Monday, August 11, 2014

The God who Delivers

Jesus said to his disciples, "My peace I give you."  He said be at peace.  And I have felt that peace.  It comes and goes you know.  My God gives baffling peace, from a blank despair. Because my God is a great God and he delivers me from every trouble I face.  And there are many troubles in this world.  And there are more to come, I'm sure of that.

 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV) Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

My mind often goes to dark places.  I've lived in dark places, many I care not to remember.  That's how it goes on Earth.  Lots of trouble, lot's of sadness.  Things don't always go as we plan. 

I was very troubled recently.  Things were difficult at the homeless shelter where I work, staff were down, and I felt boxed in and overworked.  I almost quit my job over it.  Worked six days in a row, and by the end I was just starting to get sick I had been working so much.  I refused to work two third shifts, called in sick, and almost was fired over the whole incident.  

Isaiah 12:2 (ESV) “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

It was very difficult.  Because being sick, flu like symptoms I was already feeling emotional and uncertain.  Depression comes easily during times of sickness.  But I finally overcame that, and came back in to work.  Spoke to the Director and the Lead, and it was all worked out in a very positive manner.  They were very kind about it.  But I felt my rights had been trampled on.  It's a hard thing to say, how much can the employer dictate when I work, when I need to come in?  Am I required to answer calls from the boss to come in on my day off?  Is the employer allowed to void agreements we've made in the past based on the necessity of the moment?  Those questions were on my mind.  But it was resolved.  Finding that balance you know, between maintaining my dignity and rights, but also being part of a team and helping out when needed.  That was the tough part of it.  

Colossians 4:2 (ESV) Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

I prayed through those days a lot.  But I was right on the edge.  It's amazing how very difficult situations can come about and they don't make a great impact.  But when my emotions get jumbled, wow, it's very deadly to recovery.  Thankfully I'm still afloat today.  

Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 

I walked to my car, feeling the overwhelming peace of Jesus Christ that day.  And I sat down, incredibly grateful.  I love my job at the Salvation Army.  I love having the chance to help people, to pray with people, to meet needs, to give away Bibles, to share the gospel, to host AODA workshops and on and on and on.  It's wonderful!  What a blessing from the Lord, to have a ministry so close to those in trouble!  It's a dream come true.  It's answered prayer.  And he helped me.  But he didn't remove the incredible pain, the emotional chaos, but he did help me bear it and he did orchestrate events so I wouldn't explode in emotion and quit.  But it felt like it was a hair away.  

So there I was, feeling the peace of Christ.  Because I chose to face the music head on.  And it all turned out alright.  Then I turned the key in the ignition.  And it wouldn't start.  That was five days ago.  My car, the 92' mercedes benz is still sitting in front of the shelter broke down.  And I'm checking ads for used cars on craigslist.  Welcome to planet Earth, fix one problem, here's another one.  Oh well, just another day in the life of a sinner saved by Grace, seated on the throne with Christ, yet broke, in debt, depressed, overweight, with serious mental issues, recovery problems, few friends, a stuffy nose, matted greasy hair, and a laundry list of to-do's.  Until next time!

Matthew 5:44-45 (ESV) I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.