Friday, July 26, 2013

GUEST BLOG: God is My Refuge

by Natalie

Natalie is a new friend of mine.  We attended a Bible Study together this past year.  There is a lot I have to learn about her, but one thing I do know is that she has a very real love for Jesus and a sincere desire to serve Him daily.

I pray you are uplifted and strengthened today by her words, particularly those of you who are feeling especially weary.

Today is the day.

Today is the day that I lost it. It happened at breakfast. I put my head down on the table and started bawling. And bawling. And bawling. And my barely 2 year old little Jasper, bless his heart, kept patting my shoulder and saying,

"Mommy sad? Mommy sad. Baber (aka Jasper) happy!! Mommy happy??" 
He kept trying to cheer me up. Such a sweet boy.

There's nothing major that's wrong. Just lots of little things that stress me out that are piling up on each other. The house is a complete wreck. I mean an absolute wreck. Every single room is a disaster and in some state of disrepair; that majorly stresses me out. I always prefer to have my house clean and orderly and for it to be an absolute disaster is very stressful.

I'm in the middle of a HUGE painting project that takes every spare second of my life.

Jasper is being "ornery" and requiring tons of (super-human) patience and loving discipline.

All the toilets are having issues.

It's rained for 18 months straight.

I'm pregnant and every moment of every day I'm so sick and vomiting constantly and oh so exhausted.

The front porch is crumbling.

The living room is crumbling.

The gutter outside the garage fell off yesterday.

Then this morn, I walked into the office to find water and what looks like blood seeping through the ceiling.

We have no food, no clean clothes, no menu, no fitness or exercise. I have no ability to grocery shop, menu plan, or cook meals for my family.

I take an average of 2 showers a week (due to exhaustion and sickness) and consequently feel gross and unattractive to my husband.

Nothing major. Just lots of little things that have been piling

up and, due to the water coming through the office ceiling this morn, today is the day I broke down.

After bfast, I scooped Jasper up in my arms, headed upstairs to my bed with him, snuggled under the covers with him, and watched an hour and half of Elmo (hey, whatever it takes :o)).

Now that he's in bed for his morning quiet time, I've dug into the bible. I've just been reading and reading the Psalms and they're such a balm to my discouraged and overwhelmed heart. Emotionally, I'm at the bottom and I have nowhere else to look except to God and it's actually a good place to be.

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" Psalm 34:8

I've been reading that verse over and over for the last hour and it's been so encouraging to me! I'm not to take refuge (or boast) in a clean house or a tidy property or a perfect child or amazing meals or a trim and fit body. I'm to take refuge in God. Alone. My soul is to make its boast in God. Nothing else. What a perfect reminder from God on this hard day.

As I was sitting in my cozy chair with my new ottoman, reading Psalm 34 and reflecting that I'm to take refuge in God and boast in Him alone, I was reminded of Job from the Bible. I get goose bumps and am brought to humble tears every time I read the first chapter of Job.

He lost his entire property.

His children were killed.

He lost his livelihood and income.

His servants were killed.

And all of that happened in the very same day. Then in verses 20-22, it says that when Job heard all this, he fell down and worshiped God and in all of it, Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

Oh, what a challenge to my heart.

My problems are so small and piddly compared to what many people face today. So small compared to what Job went through. Yet he fell down and worshiped God and did not sin. How easily I sin and wallow in self pity when something happens. The other day, I was teaching Jasper about sin and was reading to him from Gen. 4:7 where God is saying to Cain, "sin is crouching at the door. It's desire is for you and you must rule over it." That verse came flooding back to me this morning as I was pondering Job and taking refuge in God vs. giving into the sin that is crouching at my door.

My deep, deep heartfelt prayer for today is that I will not give in to the sin that is "crouching at my door" but that I will find refuge in God and make my boast in Him.

And as I pray this for myself, I so sincerely pray this for my little Jasper, also. That he would grow to be a little boy who does not give into the sin "crouching at his door" but that he would be a boy who, even at a young age, would find refuge in the Lord.
God is so gracious to give such perfect reminders to my heart at the exact time I need them.

"My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad!" Psalm 34:2

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