Tag Archive | trust

What Shall We Say To These Things?

The world is in chaos. The world is in turmoil. The world is full of Chicken Littles who run here, there and everywhere, crying out to all, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” Conked on the head by an acorn of truth, that moment has been turned into a mountain of distress and each believes it is now their obligation to warn everyone of the coming apocalypse.

So many Chicken Littles today, each with a personal perspective that has morphed into a worldview panic. Unfortunately, even those who proclaim to be followers of Christ now scurry around to praise those that receive their message of woe and to condemn those who refuse to buy in to their rhetoric.

“The sky is falling; the sky is falling!” The truth of a pandemic has become fodder for conspiracy theories and doom day revelations. In light of all that is being said and done, conservative versus liberal, right wing versus left wing, red versus blue, how does one find the energy to sift through all the minutia to discover the acorn of truth that is buried under red herrings by straw men?

Fear can stalk each of us but those of us who are believers can find comfort in the promises of Jesus found in Matthew 11:28-30. When our souls are burdened with the cares of the world, we can find solace in Him.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely

dim in the light of His glory and grace.

Matthew 11

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

I closed my prayer with the silent request, “Speak to me, Father.”

As I waited in stillness, as my selected music video from my favorite YouTube pianist played, I was distracted by an intermittent chirp. I listened closely; was it the smoke detector calling my attention to a dying battery? The chirp was not that distinct so, no, not the smoke detector.

The chirp continued and I could not ignore it. I got up from my chair and followed its call. I walked over to the front window to stand and listen.

“Chirp, chirp, chirp.” Is it a cricket in the house and if so, how did it get in? I’m in California where crickets in this neck of the woods are rare. I shuddered at the thought of having to chase down a cricket.

I pulled back the curtains to look out the window and there it was, a small bird on the walkway that leads to the front steps of the house. It pecked away at kernels of something and in between pecks it chirped. I stood there, watched it and mused that a bird which could fly chose to walk on the ground to forage for food.

My bird thoughts were interrupted by part of a scripture I had not thought of in years, “…if I take care of a two cent bird…” I could not remember all of the scripture but in that moment God reminded me of His care for me. He used a small bird that has no means other than to trust that when it looks for food, food will be found, even if it means taking a walk on concrete rather than soaring in the air.

The bird eventually walked away from the front of the house to cross the street. As I watched it, I realized that once I walked to the window to discover God’s feathered messenger, the chirps stopped though the bird remained in place for a few minutes. God got me to where He wanted me to be, to “hear” his message in the form of that tiny bird.

I returned back to my chair. As I sat, I glanced at the computer and the bible text from Mark 11:24 was on the screen. I had paid no attention to the screen during my prayer time so I was not expecting a scripture. I laughed as I read the text and thanked God for the period on His word to me through a little bird.

Mark 11:24 — “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Luke 12:6, 7 — “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

What Do You Want? What Do You Need?

I have a Clubhouse Room – Reflect and Refresh – It is.a 15 minute room, a short devotional and prayer. For the last two weeks I have been praying through the names of God. One of the names of God is El Shadday/El Shaddai. I thought I knew the meaning of this name of God, The Lord is sufficient. However, when I did the research, I did discover that meaning but I also discovered two other meanings attached to this name.

Though it is not entirely clear the true meaning of El Shaddai, it can be defined as God Almighty with a reference to the time Moses was in the mountain and received the 10 commandments. El Shaddai is God of the Mountain. As I mulled over that meaning, I discovered another meaning for El Shaddai, the Lord the overpowerer. Though I have a hard time pronouncing the word, I understood the implication as in Luke 1:37 and Matthew 19:26, “With God nothing is impossible.” Though God will not violate His word, He will keep His word (Psalm 115:3) and His word is “I Am enough.”

As I put these meanings together, here is what I “hear:” God Almighty, God of the mountain, is enough. I no longer need to be concerned about whether I am enough or if I have enough. God Almighty is more than enough and when I call on His name, El Shaddai,, He can overpower every challenge, every obstacle, every challenge in my life and when I live out that knowledge in my life, when I activate my faith, frustration and fear take a back seat to faith. It is easy enough to mourn over what isn’t but God’s call is to celebrate and trust that He is and He is enough for every concern and need. The next time you face a need, change, challenge, remember this: God Almighty is enough.

What do you want? What do you need? God Almighty is Enough.

God’s General Practitioner In The Clubhouse

General practitioners (GPs) treat all common medical conditions and refer patients to hospitals and other medical services for urgent and specialist treatment. They focus on the health of the whole person combining physical, psychological and social aspects of care.

I stepped into the Clubhouse hallway a little over two weeks ago. If you do not know about Clubhouse, it is a new social media platform where individuals can talk to one another but you only see their pictures. It’s like Zoom on audio only. Picture a huge conference venue where you walk down halls and there are rooms labeled with different topics from the secular to the spiritual.

When I stepped into that virtual hallway, I was a bit overwhelmed about which room I should choose. I decided to choose rooms based on that room’s title. Once in the room, as the conversation flowed between participants already in the room, I virtually raised my hand to share my thoughts on the subject. I spoke, then muted myself to listen to the thoughts of the other speakers. I soon realized I was in a room full of professional musicians and producers, individuals who have worked with big name celebrities in that industry. I immediately wondered, “Why am I in this room, Lord. I am not a professional musician,” so to make a connection, I name dropped my daughters who are in the industry and some people in the room knew who they were. Voila, I’m now Mama D! God has jokes but that’s another story.

When I visited rooms, I would stay and listen in some, share my thoughts in some, and in others I would quietly enter and quickly exit. As I began to get the lay of land, I began to realize something; these individuals, most of them much younger than I am, are specialists in their fields, have zeroed in on their gifts and are flourishing in those chosen fields as creatives, artists, entrepreneurs. They are confident in their call and are not afraid to toot their own horn.

This realization raised some insecurities in me. I do not have a speciality. I do not have that one story that shakes the souls of people. I have no traumatic experience that would draw people to my story. Though I have gone through a lot of ups and downs in my life, I share those stories I do have when God says “Now!”

When I did share my thoughts and insights in rooms, it often felt like I was heard and not heard. Many times, while what I said would be acknowledged, someone could come right behind me and rephrase what I had just said and receive a greater response.

What?

Yep, Clubhouse stirred up all kinds of insecurities in me. I began to feel peripheral to the experience, invisible and muted even as I continued to share in different rooms. In my uncertainty about my place and my voice in Clubhouse, I began to ask God about the “why” of my being a part of this new platform.

I need to be clear, though, because I do not want anyone to think I was totally shunned. In what are now familiar rooms and clubhouses, I am greeted either as Mama Donna or Mama D. I went into one room where I was not following anyone and they were not following me. Yet, when I walked into the room, I was immediately brought up to the platform. I was confused because who “knew” me in that room? Then, whoever called me up also asked me, specifically, to pray for an individual who had just shared their story. I responded in wonderment as to what was going on.

Another young man shared his story. His connection was not a good connection and I only half listened as he spoke. Again, because of something she saw in my profile, the same woman asked me to pray for that young man and I did pray, trusting God to give me the right words that would link to his story, still wondering about this new space. It turns out that I was in a room of young people, most of whom are in Nigeria, another one of God’s “What!” moments.

Still, in spite of those mind blowing moments, I still could not figure out my place in that “place.” Does my voice even have a purpose in that place?

God spoke and this is how the conversation went:

“Donna, do you have an orthopedist?”

Yes.

“What is his function.”

He deals with issues of the bones, joints.

“Do you have a dentist?”

Yes.

“Her function?”

Issues with teeth and gums.

“Do you have an optometrist?”

Yes. Vision and glasses (I’m beginning to get the drift of this conversation).

“Do you have an ophthalmologist?”

Yes. Disease an issues with the eyes.

“How about an OB-GYN?”

No longer needed, but I do get mammograms.

“Do you have a general practitioner?”

Yes. She checks out all of me, from head to toe. I bring the concerns, she listens and responds based on her expertise and experience.

“When she discovers something that needs a little more specialized care, she sends you to a specialist?”

Yes.

“Here’s the thing, Donna, these individuals you’ve seen and heard in the Clubhouse, they are all specialists, genuine and assumed. The people you have encountered in Clubhouse are specialists, specific stories for specific people. But you, Donna, are not a specialist in that place in my call; you are a General Practitioner. I have called you to be able to address whatever is happening with a person in a specific moment and conversation. Do not question the space that I have created for you; this is my purpose for you and as the Holy Spirit prompts you, you will refer them to that specialist in whom you have God-confidence. But, always remember, I am the Ultimate Specialist. I must always be your first referral!”

It is an amazing revelation. I am God’s General Practitioner called for such a time as this. I never would have thought of myself in that way, especially in a world where titles are the end-all for a lot of people.

There will still be moments when I will falter and shrink back because of those insecurities that still try to take control of my mind, my will and my emotions.

There’s an old song, “When He calls me, I will answer. I’ll be somewhere listening for my name” … as His General Practitioner.