Wednesday, September 17, 2008

His Perspective

It seems to be another rainy week. Yes, it has been pouring down rain for the past two days, but Im not talking about that kind of rain. I am referring to the rain that the enemy pours into our lives whenever God has something great planned.

I have been so busy this month, I cant believe it is mid September already! I was out of town last weekend at a speaking engagement and had been preparing for that all month. I had a great day on Sunday as we took the kids out on the pontoon boat and played in the sun and went tubing. The weather was beautiful.

But then Monday morning hit, and the bottom dropped out of the clouds. My mother had to be at the hospital at 7am to meet with her surgeons, so my brother took her and stayed for a while. I had to spend the morning scurrying around trying to get all the last minute details and purchases done for an out of town womens retreat in the North Carolina mountains which I have been planning all year, with the help my ministry team, and it happens this weekend.

While I was at the Dollar Tree Store, intently focused on shopping for various items for the retreat, someone stole my blackberry phone - right out of my purse! Ooooh that made me so mad! I just cannot understand for the life of me, how some people think they are entitled just to take whatever they see that they want. Whatever happened to honesty and integrity? Ggggrrrrrr. Anyway, for the rest of the day I steamed over this theft, and mourned the loss of my lifeline, I mean phone. Then the kids got home from school and we did homework, snacks and got ready to go to practices.

Tuesday morning I arrived at the hospital at 8:30am. My sister was supposed to go with me but she was not feeling well and did not feel that she could handle all the walking and strength it would take to spend at the hospital, so my heart sunk for her.

My mom was taken down to surgery around 9am, to have an aneurysm removed (which turned out to be the size of a small orange!).

I had committed to teach two corporate training sessions at Wachovia Bank corporate offices on Tuesday, and was unable to cancel. Therefore, I had to leave around 10:30am to get to the bank, and teach these two sessions. You wont believe this - but the two sessions I had to lead were called "Relax The Body, Calm The Mind"! It was about relaxation techniques, how important it is to stay relaxed, and the toll that stress takes on our bodies if we dont get it under control. Is that irony or what? Nope, I think it was Gods little way of helping to keep my nerves in check. I had to at least appear non-stressed, to teach a stress management class!

I got back to the hospital shortly after the surgery ended. The surgery went well, but she was having a lot of trouble breathing, so didnt get out of recovery until 8:00pm! She had a rough night, with lots of pain, primarily because the finger pump that she could press to force morphine into her IV's, had dead batteries so she didnt get any pain medicine all night! Ggggggrrrrrr again.

Yesterday, my poor husband had to pick up my son at 2pm, my daughter at 3:30pm unexpectedly because her practice was cancelled due to the rain, take them home, get them ready, then take Morgan and Michael to both practices, leaving my poor Kaitlyn home alone, which she didnt like, and therefore proceeded to call and cry and make me feel like a neglectful mom! Kudos to my hubby though. He is such a good man and always picks up and does whatever needs to be done in my absence. Go Michael!

So here I am, sitting in the hospital room, 27 hours and counting. But Im typing away, getting caught up on some emails and taking care of some final details for the womens retreat, keeping my mom company and tending to her needs. I am feeling a little less stressed today.

I have noticed a pattern though. Whenever there is something planned where God will have an opportunity to touch peoples heart and transform their lives forever, Satan starts working overtime. Ive seen it happen so many times, that I can always tell when the attacks begin.

I believe that the key to being able to stay joyful and positive in the midst of so many discouraging, scary or frustrating things - is knowing that it is just Satan doing his job, and believing that God is still doing His. It all depends on our perspective, and which side we are going to turn to. Will we turn to bitterness or anger, or we will turn to optimism and looking to see where God is acting in the midst of the turmoil?

I thought about this: My phone got stolen, but after paying the deductible, I got a brand new phone with no scratches or dents which worked even better than the one I had! My mom had her surgery, but she is doing much better than I had anticipated, and may get to home earlier than expected. I have been blessed by being able to care for her, especially when she does so much for all of us. All the things for the retreat this weekend are falling into place, with even some last minute ladies signing up to spend a weekend with God!

So despite Satans failed attempts to discourage me this week, I am excited to see why he has been so hard at work! God must have big plans in mind!

If you are going through some tough times right now, or difficult circumstances, consider these questions: has God called you to do something special recently? ...... Are you planning on going somewhere or doing something that will bring glory to God?..... Do you have an opportunity coming up that you will be able to share Christ with someone?......

If you answered yes to any of these, or if you just know that God has been working on your heart and trying to bring you closer to Him, then you have probably become a target of the enemy. Anytime that our hearts are being prepared for His service, Satan gets a little worried.

Our arch enemy knows that if he can steal our joy, optimism, and sunny perspective about life, that he wins the battle. For who is going to run around sharing Gods love, serving His kingdom, or being kind to others when they feel grumpy, disgruntled and mad at the world? Who is going to encourage others to trust Gods sovereignty when they are not trusting Him themselves? The battle is for our hearts, but we have the power to choose the winner.

Colossians 3:1 [ He Is Your Life ] So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective. (The Message Bible)

If you are experiencing a lot of difficulties right now, it may be because God has something amazing for you up his sleeve, and the devil doesnt want you to discover that blessing!

So chin up! Even if it is raining all around you, the sun is still shining from the heavens. It all boils down to how we look at it.





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9 comments:

Joyful said...

Tracie, I know this to be true and sometimes it frightens me. Currently I have said 'yes' to God in several areas of obedience (even since the encouragement of your last post), and part of me feels anxious because I know what you write here is true...but...I'd still rather be in the center of God's will than saying 'no' out of fear and being bound by Satan's attempt at attack.

Perspective is such a key. This morning as I was working out on the treadmill I was listening to a message on experiencing God's joy and giving Him a "sacrifice of praise". It's hard to praise Him when it's 'raining', but if I only praise Him in the good times, then my relationship with Him is based only on circumstances, and my love for God isn't real. I have to praise Him when it hurts too. Situations change. Life happens. But God is the same yesterday, today and forever and He is always worthy of my praise.

Living in His joy,
Joy

deborah said...

Hi Tracie,

You did it again for me. Straight to my heart and circumstances. God is using you in such a wonderful way. It is raining in my world today. My spirit is overwhelmed and broken. Satan is running rampant, and until now, I've been letting him.
Thanks for the reminder to stay strong and keep my eyes high. I know my God is good. He overcame the world. He's no match for Satan.
I started a blog, I love reading about so many people's lives and ministries, but most importantly how a blog is capturing their memories, I wanted that for my family too.
I emailed you a few weeks ago about a previous post/comments... I'm not sure if you remember or not.

Bless you...Bless you...Bless you!

Deborah

deborah said...

oops...

http://mercycoversall.blogspot.com/

However, I'm still not very technical. I need serious help from the hubby in that dept. This is the link to my blog if you want to check it out. I hope to add some pictures in the near future.

Blessings,

Deborah

Anonymous said...

Tracie Thank you for writing about this. This is so true. My husband and I were to lead a bible study last weekend and I got the worse flu ever leading up to it. I was unable to attend. But God is still sovereign and knew this would happen. I can't wait to see how God will work at the next bible study. It is so easy to become discouraged when under Satan's attack but God's will prevails.. Blessings to you!

jdearing said...

Tracie, I so agree with your post. I would like to compile favorite music specifically for those days. i hope your mother is doing well.

Anonymous said...

Tracie,

Thank you for your encouraging words. I have been working very hard to draw closer to God and have been struggling with various problems because of it. I moved to Florida two and a half years ago and have been struggling financially ever since. I have had numerous family problems and even a small conflict within the church last week. I usually end up beating myself up over issues like this wondering why I can't seem to be the person God wants me to be. Your words come at just the right time. Thank you.

Cindy said...

Tracie,
As I have stepped out this week in obedience to God I read this post are realize why I have been so physically ill for the past 8 weeks.
I just never really thought about it. But in hindsight ~ I see what the enemy was attempting and it just didn't work.
My very first ladies event at our new church was great and a much larger turnout than I was expecting.
God is unbelievably faithful.
Blessings for your retreat this weekend. Praying for a swift recovery for your mom.
Cindy

Karan said...

Tracie,
Thank you so much for this post! I am living it along with you and many others! Let me share what I read to God during times when things are not going as I want them to:
Habakkuk 3:17-19
"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls - yet I will reoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills."
Nothing disarms Satan and His angels more than worshipping God in the midst of adversity! Not before or after, but in the midst of it. May we be faithful to praise Him - no matter what may be the circumstance! And in that praise, God will grant peace and grace for the storm. I know that is true!!!!
In His love and hope,
Karan

Shanda said...

Tracie,
I completely understand what you blogged about today. My husband and I joke that we could always fly under satan's radar and purchase a liquor store! (If you knew us, you would know how much of a joke that is!) But it puts life back into perspective for us-would we rather "fly under the radar" or be soaring up above seeing God so magnificently at work? I will be praying for your mom and sister's continued health and strength.

Blessings!
Shanda
http://ateachableheart.blogspot.com