This past week / weekend, it has been interesting the conversations I have been a part of. It never ceases to amaze me what God is doing in others which converts into what He is doing in me.
I have been blessed so richly to be surrounded by a cloud of witnesses who are running along with me this Great Adventure we call life. I am also richly blessed to be joined in the race by others who are just as broken as I am. Without this family my race would be much more difficult.
I have been wrestling with being REAL with others and allowing them to help carry my burdens. I was raised in such a way that showing weakness of any kind was frowned upon heavily. I have always had it in my mind that it was up to me to remain strong and to carry myself in such a manner others could look to me to help with their burdens. However, I now know that is simply putting on a mask of pretense which is a destroyer of my own soul. Truth is I have deep struggles with our Enemy and I am not strong enough on my own. That is why God supplied me a family. Not to simply tell me I would make it, but to lift me up and carry me in my weaknesses! That is why we are called the "body of Christ!"
Believe it or not, one of my greatest struggles is actually trusting God. If you have read any of my story, then you might find this odd. Of all people who has the history of God providing and never leaving him in need, it is me, and yet still i awake each day and think somehow my life depends on how hard I work or upon my own intelligence to make it through and provide for my family. That is why it is so difficult to surrender to what God wants me to do. I look at what He is saying do and simply reply, "But God I have to do XYZ to feed my family!" And more often than not, I do XYZ because I struggle to trust if I will follow His plan that he will actually do what He says and supply my daily needs.
So God, in His Mercy, places others in my path who can tell me of their stories of His provision and help remind me of my own. OR, He puts others who are struggling in their belief that He will meet them in their current need, and they ask me for help. Amazingly, I find as I am going through Scripture with them and asking them, "Do you Believe it when God says......" my sweet Heavenly Daddy says to me, "Do you Believe Ray?" So as I pray and ask for wisdom to encourage them in their race, God is actually setting me up to Personally encourage me in mine. After all, He is the greatest Witness along our course who's voice is heard over all the others crying out,
"Keep going my son/daughter! You are running such a great race! I am so proud of you my child! You are the apple of my eye! Keep it up because I am at the finish line and I cannot wait to hold you in my arms my dearly beloved son/daughter!"
And when I am worn out and feel as if He is no longer with me, He reminds me that His Son once ran my same race and was tired as well as he endured all this struggle just as I do (Hebrews 2 and 4). He whispers that He has sent His Holy Spirit to guide me, comfort me, encourage me, and utter my deepest groans when I don't even know what to pray. He reminds me I am surrounded by a cloud of other broken runners who are not trying to beat me to the finish line, but to actually help each other along the way. And when I simply cannot run any more because this world has surrounded me with noise and darkness so I cannot see nor hear, He whispers through the truth of His Word, "I am right here with you, I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you, and yes, even in your darkest hour when you feel alone, unloved, and unlovely, I AM here, I AM loving you, and I AM blown away by the beauty of who you are!
Now, the question I have to answer is, Do I REALLY believe Him when he says........(insert Scripture here)