Friday, June 26, 2009

thought... wonderings... & jonah days

June 25th

I have not been having a good day.

I woke up this morning, took a look in the mirror (as I was doing my hair) and immediately wondered if a few cracks in said mirror might improve my image. :-P (I refrained.) That was bad enough. But the worst was yet to come: before breakfast, I had lowered myself by showing how someone was being selfish and thoughtless when it did not need to be done. And it didn't stop there. All day, just when I think I'm doing better and making up for my earlier behavior, a situation catches me unaware and what is in my heart tumbles out for everyone to see. Oh, and when I was entertaining the baby, my leg, which is 99% most of the time, gave me a sudden reminder that it is indeed 99% and not 100%.
You might say my self esteem is rather low at the moment. I feel immature, thoughtless, stupid, ugly, weak and a number of other uncomplimentary adjectives. LOL!

I can't say I have found a remedy other than falling down on my knees and begging for God's grace and mercy. Right now, I feel that all I ever want to do is bring glory to Him and I'm not able to do so.
I'm sitting here, staring at my computer screen, thinking. Wondering. Hoping.
Of course, there is another, better, side to this. Any moment I'm feeling particularly low, something good and wonderful leaps up and shows me how much God loves me...
Sara grabbing my finger and giving me a slobbery grin before stuffing both my finger and her hand into her mouth. (She's fast!) (Believe me, it only took 1/10 of a second to get it all in there... and that much time again to get it out! LOL!)

A mother and sisters who scold me one minute and act like everything's fine and dandy the next (because they forgave my ridiculousness).
Sunshine warming my feet as it shines through the window.
Flowers bobbing in the breeze, reminding me of the wonderful rain we got yesterday.
Letters from dear friends (it doesn't matter if they're old or not, friendship makes all things relevant... )
Phone-calls from friends (which are almost as good as letters)
Water to drink that tastes so, so, good!
Listening to music. (“... so let the sunshine in... face it with a grin...”)
Things working out smoothly for going on the trip.
My increasing strength (yesterday I was able to water all the flowers and make breadsticks before I was tired.)
The last thing should make me feel on the top of the world, if nothing else.

It seems strange... through my failings today, I, in desperation turn to the Lord. There is no other place to go. My confidence has dwindled to nothing. My patience and grace are both at the same level as the former. My temper feels like it could be gaged at 8 (numbers 1 – 10; 10 being highest level) There is nothing left in me to fall back on.

I have asked myself this question for a few years now: can God use evil to glorify Himself? By my mistakes today, I was forced to look to Him. But why did He have to use my stumbling and falling to do that? Couldn't He have used something else besides sin?
The brother of a promising, godly young man wrote an article about his view that God does not use evil to bring glory to Himself or cause something He wanted to happen. This was after the young man was killed tragically by a drunk driver. The brother was insistent and indignant to the people who tried to comfort the family by saying that God was using this to bring glory to Himself.
And yet, through the turn of events later, I could see how many good things probably wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for drunkenness, lack of self control, stupidity, etc. Without those elements in the situation, the man who killed the boy wouldn't have searched so hard for the meaning of life. The family wouldn't have had such a chance to demonstrate the love of God. And around the community, many people heard the gospel message who might not have, had it not been for this boy's death.
But evil is the opposite of who God is. God cannot be evil. So how can He use it? It seems wrong to even think that God could perhaps use evil to accomplish His purposes.

But regardless of what other people's views are, I am praying that God will show Himself strong and able. Because, right now, I feel like I'm on the verge of crumbling... or falling off... or blowing up... or something! Got any dynamite, anybody? J
I know God will come through. He has every time. But the question remains of whether I will let Him do His work in me or not? Is there anything in this heart of mine that won't let Him?
Oh yes! God is ever loving, ever powerful, ever able. But from my experience, I can say without a doubt that He never forces me to do what is right.

The nice thing about “Jonah” days is that tomorrow is usually 78% better than today.

::decides that she's glad there is no chocolate handy for eating because she would be sorely tempted to cheat::

After writing this, I had just gone to get a little book a friend sent to me for my birthday entitled, “The Bible Promise Book”. In it are verses with corresponding headings, such as, “Anger”, “God's Faithfulness”, “Forgiveness”, “Joy” and many others.
As I opened the book, a poem my friend had slipped into the cover of the book caught my eye. On the top, under the title, there are two verses:

“The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” Psalm 147:11
“The Lord delighteth in thee.” Isaiah 62: 4

God knew what I needed to hear... what I needed to realize. He is so good to me. You know how much I don't deserve this? I don't understand why, in my worst moments, He sends down showers of love. Why now? Why not when I've been good?
I don't understand God. I don't understand His love. But I have suddenly caught a glimpse of it and Him through today. I am so thankful and so, shall I say?, in love with my God and King.

In the Center of God's Heart

It is easy to be discouraged
When looking at your life,
Perhaps feeling that you have failed,
Or weary with daily strife.
But think about this fact -
And it is really true -
That the great God Almighty
Finds His pleasure in you!

He chose you before creation,
In His image you were made:
And in His love and mercy
His hand on you was laid.
Deeply does He love you,
You are precious in His sight,
But even more than this -
In you He finds delight!

God has His beloved Son,
Heavens glory and all creation,
And yet with joy does He regard
Redeemed “heirs of salvation”.
How mysterious this love,
How magnificent His grace -
That in the center of God's heart
We have found our place.

-- Marjory Windsor

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward. 2 Peter 3:9

If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Psalm 9:10

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:6

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Psalm 23: 4 – 5

But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. Psalm 37: 39

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. Nahum 1 :7

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. Psalm 37: 24

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 42: 11


Anonymous said...

Thanks for being transparent, Naomi, I needed that reminder today!

Music Maiden said...

Naomi . . . thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so honest with us Naomi. Just today I was contemplating myself and how I've been behaving this past week and wondering where all the ugliness has suddenly come from. It is discouraging but I know at the same time that surely the Lord is refining me I Must ask forgiveness and press on.

Naomi said...

Thank you for the kind words, my friends. They brightened my day. Sometimes, it's hard to be honest and I appreciate knowing that it helped someone else find peace and understanding.


Best Life said...

I am so glad you are sharing your heart here. One thing I wonder, have to talked with your father about all of this? He will likely have some godly wisdom for you.

As to your wondering if God uses evil for good, Scripture is clear:

Romans 8:28, "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him..."

2 Cor 9:8, "and God is able to make all grace about to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

There is nothing you can do to earn His love and mercy towards you. There is nothing you can do to lose it. Your struggles are proof that you desire to please Him. That, in itself is pleasing as unto the Lord.

I encourage you to continue to be open with your parents. I advise you to continue to pray when these feelings come upon you. Don't let them drag you down, but use them to remind you that you must continually turn your thoughts to Him.

Joy comes in the morning. Mrs. P~

Naomi said...

Thank you, Mrs. P! I appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom with me. Thank you also for the advice. :) I'm sorry I didn't have time to reply earlier but my internet time is not the most frequent.

Anonymous said...

I thought you were writing about me at first.... sounds just like one of my "jonah" days...
Thank you for your honesty; you've helped me to see how I can improve and work on my attitude.
I know what it's like to feel 99% and it's that one last percent that can get you down if you let it. I still battle pain in my foot that i broke last August. Some days, I totally forget about it and other days, it's all that is one my mind. One day at at a time...
Oh, but God's grace and mercy is awesome!!
Isn't He awesome and faithful?

Singing Pilgrim said...

Thank you for sharing this! I have been struggling myself lately and this was encouraging.