Saturday, January 22, 2011

When God Gets Our Attention

I try not to make this a complaining, whiny blog about life with Fibro. 

I genuinely want to make this a place where I can be open, honest, and real with all of you. But I want to keep myself in check and not tend to lean toward complaining. I have so much to be grateful for and I don't want to take any of it for granted. I can see, I can hear, I can move, I can breathe.... I think there's a fine line between explaining my life, and complaining about it. 

I don't always know exactly where that line lies, but Wednesday I felt very, deeply convicted by the Holy Spirit after my post. I knew my heart wasn't in the right place when I posted that. 

And God got my attention fast. 

I had posted that last post over lunch. 

Our book typesetter has been out of the office for a week and a half for sinus surgery. I'm backing him up and have been typesetting a couple of our books this week {using Adobe InDesign to make corrections to books after the editors have marked them up and such... when that's all done then we send it off to the printer to make into the book}. I started working on a book right after lunch and as I was making corrections, I skimmed over some of the content. 

And suddenly got gripped. Hard. And sat there crying as the words on the screen started blurring together. It was simple, but exactly what I needed to here and when. Here's some of what I read:

When life seems unbearable we have two options. We can grumble and complain and sink into a pit of unbearable depression and discontentment; we can curse our circumstances and long for the day when we’ll finally be happy. Or we can run to the God whose power is made perfect in our weakness, the God who gives contentment in the midst of calamity. In the midst of trials we never expected, God wants to give us grace that we never expected. We simply need to ask. For example:
    • Lord, I don't think I can endure this migraine another day. Please sustain me! Help me not to complain. Help me bless your name. Please give me relief.
    • Father, if my son is disobedient one more time, I think I'm going to scream. I desperately need contentment. Help me be patient with him.
    • Oh, God, we still can't conceive a child. My heart is breaking right now, but I know that you are full of compassion. Please help me to joyfully and contentedly submit to your good will.

My dad is a wonderful example of a man who has learned contentment. For many years my mom has battled a serious, at times debilitating, illness. There have been days when it was difficult for her to get out of bed or make dinner or clean the house. Initially these were tough days for my dad. He was tempted to complain when he had to wash dishes or do laundry. He didn’t want to make dinner after spending all day working. He just wanted to relax.
But I’ve witnessed a transformation in my dad. Instead of allowing his circumstances to rule his life, he ran to God for strength. He prayed that God would help him to be content with dishwashing and housecleaning and caring for my mom, even after an exhausting day of work. He prayed it again, and again, and again. God answered those prayers. Slowly but surely my dad learned to be content. He learned to find happiness in God right where God had him. My dad is my hero, and I want to be like him.
How do you respond when life goes from difficult to impossible? Do you wallow in discontentment and complaining, or do you run to God? Do you allow your circumstances to determine if you’ll be content, or do you go to the God who gives joy that transcends circumstances? Our God gives sufficient grace to weak, easily discontented people. Lean on this grace. Cling to this grace. When life seems unlivable, find shelter in this grace. Don’t try and wade through life on your own. It’s suicide. Run to the God who uplifts us in our weakness.

~ Taken from the upcoming
The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge. Copyright (c) 2011.

Stephen and his dad run a blog called The Blazing Center which always has really good posts. A recent post by his dad Mark really got my attention. Check it out here.

That's how God got my attention this week. Are you quiet in the midst of struggles, allowing him to speak to you? Or as one of my favorite quotes says:

"Make time for the quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud." 


Pamela said...

Yes, it seems like God has many ways to get my attention whether through something I read, a sermon, or just a few words from a friend. He's also gotten my attention using a child. God will always use different ways to get my attention--I just have to be willing to hear.

Fibromommyx3 said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement. It seems as though God met you right where you needed it. Thanks for sharing.

Emily Ruth said...

Fantastic post! It's really hard to be content in the midst of chaos, and it's something God is teaching me also. I especially love that quote from the book, that's awesome- something we all need to learn to do. You are doing a great job though and I really admire your honesty and your willingness to share your faith. You are inspiring!