First in a short series of blogs from church member Kerrie Leafe:
I slept hard last night, deeply, something I have not done in such a long time, when I woke, I felt rested, with the almost immediate thought that I would read my Bible, something I had been avoiding for a while. I have been conning myself lately into thinking that receiving daily verse notifications would be enough in this new season of my life, but honestly, I have skimmed over them without really committing fully to them. When I had the thought this morning to open the word of God, I knew my spirit was stirring again, I know God well enough at this point to realise he had something to say to me.
As I made my way down the stairs I said to God, “If you want me to read your word this morning, you need to tell me what to read,” I had not even finished that sentence before the Book of Proverbs started to repeat in my head, over and over. In my recent vulnerability I have given up putting on any airs and graces with God, instead coming into his presence exactly as I am. I think there comes a time in many people’s lives where they find themselves utterly exhausted with trying to be everything to everyone, trying to be loved, accepted, and perfectly fit the ideals of the world.
It was at this point I could see in my mind’s eye God rubbing his hands together as if this is exactly where he needs us to get to for him to do work in us. With that in mind, I naturally procrastinated, avoiding the inevitable discipline that we all must accept from our heavenly father from time to time.
Eventually, however, I put my phone down and stopped my social scrolling and found my way to the Book of Proverbs stopping at Chapter 20. I felt prompted that this was the place I needed, instantly I was well and truly walloped by the word, so much so I laughed to myself.
Now to put things into context, yesterday afternoon proved to be an emotional challenge for me. A recent encounter had left me feeling overwhelmed by feelings of betrayal, I felt hurt and offended by another person’s behaviour, their lies, arrogance, and indifference. I was hurt by their mistreatment of me.
But most of all, I was angry particularly with myself for feeling so vulnerable.
It would have been simpler to have said that I had argued with someone, but it is not that simple – I felt wounded and I was grieving a significant loss.
In this new season, certain situations are a trigger for me, and it is uncomfortable, it hurts, so much so it is almost tangible and at the risk of sounding like a petulant child, it feels so unfair!
It occurred to me just how uncomfortable it is to be faced with the ugly mess of who we are in our brokenness, it is almost unbearable to acknowledge our weakness. I personally want to look away most of the time, but then I am reminded that God has never looked away.
God spoke to me in the following verses in the Book of Proverbs,
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
It is to one’s honour to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find.
Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.
The Lord detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him.
A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?
It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows.
The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure.
The glory of young men is their strength, grey hair the splendour of the old.
Blows and wounds scrub away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.
God spoke confirmation to me in a way I least expected him to, with Proverbs 20:24, I feel God saying that he loves all his children, regardless of their flaws and their imperfections and that so should I. Not in a romantic way but as someone who shares the human condition.
People will go their own way sometimes, and we will never be able to comprehend some of the choices they make, but we must find a way to accept that it is them that have chosen their own path. God gives each of us the same Jesus, every day, no matter where we are or where we come from, he gives us free will to choose.
We have two choices in life, we can allow the Lord to direct our paths, safe in the knowledge that as the scriptures say, his ways are good, his plans are to prosper us and not to harm us. In doing so we lean on and trust in his unfailing, death-defying love for us.
The other choice is we can go our own way, always questioning and never knowing why – stagnant, in the same place, giving the enemy an opportunity to creep in and steal our joy.
I rebuke the enemy today and I tell him in the authority that my Lord Jesus Christ gave me that I trust in God for, as it says in Psalm 18:16-19,
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
Kerrie Leafe – Darlington Baptist Church