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Thursday, January 25 2018

When we see ‘wrong’ our flesh wants to act - do something. Either we want to run away from it (flee); hide so to speak or stay deaf and blind (freeze). Some of us are incensed by it and we want to make impact (fight).

 As humans, we tend to be knitted as ‘truth/justice’ people or ‘mercy’ people; and we are prone to respond in extremes when confronted with injustice. If we do this without thinking and act based on our initial visceral reaction, more harm can be done than good. Truth/Justice folks often want to ‘set the record straight’ by speaking out; dictate change; or protest the system. Mercy people, often want to ‘fix the need’, counsel the other, bring peace or change the circumstances.

 Many times these two views can clash. They can seem opposing. Yet, are they really? And is this even our job? What does God say about all of this?

 Listen to Exodus 14: 14-16.

  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”

 So which one is it? Be still and keep silent (keep the peace)? Or get moving (do something)?

 Sometimes God’s word can seem confusingJ! There is a concept we use in counseling called dialectics. It can be described this way:

The term "dialectical" means a synthesis or integration of opposites. The primary dialectic within DBT Counseling is between the seemingly opposite strategies of acceptance and change.


Perhaps God’s word is written to help us synthesize a greater reality as we wrestle with the both/and (dialectics) in Exodus 14:

 1.We first wait, trust (take a deep breathe and pray) and remember that the battle is the Lord’s and then 2.we ‘get moving’ (act in obedience to God’s leading). As we embrace and move in the ‘both/and’ we start seeing a bigger picture.

 We can only surmise what would have happened to the Israelites if they had not looked to God as their savior (“We’ll figure out how to solve this problem on our own”) or opposed Moses’ leading. (“We didn’t vote for you anyway, so we are not following you”.) If they didn’t respect God’s authority first and the authority given to Moses as he led them, it would not be a far-fetched to conclude, hypothetically speaking, that the people of Israel would have been taken over by their enemies!


BUT God had a plan already. It was beyond what Moses or the army of Israelites were capable of doing or even dreaming up! (Can you imagine that Strategy Meeting:)!! 

 Yet, it wasn’t impossible, all God needed was a little cooperation from one man; remembering who He was and trusting His provision and then walking in faith when He gave the marching orders. They listened, they obeyed (submitted), and they followed. And in that, the Israelites overcame impossible odds and arrived safely where they were intended to go.

 God’s ways don’t change. And His promises are for us all. Throughout the history of God’s people, we see time and time again, that God had the bigger truth and already had the strategy for the battle His children were facing. He’s never blindsided or without a strategy.

 So whether it’s a marital/family battle, a political/social battle, a battle in the church (yes, it does happen, sad to say); God ALREADY has a way to get you through.

 Can you be the ONE, who will stop and remember, whose the battle is? Can you seek God’s heart for His strategy? Can you be the one who courageously follows?

If so, you could be the ONE that God uses to cross His people over to victory! One situation at a time. God's truth AND grace will prevail.  Let’s show our hurting world what God can do!








Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 08:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

Benefits of Weariness


WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.


However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.


Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 


It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.


It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.


“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”


And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 


BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.


And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.


“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”


That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.


Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!


We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.


The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.

Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?

NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.


As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.


Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.


In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.


Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

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