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Angela Light

Walking it out- the great, the messy & in between

Terrible or Terrific?

Posted by angela on October 28, 2014
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She sat alone watching the parents with their children walk off along the pathway. The day was bright, sunny with just a bit of crispness of fall in the air. Beautiful day for a field trip. All the kids had looked forward to this event and the parents were all accompanying their young ones. All but one. She sat on the bench at the entrance and watched as her young ones skipped off with another parent and a couple of friends. She so wanted to be a part of the tour group, to experience all the new things the kids would be talking about for weeks to come. But her legs didn’t work like they used to and just getting from the parking lot into the park was a huge accomplishment. So she sits and waits on the bench for the group to return. The pain in her legs was increasing and she prayed she could make it through the next few hours without showing the intensity of her struggle. OH let me make it through just this one afternoon Lord she prayed.

You may not think this little story could possibly relate to you or anything in your life. But think a moment. Is there an area of your life where you don’t feel you can take one more step, be excluded one more time or handle ONE MORE THING and still be effective in the present? You may not have a physical issue but a heart issue.

Could you look like you’re playing the part, doing what you should, following the routines when your heart is aching with a pain or emptiness that no one can see? You’ve kept it hidden or laughed it off if anyone started to get close?
It’s a lonely feeling that you are in this place of pain, defeat or emptiness. No one would understand really. Oh, they’d be sympathetic but really, could anyone really DO anything to make it better?

I’ve said a prayer that sounds crazy to some but I hope you’ll see the heart of it. I’ve prayed a prayer of thankfulness for my pain and my issues. I know, sounds nuts. The pain that sidetracks me and the issues that leave me unable to participate in life—I thanked God for these things. Oh, I’ve prayed for years for healing and strength and so far, I’m still here. Not healed and not strong-yet-but still here.

So why pray thanks for these things that limit me and my ability to do general life things others so easily manage? Why would you pray a prayer of thanks for the limits you have, things that you feel are holding you back? Physical issues, emotional scars, material loss, relationship heartache, career drama?

How could someone THINK of being thankful for these things?!

Well, its in these empty loney places I’ve found that I cling to the Father more. These ugly, lonely and sometimes traumatic places when I’m at the end of myself—that I find I’m not as alone as I feel. There could be a thousand people in the room but the emptiness is gnawing like a wild animal on a rampage in our soul.

Maybe you’re not as stubborn as I am. I had to come to place where that empty, brokenness left me in heap on the floor before I was able to sit still long enough and quiet enough to be filled with the Father’s love. Love that touched that place that let me know, against all humanly odds, it would be okay.
Not the way I wanted perhaps, but okay. I was covered. Someone had my back.

So I thank you Father for the crisis that I thought would kill me. I thank you for the pain and limitations that leave me broken so often. I thank you Lord because these are things that have brought me to a place closer to You than I would have ventured on my own. I thank you Father for always having my back, never leaving me on my own.

I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. Psalm 31:7

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Wrestling Match

Posted by angela on October 21, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 2 Comments

The player grabbed me and threw me down in a hold that I couldn’t wiggle away from. I fought back, determined not to let this player get the best of me in this match. I wasn’t going down! I screamed just for shock which seemed to work for 2 seconds which is all I needed. I wrestled away from his grip and tried to reposition my stance, ready for the next move. I had been matched against this player in the past but always gave up. This time, I was going to win this match! I was going to stay in the game until they called it and I was the winner!

Ever feel like you are stepping up for one more wrestling match? One more day of pushing through the hassles, drama or constant demands? You can push through this match!!
We may be tired or confused where our path is leading, when we’ll get to our destination (If we even know what that is) but we keep wrestling through the day.

Oh sure, we’re tired of it at times. We want to give in and give up. Forget this, I’m done with it. But for what? To be forever unfulfilled and aching with the knowledge that we purposely walked away from the path our Father put us on?

No, we don’t want to go through this! He will bring you back to the beginning of your journey to do it again until you complete it. You don’t want to go back to the beginning of a long journey do you? NO! You want to make it to the finish line in victory!
I’m encouraging you today. Keep wrestling with whatever stands to block your path today.
If its boredom, disgust or exhaustion-you can do this.

You may be facing some pretty intense situations and are completely at the end of yourself with wrestling. I understand this. Really, I do—I’ve been on the edge several times in life and still amazed that I’m still here. But you are here for a reason and sometimes these horrible wrestling matches are the ‘boot camp’ we have to endure to bring us to the other side.

Many times, as much as we don’t like it, the wrestling with situations and us enduring it are exactly what is used to teach us a key element. Sometimes its to bring us into obedience, into trust, into finally FINALLY giving up ourselves and letting God be God.

Yes, we even have a wrestling match in the bible to encourage us on to victory!
If you aren’t familiar the story, read Genesis Chapter 32. Jacob wrestles with a being of God (in human form). The wrestling match endures an entire night before ending with Jacob demanding a blessing for his endurance. His hip was even dislocated in the struggle! Eventually he did receive a blessing and was even given a new identity. (Genesis 32: 24-32)

This story illustrates several key points for us all but one commentary I read put it into words I liked:
How long does God have to wrestle with you before you yield every area of your life to Him?
What does God have to dislocate in your life before you come to the end of yourself?
Do you need God to rename you to receive your blessing?
(http://jaymack.net/genesis-commentary/Hw-Jacob-Wrestles-With-God.asp)

So keep going fellow traveler! The wrestling match isn’t usually pleasant or fun or something we want to go through but the end result will take us closer and to places we would never journey otherwise. We are stronger than we know and able to make it through as long as we focus on Him. He is with you in your journey—keep going!!

Deuteronomy 20:4
For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

Hebrews 10:36
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Deeper Dive

Posted by angela on October 14, 2014
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I was swimming back & forth, logging my time and effort in my daily swim. The pool wasn’t crowded today, just the usual scattered number of folks doing their daily exercise. I noticed the lady at the side of the pool again…I see her when I’m here each week. She stays in the same place, on the side in the shallow end, doing her exercises. As I was passing her for my 5th lap, she said : “I wish I could swim like you do”.
I told her she could—No, she said. It was too intimidating and she was too scared. So I showed her how to float, let her body relax in the water. Each time we tried it, she panicked. This wasn’t working too well but I assured her we could work on it a little each time and maybe by the end of summer, we’d have success.
I continued to swim my laps. As I rounded the deep end of the pool and started back, I noticed she was swimming and floating around! I swam back to her and exclaimed “You did it! You’re swimming and floating!!”
She said, ‘Well, yes. I can do it here-I’m in the shallow end. I just can’t do it in the deep end”.

(Gratitude to Sharon Thompson for sharing this experience)

How many times do we do the same thing with our faith? We’re fine going along our daily walk in our familiar & comfortable places. We say we follow Jesus and want to do God’s will for our lives. At times, we feel emptied out and pray for restoration, for joy, for a ‘soul lift’ if we’re in a lonely or bored phase. But really…are we keeping God in a nice and safe little box in our lives-somewhere comfortable we can refer to when needed?

Maybe His will for us is to not be such safe little robots but to step out of our comfort zones. I know, not a popular topic. Many of us are making through each day and hoping to have no surprises-just keep the daily grind going. I know there are seasons when we are supposed to do just that also. But have some of us been in that season too long, feel a tugging to step out of that comfy little zone to do something else-maybe something we don’t really want to do?

We are perking along our lives and keeping all the balls in the air, but the idea of ONE MORE THING or doing something else that stretches us? Well, no thanks. We’re fine doing what we’re doing and our plates are full.

Welcome to the shallow end of the pool…in the ‘safe’ and familiar.

Many of us say we want more of Him. It sounds good, it sounds like the appropriate type of thing a believer will say. However, I realized many of us don’t really mean it in the true sense. Not that we’re lying or being deceitful, perhaps just not deeply aware.

Many say ‘I can’t do xxxx’ and feel that is what God is tugging at me to do. I don’t WANT to do that, go there, etc. I don’t know how to do that particular ‘thing’. If He is calling you to do something/go somewhere, He’ll lead you and guide you through it. But YOU have to take a step out of the shallow end. Staying in the safe zone, floating around isn’t going to take you to new place, new experiences with Him if He is calling you into something else.

So last week I did a post about wanting MORE…we all want more something and my heart cry lately has been for more of God. A deeper walk, a deeper relationship. Let’s go for this deeper dive of Him!

Time to trust Him into the deep end.

Scary? Most likely.

Uncomfortable? Usually at first

Impossible? Never!

When God tugs your heart, calls you to do something new or different or even uncomfortable, you WILL be equipped to do it. Check your trust and faith level—He is able to sustain and guide you!

I’m jumping…yes, unknown territroy and I don’t know where He’ll lead—but trust it is somewhere good. Will you join me? Let’s go to the deep end and see where He leads us!

Isaiah 43:18-19
Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.

Isaiah 43:2
When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up—the flames will not consume you.

Psalm 18:16
He reached down from heaven and took me and drew me out of my great trials. He rescued me from deep waters.

I want MORE!!

Posted by angela on October 7, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 2 Comments

We want more. More time, more money, more sleep, more security, more stuff.
I’ve also prayed for these.  But lately, I’ve been praying for a different kind of ‘More’…

More than mediocre. More than boring & same ole same ole. MORE. Something fresh. Lord, we know You are working new things out & we don’t see it yet.

I want more of depth with You Father. Sometimes we seem to be skimming the surface with you. So many seem to walk through the days, doing the daily routine but many don’t seem to connect with you in a deep sense. I see it all around me and many times with myself. We get caught in the daily grind and that’s it. Oh, we say prayer before meals and at bedtime. But depth? Not seeing it. Almost autopilot with prayer.

I want MORE Lord. I want more for my fellow travelers on this journey. So many have that vacant & empty look. They are believers, they have faith in you. But joy? Its subtle. Abundant life? Well, there are many abundancies that others don’t have (food, shelter, conveniences). But an abundant life in joyful fellowship with you? Nope. They’re hoping for it, but come up empty. They assume this is what life is, keep going through their days but deep within—an emptiness. Dry.

We’ll cry out ‘WHERE ARE YOU’ when we’re overwhelmed with the drudgery and dry wasteland feeling. Sometimes we’ll feel a flow of refreshment but many times, nothing -so we continue on the journey—a little more broken and little more empty each time.

Some fall away from their walk of faith—they don’t have a deep sense of connection with you and over time, the desire fades since they don’t feel they’re getting a soul recharge.

How does this impact you Father? Does this break your heart? Do you let them walk away without recharging or whispering over their souls to keep them engaged? Or are you whispering and leading but our senses have dulled and we don’t sense your presence?

I want MORE. More depth. More real nitty gritty fellowship. True connection. I want to encourage others but even more, I want to see YOU blowing my mind with your interventions. Rock our world with your power Father. Blow mighty winds of refreshment over these dry and empty souls. Convict those who are wandering away, ever so slightly, back to your arms. Give us eyes to see, ears to hear.

Let’s encourage each other–keep each other in thought and in prayer. We need to lift each other up when we stumble or get discouraged!

 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. Matthew 13:22

Lord, if our hearts have become calloused which causes us to be blind and deaf to your words, please forgive us and redeem our lost hearts. Keep us in your hands Father and renew our eyes and ears to be extra sensitive to you. More of YOU Lord

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19