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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I AM - Lesson 10



Here we are again! I am excited about this weeks lesson and can't wait for you to join us in it. IF you are one of the few who aren't taking part in Lisa's study yet - please know, that it isn't too late!
Hop, skip, jump, run on over to The Preacher's Wife and join us, won't you?

I am doing this study in a "sort of " new way today. I always read the scripture before continuing with what Lisa writes but I usually have no comments at all - just answer the questions because - as usual my life seems to be set at a mad pace and it is no different today. The thing that is different is that I wanted to comment on something in the passage. I find the wording in verse 14 very interesting and something I'd like to spend some time looking into. It says, "Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened."

Are you as fascinated by that word, relented as I am? I NEED more information here. I am hoping Lisa has much to say.....let's go see....
OK - so Lisa says that God is allowing the punishment to wait for a while.........at least I think that is what she is saying. Like when our children REALLY misbehave in public and we say "Just wait til I get you home!" kinda thing, right?

On to the questions of the day:

1. Have you ever experienced trials that were best dealt with "in the family" for either your reputation's sake or God's? You may still choose to leave them there, but you are welcome to share if you are comfortable.
Haven't we all had some trials like this? I, too, believe that God often allows me to have trials that will allow me to better relate to the people he puts in my path of ministry. The abuse I suffered as a child, my parents divorce, my current struggles with anxiety along with a few other things.....all will be able to be used for his glory in the future. I am sure of it even when it doesn't seem so obvious in the moment.

2. Have you ever found yourself in a bizarre circumstance and later were able to walk someone through the same/similar situation? Did you recognize the hand of God in it?
My current anxiety issues seemed to come out of nowhere.....so I see these as bizarre in a lot of ways. People (doctors) explain them away be telling me things like "in 7 years you've married, had 3 kids, and moved twice. AND you are a pastor's wife and are mothering 3 small children". That is all true, and yes - rationally - it makes sense that I am stressed. BUT - I was handling it fine until about a year ago and suddenly I had anxiety attacks. SO - I do find it bizarre and I SO believe that God will use it in my future. IT is his hand in things. Girls, God has a plan for my life and I have struggled with whether or not it is from him for a while now. I believe it is and am still working to get to the place of no doubt about it.....maybe I will post about that later in the week.....get some feedback from you all =)-- All that to say - all theses things will make me better at doing that job for HIM!!!! HE is definitely in it all!

3. I was in my late twenties before I ever let myself believe God was for me instead of waiting to smack me upside the head every time I made a mistake. Do you truly believe God is on your side?
This can still be a struggle for me. BUT for the most part I see God is for me.

4. If God has ever had you in the Holy Spirit Chokehold (and who hasn't He?), how have you reacted to God's chastisement? Were you bitter? Brokenhearted? Grateful?
I'd say I felt all of that and more. It is usually a process to be worked through. I'd like to say I am getting better at being grateful for trials....and I am very slowly but surely - I AM and that is because of HIM. I used to stay bitter and brokenhearted a whole lot longer than I do now.

5. Write a brief prayer of Thanksgiving for God's longsuffering.

Dear Father Above, my El Roi,
You are the one who most certainly sees me. God, the fact that you see everything about me is sometimes a scary thought. It is also a very encouraging thought, too though. YOU see me when I am ugly and bitter. You see me when I am obedient. You see me when I have my heart shattered and when I am overjoyed. You see me when I am acting like a spiritual baby and when I have grown in YOU. You see the 1/2 steps forward and 10 steps back and I so thankful to you. Lord that you stick with me through it all. Gently encouraging me to continue ONLY in YOU.
I love you Lord!
Amen.

8 comments:

The Preacher's Wife said...

Mindy...

Great question about God's relenting! We are going to get in detail with that next week when we talk about Jericho and Rahab. We'll also look at the time the Israelites spent waiting to take over the Promised Land because 'the sin of the Amorites had not reached full measure'.

Remember, God is longsuffering but not to the point of being unjust! Check back next week!! ;)))

MiPa said...

Beautiful answers, as always. Love your heartfelt prayer to El Roi. Blessings today and through the week.

Denise said...

Bless you dear one.

Diann said...

Mindy,
Thanks for your honesty in dealing with anxiety. I am also a pastor's wife and started dealing with fear several years back--very strange because I had never really dealt with it before. I know that fear is not from God but from the enemy, so for me, it is a way of spiritual attack that I'm having to learn to fight with Christ's strength. I'll be praying for you, I can't imagine how difficult it must be, but I know that He will give you the victory over it in His perfect timing.

Connie Barris said...

Very honest.. for all of us to share.. been there..

It is not by accident this has occurred but you know that...

are you seeing a Christian Counselor...?

Also, I or they can recommend some very helpful books to get you started on your recovery...

know what happens when the pressure cooker over heats... all our emotions start to overflow?

blessings and praying...

Nise' said...

Mindy, along the lines of what Diann said, once I realized that the fear and anxiety I experienced was in no way "from" God but He was allowing it for some reason, was a big relief for me in that I realized that God was not "doing" this to me because I had something to learn or had done something that needed punishment. This experience is also one that has taught me that God is for me! I also second what Connie said about a sound biblical counselor, that helped me tremendously to work through and have the freedom to really talk out what was going through my head in safety.

Gretchen said...

Okay, were all us anxiety sufferers separated at birth or what? :) THanks for your analysis of the relenting piece, Mindy. I think that God sometimes does give us a break--but not at the point of being unjust the other way (as mentioned in Lisa's comment). I think anxiety and/or depression, illness or hardships of any kind are simply allowed for our total surrender and dependence on Him. Awfully countercultural in this independent-suck-it-up-and-don't-show-it-if-you're-really-hurting-inside time and place in which we live.

~Layers*of*Me~ said...

.....all will be able to be used for his glory in the future. I am sure of it even when it doesn't seem so obvious in the moment.

Very true! Thank you for your honest answers.

Blessings to you!