Thursday, November 20, 2014

When You Need More Hands, but You Really Just Need His {This Day Thursday}

I’m a bit stretchier than I used to be…

I bear birthing battle scars that no amount of cocoa butter will ever fade.

And more recently my foot took up the stretchy cause and decided to pain me with its choice. Fairly certain I was suffering a stress fracture in my foot (and praising God that not everything in my body was stressing to pieces), I went to the chiropractor for an adjustment. I told him I knew I would be a bit off with the compensating I was doing while walking. So he took a look at it- no stress fracture, but I did receive an informative discourse on foot health and ligaments.

Am I about to share the wealth? You know me too well.

He compared the ligaments in my feet (and really anywhere in the human body) to plastic wrap. 

While muscles stretch and tighten like a rubber band, ligaments stretch and stay. Like when you stretch plastic wrap over a dish and then take it off. (Again, thankful they don’t twist and wrap in an impenetrable mass of uselessness like the aforementioned wrap.) So here I am with stretchy ligaments and orthotics in my shoes, praising God I can afford orthotics and good shoes.

This day, I need support. We call it all manner of things- hands, help, sanity. Support.

The tendency towards overstretched stress goes beyond feet and body parts. It gets to the heart and soul of who we are. And much like my foot, when we are overstretched in one area, it puts pressure somewhere else- somewhere it should not be, somewhere too weak to hold up- and pain is the inevitable outcome.

It’s time for some support.

“When he summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread,
he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.” Psalm 105: 16-17

Please tell me I surprised you with that one.

Psalm 105 begins “Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name…” so naturally I would turn there and read when writing a piece on God’s support, but it was verses 16 and 17 that gave me pause.

Stretching is unavoidable. In fact, if we make it our sole endeavor to avoid all stress it ends up becoming a stressor in itself. The world was stretched. Physically, literally stretched beyond its capacity. There was a famine, attributed to God, a gift of God to remind His creation that they needed Him. The pathway to their gift of deliverance at His hand and to His glory.

But Psalm 105 reminds God’s people of a greater gift- the present that God pre-sent. Joseph. God knew what His people would need long before they did. And He involved Himself in every little detail to ensure they would have what they needed… including humbling the man He sent to help them.

How often are we most helped by those who have been in bondage and freed by the Lord’s mercy?
The fiery trials of others blaze a path of hope for those in need of support.

And God pre-sends because He has it all in His control.

The key is looking in all the right places, and none of the wrong ones. The devil has counterfeits everywhere. The key is to keep our eyes on Jesus, the “author and founder of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2) who did not avoid the cross and the strain, but took it up on our behalf.

If our day-to-day turns us away from the cross, takes our focus off the one who endured the cross for us, and depletes us  of the energy we need to serve Him and His people, then maybe it’s time to step back and reassess the busy business in our lives. Get out the proverbial sifter and shake out the little things that will not stand the test of time and will rob us of the gift of fulfilling our God-given passions for His glory.

Wisdom says, “I know there will be times when being stretched is just a reality- the question is with what will I stretch? With Whom?” True support systems will help you assess your activities and commitments through the glasses of godly wisdom.

“Never is a woman so fulfilled as when she chooses to underwhelm her schedule so she can let God overwhelm her soul.” – Lysa Terkeurst, The Best Yes

Equipping our soul with this day, every day, orthotics is believing in the truth that the Lord has pre-sent tools for our present troubles. It is trusting and putting our full weight into the knowledge that God knows our needs long before and more deeply than we can imagine.

Praying for eyes wide open to see His empty tomb and saving grace, and hands palms up to receive His help today and always.