Monday, June 21, 2010

our dependency, His ability

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:10)

As I type this, it's 5:00 a.m. in Chicago. I woke up about an hour ago with the intent to study God's Word, write DW's blog, and then work all day at the office. However, much has taken place since I rolled out of bed. Mind you, when I say "rolled out of bed", I mean it. You see, last week I aggravated my lower back and have been coping with intense pain ever since. If you've ever endured a sciatic issue, you know how terrible the pain can be as it resonates down your legs and cripples you from walking upright. This is my main problem and it has forced me to limit my movement and walk with a cane for several days now. Ouch. Not good.

This morning I tried everything to get myself comfortable in front of my computer... but nothing seemed to worked. Sitting in a normal chair proved too painful. Standing was even worse. So, this morning I concluded that there would be no DW today. There would be no study time in God's word at my desk. There would be no work completed later at the office. No, nothing would be happening in the world of Victoria except my broken body being curled up in bed and stuck stuck stuck. This reality brought me to tears as the frustration of my ongoing health problems were once again realized while the length of my to do list and unanswered emails seemed overwhelming. Needless to say, this morning I started my day defeated. The enemy was winning over my spirit. Simply put, this devoted woman was crushed.

Isn't it interesting how God can use our most vulnerable and desperate situations to teach us valuable truths about our character? For as broken as I am physically today, God still used my situation to point out how stubbornly I can strive to be in total control and how frequently I can allow pain to distract me away from His many blessings.

But what do you do when you cannot control? Who do you depend on when life takes an unexpected and unwelcomed turn? Where do you go when pain overwhelms you?

When I was about ready to completely breakdown in a storm of sobs this morning, my wonderful husband quietly stepped up to the plate and brought me a hot cup of hazelnut coffee. Knowing I needed help, he paused his busy day to kindly rub the strained area in my lower back and whispered words of encouragement in my ear. Then, he directed me to a recliner in our family room that he had set up "just so" with my painful situation in mind. It had a portable shiatsu massage pad on it and pillows to prop me up in the most comfortable position I've experienced in days. I was amazed to finally feel relief. The icing on the cake was when Chuck handed me his work laptop and said, "I can go into the office a little later this morning, Vic. You do what you need to do for DW and relax in this chair. I'll take care of everything else." All that I was struggling to control was instantly remedied by my husband's faithfulness and love. Mind you, this is a man who is very busy and frequently on the phone at 3:00 a.m. every morning - wheeling and dealing with our German headquarters. This is a guy who has much more on his plate than I could ever dish onto my own. Yet Chuck is never too busy for me. He loves me. Yes, this is a true gentleman who cares about his lady more than his own life and outwardly showcases his affection in how he speaks and treats me every second of every day. This is my dear husband. Oh, how I love him so.

Through Chuck's testimony today, God reminded me that I am never the one in total control. God is. When I feel stuck or crippled from anything this world (or my body) delivers, it is crucial that I accept the fact that I am a dependent creature. I was not made to do it all... to handle it all... to endure it all by myself. No, God made me to need Him. God made me to love and fellowship with others in His name. God created me to live fully (no matter what my circumstance) while rejoicing in His glory and demonstrating His grace in every area of my life... even a broken back... even a crushed spirit. Furthermore, in times of complete chaos and moments of uncertainty, I must always remember that God will always provide. He will deliver exactly what I need, when I need it. He is never too busy for me. Yes, He is a true gentleman who will take care of me even when I am unable to take care of myself. He will do whatever is necessary for my benefit. Why? Because God loves me - more than I could ever imagine. He is my relief.

Well, today has not panned out the way I would have preferred or planned. But that is ok. My body is not capable of enduring what I would have hoped for. But that is alright too. For God clearly loves me and wishes to still use and teach me about His glory. I must remember to keep the focus off myself (and Satan's painful distractions) and onto His bigger, more important picture. I must surrender my vision of control and instead be willing to receive His continuous demonstration of love for me and share it with others. You see, my King is always showcasing His love in how He speaks to me and how He treats me every second of every day. This whole universe was created so that I may personally relate directly to my good, heavenly Husband while trusting His perfect reign - even in the most challenging of trials. It is most important that I always notice Him first... that I always praise His name and trust His agenda over my own! This is how a crushed spirit becomes a victorious success. This is how a broken woman can live free of the enemy's grasp and be used to uplift and encourage others while glorifying Jesus Holy Name. This is how devotion must be displayed in every single challenging moment... with a complete dependency to our Divine Comforter! The God who will show up when He is most needed. The God who has planned things "just so" for each of us to live richly in the relief of His grace. What a blessing!

Ladies, God will always provide for us - no matter what the trial, no matter what the pain. Our responsibility, however, is to faithfully surrender over our pride and the need to control how life will play out. Instead, we must live every moment trusting Him. We must stand in complete agreement to His ways while we leave our own expectations aside. Our dependency must rest fully in His ability. For He is able and will bring us the relief we need - exactly when we need it. Let us remain forever dependent in His gracious, loving care.

Let us surrender ourselves over to the authority of our dearest, dearest Husband. He will take care of us. He will deliver. He will come through and bring us the help and relief we so desperately need. Trust Him no matter what pain may arise... no matter what trial may come. God will not forsake those who seek after Him. He will always remedy our situation by extending His faithfulness and love.

Join me in praise, ladies. Our God is sooo good. Oh, how I love Him so! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

feed me, Father

I love this time of year. Throughout the hustle and bustle of my petty agenda, I am grateful to see that God is always in control and overseeing life - all life.

In the last few days, He has blessed me by exhibiting His care for the baby robins outside my home and office.

At home, there was a baby fledgling that we stumbled across (not literally) this past Saturday. Not being a person who knows a great deal about birds, I initially thought the bird was in trouble... that it fell out of a nest and was in need of care and protection. He was sitting quietly in our lawn about a foot away from the street. When I approached him, he opened his mouth for food. Awe, poor thing. So, of course, I ran to my garage and got an old rag and a container to scoop him up into.

When I returned to Robbie (yea, I named him - so what!? ha ha.)... anyway, when I returned to Robbie and started to transport him into the container, things got crazy. Suddenly, there were other birds hovering over me and screaming at the top of their lungs. It seems, Robbie was not alone after all. However, I still didn't feel good about leaving him exposed for a predator to find. So, I called our local forest preserve animal specialist for help.

Turns out, Robbie was doing exactly what he should be doing. Young fledgelings who are soon ready to fly fall out of their nests and live on the ground for several days. There, their parents continue to feed them and teach them how to nest in neighboring bushes, etc. They continue to hop around and learn the art of flying while under the supervision and care of their parents. Who knew?

The forest preserve lady told me that it would be best to move Robbie away from the road - nearer to the secluded row of bushes stationed around our house. This would protect him better. That said, I was worried because I had "handled" Robbie. Would his parents still feed and care for him? Thankfully, yes. Turns out, his parents (who were still screaming at me) were VERY interested in the well being of their little chick.

After conducting a visual assessment of Robbie's health (guided by the specialist over the phone), we determined that he was indeed healthy and able to hop and possibly fly soon on his own. So, with great apprehension, I put Robbie down under the bushes. I continued to watch him from a distance to see what his parents would do. Almost immediately his mother and father were hovering around him and supervising his actions. Robbie would be cared for as he continued to learn how to fly. Robbie would be o.k. Phew!

Later that day, I noticed that Robbie was no longer visible near our bushes. However, his parents were flying around a different area of our yard with worms in their beaks. I can only assume that little Robbie flew a short distance to that location and now they were caring for him there. Go Robbie! God's speed, my little friend!

Yesterday, I was working at my office. Note: My office is located on ground level and has a large window with trees outside. I've noticed that in the first tree outside my window, there is a robin's nest with three baby birds - much younger than Robbie. Each day, I have enjoyed seeing Mamma and Pappa come and go - feeding their little chicks.

But yesterday, it was raining pretty hard. Concerned, I walked over to the window to check on the status of the Robin Family. All that was visible in the nest was Mamma Robin towering over her chicks with her wings expanded out like an umbrella - sheltering them from the rain and keeping them warm under her body. Then, Pappa would show up with food and swap positions with Mamma. They took turns coming and going all day - all the while feeding and protecting their young while the heavy weather came down. Any time I caught a glimpse of the babies, their mouths were wide open. Hungry, vulnerable, and completely dependent on the care and protection of their parents.

I realized that one day these sweet little baby birds would also become older fledglings and leave their nest. Just like Robbie, their parents would continue to take care of them as they learn how to fly. And so it goes... life continues. And our loving, good God oversees every small detail.

Ladies, there are so many lessons we can learn about God's love and protection just by noticing His glorious creation. His wings are always a shelter to us - even in the worst of storms. His guidance is always available to us - even when we are struggling with a new challenge or trial. We are never alone. His presence is always with us - even when we are most vulnerable. His protection and provision remain consistent and steady. We have no need because we are children of His kingdom. His love is never ending and He is using everything... EVERYTHING... to teach us how to soar. If we remain willing, with our mouths open to receive His constant nourishment, we will grow. If we believe His promises and trust Him in all circumstances, we will be protected and flourish. If we follow His commands and learn from His example, we too will learn how to fly.

Rest assured that our gracious Father, whose eye is on the smallest of sparrows, loves you and is definitely watching over your life.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! (Luke 12:24)

Thank you, Lord, for the robins. Thank you for keeping my eyes open to see Your love in all creation. Feed me, Father. My heart is open! Protect me from the storms of this earth. Teach me how to flourish and fly in Your holy will. My life is Yours to develop and use. Use all that I am to showcase all that You are - my eternal refuge and strength!

I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah (Psalm 61:4)

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

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