Fill My Cup, Lord!
I don't know why we feel the need to blame God for everything that goes wrong, but I do know that He is not offended by it. Not in the least...
There I was. On my bed and teary eyed, I asked God how He could let this happen. Just a few weeks before a very important trip, I got ill with pneumonia. It probably sounds basic to some. If it makes your life stand still and if it causes you to 'lose contact' with your Savior, it becomes pretty life changing.
As a child of God, I am obviously prepared for trials and tribulation. This one, though, drained me of my spiritual fire!
I remember this one moment like it was yesterday... I was lying in hospital and reached for something in my suitcase. My bible was lying just there! I chose not to take it. It wasn't just that. I chose not to pray! I chose not to praise Him. I cut God off completely. And I didn't even know why.
Pneumonia had me penned to the bed. It had me crying for better days. I can't even say that some days were good and some days were bad. They were all...just bad! But during the entire process of taking loads of pills and antibiotics, I realized that my spiritual fire had gone away. I had only myself to blame.
These emotions circled in my mind for quite some time, until I decided to let it out. "Why could You let this happen to me?" I was crushed at the fact that I was trying so hard to serve God the way He wants me to, yet, there I was. On the bed and sick.
Just smile and wave
Have you ever been in the situation where you were crushed inside, but smiling on the outside? Yup, I've been in that situation. You would probably expect someone to be honest in church about their feelings. The bible says that we have to pray for each other. Sometimes, even in church, you just need to keep quiet.
Smiling and waving, tearing up in secret, smiling and waving again. The best thing was, no one noticed. Yes, the best thing. The last thing I wanted was someone trying to figure out why God would allow this. Sometimes, there are just no answers! God does not always promise answers, but He asks us to trust Him.
What do we normally expect after a test from the Lord? Some miraculous event confirming what God's plan was. And we would naturally say: "Oh, now I get it. Thank you, Lord." I received silence and emptiness. No miraculous event. Yet, in my heart, I waited. I trusted. I wondered, but I trusted. And I continuously reminded myself of God's mercy. That is was enough...
Do you know what is amazing? Forgiveness! You will not find anything greater than God's forgiveness. I can bet my life on it!
At my bedroom window, I dared to utter these words with the worst sobbing I have ever had: "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I don't know why I do this!" I guess I was also looking for that 'forgiveness' feeling. You know... That clean feeling. That free feeling. None! But somehow I knew He understood. The bible says that we may boldly approach His throne of grace. He went through what we are going through. Believe me, He understands. It does not condone sin, but He understands. If you are in pain, He was crucified. If you were lied to, so was He. If you lost your friends, so did He. If you were spat in the face, so was He. If you have a lot of enemies, guess what. Jesus' own people delivered Him for crucifixion. There is nothing that you are going through right now, that He does not understand. He has first hand experience!
But...He sits at the right hand of God, as beautiful as can be...Victorious over the enemy!!!
You can't fill a full jug
I realized something. You need to become empty in order to be filled. You need to doubt in order for your faith to be strengthened. I became empty, so I could be filled with the right things.
I was filled! Filled with revelations, filled with a different mindset and filled with a much different way of living.
What on earth?
You should know that the revelation is good when you scratch your head and say: "How did I not know this?" I mentioned that I was trying so hard to serve God the way He wants me to serve Him... Correction, I was trying too hard to serve Him the way I thought was good. I wish I could go to my younger self and slap her a few times. Or take her some really good coffee!
If I did not become ill with pneumonia and if I did not choose to be honest about my feelings with God, I probably would have led the same old life!
This time...the right way!
So, where do I start? How was I filled that changed my entire life? By God, taking me back to basics! I was serving Him on a totally different level, but forgetting the things that He wants me to stay true to.
When you spend so much time trying to change your ways, you end up spending too much time focusing on yourself. I learnt that I have to focus on Jesus Christ in ALL things in order for my life to change. I need to focus on His identity for my identity to change and become more like Him.
I learnt that prayer life should NEVER be perfect. I listen to so many people praying these perfect prayers. Some of them sound like they come straight out of the bible. Nothing wrong with that! But I learnt that I keep too many emotions hidden from God in order for my prayer to sound perfect. God wants a love-relationship with you based on trust, loyalty and honesty. Now, I cannot pray that the day was great when it wasn't. I pray and admit to God that the day was down right awful. I also admit to Him that I know He is in control of the situation. What did I receive? FREEDOM!
I learnt that serving the Lord, is not about a picture perfect ministry. It's about a raw and real life in front of God. It's about the clean and the messy. It's about the tears and the 'I can't do this anymore!' But mostly, it's about God telling you that He understands, but He wants you to go through one more day. Just one more! You are on the brink of a miracle. If you are tired of praying, just one more prayer. If you are tired of waiting, just one more day. If you are tired of being strong for others, just one more time. It will be worth your while! God never ceases to amaze me!
A life of worship
This is the best part! My life changed into a life of worship. Less prayer requests, more praise! Some might not understand this, but it truly changes your life. When you spend most of your time uplifting Jesus Christ, He will spend most of His time lifting you up. Again, I can bet my life on it. There is something about the way we worship God, that heals us. Less prayer requests means less focus on your problems. More focus on Jesus Christ means more awareness of all that is good in Him. Very simple.
Worship is not just a song anymore. Worship is in the way we live. It is in the way we speak to God. It is in the way we treat ourselves and others. And it is in the way we do good deeds.
Worship God and fill your life with it. It will drain out all the bad and fill you with peace. How awesome is that? We are able to experience peace in a world where there is no peace! Just think about it...