Inspired Fountain goes out to many folks, here and abroad. All over the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, Ireland and many more. One of my most sweet-sweet privileges I have is one on one correspondence. Recently a dear friend sent me a very honest look into their painful life. As I read it my heart began to ache. They write: “I have been down and depleted…my failings are overwhelming … this battle has left me so tired and drained I no longer pray or fellowship with the God I love so much. I am just finding myself so tired of the battle… I find myself overwhelmed with just everyday responsibilities. And I am certainly not doing anything about it… Only struggling with each day.”
As I prayed earnestly that the Holy Spirit would direct my thoughts and words in response, I was made aware that there may be more. More folks out there with the same painful ache. I share with you how I felt the Lord wanted to reach, love and encourage my friend.
Hello ‘Friend,’ thank you for your honest letter to me. I can’t imagine all that your heart is feeling and what swirls around in your mind. So much is going on there. I would ask that you pause, stop reading these words and close your eyes, ask God to SPEAK to you! (go ahead, right now) I too did that, asking He speak through me and to you. Holy Spirit show us!
I do understand the pain that is felt when we don’t acknowledge and live the life the way our God deserves. I have experienced walking away from the Lord just far enough for Him to keep dragging me back on this short leash, I SO appreciate the short leash. I invite the drag back! In those times, I made very poor decisions, acted out of pain and sought elsewhere for comfort and direction. Those days seemed like life was falling apart, liken to that of a juggler when all his balls go flying in different directions, the painful struggle to chase after them, hold on to them. The last time was a doozie and I am now staying in God’s camp! Just like Abraham of old I too say, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.” – Gen. 14:22
Our walk with God is so very personal and intimate. As you know any strong loving relationship needs to be cultivated. In Psalm 23, David writes later in his life, even though he was once a shepherd himself, he writes as the shepherded ‘sheep.’ As you recite it in your mind, take note of the last few words, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” These two words, ‘goodness’ & ‘mercy’ are AMAZING. Good, is a theme throughout the bible, which basically embodies the description of God’s handiwork, that which is appealing & pleasant, useful & profitable, abundant & plentiful, kind & generous. THAT is God’s goodness. His mercy, oh my! This theme is too vast to write here, but in a nut shell, He gives all His love wrapped up in strong promises, He holds His hand back where we DO deserve and reaches forward with things we don’t. He is a covenant keeping God, even when we are not. Now, King David sums it up by saying, these qualities of God ‘good’ & ‘merciful’ will follow me… Friend, this isn’t a quiet meandering behind, God is PURSUING! He is chasing after YOU!
This cultivation of relationship is OUR responsibility! I would say to you, here now in this season of your life, to cultivate simply… stop, stand still and be CAUGHT! Allow Him to cover you with His goodness and love, mercy and grace. Peter writes statements of being humble and staying alert, standing firm, yet he tucks in a one line encouragement that bears mentioning, “Cast all your care on Him, because He cares about you.” (1Pet. 5:7) There are times out of anger, we may want to pitch the ‘stuff’ AT God or not even have the energy at all to toss it. Just release it at this point, God is close enough, He has it! As He holds you, you may sense areas of your life that you KNOW are not pleasing to Him. Please respond. NOT out of condemnation but out of your love for Him. Be honest with Him. You may need to stop behaviors and thought patterns. In doing so, acknowledge these to God, ask Him to help you lay them down and walk away …TOWARDS Him.
Regardless of work, family, media etc, you and God are the first priority. I would offer, don’t make this bigger than it is, God is there, pursuing, waiting. Simply ‘allow’ Him. Don’t come up with ‘But, you don’t know…” No I don’t. But God does. I know this is lengthy, but please read, read it as YOU are telling God:
“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name. O LORD, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” – David, Psalm 139
I would encourage you to begin reading through the Psalms again, there is such honesty there, insight, direction and comfort. Then from there God will show you where to go. Please keep this conversation going with me. You are dearly loved. – DeDe
Those of you reading this, if you too are depleted, discouraged, hurting and haven’t been in strong relationship with your God, stop… stand still and allow yourself to be caught! Caught by the God pursuing you, He is so ready, wanting, willing to cover you with His love, grace and mercy. If you’ve stepped away, allow Him, no INVITE Him to grab the leash and pull you back! YOU are dearly loved! If you know someone who this may speak to, copy these words, make them your own and encourage them.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)