Justin Ryker Swick

Justin Ryker Swick

Friday, May 29, 2015

Help Me, Lord

I have been trying to write this blog for a few days. I even had one almost written then deleted it because it just wasn't going where I wanted it to. I kept allowing my own thoughts and emotions get in the way of what God was wanting me to hear, and I knew it, I just couldn't seem to get over myself enough to listen to what he was wanting me to hear.  I prayed a lot, I got impatient, even angry.  A lot of times I have to write in order to get my own thoughts straight, otherwise my mind wanders and I get lost trying decipher through my own thoughts, and I end up getting no where And learning nothing. I become more impatient trying to figure things out on my own.

The other day I found a book I had bought a few years ago and never got the chance to read. It is a Max Lucado book titled A Love Worth Giving.  It was just what I needed to get over myself. My feelings of despair, rejections, failure, and disgrace.

I was still not sure how to put all of my thoughts into writing so I prayed. My prayers were still a jumbled mess and left me getting sidetracked and distracted by other things, so instead I sat down and wrote my prayer. I really believe that was the Lord, bringing me back to him.  Just me and him, keeping me focused on what exactly I was needing to talk to him about. 

In Max's book he shares a story about a 6 year old girl who received a strand of pearls from her dad who frequently went on long business trips, they were fake of course, but none the less she adored these pearls.  Her dad came home  after a week in the Orient and as he tucked her into bed he asked her if she loved him more than anything, to which she obviously replied that she did.  He goes on to ask her if she loves him more than her pearls, and if so to give them to him.  The little girl does not want to let her pearls go, and tells him so.  He tells her that he understands and the little girl goes to bed.  The next night, however, she brings the strand of pearls to her daddy and tells him that he can have them, because she loves him more than the pearls.  After she has given him the strand of imitation pearls, he pulls out a box of beautiful genuine pearls for her. 

The point of this story is to make ourselves question what we are holding on to and not giving to God.  What imitation are we settling for because we are too "attached" to let it go.  What blessings, genuine blessings, are we missing because we are not allowing God to give them to us. 

This got me thinking....all night.  I know that there are things I need to do differently, ideas in my head that I need to let go of.  I have been struggling with where I expected my life to be 30.  It does not bother me to turn thirty next month; not in the way that you would think.  What bother's me about this birthday is what is going on in my life right now.  I foolishly expected my life to be like that in the movies, or even the life that some of my thirty year old friends have.  You know the one.  The family friendly house, with a picket fence, a dog in the yard, jobs we love, in a nice little friendly Mayberry town.  Okay, even I didn't have that high of expectations, but I did expect stability in life by now.  I did not expect to be moving every two years, or renting (ugh), or not knowing where we are going to be in month, what the house will even look like, if we have to get rid of the family pets because the landlord doesn't allow them.  I wasn't expecting this. Jealousy started rearing it's ugly head. I see my friends in lives that I thought I would have and we are just not there yet, do you hear the pity party I was in again?  Max explains how jealousy is like a spark in a house.  If something sparks in your house, what do you do?  You immediately put it out, make sure that there is no way it could start a fire, because if it does it could destroy your entire house.  That's what happens when you allow jealousy in your heart even for a moment, without stomping it out.  It festers, it consumes you, it consumes your thoughts, and steals your joy.  Jealousy is awful. 

This book is based on 1 Corinthians 13.  Love is patient, love is kind....  As I read it I realized how far I had allowed myself to go and how much I needed his help to bring me back to him.  There are so many aspects in my life I need to improve on and I cannot do that without letting go and letting God.  I know he is using this as a lesson for a blessin'. 

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your love, your power, and your forgiveness.  I know I can stand on your promises of hope and a future. Thank you for your blessings, abilities, and talents.

Help me to see others, and myself, through your eyes.  Help me to forgive as you forgive me everyday, for everyday I fall short of your glory.  Please give me wisdom and understanding of your word, that I may use my life to glorify you. show me what you want me to give up so that I may live my life to glorify you and the  attitude to let them go.  Help me to imitate your ways, not the ways of the world.
I was made by you, in your image, not my own.
Lord, be with me. Always guiding me with your light to illuminate those areas in my life, to get out of the darkness of my own shadow and into the light of your mercy and grace. 
Help me to see pass my faults and failures, as you do, so that I will no longer be imprisoned by them. Break the chains of resentment and rejection that I allow to bind me. 

In Jesus' Name,