Apr 9, 2008

Connecting The Dots

In staff devotions this week, we were listening to a teaching from Andy Stanley, on one of his new products called "TWISTED"

In this five-part series Andy Stanley reveals common ways the truth gets twisted. Each one has the potential to destroy your relationships, cloud your decisions, and distort your perspective of God. Discover how the truth has been twisted, and how it impacts our lives and culture.

God is so kind. He knows what we need to hear.
So often we seem surprised when somehow, we hear or read something that we "need to hear". Do we forget that God knows all things? Do we forget that He sees all things and even before there is a word on our tongue, that He knows it completely?

I forget. Do you?

This week's specific teaching was called: Facing Forward

When we experience pain, we often ask, "Why?" In times of pain, we find ourselves desperately seeking for purpose. Tell me there is meaning in this. Tell me this happened for a reason. All too often when we look around at our present circumstances and look back to examine the past, we can't see how anything good can come out of the pain. This is because the purpose behind our pain is found by looking elsewhere.

So, as a lover of God. I am on a journey to Face Forward.

Pain comes through various circumstances. Disappointment. Sickness. Betrayal. Disease. Death. Loss, etc. For each person, pain comes from different things and on different levels. We are all so different in how we process painful situations.

This morning Andy reminded me that we can get very preoccupied with trying to "connect all the dots" We can get stuck in this place, and easily become hopeless.

Things happen to us here on earth, that are just tough some times. Usually our first response is to try to find a reason, or someone or something to blame. Maybe its a lack of knowledge, a lack of understanding, sometimes it is a willfull choice to sin, or maybe its my fault, her fault, their fault. We try to connect the dots here on earth to try and make sense of it all.

Reality is, sometimes, there are no good reasons, or something to blame.

We live in a sin filled world, and God is aware of everything that occurs to us, or around us. He is all knowing, ever present, and all powerful.

The effects of sin and the fall are still present today. These effects are always trying to weaken our bodies, our relationships, and our spirits. God knows we are weak. He knows that we are looking for answers, some of which we may never receive. He knows we are trying to connect the dots and make sense of things. When we just can't find a reason, or an answer. He comes.... and gently reminds us.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8

God, I believe in You and Your ways more than all my reasoning, more than all my understanding, more than all that I see. The truth is - You - are praying for me.

I let go of trying to connect the dots.

You have already proven this to me over and over, that in ALL things, You work for good.


Jen said...

Really good word Cheryl...thank you.

Holly said...

Thank you.

Dave Watland said...

One of the things I miss about working at the centre, is the devotional time. Andy Stanley is one of my favorite communicators. His teaching has helped me connect the dots with biblical truths. I agree, connecting the dots in our personal struggles is often more complicated. Thanks for sharing your perspective Cheryl.

Linda said...

Hi, Cheryl. Just checking in for my first visit here via Rhonda. I am one whose first response to almost any situation in life is "why?" It's not a beligerent attitude, just an analytical one. From the smallest detail to the big questions, I find myself trying to explain "how/why this could have happened." Sometimes there is no reason, and even if we knew, we still wouldn't accept it. Anyway, I just really enjoyed this!

Roxanne said...

I had a great aunt who went through trial after trial in her life. Her son asked her one day, "Mom, why you?", to which she responded, "Why not me?"

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like quite a lady your aunt.

Rhonda said...

Really simple yet so true!!

I like this message.

Shari said...

I love this....
"The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

Praying in the Spirit is so incredible!"

Vicki said...

Thanks for sharing these incredible Truths, Cheryl. Lord, help our heart AND our head to accept these words of Truth and believe them.