Notice I did not say that I lost my remote control. I said that God hid it. And that is honestly what I know.
This morning, and for the past six weeks, I have waken up to an assault on my peace. It has come in the forms of a critical word spoken against me, disregard for my stance on certain spiritual matters, rudeness just because others could not self-regulate, and many other things of the like. How has my saved since ’99, born in a pew self handled it? I’ve handled it with Netflix and YouTube, of course. Well, until today that is. Today, God hid my remote.
Now my next line of defense when Netflix and YouTube do not work is to call my sister (in Christ) to talk to her or the classic, escapism– where I get in my car and drive around, making excuses to go into any store to buy what I do not need or groceries that I will not eat. But there are times, like today, where my sister doesn’t answer my text, and reality tells me unless I want to be in the poor house, I may want to take my butt home and out of whatever store I’m in. So what now? Sadly, I do the best thing last, and talk to God about it all.
Today found me parked near the park in a rich neighborhood, that I do not live in, under a tree. I sobbed and sobbed, and sobbed. My woes all bombarded me at once, pretty aggressively if I might add. “God, I didn’t sign up for this. I just wanted a vacation where it was me and You and me delightfully cleaning my house, not THIS.” What is my “this,” you’re probably thinking. My “this” was the culmination of lack of peace surrounding my job, being misunderstood in my family, and being frustrated in an “in between” season. Mind you, I won’t even slight God amidst all of that. I had recently been floating in joy for the strength God gave me to take a major leap with Him, that I will release soon. He was moving and giving direction, and like the hater, literally, the devil is, he tried to rain on my parade. He had balled all of my “this” up together, dipped it in pitch, nestled it at the end of a dart, lit it on fire, and launched that sucker right at my heart! Old snake! BOOM, it got me. Why? Because I did not engage my shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16).
These things had been brewing for years, months, and weeks. And now, at the start of my vacation, that dart got me. In His promised word that, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord,” found in Isaiah 54:17, God drew that dart out with the prayers of the righteous going up on my behalf. I felt His strength coming through my weakness. At my “Amen,” and with a healing perspective from the blow I just took, God whispered Psalm 42:5 to me, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”
Something clicked when I read that verse over and over, three times to be exact. “Put your hope in God, Jerrica.” What is hope? Hope, according to Merriam Webster Online Dictionary is, “desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.” “Put your desire that is accompanied by the expectation that is will be fulfilled, in God, Jerrica!” What was I desiring in that moment? I was desiring strength to forgive like I had been forgiven, I received that. I was desiring compassion, the same compassion that was given to me that loosed my chains of guilt through Jesus’ love, to loose those who harmed me or spoke all manner of evil against me for righteousness sake. That too I received as I began to forgive. I desired comfort of Holy Spirit to transform my stony heart, that thought by building a wall and mote I was protecting myself. He chiseled and is yet still chiseling away and giving me a heart of flesh that seeks God’s protection, not my own (remember that fiery dart hit because I didn’t engage God’s armor). Lastly, in that moment, I desired beauty, joy, and relief of my heaviness, that only comes through the great exchange that intimacy and honesty with God brings (Isaiah 61:3).
In all that I asked for and needed in that moment, I got seeds. I got seeds that if watered well and cared for, would produce strength, compassion, comfort, beauty, joy, relief, peace, and proper perspective, unto eternity. I thank God right now for beginning a work in me that He full well will see through to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. As I received strength in my car, in the rich side of town near a park, I repented. I repented for a bunch of things, namely my role in the ills that affected my peace and dropped my shield of faith. In repenting, I finally felt it. I felt the same thing that I am feeling right now as I type this and you read it. I felt God’s hug. I felt my Good Father wrap His loving and forgiving arms around me. A knowing that I will be ok and that I am loved overwhelmed me to singing, “I am poor, but I lack nothing. I am weak, but I have strength. You are near when I am broken. My God rescues, my God saves.”
When I got home, I still could not find the remote control that God hid. I’m sure it will resurface soon. But boy oh boy, for the work He has done today, though uncomfortable, I am glad He hid it.