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The Basics

2 Corinthians 6:2

For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.


Galatian 6:9

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.


Ephesians 5: 15-17

 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.


Worship Song: Listen by Psalmist Raine

Happy Twenty Ninth Day of Thanks Everyone!

Today, I give thanks for “the basics--” all the fundamental or foundational principals that I reference when everything in my life seems to be falling apart.

Many years ago, someone asked me which biblical character did I relate to most. My reply was “Job.” They looked at me with the most puzzled facial expression and questioned “Job?” For many years, it seemed as if the Lord had a personal meeting with the devil, like He did in the case of Job, and said, “Have you seen my servant, Melissa? You can try her and do everything that you want with her except kill her.” (SMH!) My life has been a summation of constant pain, heartbreak, disappoint, and attack after attack. I was a little saddened at the beginning of the year, as I reflected, and I couldn’t find many moments of real happiness in my life. Most often, my “great moments,” which were supposed to be “happy” moments were all too often overshadowed and completely engulfed by increased chaos, disruptions, and disappointments.

It also seemed that the Lord was making me His in-real time model of what long suffering by a good and faithful servant should looked like.  No matter what comes, give thanks.  Poverty. Wilderness Experience. Single parenthood. Disabled child. Nonpracticing physician. Homelessness. Failed relationships. Loneliness. Abandonment. Multiple “Manna” Seasons.  Waiting.  All of those things happened. I suffered, but I learned a great deal of life lessons. No matter what, I still worshipped God. I gave thanks.  I pressed through, endured, and fought against every attack, frustration, chaos, and distraction. I obeyed and kept obeying even when things didn’t yield the fruit that I was expecting. It’s to the point that I have this broken record replay in my mind of these phrases: “Don’t get weary of doing good, in the middle of all these attacks and chaos, because in due season, Melissa, you will reap.” “Melissa, although you don’t understand, trust God and know that He is working ALL these things out for your good.”

Just recently, I had an insurmountable number of attacks happening in my life all at once. I was so tired of my story being “suffering.” You know it’s bad when all your inner circle prayer partners are making jokes about your ability to endure suffering and repeatedly make it known that they admire your capacity to endure but never want your lot in life. They, too, look on and say the same phrases of the broken record to me. I questioned God, with tears running down my face and my heart completely broken, “where are you?” ‘When is this cycle going to end? When will I see what you promised? There was no answer. There were no words of comfort. I continued praying, asking God to give me the strength to endure and keep going in the midst of my fatigue. I asked Him to give me a heart to trust him, even when I didn’t understand.

I spent days, desperately crying out in my mind and spirit to the Lord. Sometimes, I didn’t have the physical strength to pray words. I was so tired and wanted to give up on everything. I felt like I had spent so many years fighting for so many things to happen and it yielded nothing. I knew those feelings of defeat and overwhelming emotions, if not checked, would take me to a very dark place. My prayer partners would check in to see how I was doing. I would tell them the truth. “It’s still not better and I’m still not feeling good but I’m alive, which is something to be grateful for since many people can’t say that today.” I listened to my audio bible or turned on worship music while I worked. Each day I put one foot in front of the other, saying to the Lord, “I don’t understand this but I trust you.” I have spent so many years serving the Lord, I put all my eggs in His basket. I wasn’t going to abandon my faith, as many do, just because I didn’t get what I wanted. I wasn’t going to numb the pain with unhealthy vices or do things that I hadn’t done since I was a teenager or young adult.

I decided that I was going to sit with my pain and disappointments, and go back to the basics, my convictions. What does the word say about my situation? Who does God say that He is, in His word? Who has God been to me? What kind of history do I have with Him already? I also needed to remember the outcomes of the many times in the Bible when God didn’t come when people expected Him to come. Joseph was thrown into a ditch, sold into slavery, lied on, thrown in jail, forgotten about by the people he helped, and over thirteen years later got to be second in command of all of Egypt. When Lazarus died, Jesus didn’t come until the fourth day, when Lazarus was believed to be dead without any possibility of resurrection. Jesus cried and was deeply moved by Martha and Mary’s sorrow and their expectation, but Jesus didn’t move until it was the timing of when He was supposed to resurrect Lazarus from the dead. The disciples left everything to follow Jesus because they thought Jesus was supposed to defeat the Roman empire and give them back rulership over Israel. Can you imagine what the disciples  felt when they had to witness their king and leader being hung on a tree, beaten, and dying at the hands of the same empire He was supposed to rescue them from? What about the time Jairus asks Jesus to come and heal his daughter. Jesus takes his sweet time to heal the woman with the issue of blood and as they get near Jairus’ house, the people tell Jairus that his daughter is dead. Everyone had expectations of a timing of when God should do something. But, in many of those cases, God never worked out the situation within the constraint of their time expectation. Time and time again, He waited until after everything seemed hopeless and beyond resurrection, then, God showed up.  He didn’t just show up, He turned everything around and upside down. Dead things came back to life. Hope was restored.  People were healed.

Those were my examples. God didn’t show up when the people expected him to show up. He showed up at the most inopportune time and when it would most magnify His glory. Could it be that in my situation, God was doing the exact same? He was going to show up at the time, when everything seemed hopeless, beyond repair and even dead, so that His glory would be magnified in my circumstance.

Today as we give thanks for “the basic,” I invite you to remember your history with God and what He did for you the last time. If He came through for you then, He has an even greater plan to come through for you now, in His timing.


Love Ya,

Have a Great Day of Thanks!

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