Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Have You Ever Misplaced God?~

When God speaks to you,
His voice is louder than words.

It booms in the deepest place of you
and the reverberation is felt
in every part of your being.

It is unmistakable -
not to be missed.

I'll never forget the day God spoke to me -
while sitting on my patio,
heart deep in a women's Bible study.

As I took a drink of coffee and flipped the page,
the question waiting for me at the top of the next page,
came barging into my thoughts like a freight train.

"What is, or are, the things in your life that you associate with safety, peace, and pleasure?"*

Having just lost my husband to a heart attack several weeks prior to this page turning moment,
naturally his name was the automatic, didn't-have-to-think-about-it-for-a-second answer.

He was where I found my safety, peace, and pleasure. Yes. He was ALL of this to me.

Just thinking about my love made me smile,
stop for a moment,
and thank God for having given me this precious man to love and hold and call my own.

Then, moving on down the page,
only a paragraph or so more,
the eyes of my heart read this question:

How would you feel if God "repossessed" these things?

And, having just lost my husband several weeks prior to this question answering moment,
naturally the automatic, didn't-have-to-think-about-it-for-a-second answer that came shooting out of my mouth, out loud, and was immediately written in the margin of my book was this:

"I do feel this way!"

"Yes, Lord!
This is exactly what You did!
You repossessed my man!
Why, Lord?  Why?"

Immediately, thanksgiving turned to anger.
Joy turned to sorrow.
Praise turned into "How could You, Lord?"

My smile was swallowed up with my tears.

And for a moment,
I put the book down and just sat there,
consumed by all the emotions
welling up inside me.

Then,
I yelled . . . and God understood.
I vented  . . .  and God understood.
I questioned . . . and God understood.
I demanded an answer . . . and God understood.
I picked up the book again . . . and God spoke.

Through the words of the very next statement, I heard His voice that is louder than words.

Your response to that question reveals the degree to which your identity and sense of security is found in things from God rather than in God Himself.

Yes, when God speaks to you,
it booms in the deepest place of you
and the reverberation is felt
in every part of your being.

It is unmistakable -
not to be missed.

For the first time in my married life -
only now I was actually living "widowed" life -
I realized just how much of my safety, peace, and pleasure was wrapped up in my husband.

His presence now gone from my life
left me feeling vulnerable, distressed, and in the pit of depression.
His absence now unmistakably felt in my life
left me feeling unguarded, unstable, and undone.
His missing from me and my life
left me feeling like everything else in my life was missing, too.

He was gone -
but,
my God was still here.

"Oh, Lord. Did I place my husband above you?  Did I find in him and through him what I should have found in and through You? Did I place my safety, peace, and pleasure in the precious gift given to me by You, more than I did in You, the Giver of the gift?"

God didn't have to speak.
The answer was reverberating through my entire being.

And while, naturally,
a wife is supposed to find safety, peace, and pleasure in the presence of her husband,
if these things had first and ultimately been placed in God,
then the loss of my husband would still be felt, no doubt,
but the all-encompassing presence of my God would still be felt supernaturally, as well.

I trusted God.
I put my safety in God.
I found pleasure in God.
I did.

But, until my husband was no longer with me,
I didn't realize HOW MUCH I relied on his physical presence in my life.

And I think sometimes,
without us even realizing it,
without us even meaning to,
without us even vaguely aware that we are -
we take the precious gifts God gives us -
our mother and father,
our husband or wife,
our children and grandchildren,
our homes,
our jobs,
our bank accounts,
our talents and abilities,
and we love them
so fiercely and so naturally
that sometimes,
when they are no longer here,
then and only then,
we realize the place they were given in our life.

They are gifts -
precious, never to be replaced, love and appreciate with our whole heart gifts -
but if it wasn't for the Giver of all good gifts,
we would never have had them.

We must never allow the gift to become more precious to us than the Giver.
We must never allow our
safety,
peace,
pleasure,
faith,
happiness,
joy,
contentment,
or reason for living
to be totally wrapped up in the "gift".

When God decides to repossess one of His treasures,
it hurts,
It shatters our world.
It changes everything.
But, God.

We are heartbroken.
We yell.
We vent.
We question.
We demand an answer.
And, God understands.

But, God also speaks.

In words we cannot miss
and in ways that are unmistakable, He speaks.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
~Mark 12:30

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
~Matthew 6:33

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
~ Matthew 6:21

Looking down at the Bible study open across my lap,
my heart was overcome by my love for my God.

To give me such a gift as my husband.
To understand my deepest emotions as no one else can.
To speak His words straight to my heart.
To remind me in the midst of it all that
He sees,
He cares,
He knows.

"What is, or are, the things in your life that you associate with safety, peace, and pleasure?"

May it be You, Lord.
May it always and completely be You, Lord.





* Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything, by Jennifer Rothschild, pg. 54








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1 comment:

  1. Hi Stacy, wow, as I read this I was evaluating myself and in what/who do I put my trust? Based on my stress of late, probably not in the Lord as much as I should. And based on my hurt of late, too much store has been put into the gift that my children are. Shoo, lots to think about here. Great post
    God bless
    Tracy

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