Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Dog-Sitting Days...

Among many freelance art projects and my full time job that I have, I also find myself dog-sitting quite often. I usually stay at the house where the dog lives until the owners return. This often leads to much time spent alone, and almost always ends with me spending most of that time talking to the dog. I am currently doing this for my best friend and her husband who are currently in India with both my sisters on a mission trip. So basically everyone that I talk to/spend time with regularly are out of the country, and my companion is their black standard poodle Gracie. It has been one day officially and I have already begun to talk to her. haha.

Typically when I have this much time alone, my mind spirals into places it should not go. Such as pity-parties about not having things to do, lots of friends to call, or lots of friends calling me. Also self-loathing because I have far too much time to focus on myself and all of my many and varied flaws, and past mistakes I have made. I do not make close friends easily. Several years of being burned in friendships have left me wary to dive into new ones. So I have lots of experience with these feelings of self-pity/loathing because I spend a fair amount of time by myself. As I said I am on day two of dog-sitting and have already found myself in these places several times.

I don't know if you struggle with things like this. Perhaps you don't, in which case I am supremely jealous of you ;). But, if you are like me and find yourself in deep dark pits because you have dwelt too long on things that are not honoring to God, I would like to encourage you.

First that God is sufficient to satisfy you in loneliness, in your depression, in your mistakes, in feeling insufficient, or unnecessary, even feeling lost in where you are in life. He is the only one who can satisfy your heart completely. Be satisfied in his word, and in his complete and total trustworthiness.

Second that he has a purpose for each season of your life. He does not do things for no reason, or without or outside his plan for you. "He works all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose." Not meaning he will only ever give us "good" things in our understanding of good. But our ultimate good which is being made like his son, and our sanctification.

I read this from Wisdom Hunters this morning and I hope that it will encourage you the way it has encouraged me.

"“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.” Joel 2:25

God can make up for wasted time. He specializes in redeeming rough seasons in our lives. What has become a torturous transition, He can use to love you into a closer relationship with Him. Where else can you go for eternal life than to the one who is eternal (John 6:68)? Allow God to backfill this blot on your past. He can rebuild what has been broken, and even destroyed.

You may have been embarrassed and humiliated, but nothing is beyond God’s long arm of restoration. Injustice may have invaded your unsuspecting life. Unaware and unexpecting, you lost everything you had spent a lifetime building. Poof, in a twinkle of an eye, it was gone. Your career was gone. Your family teetered on division. Your reputation was tattered and all but obliterated. Your joy was gone, your finances depleted, your energy sapped. And your faith was shot full of holes. Your desire to move forward in life was severely stalled. Worst of all, you wondered where the Lord was in all this reversal of fortune. You were on the fast track to bitterness because of your feelings of betrayal. You may have hit rock bottom, and now there is nowhere to look but up.

Look up to Jesus. He is your hope, your rock, and your refuge. Look up to the Lord, even though He may seem a million miles away. Now is the time to practice what you told others all those years. Trust God during this time of turmoil. God wants to backfill your loss. He can fill your pit of pity with hope (Psalm 40:2). Your broken relationships that are buried in a cistern of hurt, He can retrieve with forgiveness. Into your financial black hole, He can shine the light of His provision and opportunity.

In Christ, your best days lie ahead. Submit to His healing. Let go of your hurt and pride, and hang on to Him. He is the best thing you have going for you. Let these failures forge a stronger faith in you and in your family. Face the fact that you are forgiven, and move forward in the power of the Holy Spirit. Lean on the Lord. He can handle it. He is your stability in this storm of insanity. God is there for you to rebuild your reputation, and to give you daily doses of hope and encouragement. Your eruption of raw emotion will cultivate you into a more sensitive and compassionate follower of Christ.

He has brought you through this crisis of faith to allow you to coach others through the same. You are a living and breathing testimony of the grace and love of God. Project His faithfulness onto other fledgling followers of Jesus. Let the Lord backfill the hole in your heart and life with His love and faithfulness. His filling of right attitudes and actions will bar the door of your mind from bitterness and backstabbing. Invite the Holy Spirit to backfill your soul with His fruit of love, joy, peace, self-control, purity, forgiveness, and humility. What God fills proves faithful. What God fills, He controls and comforts. Use the lessons of the past as a reminder for the Holy Spirit’s filling in the present. His backfilling results in faithfulness going forward."

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