A little Spark.
A little Spark.
Things can leave us broken with the pieces of our messy and shattered lives washing ashore. The things we counted on crumble like sand in our hands. People let us down. We feel forgotten or discarded. Or a great rescue we’ve been hoping and praying for doesn’t come.
It hurts. You lie awake at night, tears soaking your face and landing on your pillow. You talk to God. You plead for an answer. You ask Him what you’re doing wrong or what you should do to fix it all. You find yourself dropping to your knees and begging, crying out to Him for help.
But He’s quiet.
You wonder what’s going on and why He’s allowing this storm to rage, one that’s been thrashing against your heart for a long, long time.
Maybe you only see the pieces of what’s survived the storm and wonder what good can come from it. What can God possibly do with this mess?
He can do more than you can even imagine.
He can build something new out of your brokenness, make a new way, or lead you on a new journey. He isn’t limited by time or money or any of the resources you and I fix our eyes on, watching as it all dwindles and worrying if it will be enough.
He stretched oil for a widow and fed thousands from a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread. He can make ends meet. He can provide all you need.
He is, after all, Jehovah Jireh. The Lord will provide.
He won’t leave you alone to deal with your brokenness. He’s there with you. He’s always been there.
Perhaps He is quiet because He wants you to take a good long look at the mess that’s been swept up on the shore, to remember all the ways you tried to fix everything and how you came to the end of yourself; when you ran out of ideas and you couldn’t see how any good was going to come from such a terrible storm that left you utterly broken.
Yes, take a walk and remember what the dreadful mess looks like and how painful this walk is, so when the rescue comes (and it will come), you’ll experience more joy than you’ve ever known.
And you’ll know it was God who restored you and rescued you from the storm raging within.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121: 1-2 NIV.)
Have you ever been to a restaurant that is just perfect?
I mean, you get to wear what you’re comfortable wearing and you know you fit in, the music is just right and the kind you like, and the food is out of this world. You get to come as you are, drained after school or dirty after work, and sit at your favorite booth in the corner and relax while someone takes care of you. It’s like you can breathe and just be you.
And maybe you have food allergies (like me), and this place is ready and waiting for you. They know how to make gluten-free rolls and dairy-free cake, and they know how to avoid cross contamination so you don’t have to worry. They know how to take care of you. Imagine that, you can eat good food and not worry about getting sick. Amazing.
Too good to be true? It’s not. I’ve been there. Lots of times. The food is like nothing you’ve ever tried if you haven’t been there before. And the staff? Well let’s just say they love on you the moment you walk in and keep on doing it even after you leave; they’ll tell your friends or coworkers to tell you they miss you when you’re not there. Oh, and this restaurant is open 24/7 so you don’t have to worry about a strict schedule when your own schedule makes you crazy.
The “restaurant,” my friend, is God.
You can go to Him anytime, exactly as you are with all your weaknesses. No worries.
He nourishes and encourages you in ways you can’t even imagine. (If you’ve buried something deep in your heart, some pain or need, God sees it and meets it just so you’ll know He is with you.)
The “staff” are those who love God and love His children. (Note: They’re praying for you when you close your eyes and walk on by, claiming this “place” doesn’t exist.)
So let me tell you my friend, I found this great place…
Actually, the Owner wanted me to tell you. He’s hoping you’ll take your hands off of your ears, you’ll open your eyes, and you’ll come on in. He’s been expecting you.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8 NIV.)
God is in the details of your life. Do you believe that? Do you really believe that the Creator of all things cares about the smallest details of your life?
Let me tell you. He does.
I had a writing deadline to meet this week and I was working on getting all the details in order. But then I hit a brick wall called a synopsis. Now for some of you, I’m sure writing a one page summary to cover an entire novel is no big deal. But to a newbie such as myself, I’d heard so many negative things about it that I was dreading the process. So I fretted and stressed and worried.
And when I started to pray, I stopped myself. This is dumb, I thought. I don’t want to bother God with this. But the clock was ticking, the deadline was approaching, and after researching a few different places and seeing opposite instructions, I was desperate.
So while I was taking my daughter to school, I prayed and asked God to teach me how to write a synopsis. I even laughed while praying because of course God knows how to write one! There’s nothing He doesn’t know!!
After I got home, I checked my email and guess what I had in my inbox? The recent blog post from the literary agency whose blog I follow. The topic? The synopsis!!!
You see, God can and wants to work in all the details of your life, even the smallest ones. He wants you to know how much He cares about you, and He wants you to see Him work. Don’t stop yourself from praying because you think your request is silly or not worth His time. YOU ARE worth His time. He made that very clear when He sent Jesus to die for you.
So don’t hold back! Go to God and thank Him for all He’s already done and then ask Him to work out those details you’re struggling with. You may just find yourself sitting at your computer screen with your mouth hanging wide open.
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen.” (Philippians 4:19 NLT.)
I haven’t filled the bird feeders or given any corn to the deer in a long time and promised myself once November arrived, I’d start doing it again. So I threw on my old coat yesterday morning and loaded up the cup to fill both feeders, tapping it to make sure the birdseed slid out. That tapping is the same, hollow sound that’s been echoing across our property for years, one that announces, “It’s breakfast time” to all the critters.
I poured some fresh water into the birdbath and since I don’t have any corn yet, I dumped a little birdseed into the dish for the deer. And that’s when I saw her standing in the front yard, watching and waiting: a deer that knew the routine.
She remembered the tapping sound of my cup, the mound of corn or birdseed she’d find in the dish, and the gravely sound as I dumped it in. I’m pretty sure she even remembered the crazy woman who waves at her because she stood and watched me as I did it again.
But more importantly, she remembered the provision.
Do you remember God’s provision? Do you remember all the times He provided a way out when you made a bad decision? Do you remember when He provided a break when you were so desperate for one? Do you remember how He sent someone, even a stranger, who smiled when you were feeling like no one cared about you?
Can you look back and see all He has done, all He has brought you through? Or have you forgotten? Are you looking down at your feet right now wondering how in the world you got here, and why did God abandon you?
Take a lesson from the deer and remember. Remember where your provision comes from and all God has done for you. If it’s hard to remember, ask Him to bring it back to your memory, to sharpen your focus, so you can take a good look at it and understand all good things really do come from Him. Don’t get stuck looking down. Take a moment to remember and look back to see God’s mighty hand rescuing, providing, protecting, and guiding you.
And trust that He will provide again.
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” (Psalm 77:11-14 NIV.)