Monthly Archives: June 2015

RESCUED FROM OBSCURITY

2_corinthians_1_10_we_have_set_our_hope_powerpoint_church_sermon_Slide04

In my mind’s eye, obscurity is the abyss.

The pit.

The wilderness.

Going in circles.

It’s a place we beg to get out of.

We want out now.

Not later.

Now.

We fight and fight.

We lose heart. We let despair wash over us. We are hopeless.

We get so weary of the constant barrage of arrows coming our way. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

No glimmer of hope.

Our status has changed. Our career is in need of repair or we need a do over. Our family has disintegrated from what once was in reality a facade to now the humility of not having it all together. Public. Disaster. Divorce.

We need to be rescued.

There’s a line in a song I heard recently

“ before each new beginning there must be an ending.”

We reach the end. The question looms, “How long will I be here?” How long must I wade through this grief, shock, sadness, anger, and confusion of what’s next?

This ending takes us into obscurity.

Obscurity= the state of being unknown, inconspicuous, or unimportant.

Must go through obscurity to reach the open door to our next assignment.

Obscurity is the training ground for what is to come.

Healing, forgiveness, and a deeper sense of who God is in your life happens here. He establishes His strength in us. He builds character. He turns our weaknesses to strengths.

We believe it to be the worst possible place. While God is working on us, the trials and attacks are relentless. Trying to tear what is left of us into tiny pieces that scatter in the wind. Gosh, it feels that way sometimes. Maybe daily. Shoot. Maybe every minute. Our emotional well being is at stake.

These are things we know to do:

Weep,

fight,

question,

pray,

believe God will cause all that has happened for good.

We are up and down emotionally. We are scared. Will this cause our children more grief than they deserve? We are not brave. We are not steadfast. We are wavering.

Mind you, not wavering in the decision, but in the fear.  Wavering in the fear and wondering how God could and would cause all things to work for her good and her kids good.

Uncontrollably at times. We do not know which way is up.

Let’s be honest here, sometimes we are in obscurity for awhile. There’s lots of reason why, but mostly I think it’s because He knows to let us skip this step in the process of where we need to go, would cause us to be more prideful than we already are. Or have the mentality of, “I can do this myself!”

I’ve been watching one of my best friends live in obscurity for 4 years. I’ve watched the sheer struggle in her life.

She happens to be the most courageous woman I know.

Let me be the first to say this about her: she loves Jesus deeply.

Wants to do the right thing. Relentless in this!!

Has been unwavering in her desire to be obedient in every decision.

The decision she made? She never once questioned it. KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt it had to be made.

Devastated by the grief it brought to her children. Undeserved grief; for them, for her.

She has walked through some of the toughest struggles I’ve ever witnessed.

She’s fought for what is right and true. She has stood her ground in one area of her life that was being slandered relentlessly. The enemy attempted to wedge divisiveness in her family.

She fought and prayed. She sought counsel. She cried. Tears of unbelievable grief, sadness, and loss. Tears of grief only because of what she wanted life to be; but now could no longer be. Lots has been stolen from her. The locusts had eaten away the good.

She’s been teaching the last 3 years and in a position that was incredibly difficult. She’s stayed the course. Has wanted to quit, run away, and wondered how she could bear yet one more thing. It has been rough. At times, it has confiscated every ounce of life from her.

Sucked her dry.

She’s applied for different jobs. She never felt like they fit. She waited.

All the while in obscurity.

Continuing. Leading a quiet life. Being obedient. Daily having to remind herself of God’s sovereignty in her life and His promises to never leave her.

This season of obscurity has been difficult.

But she is more beautiful, more confident, more content simply because, while in obscurity she let Jesus have her heart. He’s done the work and she let Him.

Then one day not too long ago, a shift happened. It was small, but was a foreshadowing of what was to come.

She was chosen.

One day when you meet her ask her about it. Something she feared would never happen; happened. Her heart did a dance.

Little by little life started again. Jesus was letting her know her time in obscurity was just about over.

Then a job opened up. She will admit to being torn on whether to apply or not.   A position that she believed she wouldn’t be considered for or the salary wouldn’t be enough. She’s a single mom of 3 teenagers.

Not only did the Lord open the door, He provided more than she needed and I’m not just speaking salary wise.

Redemption. Restoration of all that was taken from her and then some. DOUBLE!

The blessing of God’s total favor on her.

Why? She allowed Him access to change her.

In obscurity.

What was a mountain of bricks weighing her down, the Lord cast into the sea. The weight of the past is slowly being removed. Her load lighter, her smile brighter, her eyes clearer.

I realize we will not like the obscure place we find ourselves in. I’m not sure anyone has ever thought they deserved to be there.

Moses spent 40 years there.

Joseph well, his was prison.

The disciples….fishermen, tax collectors, and so on.

Lazarus, his was short…4 days in the grave.

Wherever you find yourself on the timeline of obscurity:

KNOW this: He’s refining you, prepping you, and redeeming you from what has happened to you. He is restoring all that was lost and stolen. I mean ALL that was lost and stolen.  The key here is time. He has to have time.

Don’t rush Him!

Psalm 84.11, “He withholds no good thing from those who do what is right.”

There is joy again. There is peace. There is a knowing that the Lord did fight and HE won.

What was once a hesitant dream, is now reality.

PSALM 37.39  The Lord rescues the godly; He is their fortress in times of trouble.

Obscurity was the rescue.


TOMORROW WE HIDE

IMG_1352

Remember playing hide and seek when you were a kid? I loved this game. Why? Because I was great at it!! I had the best hiding places and I never ever gave myself away. Not even when they were standing an inch away from me.

I’m not that good at it anymore. Frankly, I hate small, tight places. Only now, I realize I’m not hidden at all. God sees me hiding even when I am in plain sight.

Recently, a friend wanted to take a day off from work. She’s in transition right now. Facing walking away from something that’s been her normal for a while now. She had a tinge of despair and sadness.

I texted her and said, “Tomorrow we hide.

There are days when we sense that we just need to hide out. Regroup. Allow the Lord to search our hearts or mend them.

Talk to Him in a voice no one else needs to hear.

Other times we need to be get away to release the pressure.

Cannot face another day that way again.

We don’t want the world to find us. Just for the day.

Sometimes we choose to hide, to draw in, protect ourselves and our families. The Holy Spirit whispers, it’s time.

We aren’t even really sure of the reason, we just sense the urgency.

Sometimes the Lord hides us for our protection.  Like David hiding in a cave while King Saul is hot on his heels. David seemed to always be one step ahead of Saul.

1 Samuel 23.26-28

“Saul and David were on opposite side of a mountain. Just as Saul and his men began to close in on David and his men, an urgent message reached Saul that the Philistines were raiding Israel again. So Saul quit chasing David and returned to fight the Philistines. Ever since that time, the place where David was camped has been called The Rock of Escape.”

God did not want David caught. In the nick of time, He saved him.

So, on this particular Thursday, she showed up ready to sit by the pool.

As we sat talking about her transition(s), she was having some anxiety about what it meant. We spoke in whispers as if the trees were listening.(We were the only ones at pool)

And as any good friend would do in the worst possible timing, I declared I needed food.  I was famished.

We drove to McKinney, ate Mexican food until we couldn’t eat anymore. Then walked the streets and found a little bookstore she’s been wanting to tell a friend about.  I love old bookstores.

We laughed until our sides hurt, cried until we couldn’t see, and basically didn’t solve a thing.  But she felt better. That was worth everything.

The point is this: She’s been hiding in familiarity for a while now.

God is shaking her world up.  She was beginning to get caught if you will.  God designed another plan for her and in the nick of time just like He did with David, rescued her from being caught. (Btw, this is a terrible analogy).

We all get caught with familiarity. It breeds in us comfort, ease, and a false sense of security.

Sometimes we need to be reminded we are hiding in comfort and what we really need is to stand up and take the ground in front of us. Familiarity may be the very thing holding us hostage. Fear of the unknown.

A little hiding isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it may just be thing that rescues us.

As we are in transition from one thing to another, let’s let go of the control and release our anxiety to the One who took it for us.

Transitions are good. It shows we are growing and being stretched. No more familiarity.  A reminder not to become stagnant and a robot.

When you get to a place you need to clear your head, focus on what’s next, or just pretend for 8 hrs you have no responsibilities, GO. Hide out.

Actually, let every thought that pops into your head come out of your mouth. Let it out. Hand it over. God can handle it. Your friend can handle it or she wouldn’t be hiding out with you.

Find Peace. He will give it. 

Rediscover Joy.  He will fill you with it.

These make the transition not seem so big and unattainable.

Text me. Call me.

Tomorrow we hide.