The Book of Jeremiah Reading notes, beginning on 8/28/16
“The word of the Lord came to me, saying:
“”Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
Before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.””
“”For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.””
Personal note: looking at the note I had on 7/28/12
I immediately remember that the Monday after my last official day as an employee at ReGreen (it was something like the first Monday of August 2012), I got an unsolicited phone call from Volt Recruiter Mike G. He had an opportunity for me with Southern California Edison. This was totally “out of the blue”…
…only thing is…it wasn’t “out of the blue”…. It was by the hand of Almighty God.
I knew then it was from God. I see even more now today how it was and is from God’s hand.
Because many blessings that have come after that have flowed directly from that.
So when I got into that assignment, I shortly after came under one of the most vicious and pernicious Satanic attacks of my entire adult life…and it was directly from the workplace. It was “holy hell” for many many months and I wondered aloud “God, why have you drawn me into this field of pain and disruption”. At the bottom of my being, I knew God was there, but I was in a lot of struggle, frustration, anxiety and general discomfort that seemed to have no end.
I remember sitting on the hillside at the Verizon Amphitheater at the Chris Tomlin Concert in April 2013.
This was in one of the deepest valleys of the battle for me. I wondered what God was doing…and the enemy “teased” me with memories of blindness and poor decisions I had made in the past in hopes of crushing my spirit. BUT God was stronger and God was able to pull me through this dark time.
My mother and brother came out to visit me in May 2013. I was filled with terrible anxiety during their entire visit. It was comforting to see them, but on the inside I was an emotional wreck and in much pain. The enemy continued to “tease” me with his little minions. Yet God was there and still stronger.
I remember struggling so hard to get back on a trip to visit my family in Atlanta that July for my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. I was in a lot of pain emotionally. I tried as best I could to hide and put that aside for the weekend to honor my parents who had done so much for me. This was their time to celebrate, not my time to be “poor woe is me”.
I remember, getting on the airplane to come back to California and return to my job, which was still more or less a “holy hell”. Then, the moment I hit the ground in LA, I got a text message from my good brother and buddy in the workplace (a buddy God had put there to protect me…and I knew this), that the manager I had been working for who had caused me so much grief for so many months had taken another job and was leaving our group. I knew at THAT VERY MOMENT that the “spell of evil” had been broken by God’s very hand. I knew then that immediately my situation would improve….and it did improve…and very quickly, almost immediately. I knew then that God was real and God is real and God can work miracles if we just “hold on” in the tough times and trust God.
A bit of a postscript is…referring to that manager who left. I ended up later having several pleasant email interactions with him. It was God’s way of healing (for both of us) and letting me know to let go of any bitterness or anger. To love. God commands us to love…even those who may be hurting us… as Christ first loved us. God can handle and take care of all the hurt, anger, fear, desolation and anything else. Also, God does it in God’s own time.
Regarding “God’s own time”…for us mortals this is absolutely one of the hardest things for us to accept and deal with. To God 1000 years is as a day and a day is as 1000 years. We want things to be fixed “right now!”…. “where are you God????!!!” …. “why God?” …..”why me God????!!!”
The answer to that question is a mystery. I don’t have the answer. I know God does.
I also know, that taken in the abstract, anything that we have to endure in this life is, ultimately, only temporary. Our eternal home is with our Lord in the Eternal Kingdom. I know this is true.
Now in this life, we want nice things, happiness, joy and fulfillment. We do not want to be abused or defeated or taken advantage of. No one does.
Fortunately, for many of us (many who may be reading this), we do have some choices in life.
We can choose even small actions each day to make our lives and the lives of those around us just a little bit better. As we make those small positive choices, which can lead to bigger positive choices we can find some happiness and joy. It may not be total, complete, or long lasting…but it can give us a glimmer of hope, especially when things are really tough.
I do believe in the circle (or cycle) of virtue.
“As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” Or otherwise stated, “what goes around comes around.”
When we sow good seeds, no matter what else is in play, we are seeding a fruit that is going to be born somewhere down the line. We may or may not see it or know it, but I believe without a doubt it is true.
So it is good for us to sow those seeds.
Trust God, even in the tough times, and continue to sow.