Do you feel like you’re starring in an episode of The Twilight Zone, only it’s wackier and weirder than anything you ever saw on TV? How do you hang onto your faith in that?
Are you leaning on your favorite vice, just plain done with 2020, or do you have a cool God story of something that never could have happened without the weird stuff?
Remember our question?
Lots of you responded the same way:
- Lack of focus
- Or, “if I am completely honest – it’s the same for a few things I know I should be doing. I simply do not carve out time in my day to connect with God.”
I get it!
After my father’s accident, I drove cross country dodging danger then quarantining before joining my father’s care team. He’s on hospice. One of us is with him 24/7 and we have several caregivers partnering with us.
In the process of moving east, I told a friend that one of the things I was going to miss was all the one-on-one time I’d had with God. She agreed:
“You’re not going to need less of God, you’re going to need a lot more!”
And I don’t think I’m the only one.
In this new space we’re learning how to live in, not only defining our new normal but finding out how to support each other, and thrive!
More God could only help, right?
A Beautiful Life
Have you seen that movie?
As I sat with God in my prayer chair, that’s what came to mind.
A totally different take on the Holocaust, it showcases the beautiful countryside and everyday life beforehand. Put in a concentration camp with his son, the protagonist reframes the experience as an adventure as only a loving father could do.
I loved the movie, but I also struggled because I thought about all the therapy the boy would need. Of course, how much better for him to have experienced a wild adventure than to recognize the horrors he endured.
Why did God remind me of that?
I think He’s inviting us to reframe what we’re going through. If we listen to the news and dwell on the negativity, it could take us to a place we don’t want to go.
Next, I opened a devotional . . .
It referred to the story of Mary and Martha.
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem they came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. Her sister Mary sat on the floor, listening to Jesus as he talked.
But Martha was the jittery type and was worrying over the big dinner she was preparing.
She came to Jesus and said, “Sir, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord said to her, “Martha, dear friend, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won’t take it away from her!”MY TREASURE MAP: The Living Bible, Luke 10:38-42
Can I introduce you to my superhero?
In Becoming Fire*, the devotional I was reading, it takes the reader into a different Bible story each week.
As I read about Mary and Martha, it said:
“Imagine that you are there when Jesus visits the home of these friends. See him interacting with them. Can you hear the gentle teasing that often accompanies relaxed casual gatherings of friends who love and trust each other? Can you see the concern in their faces as he relates the various challenges of his ministry? Do you hear him inquiring about their problems . . .
Is Jesus welcome in your home?
Do you want to hide any part of your life from him?
What family concerns do you want to tell him about?”
This author helps the reader to understand different perspectives . . .
. . . by giving you a chance to walk in a different pair of sandals each day.
“There are many ways Luke could have described Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. What he chose to tell us was that she was “listening to the Lord.”
Imagine that you are in that small home in Bethany, sitting at the feet of Jesus. Imagine that you are Mary. You know that women of your day are expected to be busy with preparing the meals, but you choose to go against the norm and sit in a room with the men, listening to what a Jewish teacher has to say.
As Mary, do you sit right in front of him or are you more reserved, moving a little distance away? Are you quiet, or do you dare ask questions and interject your opinions and thoughts?
Imagine Jesus’ response to you as you ask him a question. See him give you, a woman, unconditional positive regard and respect. He looks directly into your eyes. He listens carefully and gives you time to say everything you want to say. He doesn’t laugh at you or discount your questions. Jesus takes you seriously! How does that feel?
You hear in his voice Jesus’ concern for you. He is joyful when you understand what he is saying about abundant life. As you or Lazarus speaks, Jesus looks into your face, giving you his undivided attention. Jesus wants to understand, and he wants to be understood.
How does it feel to dialogue with Jesus?”
This really spoke to me
Because people keep asking about the title of my new book MARY ME: One Woman’s Incredible Adventure with God. They say:
See how personal He can be?
This is the way I’ve found out how to hang onto your faith . . .
You hang onto your faith by hanging onto Him.
Ideally, each day and sometimes more than once:
- find a quiet place to sit with Him . . . and breathe
- journal all cares and concerns and ask for advice
- Then wait. Listen to the thoughts, even the ones that don’t seem to make sense, like the reminder that Life is Beautiful.
But the most important thing is to spend time with God.
And just like we spend time together, don’t be afraid to question, interact, and listen. Let Him speak. God loves you and He wants to chat. He has access to everything in our lives so He can use it to teach us.
Are you willing to consider that the things that come are from Him?
With God’s peace and His joy as our strength, we can hang onto our faith by hanging onto Him. We can trust Him, give Him our circumstances, and watch Him do what only He can.
It’s that simple and yet not always easy, is it?
What are your sticking points?
- Are you afraid that you might make stuff up?
- Or that your friends will think you’ve lost it?
- Or maybe you wonder how to know it’s His voice over all the noise in your head?
I welcome you to bring all that and more right here so we can talk about it together. Can I hold your hand?
I promise I won’t let you fall off the deep end!
Following my superhero . . .
I’ve found superpowers I never knew I had and not just one or two but an arsenal.
🗝 You can, too, as you hang onto Him!
In the posts to come, we’re going to learn how to use those superpowers.
But for now, I want to pray for you!
Can you do me a favor?
If you know someone who needs to hear this, can you please share it with them?
Lots of love,
Related Post: Bottom Line, Can I Really Trust God in Difficult Times?
*Miley, Jeanie, Becoming Fire. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc., 1998.