15 Aug

Wrestling with God

(Gen. 32:22-32)

I am comforted by scripture in knowing that I am not alone in the trial of the past few weeks. That Jacob, a prominent patriarch, also has done so assures me that it isn’t sin.

The last few weeks have been a strange trial! I was conflicted in my calling, wondering at why I didn’t want to go to the job I really do love. Torn between my love for God; desiring to serve Him full-time and my responsibilities to my family, my employer, and ministry. It is definitely one of those “rock and hard place” conflicts.

I poured my heart out to one of my sisters, who had asked a simple question about something totally unrelated…even considered calling my LC Online pastor. Prayed, fasted, prayed some more and then God spoke in a big way!

I spend a lot of time in devotional readings, using a number of sources including “The 365-day devotional commentary” by Lawrence Richards.(via my Libronix/Logos library). “Our Journey” (Walk in the Word) and “Daily Bread” (RBC Ministries). One day last week collectively, these three brought an answer and resolution to the battle within. I was told by God “not now, Donna, maybe later”

Ultimately, my will and God’s will were at odds. I wanted to serve Him full-time, be a great teacher of His Word, have a successful website ministry, serve more often at LifeChurch.tv Online, and put into action all the great ideas I had, including going back to school via Moody. The problem for me was “time”. With work, there just wasn’t enough time and energy in me to do all I wanted to do. Because my beloved is not yet a believer( but I have hope), his reception of such a calling would be less than excited. And what about funding, and the discipline to do all that I wanted? I had to admit that I am not the most focused person when it comes to the hard work involved (recent notable is a scheduled class online that has gone by the wayside-and a general lack of website updates).

Taking all of this into consideration as well as some specific direction from scripture, I realized that while my heart is in the right place, the circumstances were not. I had some help from Luke-(Luke 10:38-42) reminding me of the “Martha syndrome” and that being “busy for Jesus” isn’t the same as serving Him. Also relevant to my conflict was Heb. 4:9-11 which talks of “resting from my own work” and entering God’s rest…and lastly 1 Cor. 7:20 -remaining in my current circumstances.

So, for now, the web ministry is a priority, and going slow at it too! The 3D Online study is beginning on Sep 12, and I’ve been asked to do a study on the book of Luke which is a possibility. I will start classes at Moody spring semester-I think (depends on finances at the time-but trusting God for more specific direction) and I will keep working at my job at CUNY until they throw me out the door.

One of the bigger lessons I’ve learned is that God has His plan for my life, and will direct me. My ego and pride of knowledge got in the way of hearing Him for a time. I’m also re-evaluating my use of time and the roles that I play in daily life.

I was flattered and humbled while serving at LivePrayer this last Thursday, when one of my fellow workers remarked that I was an important contributor to the ongoing ministry. It was like a smooch on the cheek from the Lord! And so it goes.

Other thoughts

This week marks the 40th anniversary of a music festival called “Woodstock”. I was 16 at the time, definitely a “hippie” with long flowing hair, hip-hugger bell bottoms, and a leather-fringed 1/2 vest as my outfit. I was also “a little bit preggers” with my first. I didn’t attend as I was in California and dealing with how to tell my parents and my boyfriend, who had just enlisted in the Navy. We were married later that year, and had 4 beautiful children, tho we divorced after ten years.

What I remember most is the music of that time. And the spirit of love and freedom. During, or soon after–can’t remember, there was something else called “The Jesus Movement”, and a pastor named Chuck Smith who began “Calvary Chapel”. About ten years later, at the suggestion of a guy I liked, I attended the first Calvary Chapel in Las Vegas, NV where the pastor (Pat ______) was teaching on the book of Revelation. Soon after, I took that walk that changed my life –and where I reclaimed a true spirit of love and freedom that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Hope you'll share with others!