This has been a hard day.
A hard day, following a brutal weekend. It has not been an easy season for us in the ministry. Either the Enemy is bringing out the heavy artillery, or we are really just failing the Lord. Our heart aches for people we love. We continue to put it all in the Lord’s hands, but it’s not an easy time. It is a terrible thing to think you have made it harder for someone you were supposed to be helping.
And, honestly, we’re tired. It has been a hard season. Personal challenges and ministry challenges aren’t weighed separately. They are measured on the same scale. When someone calls at 1:30 in the morning, in full-blown crisis, you don’t tell them, “I’m sorry, but I’ve had a very long day, I have an early morning, and I’m actually really sick.” Well, I think it’s kind of caught up to us.
And, today was especially hard.
After Doug left for his meeting, I decided to go out and plant sunflowers. Now, there is a problem with planting sunflowers. The only place in our yard where they will get enough sun is on the opposite side of the house from the water spigot. That means I need a very long hose to water. I have a watering can, but the rosette is not very delicate. It disrupts those little seeds. Plus, as they grow they will need more water. Hauling water by the bucketful isn’t very appealing. So, I’ve procrastinated. Daily, I think about how much we will enjoy those sunflowers, but planting sunflowers means hauling out the 50-foot hose to make a 75-foot hose. Where am I going to put 75 feet of unruly garden hose? Plus, “someone” had hung the hose up above my head in the shed. I’m tall, but it was going to be a pain to get down. I don’t know how I got it up there!
But, I was in a mood. I was feeling defiant!
I was just frustrated enough after the day’s events. So, I yanked and pulled and wrestled. I hooked-up and dragged and conquered. I collected my seeds and discovered my trowel was broken. Never mind! I’ll find something else to use! I was not to be defeated. I might be weary, but I won’t quit! I don’t care about the hardships, disappointments, or failures. It hurts, and I hate it, but I’m going to keep planting!
As I came around the shed, loaded down with all my goods, I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me to look up. It was quick. I almost ignored Him. I didn’t want to look up—it has been a hang-your-head kinda day—but was it the kind of day to disobey the Lord? Never.
So, I looked up, in every direction, beyond the roof line of my neighbors’ homes. I started to cry.
“For you,” the Lord spoke into my spirit.
We all love a bright, blue sky with puffy, white clouds. I know that sky is a gift for anyone who sees it. But, the Lord knows my particular weakness for a Maxfield Parrish sky. Oh! He knows my heart!
Today, I needed to know that. I needed to know He knows my heart. I needed to know that He as not far from me. I have let people down. I have failed badly. Yet, I am still loved by the One I have failed most. I don’t know how He loves any of us so much, but I needed to be reminded that He does.
I guess I was outside about half-an-hour (long enough to listen to this sermon), and as I came inside I kept hearing this phrase: He knows our every weakness. I could hear it as a song lyric, but I’m not one of those people who remembers song titles and I’m notorious for getting lyrics wrong. So, I went to Google. I thought the voice in my headed sounded like Kari Jobe. That made it easier to find the song, which was good, because I totally had the lyric wrong.
Well, I almost cannot believe how perfectly that song spoke to what the Lord had done for me that evening. Do you know the kindness of God? He is very kind. I am very grateful. I cannot believe how much He loves despicable me.
I don’t know what you are going through today, but if you feel kinda awful today, or like you have totally failed the Lord, I hope you will know that He is just a cry for help away. Don’t let the Devil trample your faith. Don’t let the Enemy win the battle. The war isn’t over, and I seriously do not know how we are going to make it through, but today He kept me. I am confidant that tomorrow He will keep me, too.