Eviction Notice

Do you ever have “one of those weeks”? When you don’t want to wake up and face the known, or worse yet, the unknown? When you want to leave your phone off so you don’t get any more bad news? When you want to stop living because it’s just. too. hard?

The enemy has tried his dead-level best in my 27 short years to make sure I know that I am not valuable, unlovable, not capable. Not funny enough, not skinny enough, not good enough. Not enough.

And just when I think I’ve replaced his lies with God’s truth, a different circumstance with a very familiar underpinning comes back to haunt me and I find myself once again in the labyrinth of confusion and poor self-talk.

And once you start believing something? You start living it.

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

If he can get us to question our value to God, or to begin to wonder if He really loves us, or ask why He would do such things to us, he knows we will eventually start interpreting life with the burnt-orange colored glasses of hell’s fire. We will actually start seeing circumstances as reinforcements of the truth we have begun to believe.

I can’t believe they won’t return my phone call. They never did love me more than everyone else in their lives.

I knew he wouldn’t stick around forever. People always leave. Why do I insist on getting attached?

I could turn my phone off for an entire week and no one would notice that I’m gone. The impression I’m leaving on the world holds so much magnitude I could measure it with a teaspoon.

It starts with one statement and escalates to several mini-statements and thoughts and just that quick he’s got us. 

Because then we become cynical and bitter and it eventually leads to an egotistical attitude or one of severe depression. Or worse, BOTH.

And he has us right where he wants us.

Hey, you? We have a choice in the part we play in this story. We can choose to sit aside idly letting bitterness soak into our veins. Or we can choose victory. Joy in the face of despair. Gratitude on the brink of untimely affairs. Peace in the midst of the war for our soul.

We get to choose whether we believe the lie. Whether we let down the guard to our heart and believe the untruth that we are not valuable, not lovable, not beautiful.

But Jesus didn’t fight for a worthless, unlovable, ugly bride. Beyond that, He will one day present us without anymore blemishes and faults before all of heaven. And the accuser will be no more.

The accuser can accuse only as long as we allow him to. He may have more than enough evidence of our darkness to pronounce us guilty, but it is overcome by the blood of the Lamb. Satan’s accusations count for nothing at the foot of the cross.

Are the accusations coming at you like a ton of bricks? Are you believing the lies that your heart, your deceitful heart, are telling you? Then perhaps you may have relocated.

Don’t let the enemy evict you. Get back to the foot of the cross. Get your body, mind, spirit, soul, and attitudes back to the place where your heart first found redemption. The accuser cannot and will not reside there.

God hasn’t moved.

Hey, me? It’s time to pick up some change of address forms.

Hey, devil? I’m tired of you getting the upper hand. This time, I’m calling you what you are. A liar.

My deliverance is coming.

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Today….

What do you do when the deal falls through and the favorites move and the thing you have pursued for decades seems to vanish? How do you face a new chapter in your life when the last chapter didn’t look like you thought it would and in fact, you might be in a different BOOK? 

What can you rely on when you have no one to lean on?

Today, I was struck with this…So many indications of His promise to be not only not against us but for us.

There is no want to them that fear Him. Psalm 34:9

Who can remember a time when they had no wants?

And…

They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.. :10

Can we trust Him to give us ALL GOOD THINGS? We say we do, but when the husband leaves and the children go astray and the raise doesn’t come we start to question. 

And this…

The Lord redeems the soul of His servants: and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate. :22.

So to us, who are in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness… we don’t have to be. 

If. We. Trust.

At times all of us need to be pointed back to our nucleus. Most days I find myself saying, “I HATE being human.” But if we embrace it and just realize that there are times that we need to go back to square one and trust, we won’t resist the change as much. 

If we only communicate with Him when things are going really bad, then why are we surprised when He continues sending really bad? 

What choice do we give Him? 

For the desolate and the ones who don’t believe and the heartbroken, He is the choice. The choice to trust that He withholds no good thing. The choice to believe. The choice to give God a choice. 

Fleeting

Squeezing in another load of laundry at 5 p.m., I was hoping there would be time to hang the clothes out and still get some sun. As I drape them one by one over the line, I am dismayed to see that there is still soap residue on the jeans. So the scare of a broken washer sends us scrounging for owner’s manuals and past receipts from the last time it was fixed.

Panic and frustration threatened to ruin a perfect good weekend. Instead of hanging out with friends or doing something fun, Saturday night was spent surrounded by piles of bills, receipts, budget plans that were not met, and various paperwork to be organized. The feeling of accomplishment was worth something, but the feeling of sadness was pervasive. Miraculously, the second load of laundry, albeit with only one article of clothing in it, managed to agitate and spin like it was created to. I breathed a sigh of relief, mostly to convince myself that it was a permanent fix and not that one load done properly was a false hope like last time.

Time has a way of deceiving us that fleeting things are all-important.

A rather new friend of mine had told me earlier that week that she was moving soon, rather unexpectedly. I was sad that we had only really just gotten to know one another and just that quickly, she was on her way. She had asked me to save some boxes for her, and as I contemplated the rest of my evening, I wondered if I could drop them off for her. But another sigh escaped as I remembered the half-washed load of laundry and the unswept floors and all the things I wanted to accomplish before the week’s end. Not much time left now.

I brought in the laundry that inevitably didn’t dry much in the setting sun and banished each piece to the drying rack. As I draped a mismatched sock over the bar, Jesus’ words came flooding into my soul.

“For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.” Mark 14:7

Oh, how I wish I had you here with me, Jesus. I wouldn’t ever struggle with what to do if You were by my side.

Just as quickly… I am here. Deep breath. Yes. How often I forget.

And by the way, you would still struggle with sitting at my feet while there was laundry to do, Martha.

Well, then.

I hate to admit He’s probably right.

Maybe it was the paraphrasing Scripture exercise in my Stronger Bible study yesterday, but my heart immediately searched for a practical interpretation to my immediate situation.

For the laundry you have always with you, and whenever you want, you can clean to your heart’s desire. But you will not always have PEOPLE.

The case was settled in my heart and mind. I grabbed my keys and headed out the door. People always trump housework. An encouraged heart is always greater than a mopped floor. I have all too often put people on the backburner hoping that the time spent achieving perfection in my home would take the clutter and noise out of my life and bring me happiness. But you know, everytime I clean a toilet, it eventually needs to be cleaned. Again. And a clean toilet feels good momentarily, but it doesn’t bring lasting meaning.

The person in my life right now may only be Here. Right. Now. And so I must abide in the here and now, knowing that all too quickly it slips through my fingers.

Whether it is delivering moving boxes, loving on a half dozen kids so their mommy can have a breather, or taking roses to widows on Valentine’s Day, it could be the one impression they never forget.

And you might even hear these words whispered, “I knew you wouldn’t forget me on this day.”