When you see others make poor decisions or struggle with the same issues over and over, do you hurt for them?
If you love them you do. If they dear to you you do.
Right now i have a few people I'm hurting for. I want to help them but it is not in my power to give help. It is a God thing -- it is between them and God. There are many things we can actually hurt in others if we swoop down and "fix" their problems when we have the power to do it. Sometimes it is the right thing to do, but not always. We have to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit to know what kind of help to give. Maybe this is why God hasn't blessed with me with financial abundance -- there would have been many times I probably would have messed somebody up with it (though initially they would have been thrilled).
Here's what I read today:
"Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all (people), and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;" Hebrews 12:12-15
A lot of us have lame limbs and we don't even know it. Maybe you have learned to believe or behave in a certain way through your years of living. It is a way that hurts you but you continue to live that way and think that way (thinking that way is the key here) and choose the same things over and over which just continue to inflict that lameness with pain.
How do we make straight paths for ourselves? By applying the Word of God and believing it and holding onto it until it comes to pass. If we don't apply truth nothing will change. To heal a lameness in us takes real time. The Word is medicinal but something that is truly medicinal doesn't treat symptoms necessarily. It goes to the root of the sickness and heals it from the inside out.
I want to share a couple stories with you where this principle applies to my life. The first story is about herbs and I will put that in green. You can skip that if you have interest in it. The second deals with an area in my life that has needed straightening out with a straight path. Again, skip the green if you want.
( love to study herbal books and learn about the properties of the plants God has created and given us. But using herbs isn't a fast process. And sometimes modern medicine is needed for quick help. Most people in our culture want things done fast, quick results, the symptoms to go away so they can just go on with their business.
I know some think herbs as witchcraft. The reason for that is that way back when, centuries ago, the Church at large forbid the use of herbs because they saw it as witchcraft. So herbs have gotten a bad name. It isn't witchcraft. It is God-given healing -- okay, that was just some information I wanted to share. I grow some herbs -- lavender, feverfew, yarrow, chamomile, peppermint; and cooking herbs like oregano and basil. I do my best to put herbs in when I cook because I want to put in as much healing nutrition as I can.
BUT, I have resisted drinking herbal tea. I love my strong black coffee and hot chocolate and diet coke (which I know is terrible for me but until I desire to let it go it will be in my life). Finally, in the last couple of months I have begun to enjoy peppermint tea and lemon-ginger tea: for their taste even.....
And for about seven years I've used essential oils in soap making and skin cream. I do it mainly for my own family. There are so many yucky chemicals in the manufacturing stuff we buy at the store. Little changes make a big difference.)
The issue in my life that grew crooked was the issue of providence and all that it encompasses. I know I've talked about this many times, but it is an issue that has needed a lot of straightening out.
Maybe it was because as I grew money was never plentiful. I knew it was tight for my family. My parents always gave us what we needed but it is expensive to raise four children. I knew never to ask for money. I just made do without it. We weren't poor by any means, but we were never in luxury. There was attitude that I saw (and not just in my parents but in society at large .. I guess I still see it everywhere) that we had to grasp at money, work hard for it, that We had to provide, we had to skimp and save and starve and scrape because it would always be hard. And you could never count on the money being there. When I graduated from college I panicked. I knew I would have student loans to pay off. I got a job as a nanny in New Jersey-- that was not good. I was paid well but I felt I had nothing. When I went in the Army I had plenty of money. But I didn't realize it. I never felt like I had an abundance.....you know, maybe that is the case. I loved to give but I could never see what I had.
Shannon and I got married and we've always struggled financially -- but God always got us through. I knew He would. And I know He will. But I also knew I wasn't to worry about it at all. We are taught to worry about money. Why??? Because it gets our minds off of God and His great goodness. We think we have to figure it all out. We have to get loans,do it the world's way, get car payments -- can you see that we are so entrenched with the world's system that we behave as the world does in relation to money and supporting ourselves?
Yes we have to be responsible but we have to believe.
I am a writer (sometimes pretty good, sometimes not so good, but always honest, always "perfectly blunt"). I am also an artist. I love painting! I've sold quite a few since I began painting.
OK, the reason I brought that up is because it makes sense to me that I ought to be able to supplement our income with my work. And I have at times. But the last year I've had this nagging feeling that there is an answer right in front of me that I can't see. We pray for God to provide. And He does but always just barely. So first we look at what we're doing, and I know we are doing what we're supposed to. So, it gets back to that answer that I can't see.
Seriously, all of this relates to the limb in me that needed straightening. It is getting straighter all time. I have seen the error in my thinking about money -- how it is a tool and nothing more. God uses it to provide for us but the numbers do not matter. It is our attitude toward it and our approach to it.
OK, so I got that. Then God had to get me to quit trying to figure it out and quit worrying about it and to believe in Him no matter what that He would provide. He did that.
Then, he had to get me to realize that He is so good, so very good, and that the lack we have is not Him punishing me but it was and is spiritual warfare. I'd always get this feeling that He was displeased with me, that He wasn't supplying as I thought He would because he wanted to teach me a lesson.....what a relief that was, what a weight off my shoulders when He was finally able to help me see those kind of thoughts were not from Him and they were not rooted in truth.
Read this verse:
"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow." James 1:17
Remember -- Father God sent His own Son for us. Why in the world would He withhold a simple thing like money or food?
What a joy it is to know God is so good and is so wanting to be lavish in His love toward me and you. If you don't feel this as God to get through to your soul. Because it is true, so very true.
After He got through to me to finally understand how Good He is, He showed me that there is an answer but I wasn't seeing it.
I've realized there are a lot of publications that pay people to write for them. I kept thinking about women's magazines - -there are quite a few of them and they pay good money. I have good things to say so I thought I could write for them.
Finally, I realized -- I really don't have much in common with these magazines. Why am I trying to write for them?
You know what has come easy for me and been fun -- writing for kids' magazines like Humpty Dumpty and Cricket. Now, I haven't sold anything yet but it just feels right. And it is enjoyable to write these little fiction stories that can say so much. I think this is the answer for me.
It has taken me a long time to go through these steps of understanding. They were all necessary. And I didn't even share all of it. We've got some debt we are slowly paying off because we used some credit cards to help pay for bills and food because I was trying to figure out how to feed my kids and I just had no belief even though I believed.....oh, does that make sense?
What have you been dealing with for so long? What is that area that just never changes? That constantly is a trial for you? You gotta give it a straight path, apply truth and let the healing begin.