When will God fail me?

My car has side view mirrors with small safety (or blind spot) mirrors in the corners. I found myself asking myself today as I drove, I wonder when these mirrors will fail me. Isn't that a silly thought? In all the time I have had my car, I have never had to look over my shoulder and looked in my mirrors to see if my path was clear. The times I chose to look for myself instead of trusting my mirrors, I almost got into an accident. I had the nerve to ask WHEN they were going to fail, like it was an option for them to not work as they are meant to. The only error would be user induced. Can you see where I am going with this analogy? I call these my Peter moments. Let's recall the story of Peter walking on water in Matthew 12:22-33. Peter was brave and daring. He trusted Jesus enough to step out of the boat but when he saw the wind and the waves he became afraid. As believers, when trials come we find our courage in scriptures, prayer, and affirmations but the longer time goes by sometimes fear and doubt sets in. We step out trusting God like Peter did but then eventually we look to the left and to the right and notice the unpaid bills, the tragic death of a family member, the depression you've been dealing with for so long, the unexpected doctor's report, the defiant child and we begin to sink.

The best thing about this story is that Jesus did not let Peter drown, he saved him. Even when we become of little faith and doubt, God is merciful to save us. Peter had to go through it though. It wasn't a story about Peter walked safely and happily to Christ. It was a story of the human journey. Glory to glory and faith to faith has so much in between.

I can't count on my side view mirrors as much as I can trust God but the truth is that God will NEVER fail us. He will never let us drown. It may take some time and it may be painful. You will get tired and your faith may become small. You may become distracted by the storm and lose your sight of Christ. The great thing about grace is that despite the human condition, God will not stop caring for you and bringing you through. I have come to the understanding that EVERYTHING has a purpose and that purpose is not about me, it's about God and his glory. In Matthew 12:33 those in the boat worshipped God and acknowledged that Jesus was truly the Son of God. Everything Peter went through ended with the glory of God.  So that I may be able to say the HE did it and it was not by my will that I have been delivered.

I Cried.

I cried myself to sleep last night and that's okay. Our society has plagued our minds to think that only the weak cry, only the weak feel anxious and overwhelmed, only the weak feel sadness. This is not true at all. Why do we try to regulate our feelings to the point where there is no balance. Balance comes with good and bad, yin and yang as they say. We are going to feel negative feelings and emotions (I won't get technical into the differences between feelings and emotions, that's a whole other subject). The more we bottle them up, suppress them, and ignore them, the worse the outcome will be. This is what we have been taught to do thought. Being strong and courageous does not involve only good days with sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns. In order to be courageous, there has to be an act of courage and an act of courage involves some adversity. Adversity involves heartache, disappointment, unexpected events, etc. Why wouldn't you feel some negative feelings with adversity? I have learned this simple mantra: "I acknowledge this feeling and I allow myself to experience it in it's fullness." Man, does it feel  good to cry sometimes. The key here is to acknowledge and experience it but not to act on it or linger in it. Be 100% honest with how you are feeling but don't allow the feeling to define you or the situation.

When I was going through depression, the biggest thing I did was hate myself for being depressed and hate the way I felt. That did not help my situation at all. It was a never ending cycle of feeling depressed and then feeling anger because I was depressed, and then feeling more depressed because I didn't want to feel anger. Sounds unreasonable right? But this is what we do in some way. Embrace yourself. Embrace how you feel. Embrace your emotions. You will have sadness in your life, you will cry yourself to sleep at some point. I hear to tell you, it's okay. We are not superhuman.

Here's the light at the end of the tunnel. God understands. God uniquely made us and created us as complex beings that have a variety of feelings and emotions. The key is to delight yourself in Him knowing that when you do cry yourself to sleep, He will lift up your head and remind you of His goodness and mercy. When you are angry and overwhelmed, He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding and remind you that the battle is not yours but His and victory is inevitable. The balance comes in when we acknowledge our feelings and acknowledge who God is. He gives us joy for sadness, strength for weakness, He takes our burdens and lightens our load. The truth of His promises carries us and lifts us up. It tells us its okay to feel this moment of sadness because He has promised me gladness. Remind yourself in a temporary state of negativity that you are not perfect and you're going to feel bad sometimes, but God is greater than any feeling and He will always lift me up out of darkness if I would just look to Him.

I will end with this. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV), Paul says "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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Defense

We are so accustomed to always being on the defense and having our guard up. We have protect ourselves right. The problem is that protection is not our responsibility. The Lord is our protector. God is our defender. So why do we always have our guard up? We end up shutting out people who have no harmful intentions and playing defense where there is no need for defending. Our hearts become hardened by the shields that we have placed around it and we are not open to others. What if we stopped being so defensive and let God fight for us? What if we trusted God to not lead us astray or into danger? Psalm 23 speaks of this "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake" Psalm 23:3 KJV. We also have reassurance in his word in Psalm 91:1-7:

1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LordHe is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Jehovah Nissi: The Lord My Banner and Defender. In Exodus 17:16-17 Moses gave the battle to God. All through Exodus 17 Moses seemed God and listened to His commands. When we try to fight the battle on our own, it is already lost.

Now, there is a difference between being defensive and wisdom or discernment. Wisdom and discernment comes from God. Defensiveness and putting up walls comes from our flesh. It comes from thinking we can live this life by our own understanding.

I will be transparent and share my experiences. I am in a new relationship and because of what others have done to me, I have many walls built up and feel like I need to protect myself. This has caused more damage than anything. My defense comes from a place of fear and not trusting God that He will protect me and defend me. I thought I needed these walls to maintain my safety whether or not this man was sent by God. I have not given my safety to the Lord and declared him Jehovah Nissi. If I put down my fists and accept God's protection, everything will work out just the way it is suppose to. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 KJV.

God has assured us of the victory many times. It is up to us to accept His assurance and trust Him. This is a reoccurring theme in my posts to trust God because it is SO important for us to do so and let go of our lives that we hold on to so dearly. Our life is not our own, but Gods so that He can use us as living vessels. We have to give everything to Him first and BELIEVE. It's okay to just relax sometimes and rely on God.

Placement.

When our soul finally awakens, it seems like there are so many areas of improvement you can work on. It can at times be very overwhelming. You faults present themselves like a Christmas dinner laid out right in front of you. I want to encourage you that you are right where you need to be at this very moment. God made us in his image and we are beautifully made. Yes, there are a list of traits that we can improve upon but the fact that we recognize these areas is progress in itself. God placed you in this present moment knowing your faults, your pain, and your hurt. He knows your future is bright. He knows those short-comings will disappear the more you seek Him. It is up to you to love yourself as you are right now. You might be a mess but you are a beautiful mess. When you are working with clay, it is a messy process. It doesn't look like much at first just a grey blob but as the artist works the clay it becomes a masterpiece. You think the statue of David started off looking like that, not at all. Let the Master mold you and make you better. He loves you right now and thinks you are wonderful at this present time. Love yourself. Love the journey. Love the work that is being done in you. Be patient with your growth and stay focused on God. Don't let anyone discourage you. It is easy for others to point out your faults but you know that you are on the path God has for you. You are right where you need to be, in God's hands. Be encouraged.

Trust (not maybe, ALWAYS)

God and I had a conversation this morning about waiting. I asked God why does it take so long for things to manifest in my life? Why can't it be instantaneous? Why can't I pray for something and the next phone call or knock on the door I get is an answer to my prayers? He said because you don't trust me. Now of course I'm in denial like of course I trust you. His reply was unwavering trust and belief without doubt, worry, or fear. Imagine the things that would happen in our lives if we REALLY trusted God 100% Let's be honest, most of us trust him maybe about 75% maybe even 90% but it's not wholehearted. Let's get brutal, who do you even trust? Do you trust yourself 100%? You know why our trust and faith wavers within and with others, because we haven't learned to trust God wholeheartedly. And when we really look at it, how many of us trust ourselves more than we trust our prayers and petitions to God. We try to make things happen for ourselves all the time instead of stepping out of self and letting God run the show.

Honesty hurts but let's reevaluate where our trust lies. Let's give 100% to God and not fragment our hope between ourselves, other people, and God. Imagine how big our world would be with the endless possibilities of what God can do. He can do so much more than we could ever do on our own. We just have to believe. We have to tear down those walls of mistrust that PEOPLE have placed there. God never did anything to you to make you doubt Him, the world did. God has so much that He wants to give us. He has so many successes for you. You can have it right now, if you trust Him with everything in you. And I mean EVERYTHING within you. Down to the deepest part of your soul.

It seems unobtainable but with time we can all learn to do this. It's second nature to us to worry and doubt (even for a second) but that doesn't mean that bad habits can't change. The first step is to have an honest moment with yourself and see where your trust in God is and admit that you have not trusted Him the way He desires you to. The next step is to consistently confront doubt and worry. We do this by recognizing our doubt and changing our thought pattern to words of trust. "I trust you God. There is nothing I have to worry about."

My prayer is that God fills your heart FULL of trust, love, faith, and all things that are good. He has big plans for you. Just Believe!