My God Cannot be Beat

Lately I've been so overwhelmed with the thoughts of good versus evil. Truly, what God has intended for good, Satan tries to turn into evil. In so many ways. The battle is won by the Lord, yet Satan still tries to defeat. At first glance, it's comical really, looking from the outside in, that someone would fight a battle that is already won. It's easy to say that the battle is won, but when you're in it, it's scary. Because it's real. Satan is pulling poor souls away from the heart of their God. He tries to defeat by breaking marriages, by breaking families, by breaking hearts, by raping little girls, by instilling violence into the minds of innocent teens. It saddens me. It angers me. When the Bible talks about God being a jealous God, the word "jealous" is often followed by the word "for." He is jealous FOR his people. To return to Him. To choose Him over Satan's lies. For their healing. He is a powerful God indeed. And He is also a wise and loving God who chose to give us a free will.

I love the hope of this good versus evil concept found in the story of Joseph. Joseph... man! What a story. Sold into slavery by his brothers. What hatred and depression he could have fallen into. So fast forward... he's eventually in Pharaoh's palace, eventually wrongly accused and thrown into Pharaoh's prison, eventually put in charge of the prison, eventually given the [god-given] power to translate the meaning of dreams, eventually put in charge of the nation of Egypt. EGYPT. In charge of it! So fast forward majorly, and there is famine in the land. Joseph is [not] ironically apparently the only one that deals out all of the grain and food, so he is reunited with his brothers. Boy oh, boy, I don't know how I would have reacted... but I have a feeling I wouldn't have stood there and smiled without some major God-given grace. This is the crazy part - they didn't even know who he was! Ugh! Wouldn't that have been a secondary offense on top of everything else? I mean, I'm sure by this point, Joseph had moved on and had forgiven them in his heart, but you know how everything just feels different when you see that person (or people) in the physical? I'm sure some old feeling had to have been mustered up, and now he's standing there probably thinking, You have no idea who I even am, do you?! It's important to realize that this whole story took place over a total of a few decades plus a few years, if I'm not mistaken. Wow.

So. Here's where the, "Wow God, you're amazing," chills down the spine finale really happens.

This is after Joseph revealed himself to his family, by the way...

Genesis 50: 15-21

"What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?" So they sent word to Joseph saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died: 'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said.

But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good...

He is good. He is SOVEREIGN. I love that description. He is so beyond us. It doesn't mean that life won't be hard and that things will make sense all the time, but it means that He simply knows more than us! Our job is to seek Him, His heart, and to trust. It's easier said than done, isn't it?

Romans 12:9 Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Romans 8:28, 31 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him... If God is for us, who can be against us?

John 16: 33 "...in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."


Waiting on Him

I think it's quite ironic that my last post was about God's timing. I have been, to put it simply, blown away by my God's insanely Sovereign timing. The last few times I've glanced at that post, I've failed to be able to put into words how God has so beautifully worked in my life the last few months. According to His will. His timing. It's truly His and His only. And so perfect, so set apart from our humanity. I really did laugh when I re-read it for the first time. It's almost like God needed me to acknowledge His power and control and perfect timing before He said, "Ok, Shannon, you've got it. Now just keep trusting and waiting, because I've got something for you." There have been deep hurts in my life, too, no doubt. Deeper than I've felt in a while. But in the
midst I can't neglect the sight of His goodness in other areas of my life. And that, for me, is enough to know that He is Sovereignly good.
And He is faithful.
I'd been praying and thinking and hoping for something for so long. SO long. Literally DAYS after I posted my thoughts on God's timing (DAYS!), the subject of my prayers and thoughts and hopes kind of just ended up at my doorstep. Literally and figuratively. His blessing of relationship has been just that - a blessing. And had I not left it to His timing... well, I don't know what would have happened. But I've seen that, because of His timing, He's used it more than I could have ever hoped. I didn't know, 4 months ago, my future needs in one of my darkest moments this year... maybe ever. That future of mine, when this all started, wasn't seen by me. But it was seen by God. God's beautiful choreography can't even be touched by that example alone.
I am blessed.
Wholly and truly.
And when hurt comes, I hurt. But I also know. I know that He is here. He sees all and knows all. He knows when I sit and when I rise. He knows my thoughts from afar. He knows my words before a single one reaches my lips. And because of that, I can find comfort and I can find joy. I can know that He has both that aerial and inner-heart perspective of my life.
I look forward to the future.



Over a cup of coffee the other day, a friend and I had a lovely discussion that eventually just led to God's amazing will and timing. And it triggered that awe of God feeling I get sometimes. "Timing." It's a funny word, because it only applies to us. A day is like a thousand years to my God; a day is a precious clump of 24 hours to me. It's really quite mind blowing when you sit down and think about it. If "time," in the sense of numbers and second hands, is of nothing to God, then why do I stress so much about it?! He's so much bigger.

Isn't it true that nearly everything we do is measured by time or is limited by time or is consumed by time? Today I will go into the office for 2 HOURS, then I'll have a meeting for 1 HOUR, then kids will be here at 5 O'CLOCK, and they will hopefully be in bed 5 HOURS later. Then I sleep, and wake, and start my day measured by the minute hand. That's just day-to-day. Which is necessary. The sun says so. But the timing I drive myself crazy with is the year-to-year, month-to-month. When will this happen? When will that happen? What decision should I make by this or that time? Which seems so major to us. But if a day is truly like a thousand years to God (in other words, our time is irrelevant), then He's just concerned about the what. Not the when. What is she doing with the time that she has? Time in the much broader sense. In the sense of my life as a whole. I am either in His will or I'm not. It has nothing to do with time. Deadlines. If I look at my life from above, and if I'm looking through God's eyes, I'm seeing where I'm doing what I'm doing. I'm not seeing the second hand ticking, making sure that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing at exactly 8:00 PM on August 27, 2012. I'm just making sure that I'm doing it. It's a freeing thought, really, if you think about it. (Now, this is not belittling the supernatural powers of God, His ability to work in every second of every day, shaping, forming our lives, protecting and leading according to His will. The hand of God is powerful, and by all means, reaches in and pulls us out. The point is, He does all of that without looking at His watch.) Yes, I've got responsibility. To live for my Love. But when I look at me like He looks at me, I look at my heart and I look at the big picture. I look at the movement and not just the start and stop.

So in the end of it all, am I more concerned with timing? With frustration and with impatience, with stress? Or am I more concerned with just living out His will for my life? I'm in it, and it's happening.