Hey there SUM family, Tiffany here!
On Monday I gave a little glimpse of what I have been enduring these past few months with work. I wasn’t sure how to put this into words but then I got the perfect illustration that came to me on Wednesday.
I was at work. We were short staffed and very busy. I see a gentleman at the bottom of the stairs waiting in line. He had a logo on his polo with a local grocery store name on it. In his hand was an arrangement of flowers.
I would have thought nothing of it except that day was my birthday. I got teary eyed thinking, “wow someone has acknowledged me! Did my husband get me flowers?” The gentleman comes up to the window. He says the name of my coworker. My heart sunk. Disappointment. If this was a television show, envision the moment frozen in time as it turns to black and white. The host steps into view from the side of the screen. “This is the moment we have been waiting for. What will she do?”
Instantly the flesh in me thought, “Seriously? It is MY birthday. Why does SHE get flowers?” Thank the Lord for His presence. Holy Spirit – what an amazing Guide and Friend. I don’t know how I lived before I allowed Jesus to come into my heart and life!
We always have two options. During this trying time at work I had chosen to live in the flesh. Focus on the negative. What I DIDN’T have. Complaining and bickering. I had forgotten to be grateful. I had failed to praise the Lord.
When we are faced with trial and hardship we will not weather the storm very well when we fail to trust in the Lord. Think of Jesus and the disciples in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus said, “Let’s go to the other side.” He falls asleep on the boat and a storm begins to rage. Instead of remembering what Jesus said, “Let’s go to the OTHER SIDE” they panicked in the middle of the sea. “Don’t you care, Jesus?” After rebuking the wind and commanding peace of the sea He turns to the disciples. “How is it that you have no faith?” ::GULP::
When God says something – promises and callings over our lives – it is up to US to trust and believe them to be true. The promise for the disciples was that they WOULD reach the other side of the sea. Jesus was able to sleep because He knew they would make it. He was resting in promise.
I had a choice that day. I could listen to the forces of darkness. I could allow a foothold that would open the door to bitterness, jealousy and resentment. OR I could take a step back and remind myself of the promises of God. I am beloved. I am beautiful. I am seen. I am cherished.
Thankfully I chose to laugh at the schemes of the devil. I smiled and said, “Nope. Not today!” I may not have received flowers from the local grocery store. But in subtle ways throughout the workday I got little nudges from the Lord. Two people came in that day for fingerprinting with the same birthday. I got to interact with both of them. It was fun to “celebrate” together and share a laugh. I saw a blue jay on my lunch break. This was a nod to my request for the Lord to send me a blue jay feather for my collection. *This is my equivalent to Lynn’s balloons; something fun between Daddy and I.* A woman I fingerprinted handed me a card as she was walking out the door. She said, “This is for you.” This is so much more precious than freshly cut flowers. It will last longer too. Take a look below.
I didn’t look into it until I took a picture for this post. NBWC stands for New Beginnings Worship Center. What better way to begin a new year of life than with new beginnings from the Lord.
What are some things that I do to get me through hardship?
PRAY. Cry out to the Lord. Nothing is too small. There is no such thing as unimportant to Him. He cares about every little thing. What about when you just don’t have the words?
You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh. – Psalm 38:9, NLT
MEDITATE. We are what we eat. What are you feeding on? Focus on the word of the Lord. I found in these last couple of months I have had to repeat and recall to my mind Bible verses that would help me get through the day. Over and over again. Recite. Remember. Repeat. Hold fast to His word. It makes it much harder to fall into the fleshly games of the devil. After all, it is what Jesus did in the wilderness.
So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. – Philippians 4:8, TPT
WORSHIP. Music is huge in my life. I love to sing and dance and experience the Holy Spirit as I praise the Lord. From Hymns to contemporary – I enjoy it all.
I highly suggest “Don’t Tread On Me” by We The Kingdom; “Praise Before My Breakthrough” and “Remember” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt; and “Sing It From The Shackles” by Rend Collective.
For God is King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding. – Psalm 47:7
GIVE THANKS. It is hard to complain when you realize how blessed you are. There will always be something we can thank God for. If anything – there is breath in your lungs. You woke up today! You’ve been given more time. For me, I am now choosing to thank God that I have a job. I am choosing to thank God that I am able to contribute financially to our household. Food is on the table. We have heat, a roof over our heads, clothing, and running vehicles. All these things cost money. In thanking God, it forces me to look up. It forces me to see things from God’s perspective. Having an attitude of gratitude truly has lightened mood. It gives me hope. It gives me joy.
The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. – Psalm 28:7, NLT
I bless you my friends. I am praying for you all. No matter the circumstances: God is good and His mercy endures forever.
See you in the comments.