Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"You're gonna ask God to do what?"

Beware: this post is like my inner dialogue written out!  Posting, Bible study, and just about anything has been really difficult lately.  I suffer from depression.  Many of you, unfortunately, have probably been there. 
Spring has finally gotten to my part of the world, but, to me, it just feels like one more thing to deal with.  All the closet cleaning, planting, painting, muddy shoes, wet doggy feet, and so much more. 
I have been waiting for this fog to lift, but I also haven't been in The Word much.  How can I expect things to happen and resolve when I have forgotten who to talk to when things get tough?!
 It's like the stereotypical adage of a woman, when asked "what's wrong?" answers "Nothing."  God knows all.  He knows what I am going through.  But I still need to bring it to Him.  I need to make sure my heart is right, too.  If I am truly seeking Him and what He wants for my life, then I can come to Him with any burdens and sorrows. 
I was listening to a recording by pastors Francis Chan and James McDonald the other day.  The Holy Spirit convicted me of the way I have been dealing with some personal situations lately.  I realized that I was hurting one of God's children with my bad attitude and hurtful words.  Francis Chan talked about a church member who came forward for prayer in dealing with an illness.  When Francis talked later with this young man he asked him if he had any issues that would be keeping him from being completely open with God.  The young man shrugged off some little issues and then muttered something about his girlfriend.  Francis found out, through some probing, that this man was living with his girlfriend and was not in a sexually pure relationship with her.  I loved Francis' reaction.  He said something like, "And you want me to go to God with you and ask for help?!"  He remarked, "That's like you sleeping with my daughter and then coming to me to ask for a favor!"  Man, that hurt. 
Things aren't miraculously wonderful today.  However, I, now, know that I need to begin with my own heart and my own relationship with God.  The Holy Spirit tends to slap me upside the head like this sometimes.  Probably, because I need it!  Later that day, I was going through a class from Shanna Noel.  At the end of the session she challenged me to find a verse about peace and strength.  I had lots of trouble finding one.  After looking through an old art journal I found a note about relying on God in rough times with 1 Peter 4:12-13 noted next to it.  After looking up the verse, I quickly got out some art supplies and went at it.  I was interrupted many times and had to make dinner. (I can't get those kids to stop eating!)  After many breaks I was fairly happy with what I was taught and what I had made that day.

Art journaling Bible page inspired by 1 Peter 4: 12-13 with acrylic paint in green and yellow.
1 Peter 4:12-13
It was like the preverbial bandage that got ripped off the wound.  But then there was this smooth and clean skin underneath.  God's discipline is not always easy to take, but it brings about some amazing growth and joy.  I encourage you to really dive in to the Word.  Let it speak to your heart and hands.  Don't let rules and restrictions keep you from creating what your heart is speaking to your Father.  Be blessed.