Friday, January 7, 2011

Pictures and Promises

Sunday night I sunk into my "exotic coconut" bath and wept.

Like many of you, I'm on part of life's journey that simply STINKS!!! I've thought lots lately about the hikes I love to take in the mountains. You know, the ones that are supposed to be "moderately difficult" but then take you through marshy, mucky, yucky, stinky mud, right near a plant I can only identify by the smell: Stinkin' Benjamin, and straight through yellow jacket holes. Surely you've been on some of those paths. But when you keep on walking your trail finally takes you to the waterfall and you're glad you took the hike.

Well, I'm on that kind of path right now, the stinky mud is caked on my hiking boots, the smell of stinkin' benjamin is stuck in my throat, and the yellow jackets are swarming!

Note to self: "whatever bath oil Leighann was using, DON'T!" my tub--I cried out to God and told Him this: "Lord, I can put up with the mud, the stink and the stings but I've GOT TO KNOW YOU ARE WALKING WITH ME!!" The hardest thing about Sunday night was the feeling of being without Him!

God heard my cry for mercy (I KNOW that's a phrase straight out of the Psalms) and answered me. In my quiet time on Tuesday He took me to Lamentations 3 where I discovered I wasn't the first one to feel this way. Then on Wednesday He took me to Romans 4 where I was inspired by Abraham when he "faced the facts" and chose to believe. And on Thursday God took me to Hebrews 11 and 12 and gave me a good dose of FAITH. I can harldy wait to see what He has for me today!

But God isn't just showing up in my quiet times, He's making appearances in my conversations with friends--even prompting friends from as far away as Nevada and as near as Georgia to contact me. In the conversation with one of those friends, I told them that God was showing me the difference between begging Him for the "picture" and instead trusting Him for the "promise."

You see, God is faithful to HIS PROMISES, not to our pictures. We have a tendency to paint pictures that interpret His promises--imaginations gone wild--daydreams---snapshots of what the fulfillment of God's promises look like.

As I described this thought to one friend I told her that God was challenging me to let Him be the one to paint the picture. She responded to me, "Leighann, step away from the canvas!"

So right now I'm washing my paint brushes and putting them away--for God has assured me that when He fulfills His promises the picture He paints will be a MASTERpiece.


Hollis said...

Beautiful!! We ALL need to step away, watch and wait. He is faithful!!

Beverly said...

Goodness Leighann, thank you for letting God use you through this stinky place you're in to minister to me in my stinky place! It was just what I needed to hear!

Anonymous said...

Though I don't know you, I too am a pastor's wife of 22 years, mother of 3 teens, and going through a difficult place. Your blog ministered to me. Thanks for being real.