God Talk – Praise in the Storm

Reposted from Facebook Notes September 26, 2015
This week has been strange. It began with the knowledge that for the first time in more than a year we would not be able to pay our rent. The check actually hit our account and was returned because I had been unable to cancel the auto pay I was finally able to set up when I first began this part of our journey last year. Last year, I made a deal with God. Well sort of a deal, but not in the sense that my compliance was conditional. More in the sense that He asked me to do something crazy and I expressed my concerns to Him, and after much prayer and conversation with my husband, I took it on faith that He would provide what we needed.
Once I finally said yes, and made a two year commitment to work as what we finally affectionately titled Church Admin, but in reality is a jack-of-all-trades kind of thing, God gave me a glimpse of what I assumed He intended as that provision for the duration of the commitment. He’d been pretty clear I wasn’t to seek or accept payment for the work, and that I wasn’t to seek another regular job that might interfere with the work He needed done. He then proceeded, by various means to meet our needs for this past year. We were never gonna be rich, or even technically out of poverty, as a result of that provision, but it did make it so the rent got paid on time every month, the bills stayed current enough to keep everything turned on, with a little help from family members Corey gets his meds each month, and with a little help from the food pantry at the church, we all eat well enough. God has met each need, mostly in a timely fashion, this past year. Until this past month. He still met the need, and I am certain His timing and method were perfect for His purposes, but neither was terribly comfortable or timely from my and Corey’s perspective.
A couple of months ago, He asked me to do something else crazy which basically eliminated half that income. At the time, I was a little busy with VBS. Corey and Jordan were gone to South Dakota on the trip his parents gift them with each summer. That was followed by a trip to South Carolina to help my daughter with her new addition to the family. I didn’t give much thought to how exactly we were going to deal with that drastic shift in income. I just went ahead and did what I was asked to do, and assumed God would provide what was needed when it was needed. As the weeks passed though, I began to notice my conversations with God on such matters have changed rather drastically in the last few years. Where once I came to Him in tears, I am finding myself coming instead with reminders of His promises. This new boldness confused me, and in truth makes me a little antsy. But it was God that led me to the Psalms, which I had always thought of as simply a bunch of praises. They really aren’t. When I landed there, with a heart filled with frustration, it was with the instruction to read aloud the Word of God.

I found the words of those first 50 or so Psalms to be almost a demand. It was different than all those foot stomping moments I have found myself in before. Those past yellings at God had the feel of temper tantrums from a weary and frustrated child. This was something else. Not an equal to equal conversation by any means, but a more reasoned and mature questioning, that still ended with “Thy will be done” but had elements of the reminder from James that we have not because we ask not. The promise of Christ that if we ask in His name God will give. The knowledge that we have to have a right heart when we ask, but also the certainty that I actually do have a right heart these days. That the motives for the asking are not simply my own pleasure or pursuit of worldly wealth or accolades. I have work to do, and quite frankly, the distraction of living always on the edge of not being able to take care of my family is just that at this point, a distraction.

Which brings me to this week. I have been splitting time between my house and a friend’s this week to watch their dogs while they’ve been out of town. The water was coming up on being shut off. Corey, on Monday came out of the post office with a job posting for a rural carrier position. As I mentioned above, the original deal included me not getting another job, but this additional shift God asked for from me may have rearranged that particular condition. I’ve been praying about it all week, even as I went ahead and completed the application and first part of the assessment for the job last night. I’ll keep praying about it, even as I go ahead and schedule the next part of the assessment, and I strongly hope that I get some clarity before they offer me the job, if they do. Because it’s a driving job, and the other weird thing that has popped up this week has been vehicle trouble, four different vehicles to be precise, and I only own two.
Sunday saw damage to our car that means it’s not really safe to drive after dark until the taillight covers get repaired. Which meant I borrowed my friend’s SUV on Wednesday so neither Corey or I would have to drive the Saab after Bible Study. Except it started flashing a check engine light on the way up to the church. Thursday I got that all settled out and got their vehicle back down to their place after some car juggling the night before. Today, after arriving at work, one of my dear friends I haven’t seen in a while was there helping with the bread ministry and noted that my SUV had a low tire (the least troublesome of the troubles). Then I got a call at a little before 2 saying the truck the boys were using had a dead battery and one of them had to leave for work in about 20 minutes. Which effectively cut my work day that I’d rescheduled from yesterday in half.
Sunday also saw something else for me though. A new beginning. I finally have come back fully from the frustration of all that has been happening and for nearly two weeks now God has been steadily sustaining my joy and focus on getting back to the work at hand, moving forward, making new plans for His work. I am praying for direction, and at the same time each new thing that went sideways this week has mostly just made me shake my head and laugh. It’s one of those situation where I should be freaking out, I know I should. Just two weeks ago, I was getting there, and nothing has really changed in the circumstance so far. Yet… There’s the yet. Yet God is in the middle of each of these things, every single thing that has gone nuts around me these last several weeks and month. I can feel Him.
More, I can hear Him in each of these things, but it’s muffled. It feels like He’s talking to someone else and I just happen to be caught in the edges of their storm. It’s an odd feeling. This knowing God is talking, teaching, shaping someone but not knowing exactly who or how long it will take. I do get the sense that until He’s accomplished whatever it is with them, and it may be more than one, it may even be me in part at some point, the crazy isn’t going to stop. The storm is going to keep right on tossing everything topsy turvey. The beautiful thing is, come what may, I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m better than okay with it, I’m dancing in the rain to praise my God, even in the storms. They do after all wash things clean, and make them new.
Be blessed and be a blessing.

 

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