Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Out of the slimy pit and focused again...
"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, those those who turn to false gods." -- Psalm 40:4
I have written about new beginnings before, but today is another new beginning for me. Last night I attended the first meeting of the new session of First Place 4 Health. I had gotten away from those healthy habits I developed that helped me to lose 25 pounds and live a healthier lifestyle. I found that I need a strong group behind me...I need the accountability to keep me motivated. I just can't seem to keep the good going when I am doing it on my own.
I love the prayer that began today's Bible study:
"Dear Lord, as I begin my day, help me to keep my eyes on You and to live with the knowledge that I am fully loved."
Don't we all need to know and feel that we are fully loved? There is something about the confidence and security that comes from that knowledge...that no matter what I do, what mistakes I make, that God loves me and will always love me. When you find yourself failing in some of the things you are trying to do, it is easy to internalize those failings and let it erode that confidence you have in God's love. That has happened to me in the last 8 months.
Disappointments and unreached goals had become my focus. They seemed to roll in and push my focus off what I should have been focused on. I forgot the joy, peace and confidence I found when I was focused on Jesus and God's plans for me. Busyness, money issues, pride, greed and disappointment became "false gods" in my life...in other words, I spent my time and my energy worshiping and worrying about those things instead of on God's word. Oh, I still believed and I still prayed...but I prayed for God to fix my problems and take away my pain. I was still focused on what God could do for ME. After MANY tears, many venting sessions with friends, much frustration, many discussions with God in my car, and a trip to the doctor...I have found my way back to the healthier routine that brought me peace before.
Psalm 40:1-3 says "I waited patiently for the Lord: he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire: he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth; a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him."
I don't think those verses speak of a one time event. I think it can happen again and again in our lives...if we learn to rely on God. Life is filled with slimy pits and muddy mires...it is oh so easy to slip and fall into them from time to time. When we remember our Savior is there...when we cry out to him and let go of those things that have stolen our focus and allowed us to fall in the slimy pit, God will reach down and lift us up...AGAIN.
When I find myself in a slimy pit, I need to let go of the worry of how I am going to get myself out of it. If I cry out to God and wait patiently, he WILL pull me out and give me yet another new beginning.
Father God, thank you for this day and for this reminder that if I let go of those things that are hindering me and I reach out to you, you will again become my focus and get me on track again. I pray that those who read this today will find comfort in the words and be drawn to a relationship with you that will allow them to be pulled out of whatever slimy pit they might be in as well. Amen.