How This Started…
This idea started like any other good idea. It started by a rare and unexpected moment.
I was sitting at home watching Fireproof I found myself crying at different parts of the movie. Now, I’m not married or in a relationship, let alone I don’t tend to cry easily in general. So that night I kept thinking about that.
I decided that God was trying to tell me something and I didn’t want to miss it. So I thought and prayed because I felt like I was missing something big.
I started humming a song that came to mind during a Status gathering I attended that night. He spoke about a lot of things, but some things stood out to me and that’s probably how this all really started. The first was Matthew 11:28 -30
The other was Paul talking about his thorn in 2 Corinthians 12. There was a lot to be gained from taking a look at what God’s strength looked like. Then I went home and watch the movie that showed God’s strength, so perhaps that’s what I’m looking for.
Strength is exactly what I need right now, because humanity (even with it’s best intentions) keeps letting me done. So I decided to spend 40 days of my own to be with God. To love him and find the strength I need.
Funny how that all just became clear this morning…clarity is often a sign of God’s guidance. It’ll be interesting to see where God is taking me over the next 40 days!
So, I randomly had a revelation about my current job.
This job is really a blessing to me. I love it because I am respected and appreciated. It really is a blessing to have any job, but I’m really glad that I ended up in a place that I can enjoy.
I realized I was hired 40 days after my graduation from college. Those forty days were a trial that I needed to go through to get to the promised landing of my first “big girl job”.
I look back on those forty days spiritually and have seen how much I’ve grown. I didn’t even realize it till now, but I found myself walking more boldly spiritually and saw God move in ways I knew about but had experienced anywhere close to in a very long time.
I wasn’t even trying then, who knows what will happen if I start walking more intentionally.
Day 1: Widsom
I wasn’t quite sure where to start with this spiritual journey, so given by my philosophy stated above wisdom seemed like the best place to start. I decided to turn to a book of wisdom that is directed towards my goal of finding purpose in God’s will.
Ecclesiastes -It’s a powerful book to say the least. I’ve studied it before, but it’s always good to feel refreshed and find new revelations on top of being reminded of what God has already revealed to me. King Solomon was the wisest person and when he (supposedly) wrote Ecclesiastes it seemed that he wanted to pass on the wisdom that he gained from his victories and downfalls.
A verse that stuck out to me was 9:15- True wisdom is powerful, but under appreciated.
That made me feel more confident about my ideas and advice that it seems no one will listen to. I was later encouraged though that all isn’t lost in wisdom because it is what God honors after reading verses 9:11-12 and 16-18.
I never noticed how the wording in 9:17 really speaks to how wisdom can fall on deaf ears. In the King James Version it says
There are no guarantees that humanity will listen to wisdom over stupidity.
Humanity is a mysterious and hard headed thing. I use that term because it is all inclusive. It includes believers, non-believers, everyone in our race, which includes me. No one is perfect and we certainly aren’t listening to the best advice or ideas all the time either. I took a look at Solomon’s life and saw how even the wisest person at the time can still suffer from humanity’s faults and weaknesses.
His final advice is encouraging in 12:14:
Then, somehow I ended up reading about spiritual wealth in Rev 3:18. I’m taking those two phrases as signs that God holds the confirmation that he has the last say, and that spiritual wealth goes to the wise.
List of what I learned over all:
1. No one is perfect, but constantly seek God’s wisdom and purpose
2. Be confident in the wisdom He gives even if others don’t listen
3. Spiritual wealth comes to those who follow God’s wisdom that He has to offer.
Day 2: Patience
So I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to go next. I started reading Romans and nothing was really popping out at me. Then I read Romans 10:19
I have to admit I’ve felt that way a lot over the years. Nothing annoys me more than people who flaunt their stupidity with pride. It’s even worse when they seem to get what I want without really deserving it.
I just don’t understand sometimes how things workout so well for those people, while God’s people are struggling so hard.
I went to the Parallel text in Deuteronomy 32:21 :
I had to say I was feeling Moses on his lament over Israel that followed. I have to admit that I have been on both sides of that lament as the annoyed and as the one being annoying. Lately though especially over the past year. I’ve been more annoyed than ever.
He went on his tangent for quite awhile. I was starting to wonder where he was really going with it besides the obvious. I guess that is a good example about rants. It’s good to vent and get things off your mind, but don’t let it go on so long that it appears to consume you.
God interjects Moses to stop his ranting and makes him take an anger check. After that his tone totally changes. It was a very powerful and direct call of patience in my opinion.
Verse 36 fascinated me because it shows how God will have mercy on hard headed believers humanity far more than those who have no desire to know him.
Patience feels like the lesson for the day. Patience not only with others but with myself as well. Sometimes it’s best to just accept hard headed moments, learn from it, and move on.
Verse 47 shows a lot of value in patience in obedience to God.
I think I could work on my patience in using more wisdom before I do, say, or feel something. That would allow me to use my my gift of discernment more, thus getting some spiritual exercise.
Today I learned:
1. It’s ok to get frustrations out, but keep it in reason
2. Be patient in the Lord because he is just and will always remember his children
3. He shows mercy on his servants because he honors our obedience
4. Our cries don’t go unheard. He’s crying right there with us.
Day 3: A Thought Around Midnight…
Do you ever think that no matter what circle you are in, how well you know yourself, or how many different people you’ve met - it just doesn’t seem like there is any place you really feel like you belong?
I mean I feel comfortable and happy, but what about about my heart says that this is where I belong..nothing. It seems like even the happiest of places to be my heart still doesn’t feel 100% about finding that place were I fit in.
It’s a loneliness that my heart can’t describe and it constantly plagues me by so many different names. It’s exhausting to feel that way, but no matter what I’ve tried I’ve never felt 100%.
The more I think about it Jesus really didn’t have it easy fitting in with the community either. He was constantly going off on his own to pray and focus. It really seemed lonely despite having at least 12 guys surrounding you all the time hanging on your every word.
Jesus just seemed to take everything with a grain of salt. He would just fast and pray more for strength.
I really hope these next few days will be giving me the strength to overcome that nagging emotion and reminder that I don’t think anyone is capable of understanding me.
I will pray for a source of joy tonight, and continue to handle my pain through thought and pray as Jesus did.
Everyone else would reject him so he chose to seek God and focus on his mission and his goal of aligning with his will. I will continue to seek God’s voice and presence. I would give anything to have time to truly escape with him somewhere, but I’ll have to make the best of it with what I am capable of.
Christ example never ceases to amaze me…
“It’s the feeling during worship that I desire, It’s a time where it’s just me being me and God being God. It’s the only thing in this world that I truly understand.”
- Austin Grey
Day 4: An Overdue Apology
So I was watching Facing the Giants the other night, which I had seen before and really enjoyed it. I don’t ever think God will stop amazing me about how He can make everything so new to me when He wants me to see something.
I started thinking about how much I really want to coach kids through God’s example, and I’ve set it as a goal to reach for in the future. I thought that was it, but then God wasn’t finished with me.
I kept thinking about my past with my college team, and how much of a trial it was. I didn’t turn my back on God then, but I didn’t open my eyes and my heart to please him as I played. Hummanity got to me and I was constantly tearing myself apart to please people that were never going to be happy with me.
I started becoming someone I didn’t recognize and blamed it on the sport and when it threw me away like I was nothing I was totally lost. That old me really did die inside at that time and yes I made a some bad choices on my own and there was a lot of evil coming against me from all sides, but in the end it was my change in mentality and pride that took the passion that was keeping me level headed from me.
I apologized to God for all my selfishness and the pain it must have caused him during those years.
I’ve learned how that no matter what I though my passions into, what I put every effort into has to be to please God and nobody else. I reaped the fruit of doing that a few months ago and then God rewarded me with a new job and so much more.
Since then He has rewarded me with peace and joy, even at my lowest since then it was nothing compared to what I used to feel every hour of everyday. Through it I have realized the joy I am chasing and how I feel during genuine worship of him is a light that stays with me long after the band plays. I can’t wait for the day to be in the moment of eternal worship. That is the feeling I desire and the feeling I am chasing.
God revealed to me confirmation through His Word after I was done praying and I feel so new about the topic.
Eternal worship…How glorious it will be…
Day 5: Vulnerabilty
You know, I realized that our humanity has a big desire for vulnerability. I think that’s what we are so obsessed with falling in love. Our culture as Christians and Americans put a big emphasis on relationships.
Recently everyone I know is either married or on their way there. I think it’s awesome and beautiful. I know I desire it myself very badly. I keep wondering why can’t I desire to spend time with God like that?
I put my Bible down and started really thinking about it. How God must feel when we desire everything else in this life but him. It’s hard to say but out humanity wants contact. We want to feel the presence of a response and touch.
I sat there and really listened to the silence of the night. It was slight but I listened and something subtly.
I want to be vulnerable and broken to someone that has me as a priority in there life. There’s no one like that in my life at all and it hurts. That is what God is supposed to be in my life, but it hurts to have to work so hard to feel it.
The number one reason relationships don’t work out is because one or possibly both people don’t want to put the work into making it work and being available for the other.
God is available for me. It’s up to me to be more available. I feel if I practice then maybe it will not be so hard to feel that presence there.
If we pursued falling in love with God the way we did falling in love with people who knows what we would be capable of?
Day 6: Gratitude
So after church I had lunch with my friends and picked up another shift at my old job. I wanted some extra money for the week, and missed some of the people there so I thought it wouldn’t be so bad.
I worked there Saturday and Sunday, and let me tell you….I was so wrong.
Drama came up again and I was so hurt to be treated so badly. I was angry at myself to have wasted a weekend with all of that ungrateful negativity. I started beating myself up about how I had sold out time I could have spent with God for a little bit of money.
I felt like I really let God down, but then I really thought about it. It might have been exactly where he wanted me to be. On Saturday I was able to pray for someone I didn’t know that well, but she was going through a lot of struggles physically, spiritually, and financially. I really feel God used me to bless her and remind her that he loves her and is with her during this trial.
That was really worth all the drama alone. Other little things happened that was worth getting my feelings hurt again. I was able to be there and build a connection with a new friend that I really want to show Christ’s love and power to.
A big reason though I’m really glad I worked that weekend was because it made me grateful for the promise God made me. He delivered me from that bondage I was in, and is helping me to deliver others.
I was starting to get too comfortable in my current position and taking it for granite. After a crazy weekend like that I was so happy to return to my cubicle! I’ve decided it would be a good spiritual discipline to pick up there at least once a month to build humility. God showed me how I never want to forget where I have come from and to be grateful for where I am at.
Humility is always a very hard lesson to learn, but I am happy to have experienced it so I don’t let hardship and pain turn me into someone who is hard headed and hate full.
“I want to be vulnerable and broken to someone that has me as a priority in there life. That is what God is supposed to be….but it hurts to have to work so hard to feel it.”
- Austin Grey