Writer: Anna Prudence Minobbo
I love my faith in God… am not sure whether this is the right way to say what I want to say but I enjoy my faith journey. This is my opening article for the year… I have started several articles… good pieces I believe but maybe their time was not then…
So, seated in my office listening to ‘Be still” by Travis Greene, a small still voice whispered, ‘This is it’ and I am humbled. This year started great, and I am very glad and thankful to be here. I hope you are too… and if you are not, I hope that will change for the better and that the joy of the Lord will fill your heart.
Every year I sit and review the previous year and then come up with new resolutions… some remain the same. This year I sat down with two of my favorite people, Mum and Claire, my posh-sweet friend. The truth is by January 1st I thought I had not YET resolved to do anything. I went down on my knees to ask the Lord to help me come up with them, actively… and so I waited as I prayed… honestly that week I had a haaaaaard week, one of the most difficult so far, I think, contrary to what I had hoped.
I had thought I would get epiphanies, and revelations that would blow my mind… that I would be so calm and inspired, empowered and more… that is exactly what I got! But not in the way I expected it. My usually cheerful self was nowhere in sight. I was sad and a little depressed… God helped me see with eagle eye clarity that I needed to STYLE UP AND SIZE UP or else I would flat line.
It is very easy to think that your prayer is not answered when you are having a hard time… but constant prayer is like a banner that keeps you on track. After each hard day that week I prayed… and one day as I prayed, I received clarity about what I did not want in my life anymore.
Epiphany One: If you want different positive results, you have got to do the things that will get you what you want, even when you do not want to. I know, a number of us want the easy way or for someone to just come and get everything done for us… We are guilty of minimal effort expecting big results. It does not work that way. As Galatians 6:7 emphasizes that we shall reap what we sow, and God will not be mocked. It is hard work that counts and makes the difference. Also, I once had a preacher say that God’s caution to us not to worry about tomorrow over food or clothing is for those that put in the work and did their part! It made sense to me. At the end of the day, we are his stewards who must give accountability for the resources He has given each one of us no matter what the percentage.
Epiphany two: Take your weaknesses to Battle. Paul says, Weaknesses are like a thorn in the flesh meant to cause us to stumble and therefore act as a hindrance to achieving positive results. The good news is that the Lord assures us that his grace is sufficient for us to battle these weaknesses and in battle you must study your enemies to achieve victory over them. Ephesians 6 covers this very well… I will not get into detail, but you should find out the different forms they manifest in our lives. I read a post recently that said “Your competition isn’t other people. Your competition is your procrastination, your ego, the unhealthy food you are consuming, the knowledge you neglect, the negative behavior you are nurturing and your lack of creativity. Compete against that” I want to say I’m not guilty of these things but sadly I was. At anyone point in time these things are what limit our progress… that begun my active pursuit of how to combat these issues… I learned to identify when I am most susceptible to procrastination. I had to do a SWOT analysis on myself! Mum did help me identify some of the negative behavior I had nurtured as well as a friend of mine I had a talk with. And of course, as I chatted with Claire, I was challenged to think utilize my creativity.
Epiphany three: The revelation had already been written, a few months back. Claire and I met up to discuss our SWOT analyses and come up with resolutions … due to curfew we only managed to cover the SWOTS and her resolutions… and a few of mine… but here’s the thing I realized that I had already written mine down sometime back in a letter to Papa when I kept being drawn to Habakkuk 2:2. I literally just had to sort through the zillions of words I had written and extract what I needed! I was amazed… It somehow all came together… In that letter I DREAMED BIG… PRAYED BIG… WROTE BIG… and now I was supposed to WORK BIG! Was it overwhelming? Goodness it was!
And the work had to begin ASAP
And it is hard…
And totally worth it…
And some days I felt small, blocked, helpless, challenged, stressed… and I had questions. So that brings me to my major EPIPHANY.
Epiphany Four: Be still and know that I am God. It happened weeks later… So much had happened in such little time… I was not feeling myself, I was disturbed, I was unhappy, I was not so-together, maybe a little distracted. I was not the usual me. Could it have been because I was doing things differently? Yes, I was making progress in the things I was working on thankfully however I was not okay. You know that space when you’re in the middle of putting a complicated puzzle together? Half the time you’re asking yourself why you started it, whether you should just give it up… but then you are so enthusiastic and optimistic to see it all come together? It was as I had my breakfast at my worktable, I logged into YouTube and sung along to one of my favorite songs “Be still and know that I am God” by Travis Greene that peace finally came upon me.
I scrolled through the comments sections reading and being consoled and inspired by people’s testimonies and prayers… relating my own experience and I knew and affirmed that GOD IS IN CONTROL. That through the journey of working to improve myself, fighting battles against my weaknesses, making plans, He is and will be control, that He is the still place I need to stand in when I don’t understand what is happening, when I am in doubt, when I feel I can’t measure up, when the future seems murky, when I feel helpless and challenged or that I do not matter. He knows exactly where I am and is minding me, I should have assurance in His plans for me. I think standing still in the Lord is one of the deeper mysteries of our faith that God wants us to know and trust.
Standing still in Lord, you and I are in a good place, a safe place.