I love the early morning hours, especially during the spring and summer months. One of my favorite things to do is take my cup of coffee to our balcony each morning, during the predawn hours and sit in fellowship with my heavenly Father. I enjoy spending time communicating with Him, reflecting over my life, the lessons He has taught me, and looking forward to what He has in store for me. I enjoy watching the sun rise, listening to the sounds of nature transition from the sounds of night to the birds singing and watching the little animals begin their day. I refer to this time of day as the ‘awakening’.
This morning, however, due to the cold temperatures I enjoyed my cup of coffee and fellowship with my Father inside, where it was cozy and warm. As we were communicating, He shared with me a vision of a fork in the road. I realized that many times when faced with choices and making decisions I had not sought Him, His guidance, or included Him in the process of making many of those decisions in my life. I had often used logic to the best of my ability to make decisions on my own based on what seemed most sensible.
Many times throughout the course of my life, making these decisions based on what seemed sensible at the time, without seeking Him first, has led me to a path in life that I later found questionable; or worse, one that I knew was wrong.
Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” I can’t tell you how many times throughout my life I have thought I had it all planned and figured out, only to realize I had not figured anything out at all. The great news is that regardless of where we may find ourselves, we can always say, “Here I am Lord. Where do we go from here?” “O LORD, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes; Make Your way straight before me.” Psalm 5:8
I truly believe that so many times in life when we find ourselves struggling with some issues; it is because we have somehow gotten off the course of “His way before us” and gotten on the course of “our way”. I believe this happens when we fail to seek Him in the details of our lives. When this happens we find ourselves in the predicament of having to regroup and allow Him to make a way for us to get back on “His way”.
The wonderful thing is that according to Matthew 19:26, all things are possible with God! I cannot begin to tell you how many times my Father has helped me regroup and made a way for me to get back on track.
Those of you who know me or have been following my posts, know that my husband, Steve had been working in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor until he came home to stay at the end of June. We began discussing him coming home to stay a few months earlier. We had both grown so weary of being apart. I was emotionally drained from dealing with the fear associated with him working in the middle of a war zone. We both wanted so desperately for this phase of our lives to come to an end.
I knew however, that we had to seek the Lord’s will before our own. I must be honest with you and tell you that was a difficult thing for me to do. I was afraid it would be the Lord’s will for him to return to Afghanistan. I knew the wise thing for Steve to do for us financially was to return to Afghanistan. However, we also had to consider what was best for us as a family but more importantly, what was best for Steve.
I must admit, I was not a great deal of help to my husband in the decision making process. I could not tell him I felt the best thing for him to do for us financially was to go back. He knew that, but if I actually said those words to him and he decided to go back, I could not have lived with myself if something terrible had happened to him. I would say, “I can’t tell you what to do. This is going to have to be your decision.” I would pray and ask God to lead him and then ask, “Please make a way for him to stay at home.”
I was so relieved when Steve made the decision to stay at home. However, the idea of walking forward in faith into our financially unstable future was rather frightening. Steve was offered an entry level position with a company that didn’t really pay enough to support our household, but as a last ditch effort to stay at home and with hopes of advancement, he accepted the position.
Through my employment the Lord has made a way for us to pay our bills and survive. It requires me to work many hours and sacrifice so much time away from home and my family. However, I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to work in order to help meet the needs of our family.
Steve has come home to stay, but our roles have somewhat reversed. He has become the one caring for Joshua, our grandson that we are raising, and the house; and I am the one who has basically gone away to work. Though Steve has come home, we still don’t get to spend much time together. We may go all week and not actually see each other until Sunday morning. He is always asleep when I get home from work and I am usually asleep when he leaves for work. I long for a day that I can spend time with my family.
During the past few months there have been days and/or nights that I have cried out to my Father in despair. There have been times that I have been so tired, felt so alone, and wondered when or if God was going to make a way for me to not have to work so many hours. Then, a few weeks ago my boss told me they are making some changes that will reduce my hours to just forty hours a week. I was thrilled by the thought of being able to spend time with my family, but I knew without those extra hours I was working we wouldn’t be able to pay our bills.
There are days that it is difficult to hold on to hope. However, as difficult as some days have been; I have made a choice to remain faithful, trusting, believing, hopeful and expecting the Lord to deliver us from this valley that we are now in. There are days that I long for answers and direction, yet all I hear is “Be still.” Instead of worrying, I choose to praise my Father and rejoice in Him. I listen to K-LOVE at work. I spend time in His Word and in prayer communicating with my Father. I seek His will for my life. I seek Him in all things. I have made the choice to be obedient regardless of what happens. I have chosen to live my life for Him.
This morning on the way to work I heard the announcers on K-LOVE discussing Philippians 4:4-13. They were explaining how we are called to praise the Lord and rejoice in Him when we are in the valleys of life as well as when we are on the mountain tops. I could relate so well to what they were saying because that is what I have chosen to do. I have praised Him and rejoiced in Him in this valley knowing that I can and will get through this valley because He is my strength.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:4-13
Shortly after I got to work this morning Steve called me. He told me he had just gotten a promotion and a raise. His raise will allow me to work forty hours a week, spend time with my family, and live comfortably. PRAISE GOD!!!
I find it amazing how God works. God had revealed all of this to me this morning, and at the very hour I realized I have been faithful and obedient in praising my Lord and rejoicing in Him in the valley; He was delivering me from it. I will praise my Lord always! I will rejoice in Him because without Him I am nothing! Rejoice!