Sunday, August 22, 2010

God Knows Your Address

Did you know that God knows your address? He even knows the city and zip code. Even if you’ve moved a million times, He knows how to find you. You can’t hide from God.

I got a new address book at the first of the year. I put it on my project list to transfer all of the old addresses over to the new address book. For one thing, it was outdated and another it was marked all over. My book was filled with usually the same people who moved several times and filled up a whole page of my address book with their various locations. For some reason I always put it in pen and assumed I wouldn’t ever have to change it. That left a mess in my book as I scratched each old entry out and listed the new one. I’m so glad that no matter where we move and no matter how many times we change locations, that God knows where to find us. He is always up to date in His system with all the details of our lives.

Sometimes life can be challenging, difficult, and even a little overwhelming. It may be so much so that you want to go hide from the world to recover… to go where nobody can find you. It feels like at times we are facing this life alone and it is winning, but that is not true. God is near. He knows where you are and what you are going through. If you invite Him to, He wants to walk through it all with you. He will even carry you when you don’t have the strength to go on.

As many of you know, I have struggled with my health off and on for the past four years however the past year or so has been VERY difficult for me. I had a relapse in my condition and my health went into a downward spiral. It seemed like nothing was helping turn it around and day by day I was getting worse. It is a scary place to be… having no control over what happens to your life. There were times in the last year when I wondered what the outcome would be… Nothing was working. My energy was drained, I dropped weight drastically and couldn’t keep it on, and I was physically exhausted. I remember telling Al one night that “I was done… I give up.” I didn’t have anything in and of myself left to give.

My husband reminded me at one of the lowest points in my life that God will give me the strength I need to carry on. My theme verse for this season of my life has been…

Philippians 4:13
”For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

It is God who gives me the strength I need for each day. It’s a strength that is given one day at a time. As I focused on that fact and a few other things I will mention below, it helped carry me through one of the darkest seasons of my life. God knew my address and He knows yours. Be blessed and challenged as you read on.

When facing difficult seasons in your life…

1. Think about the Past

It’s easy to focus on the present thinking about how difficult your situation is, how bad you feel, and maybe even how it feels God seems to be no where to be found. You may not feel like you hear Him or feel Him, but He is there. It is at these moments that you need to take time to remember how God provided for you in the past. What victories have you and He had together? What has He done in you previously? What battles have you won? What issues have you conquered? He hasn’t forgotten you… He is there. He didn’t forget you in the past and He won’t forget you now. Choose to Remember.

When I was sick laying in a bed 12 hours plus a day, it was difficult for me to remember the good. “Stinkin thinkin” always tried to take over and consume me, but I tried to push past it to think on positive things. God had been faithful to me in the past and I trusted Him to come through for me now. I clung to that! Take time to remember all the good God has done in and through your life. He has been there working all along whether you realize it or not.

When facing difficult seasons in your life…

2. Celebrate the Present

Focus on the positive things of each day. Negative thinking doesn’t help anything. There is always going to be something bad to focus on, but that doesn’t help or lift your spirit. In most cases negative talk is the vocabulary of fear. It is voicing out all those things that are feared instead of believing and speaking in faith for what God can do. There is a battle daily within us. We can choose to have faith and trust God with the outcome or be filled with fear and worry which eventually will consume us. I choose faith.

When I was sick the only way I could keep from being consumed by fear and “stinkin thinking” was to focus on daily wins. I was looking for the good things in my day… what positive things could I be thankful for today? Today I can… eat more, my voice is stronger, I have more energy etc... These were “daily wins” for me. I celebrated them knowing these were positive moves forward for me. The victory over the battle you are struggling with is made up of a life time of “daily wins”. Don’t miss out on the journey because you are so caught up in the destination. God is there and has been faithful… take time to look around and see HOW He has been taking care of you.

When facing difficult seasons in your life…

3. Focus on the Future

When your head is down because you’ve been focusing on all of the negative things surrounding your circumstances, it’s hard to see beyond today to the future. But God does have a future for you and me. He has a plan. We need to look toward the future with hope and expectancy of what God may do in and through our lives.

When I was sick the only things that truly helped me press forward when I was wavering in my focus, energy, and overall health was my family. Every time I saw my boys it lifted my spirits. I had to push on and get well for them… they needed me, my husband needed me… God had plans for me. I didn’t know or understand what He was doing, but I knew He could always turn things around. A scripture comes to mind that says that…

Romans 8:28
”And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

I started setting little goals for myself to push toward and attain. These helped me to have something to look forward to and celebrate as I reached each one. One of the goals I had was to be able to go to one of my boy’s baseball games. When I first got sick I couldn’t go to any games or practices. The ball park where they played was a long ways from the parking area which meant a lot of walking. When you struggle with energy and have muscle weakness, walking can be difficult. My goal was to make it to at least one game and walk myself there with no assistance. By the end of the season, I reached my goal.

It is important to have something to shoot for and look forward to… set some goals (small goals) to help you keep your focus on what is most important. What could God be up to? What could He be planning for your life? Take some time to dream about it and imagine how creative God could be with the canvas of your life. He is a great artist… trust Him with the details.

When facing difficult seasons in your life… remember God knows your address. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalm 139. It speaks of how God knows us inside and out. He is interested in what is going on in our lives and is concerned with the details. Trust Him, He is trustworthy.

I heard a song years ago that has stuck with me. It reminds me that God’s presence is with us through all seasons of life…

“The Lord knows the way through the wilderness and all I have to do is follow…”

God knows where we live, where we’ve come from, and where we are moving to… as long as you are following Him, you have nothing to fear.

Living to leave a legacy!
Julie

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