to change and sometimes even fade.

My daughter's question has challenged me to think about what I make time for - I don't want to wait for tragedy or death to make me push pause in my life so I have time for the people who are precious.  Because the truth is when that happens it doesn't matter how busy we are or what is on our calendar, we make time to go see people when they die. 

Friend, today who can you go see, call or write because they are alive and loved by you?  Find the time, because someday life may force you to take the time.