Saturday, November 27, 2010

So Thankful!!

During the summers when I travel with the arts team; there is a song that the camp kids love to sing called, "So Much".

The lyrics are as follows:
We've got so much, so much,  so much
so much, so much, so much (8x)
To thank Him for 
(repeat chorus 2x)
We've got (person's name here) to thank Him for (2x)

The camp kids love this song because when the portion of the song where they are able to insert a person's name comes in, the song allows the children to bum-rush. . . I mean hug the person whose name is mentioned.  Needless to say it always takes around ten minutes to get the kids back on track after this verse because they are always on the other side of the room screaming and yelling in a massive pile.  This Thanksgiving that was the first song that came to my mind.  Why?  Because I have SO MUCH gratitude for what the Lord has done for me in the past few months.

This time last year I was in a scarily depressed state.  The depths of my misery are too dark and personal to convey to you.  The spirit of hopelessness and despair were all-consuming.  I was sure that God would never deliver me and I was not able to see any light at the end of the tunnel.  This Thanksgiving I had more gratitude in my heart than I can even begin to explain.  I spent the day thanking Him for what He has done for me in one of the most amazing places I have been gifted by Him to live for the past few months.  I was in the prayer room soaking in His presence, basking in His glory and worshiping Him for His kindness towards me.  You see, He didn't have to do it.  But He is a good kind Abba.  He cares about His children and wants to bring us out of dark places because He loves us.
Psalm 18:19 He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.

As I was in the prayer room yesterday I read a word by Victoria Boyson which spoke so strongly to me.  I hope it speaks to you as well.  She wrote,"We can get caught in the cycle of complaint with God concerning how long it is taking Him to meet our need, instead of thanking Him for all that He has already done for us. Our unhappiness can keep us continually seeking explanations from God, instead of thanking Him for the mountains He has already moved and the seas that He has parted to get us this far.
How soon we lose sight of all the miracles He has performed to bring us the victories we have already been given. While waiting for God to do the "big" thing for us, we forget to be thankful for the little victories along the way. I believe the small blessings we receive from God are a special test of our heart; He wants to know if we will be thankful even for the smallest gift."

What the Lord has done for me this year is NO small gift.  It was the answer to the loudest cry of my heart for a number of years.  Not only did my God hear my plea and answer me with a resounding "Yes"! but He also granted my request to be able to have my time be focused on Him, His word, and soaked in His presence.
Psalm 6:9 The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer.
Psalm 145:18-19 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
   to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
   he hears their cry and saves them. 
This is not to say that I am not waiting for any other answers to prayers.  But the Lord is teaching me to be more thankful for EVERYTHING in EVERY situation!  In the previous years it has been so easy for me to get caught up in the despair of the "one big thing" I wanted answered.  That is one of the reasons I was in such a bad way last year.  I'm not saying I will not slip again.  Lord help my wicked flesh.  I am sure that when the next phase of difficult, dry, tired wilderness comes to test and try my soul I will not be singing this happy tune.  I do pray that my flesh dies a little everyday so that one day being thankful even in a dry and weary land is an automatic reaction for me.  It's easy to be thankful when the Lord has granted your request.  God help me to be more like you and rid me of myself.
These past few months have been a beautiful time that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  Thank you Lord for this great blessing!  You are so good!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

11:59 and 59 seconds

He’s an on-time God by Dottie Peoples
(He's an on time God, yes, He is).
Oh, on time God, yes, He is.
(Job said), He may not come when you want Him,
(but He'll) be there right on time;
(I tell ya He's an) on time God, yes, He is.

I grew up listening to that song but had not been able to appreciate what Ms. Peoples’ was singing about until I became an adult.  These past five years have been a waiting game like none I’ve ever played before and I am sure that there will be more waiting games ahead.  There is that saying we all know, "It always comes in the eleventh hour."  That could not be truer of my life right now.  And it is really out of my comfort zone. 
A word I received before I started my last season five years ago was this, “If I gave you your calling right now it would crush you.”  Needless to say, that word puzzled me.  I thought, “Good Grief!  What are you giving me that is so big?  I didn’t ask for that much!”  Of course at the time what I was asking for was much different than what God wanted to give me.  All I wanted was a little assistant job at a theatre company on Broadway.  This did not seem like a tall order considering I had just finished working for “The Lion King” on Broadway.  I thought my request was reasonable and why couldn’t God do it?  Well, He didn’t.  This closed door started me on the five-year waiting game I spoke of previously.  Why didn’t He do it?  I can speculate but I’m not one-hundred percent sure.  Does it matter? No, it doesn’t.  The bottom line is that He didn’t and He knows why and I must accept that. 
So, right now I am on an unknown path.  I know you all are wondering, “Well, she only has a few weeks left.  What will she do now?” The plain truth is that, I do not know yet.  I knew when I came to Missouri that God would not tell me until "the eleventh hour".  A friend of mine spoke that word and I knew it was true.  I mean five years of praying and 2 ½ of fasting and God decides to tell me what is next three weeks before it starts.  He is teaching me to trust Him and to hear His voice better.  IHOP has been a great training ground because when I hear something that I feel is from the Lord I can exercise it.  
The second part of this lesson, and most important, is the trust factor.  My trust has been really damaged within the past 2 ½ years.  I thought this was odd for someone whose life verse is Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  I was offended with God, I felt that He didn't know what to do with me so He put me in the corner and left me.  It was painful and I really had to work that out.  I'm still working it out.  I felt punished and I hadn’t done anything wrong.  He wasn’t punishing me, He hadn’t left me, but when you are hurt, broken and have been crying out for change for so long, it is easy to take offense in our humanness.  That is why God’s grace and mercy are so marvelous!  And why I couldn't be more grateful for this beautiful season He has given to me as a gift.  I'm so blessed and full of joy and gratitude!
Now even though I do not know what is next it doesn’t mean I am totally in the dark.  The Lord has given me little bits and pieces, but no through line.  So, I am still waiting for the clincher.  The thing I won’t see coming; the suddenly that I need to arise to make my next steps clear.  When I hear, you’ll hear. Habakkuk 2:3 (Amplified Bible) For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.(A)  
So, I continue to earnestly pray and seek him.  I covet your prayers for wisdom, discernment, and an increase in the heavenly realms.  I feel a fierce war is raging over this next step and Satan is wanting to stop it. 
A friend of mine was praying for me a few days ago and the Lord said to her, “She is on standby.”  My friend asked, “Who?”  And He said, “Ebony”.  Then she had a vision of me standing in an airport at the airline gate.  My bags were packed and I was ready to go but I was on standby waiting for my ticket.  Then she felt the Lord say that if He told me now I would do this -  Enjoy the clip! It’s nice to know that I make God laugh.  :-)

Laugh a lot!

P.S.  "It's okay!  I'm a limo driver!"