It’s gon’ hurt, but don’t you slow down, get back up, cuz it’s a hard love.

Yesterday, I was talking to my friend about how we want immediate action and immediate results. We’re not good at that whole waiting patiently thing. Then as if on queue, the First 5 devotion was: Weakened faith makes us easy prey. I read this on the First 5 app: “There have been seasons of life where I have become disillusioned with God. When He wasn’t answering my prayers or ‘fixing’ my problems fast enough, I was seduced by the god of gotta-have-it-now.” Lord, I am weak. I am easy prey for fixing my problems the simple way, the instant fix, the temporary band aid. I am a big fan of pitty parties when things are not going my way or things aren’t fair or when I’ve been done wrong. I have a tendency to play the victim. It’s easy, especially with everything going on in the world, to give up because life isn’t fair. Because we got the short end of the stick. Because we were hurt. Giving up is easy. Getting back up is hard. Love is hard.

The second session of Stuck Study is titled: Mad. The session talks about how life isn’t fair and how frustrating that is. Then it tells a story of one woman’s reply: “You’re right. You don’t deserve this life. You deserve hell and death, and so do I. But God’s gracious love for us provided a Savior who took our sins and died for them. He didn’t deserve death, and we don’t deserve life. It is God’s grace that we have life at all.” Sometimes I need that reminder. I admit, too often I need that reminder.

In this session, we are called to surrender. To lay everything down so that we can be filled by You. I had a similar devotion in Mobile. We wrote down on pieces of paper what was holding us back from our relationship with You. Then we picked up these little wood crosses. We were told to paint them or whatever we wanted, but to use them as a reminder. Not of what we laid down, but of what we picked up instead. The part of message that I got differently today was trust. By laying everything down, I wasn’t just giving You control, I was trusting You to take care of what I laid down. I wasn’t just letting it go, I was giving it to You. Lord, sometimes You give us a piece of the puzzle at a time, to put together in Your timing.

The study said: “This love costs us something. It is not easy, but it is simple.” Then it states Luke 6:28-30 which says: Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. Ok, first off, this love and trust thing is hard for me. It’s a simple concept, but it’s hard to put into action. The whole bless and pray thing, I can do. I can totes pray for my enemies. I’ve been taught that my whole life. And my daddy always said if you let someone borrow something then just plan to give it to them. And my mama told me 1343 times that if someone takes something from you then they must have needed it more. So, that stuff I was prepared for. But not offering my other cheek after I’ve been hit. That one gets me. That one takes personal root and grabs on. That one is a tough pill to swallow. That one is gonna take some extra praying and teaching. Lord, that one I’m gonna need help with. That’s when trust comes into play.

The study teaches that if we put our trust in You, then that’s where freedom is found. That’s when we truly let go and surrender. That’s where peace comes. I’ve always heard Ephesians 4:26 which says: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. The part I haven’t heard, but read today is verse 27: and do not give the devil a foothold. Lord, I needed that reminder today.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray that I am humbled at your feet. I pray that I let go of my timing. I pray that I stop being so impatient. I pray that I put my trust in you. I pray that I put my faith in you. I pray that I remember you are God and I am not. I pray that I want more of you and less of me. I pray that I put action into your love. I pray that I give more, love more, pray more, bless more, surrender more, forgive more. Lord, help me to offer my other cheek. I pray that I show strength. I pray that I show intention. I pray that I let go of my need for things to be fair. I pray that I let go of what I think my rights are. I pray that I stop trying to defend myself and let you defend me. I pray that I am not so easily offended. I pray that I made stronger in you and in your love. I pray that I am slow to anger and slow to speak. I pray that I listen intently with love. I pray that I let me fade away. I pray that I hold on a little tighter to your love. I pray that I don’t let the devil have a foothold. I pray I keep finding you more and more. I pray for courage. I pray that I remember you are victorious no matter how weak I feel. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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