Wednesday, March 17, 2010

God can't...(part 2)

How many times have you done things that you regretted? How many times have you been promised something that did not happen? How often are you saddened by the decision of a friend? All these things create a very powerful emotion. Disappointment.

disappointment: [ˌdɪsəˈpɔɪnt] vb (tr)
1. to fail to meet the expectations, hopes, desires, or standards of; let down
2. to prevent the fulfilment of (a plan, intention, etc.); frustrate; thwart
I have disappointed my husband, my daughter, my parents, and my friends. My intentions are good. I try. I promise. But then I don’t come through and that disappoints those around me and I disappoint myself. I’ve failed again.

But guess what?
God can’t be disappointed.
(I’ll give you a minute to ponder that.)

Let’s look at the evidence:

Fact 1: God is omniscient. He knows everything. EVERYTHING.
Fact 2: God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. Yep, even under the bed, in the closet, in the car, wherever we are…there He is.
Fact 3: God can’t be surprised.
When I tell myself “I’ve let God down” or “I am such a screw-up, God must be so disappointed in me.” Those are lies and lies come from one place only, satan. Satan wants us to turn from God because we have disappointed Him. It’s a lie.

I remember telling my mother a long time ago that I could take it if she and my dad were mad at me, but that “it killed me” if they were disappointed in me. (Yes, I know, drama much?) I didn’t know how to explain what I meant then. Anger comes from people not agreeing on something. Disappointment comes from one person having expectations, hopes, desires, or a standard for someone else. Disappointment is often hidden inside anger.

A father lets down his daughter, she gets angry but inside its disappointment. She had an expectation and her father failed to meet it. Her anger fades, the tears dry up, but disappointment, that leaves a cobweb of sadness on her heart binding up trust, belief, and joy in her father and even in herself. She will have to tear down the cobwebs in order to trust, in order to believe, and in order to find her joy. We have to do the same thing.

Open our hearts and take a peak. How many cobwebs of disappointment are covering things? Cobwebs are strong. Cobwebs immobilize things. How many of our dreams are caught in the cobwebs of disappointment?

We need to realize two things:

1. God can’t be disappointed so we have to stop telling ourselves that we have let God down.

2. We can’t accomplish all that God has for us if we are wrapped in cobwebs of disappointment.
 Look in your closet. What cobwebs are covering your dreams? It’s time to clean my friend. Let the disappointment go. God is not disappointed in anything you have done but see how disappointment can tie you up? God is bigger then any cobweb. Allow Him to wash them away. We ache to understand God’s direction for our lives but in order for the light to shine through us we have to clean out the cobwebs.

If we were able to know everything, could be everywhere, and not be surprised by anything then we couldn’t be disappointed. But we can’t (know everything), we aren’t (everywhere) and we are (disappointed) because… we aren’t God.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

God Can't...(part 1)

Have you heard about how powerful God is? It is hard to wrap my head around the love that God has for me.  Having my daughter showed me a glimpse of my heavenly Father's love but still hard to grasp.

God is all powerful.  God is love.  God knows everything.  God can do anything.

I have been mulling over a different aspect of who God is lately and instead of asking myself what God can do, instead I begin thinking about what God can't do.

God can't... be surprised. 

I cannot surprise God.  You cannot surprise God.  The world in all it's confusion and chaos does not surprise God. 

(You cannot look at Lucille Ball and not smile.)

Looking at the world, at the big picture, it's easier to say, "God knows everything" but I have to look inward, at my heart, my past, and my life and accept that God does know everything that I have done, am doing, or will do.  No surprises for Him.  

He knew that I would have an abortion.  He knew that I would get married and get divorced twice.  He knew that I would run from Him.  He KNEW when I would stop running. 

He knew that I would argue with a friend last week.  He knew that I would pray outloud during bootcamp every night in a barracks of 80 women while we all wondered if we had made a huge mistake by joining the Navy.  He knew that I 20 years later I would pray with someone while she accepted Jesus Christ into her heart. He knew that I would say something that would hurt someone's feelings in a moment of anger.  He knew that yesterday I would have a conversation with my mother that had been coming for 20 years that both of us were afraid to talk about.

God provided for all of these situations.  He works ALL things for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28).  All things.  He can do that because God can't be surprised.  He doesn't sit on his throne and facepalm when we do something wrong.   The angels do not scramble around under red alert trying to regroup when we decide to do things our way instead of God's way. 

If you are debating this whole "God thing".  If you just aren't sure about this whole Christianity thing, I understand.  There is a lot of information about how wonderful God is.  It is all true but can be hard to accept in a cynical world. 

I encourage you to take some time and think about what God can't do. Perhaps by looking at it from a different angle you will understand.  Know that no matter what you have done, haven't done, said, haven't said, you never once shocked, dismayed, or alarmed God because...

God can't be surprised.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

No sin too great.

Psalms 32

We are taking a journey right now with my church. A “Walk to the Cross” where we are discussing the things that happened prior to Jesus being crucified and his resurrection. God is the God of second, third and fourth chances, check out what He did with Peter.

Martha Fry, our pastor’s wife, has a blog where she is interviewing people and how God has given them 2nd chances (or more). I was honored to be asked but what we talked about was not easy.

We talked about my abortion and how that impacted my life. How I didn’t think that God could ever forgive me. I didn’t think I could ever forgive myself. I kept silent.

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
At the time of my abortion all I could think about was I was single, no job, no future. What would everyonethink? The world tells you it is just tissue, not “real” but scripture says different,

For I knit you together in your mother’s womb”. (Psalms 139:13).

I made a decision that would impact my life forever. Depression, suicidal thoughts, mood disorders, emptiness, a shadowed existence. I bought the lies of Satan. God wouldn’t forgive me.

If I steal, if I lie, if I cheat, even if I kill. The world says they are different and punishes accordingly, but God says all is sin and sin separates us from Him.

Satan does not want you to know that God forgives all. He wants to convince you that YOUR sin is too much for God. That is a lie. Someone spoke the truth into my heart. Someone spoke about her abortion and that God forgave her and gave me hope. His timing, not mine. Perfect. God’s love poured in. No more secrets.

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD "—
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin.

God loves you. NO MATTER WHAT. Confess your sins to Him, Ask for His forgiveness, and Accept His love. There is a life that is sweeter then you will ever know just waiting to be lived. Do not give the darkness one more minute of your life but walk in the light.

1 Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the man
whose sin the LORD does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

God's children are walking around in darkness believing that God couldn't love them.  I know because I was there.  There is nothing you can do that God cannot bring good from.  Please, if you carry the pain of abortion get help.  Email me at leigh at leighfrance dot com and I will send you more information.  Allow me to pray for you.  Leave a comment or email me.  Do not walk another day in the dark. 

Thank you for all that you have given us.  It is impossible to truly realize the gift You gave when you sent your son to die.  To pay the price for our sins, no matter what they are is a gift beyond all comprehension.  God your children need you so much.  Your daughters are hurting and needing to know that they are forgiven.  God I pray for peace and understanding that once confessed ALL sin is wiped away.  Pour your peace and love onto all who call on you today my God and help each one to step out of the darkness and into Your light.  


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hello old friends

Yes it's been a while.  It's ironic how things that are vital in our lives get pushed aside when things that "seem important" but really are not crowd them out.  I have allowed that to happen recently and even though I knew it was going on I felt helpless to stop it.  I normally get up very early and spend some quiet time with God, praying, reading, journaling, and hopefully just listening, and then I write, most of the time it's a blog entry about what's going on in our lives at that moment.  But I got tired and I allowed a warm bed to keep me away.   I didn't want to get up.  I was still waking up but instead of getting up I'd say to myself, "just five more minutes", doze back off and then an hour had passed and it was time to get ready for work.  Not just one morning, but two, then three, and soon many days had passed. 

The impact of this?  So much more then I realized. 

I haven't gotten my time with God like I need it.  My days have been a shadow of what they were. My nights not restful and satan is prowling around seeking to steal, kill and destroy and I'm not equipped to fight like I should be.  I know what I need to do.  I know that God has given me the armor and the tools to fight the good fight.  I had a choice to make every morning.  God didn't dump me out of bed (nod to boot camp days) and scream and yell for me to get up.  He woke me up and invited me to spend time with Him but gave me the choice.  He will not go where He is not welcome and He will not make Himself the priority. 

I have to make Him the priority. 

When the blog has been dark it's because I'm not willing to do what I know I should.   Does that mean that I need to shut the blog down, delete all my writings and consider myself a failure?  Satan would like me to think so.  He would like me to quit.  He would like nothing more then for me to stop, to admit defeat and walk away from what God is working in my heart.  But I know more now then I knew before.  I understand a little more about my Father and what He would have for me, and so I can say those two little words that brings joy to my heart...

...But God...

Every morning during this God has woken me up like clockwork.  He showed up every day.  I was the one who didn't sit down with Him.  My southern upbringing cringes at the thought of Him knocking and me going to the door and shutting it in His face but that's what I did. God knows what I need and He has been waiting patiently for me to realize it as well. 

So the lights are slowly coming back on in my heart and in my creative flow and will show up eventually, when it's time, here.  Today it did, tomorrow it might.  But I realized something. I need to write, not just because I want to but because God has placed a passion in my heart. 

The past few weeks have been a huge learning process and I pray it will add more to my writing because I know it has added more to my faith and my understanding.  That's what walking with God through this life is all about.  To learn and to grow closer to Him, to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, and even fail but as long as you GET BACK UP then God still wants to use you.  So I'm up, I'm out of bed and the dark is lifting.  Thank you God for loving me even in the dark.