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Moving Onto Better Things

I’m so happy to have found this outlet. I’ve often lived life ruminating on my thoughts and feelings, afraid to share them with people who may not be all that interested in the ebbs and flows of my mind and heart.

For as long as I can remember, I would struggle with what came naturally for me – a drive to always improve, move up, or move on. Work. College. Relationships. Hobbies. Cars. Physical Shape. Even hair color.

Religious, legalistic, people would always quote me Paul, who in the book of Philippians, was imprisoned and writing to the church at Philippi about being content no matter the circumstances. I’d often feel guilty striving for betterment and improvement, for I was left feeling that striving “for more” equated to dissatisfaction for the present day with which God has blessed me.

But don’t be fooled. The love for materialism, along with the love for self-deprivation, both lead to idolatry.

We serve a God who wants His children to live an abundant life, as long as it is Him who we remain serving. God Himself instructed Moses in Exodus to “go up to the land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 33:3). Abundant life.

It’s quite possible that Paul was doing what we are all called to do. To speak into our circumstances. To declare victory. To call forth what isn’t as if it is. To verbalize to the Enemy, who wants nothing more than to imprison you through passivity and insecurity, that we will not be kept down. To stand face-to-face with your Enemy and say “I’m not moved by your manipulation of my circumstances, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” That’s very different than accepting the belief that life is what it is, and not deciding to actively strive for the great, abundant life waiting for you on the other side of your steps of faith.

Live life. Move on to better things with boldness.

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“Where Are You God?”

Is it just me or do you also not trust anyone who says they’ve lived lives free of struggle, hurt, or discouragement? Individuals who claim to have lived perfect lives receive, from me, the same response received by couples that say they never argue – a rolling of the eyes. So this post is only for those who have some battle scars left from scuffles with Life, herself.

One of my favorite books growing up was “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” but it’s not until adulthood that I think back to my teen years, when I read this book, that I’ve realized I did not quite understand what just happens to be one of the largest similarities to cross racial, religious, political, and gender lines – the questioning of God’s existence.

“Are you there God? Why do I waste my breath on what appear to be unanswered prayers?”

When I started out as a Christian counselor I found myself fearing that moment when my clients, people who would find themselves broken and struggling to pick up the pieces, would ask me THE dreaded question: “Where is God in all of this mess?”

“My daughter is hurting and filling her void with men who are just using her. Where is God?”

“My husband is detached from the family and prefers to work late hours to spending time with our kids. Where is God?”

“I was taken advantage of night after night by my stepfather. Where was God?”

“She just walked out on me with no explanation. Where is God?”

“My mother was the godliest woman I know. Why didn’t he heal her? Where was God?”

“I’ve faithfully tithed week after week. How could He have allowed me to get laid off? Where is God?”

And see if I was to be completely honest, I feared that question because it was one that’d remained unanswered for me. When asked that question by a client, family member, or a non-believer, I’d automatically play back my mental footage of all of those moments I’d asked the same thing – unsure of the answer to the question “Where is God in all of this chaos?”

And my question for you today is, “Where are you?”

“Where are you in your unwavering faith?” Matthew 21:21

“Where are you in your steadfast belief in a loving God?” Romans 8:37-39

“Where are you in your hope for God’s promises for your life?” Isaiah 41:13

But see where are you when life happens? We expect God to be consistent, reliable, and stable (which He is), but then don’t act consistently, reliably, and stable ourselves when trials collide with our day to day lives. How is it that, with an attitude of entitlement, we expect God to be faithful, yet we are so quick to doubt His faithfulness when we don’t receive the answer to our prayers in the exact packaging that we’d hoped for?

We often ask, “Where are you God?” while He is simultaneously asking us, “Where are you?”