Do you know where to turn? Do you know where to go? Do you have questions? Are you looking for answers? Are you asking? Are you seeking? Are you knocking?
Today’s reading brings me back to a time where I faced challenges. The first time I had to learn the power of forgiveness, the second time I applied it. Both times required me knowing where to turn! I raised questions like “How is your work going?” and “Ever heard birds of a feather flock together? Be careful who you are hanging out with because you may become like them–so choose the circle of influence around you wisely.”
It was a hard time – a time of anger and frustration, a time of bitterness and pain, a time of trying to deal with lies, theft, cheated, broken promises, being setup, and misdirection. Unfortunately it took a lot of time spiraling down before the aha moment. Unfortunately it built up a lot of bitterness and resentment. Unfortunately it impacted not just me, but those I love too who were there to help try to encourage and support me.
The second time even though it was or could of been considered worse, I was prepared, I had learned the lesson, and I knew what to do. Turn to God! FORGIVE!
Today’s reading gives this wisdom:
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.–from Psalm 18
So where will you turn? Through my trials I called to God, and my challenge the first time was that I wasn’t listening and wasn’t forgiving and was just letting the bitter root get a stronger hold! It took hitting rock bottom for me to start looking up and taking it seriously! Even in the second occurrence where I remembered the forgiveness that was required in the moment, I still turned to God because I knew I needed more than just what I could do to get through the process and to shine His light into the world around me. Will you be an ambassador of forgiveness? Will you be an ambassador of reconciliation?
Today’s message from the devotional goes like this…
This is for my good?
“It just can’t get any worse.”
How many times have you caught yourself saying this during your career transition? For me, it has been more times than I care to admit. And if I’m completely candid, my very next line is usually, “How much more, Lord? How much longer must I wait for a breakthrough?”
I often wonder why the Lord doesn’t just reveal to me exactly where he wants me to be. He has the power to do anything and everything, right? So why can’t he just show me? Maybe the reason for this mystery is so that we will turn to him. After all, what do we need the Lord for if we already know what will happen?
I, for one, find myself neglecting my Bible reading and prayer time when my career journey is humming along on all cylinders. I simply don’t spend time with the Lord every day as I should. When things are hitting bottom, however, I guarantee that I will seek the Lord’s presence. Now the reason I seek God might be to blame him for my circumstances. I might cry out, “If you love me, why did I lose my job?” or “How much longer must I wait until I can provide for my family again?”
To be honest, my comments often are not civil in tone. But guess what? God is not fragile. God will not run from the room with his hands covering his ears so that he doesn’t have to listen to me as I vent my frustrations and disappointments.
Do you know what’s great about all of this?
God already knows what you and I are feeling! The Lord knows me better than I know myself. He knew, before I was even conceived, that this painful season of my life was going to take place; he knew exactly what was going to happen to me and exactly how I was going to react. He also knew that unless I fell upon the worst of circumstances I would not grow closer to him.
Let me put it to you this way. Have you noticed the times when you are closest to the Lord? Isn’t it when all else has failed and you are driven to cry out to your loving heavenly Father? Now imagine if those tough times had not occurred.
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