LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. (Isaiah 26:14 NIV)
I am educated, have a career, decently paid, live in a safe neighborhood and drive a nice car. You could say that I am living the “American Dream”. Everything that everyone sees currently is all a blessing from the Lord. If people were to really understand the struggles, the sleepless nights and late night prayers crying out to my Heavenly Father, they would understand that this dream came with a mighty high price tag. Even with all the struggles that I endured, they now seem like a distant memory and I at times get caught up in the material blessings that God has given me. In fact, at times I can begin to believe that this wonderful life I have been given is due to all of my hard work. I fall under an illusion that I am a self-made woman.
Being a self-made woman means that I have not submitted myself, my thoughts and desires unto God. This life I am living is about me, my needs and wants. The illusion that I have built this life for myself can lead me to make decisions and then ask God for His input after I have already made my decision.
I must admit that for the past few weeks I have not been in prayer or studying the Word like I once had. Although, I believe that I love God and have a heart for Him, I was so busy making my own decisions that I wasn’t respecting His authority in my life.
Then like Paul I was given a thorn in my flesh. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. (II Corinthians 12:7 NIV)
Last week was one of the most challenging weeks I have had in quite some time. In fact my well put together world crumbled rapidly in a 24 hour period. I had no idea what decision to make and I was at a loss. Things that seemed so important just the day before paled in comparison to what I was facing. Could I actually deal with the situation? The answer was no, in my own power and strength I couldn’t. It was due to this “thorn” that for the first time in weeks I reached out to my Father in deep and sincere prayer. I knew that there was nothing humanly possible that could be done and I humbled my haughty heart to the Lord. I was in prayer like never before and made plans to begin fasting.
I thank God, for His perfect timing and orchestrated “thorns” in my life. Those are instances of Him calling me back to His loving arms. Do not allow thorns to harden your heart, allow them to draw you closer to Him. He might not remove the challenge but He can give you the strength and peace to endure it. Allow the “thorns” to remind you that EVERYTHING that you have is from God and not from your own strength.
Thank You so much for blessing me with material items, but help me to remember that things are not my source. Help nothing, not even my own desires, separate me from the path and plan that You have destined for my life. Help me to remember that I am made to worship You. Help me to allow You to humble me when needed. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to let God be ruler over every decision that you make. Do not allow things to become idols in your life.
Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate. She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years. She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe. Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. While on her pursuit of higher education, she is on a seven year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years. Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”