Just When You Think You Have It All Figured Out, God Slams You and Says, “Not Just Yet!”

Ever notice a pattern in life where things are going good and smooth.  Your job is great. Kids are growing.  Bills are paid.  Vacation was nice.  Bought a house.  Painted a fence.

Then, it all changes in what seems a matter of days and you are thrown in limbo again.

Maybe it’s just me who notices this.

I’m anxious again.  I find myself aimlessly trolling the Internet for no reason at all.  For about 10 minutes.  Then I close my computer and do it all over again.

I’m looking for nothing in particular.  When in truth I am seeking something.  Solace. Serenity.  Peace.  Knowledge.  Him.

It’s that time of year again where we may move houses.  Our landlords have the house up for sale and we’re getting a ton of showings.  I think it’s only a matter of time.

We’re praying to buy a house–a permanent home–but our chances are not looking good.

Husband’s job always seems to be in flux for some reason.  Call it the economy.

My pup had to have emergency surgery today.  She should be okay, but it was completely unexpected.  And very, VERY worrisome for her mama who couldn’t stand to lose her so quick.

Still waiting on teacher applications.  You think with school right around the corner, they’d hurry up.  But alas…

My novel has stalled at 30,000 words.  Put that down for a bit.

Trying to read books.  Have no desire.

I feel like I’m following God’s path for my life but, again, His timing is not mine.  I’d just wish He’d hurry up sometimes!

So I pray.  I just apologized to God for man’s tendency to pray in crises and not to pray in the good times.  Then again, He created us so I’m assuming He understands.

Then I pray some more.

Then I sit.  Trying to calm myself.  Occupy myself (my house is very clean!).  And not stay up late at night typing blog posts because my mind cannot rest.

And wait….on others….on Him….to answer prayers….or not answer them (which is an answer as well).

I focus on breathing and picturing God’s wonders in Nature (waterfalls, etc) that calm me.

Inevitably, peace will come.  It just won’t be on my time.

Patience, I whisper to myself.

Then I hear God whisper that as well.

And all is as it should be.

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BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 10, Day 3 Isaiah 17-18

Summary of passage: Chapter 17: An oracle warns Israel against allying itself with Damascus, saying Damascus will be ruined and Jerusalem will disappear.  The glory of Jacob will disappear like fat from your body, leaving only a few to remain.  In that day Israel will turn again to their Maker and not to false idols or the fruits of their labor but Aram will not and will hence suffer desolation.  God will rebuke raging nations and they will flee before Him.

Chapter 18:  Isaiah prophesizes against Cush (modern day Ethiopia or Sudan), saying much the same thing as for Damascus.  The Lord will watch from above and remain quiet until His time to act when He will cut off the blooming harvests and leave all for the wild animals to prey upon.  Only then it seems will Cush bring gifts to Mount Zion.

Questions:

6a) Damascus will be in ruins, cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to the flocks who will lie down with no enemies.  Jerusalem will disappear as will power from Damascus.

b) Israel’s glory fades like the fat of the body wastes away.  The reaper will use his arm instead of tools to harvest, leaving some behind (the Remnant).

c) The men will look to their Maker and not to idols, false gods, or foreign altars or to the fruits of their labor.  But Aram’s cities will be desolate because they did not turn to God and their harvest will be nothing.

d) No matter how fierce foreign nations are as soon as God decides their time is up, they will be gone, fleeing for their lives overnight.

e) God watches all and when the time is right (God’s timing) He will act.  Just as things are at their highest (harvest time), He will take it all away and leave it to the animals.  This reminds me of Matt Redman’s song “Blessed Be His Name”, which says “He gives and takes away,” derived from Job 1:21 which says, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”  This passage is a powerful reminder of His sovereignty.

f) Ultimately, the nations will turn to the Lord and bring Him gifts.

7a) Lord Almighty, God of Israel, God your Savior, Holy One of Israel, the Rock, and Maker.  These names emphasize how God is and should be everything.  He is the Maker (the beginning), the Savior (from your sins), the Rock (in your hard times of life), Almighty (can do anything), and Holy (immutable).  It deduces naturally that man-made idols are just that–from man who is sinful, imperfect, at times immoral, and dubious in nature.

b) Other people (celebrities), material things, or even pastors and the institution of churches.  Idols are anything we humans put above and value more than God.

Conclusions:  For such a straight-forward lesson (Turn to me or you will suffer type thing), there are a lot of truths here. God is and should be everything.  He does events according to His timing.  He gives and takes away at will.  We are warned against false idols, which in our culture is not so much the Golden calf type thing but more so what the “fruits of our labor” produces such as material wants and desires or covetous natures.  With the interconnectedness of the planet, we are bombarded with so many other things others have and we don’t that we must guard against putting these things above God.

Side Note:  Incidentally, I do have Matt Redman’s song on my IPod because it’s a good reminder to me that He is the one who gives (not my husband’s job or other people) and He is the one who takes away (not others when bad things happen) because He is the one in control.

I also like being reminded of Job, the guy who lost everything as a test only (not for his own sins) and he passed with flying colors.  It reminds me of how when I lost everything, God was still there and I could lose it all again and God would still be there.  And that’s all that matters.

Happiness Has Returned

Yesterday, I attended a woman’s Bible study and I was talking about my frustrations with writing, finding an agent, and being attacked by the Devil as he said how my writing sucked and to just give up.  One lady piped in about how it was all in God’s timing:  I would find the right agent for me when the time was right with the right story and perseverance was the key.  I know all of these things that’s why I keep trying and keep writing but it’s good to hear encouragement and confirmation from others.

Everything else is falling into place though:  my kids got into a good school for next year, my husband’s job is going great, we got a place for next week, I’m happy being here and seeing all my old friends, and even the in-laws house is not as gloom and doom as I expected.  My kids loved going to church yesterday and interacting with other kids and mommy had a good time as well.  My new novel is coming along.  I don’t have as much time to work on it as I would if I were in my own place but I’m making the best of it.

Life is going good right now.  I can’t wait to get my own place again though and move on from there.