This financial struggle, and the real possibility [that gets more possible every day] that we will lose our home to foreclosure, has burned two emotions in me - peace and contentment - and I'm wondering this morning if one of those emotions [contentment] also brought with it a "frenemy"... apathy disguised as acceptance?
I 'accepted' a couple months ago that God may just have a different plan than we do; that keeping this house and staying put in Bedford may just not be His will anymore. The acceptance of that reality brought an incredible peace. I HAD to let go of all that 'belonged' to me in order to surrender it BACK to the hands from which it all came anyway... God's!
But now, I'm questioning whether or not that acceptance and peace allowed my enemy to sneak in the backdoor with apathy when I wasn't looking... during the time when I finally gave in and stopped believing in and holding onto 'my right' to not lose our house, our car... our lives as we know it.
Yesterday, when Pastor Robert was closing his message, God spoke so clearly to my heart... as audible as a person standing next to me. The invitation for prayer was given - anyone who needed it, please come forward - and my thought was, "But we've come forward every week for a while now. We're getting kinda selfish." And what I immediately heard was, "Don't give up. Stay committed to prayer."
After many years of questioning myself, I've learned to recognize God's voice. There are times when I literally want to turn around and see who just spoke to me, but I know - especially in a public venue - that I'll just look a bit foolish because no 'human' in that place did... it was God. During prayer time He was telling me - no, commanding me - not to give up!
"But God, haven't we [and so many others alongside us] been praying for months now about a job, about income, about You making a way for us through this muck of financial abyss? We've been going up every week and praying for the same thing. Surely You've heard us by now. We'll just be taking up someone's place who probably has some NEW need that requires prayer."And then Pastor Marcus walked up to the microphone and said, "You know, someone asked me recently why EVERYONE doesn't come forward when the invitation for prayer is given? I mean, doesn't everyone have at least one prayer need in their life? And I had to shake my head and just say that I didn't know why someone would turn down the offer for prayer."
BUZZ!!! [loud alarm ringing in my soul] Sounds like someone... could it be... Satan?... didn't want me going forward. "Here's a little condemnation to end your church experience. That should help you walk out of here feeling guilty for taking up someone's time at the altar with the SAME request you've been bringing for a while now."
In the words of my dearest friend [with arm outstretched]... "BACK OFF!"
I filled out a prayer request card so that our need would get prayed for all week AND we went forward for prayer. Take that, Satan!
Sooooo... as I sit here this morning listening to my backyard birdie buddies singing up a storm, listening to the trash truck stopping at each house along our street, listening to the fan that hangs from our porch whir above my head, listening to the breeze rustle through the leaves of the trees that overhang our fence... God's reminder from yesterday shouted at me and awoke a desire I surrendered to a few months back believing it had to be buried when I chose acceptance: the desire to FIGHT!
In my eagerness to accept that nothing belongs to me - really belongs to me and that things are really just things - and in my hunger for peace to settle on that reality, I think I also threw in the towel and walked out of the ring, believing I had to give up the fight for what God has not yet allowed to take place [or that Satan hasn't found a way to take from me].
I STILL have my home.
I STILL have my car.
I STILL sleep in my bedroom, eat in my kitchen and sit in my backyard.
Yes, all of this belongs to God because only He GIVES. It's not really mine except for the fact that the use of that pronoun is necessary in today's world to show worldly ownership... it's my house because I pay for it.
But today, and for as long as God will let us "own" it, I realize that I WANT to stay here. I really want to stay here! I will accept the plan if it truly is God's will to move us on, even when moving equals financial loss. But what I will no longer do is roll over and give up.
Acceptance does NOT equal Apathy.
This is my home, at least for the time being, and I no longer care if the wall paper isn't what I like, or the rooms could be painted to fit my taste or the backyard isn't how I would have designed it.
I'm wondering now - truly in this moment - if God has NOT allowed the income stream for the home makeover I've prayed for [and so yearned for] because He desperately wanted me to be grateful for the fact that I even have a home? Would I be thankful - deeply thankful - for a home that didn't fit my standard of beauty, or would I continue to bemoan the fact that I had to live with blue flowered wall paper in my kitchen?
Wanting a home - your home - to be beautiful according to your individual taste is not wrong. it is NOT unGodly or unBiblical in any way. But when that desire eclipses the gratitude for the blessing of the home, something's gone awry.
"God, I am sorry for being so out of whack in my perspective. Beauty eclipsed blessing in my world. Acceptance turned into Apathy. Forgive me and set right my outlook and my heart."Today, I am determined to fight for the blessing of my home, and I will not give in until God tells me differently.