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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Where the Mountain Meets the Valley.

There are many mountains and valleys along every christain journey and mine is no exception. I don't think I have ever experienced as many highs and lows in any one month as May of 2012. The surprise birthday party with 50 + members of my family and friends was just awesome. If you had a part in that, let me say thank you. Still, turning 40 does something psychologically to you, and it ain't pretty. Coupled with that, I have been fighting my first ever long lasting infirmary, epididymitus, ( look it up later, for now take my word for it it's painful) for the last three months. In just a few days, my Dr. will decide if surgery is the answer. Between the pain, the uncertainty, and the incapitations that comes along with it, I  have been battling more than just a medical condition. I have been wrestling more than flesh and blood. I have tried to keep an open mind.  It is true what they say, " idol hands is the devil's workshop". Keeping busy, has afforded me easy victories in spiritual battles but during this ordeal , keeping " an open mind" has been my greatest enemy. Frankly, I have had some pretty sinful  thoughts, lately. Spiritually speaking, I  am exhausted. It goes without saying, I want nothing to hinder my relationship to Christ. Let me share some specifics of what kept these sinful thoughts from becoming sinful actions.
First things first, My GOD. Understand this is a honest opening of my heart and not an attempt to be self righteous. My problems are minute compaired to other people. But I know they are important me and  to God. It seems too easy to say God helped me.To simply admit to the fear of God, as real as it is, does not do justice to a relationship with Him. I feared a strain in our relationship just from the thoughts I was having. I recognized these thoughts were sins. Trying to channel self serving thoughts is futile in your own strength, I asked for His help and God interviened. Here is how.
My church. This isn't an advertisement for my church, but it is a great church.  God's plan involves it. For my protection and His purpose God has used this church. Get yourself to a Bible teaching church!!!I can't tell you how many one liners from sermons I thought I had forgotten came back as I contiplated. I never really cared what people thought of me but as a volunteer there, I felt a certain responsibility to walk the walk. My church lead me to my MY group.
MY Group. Here is where the story gets interesting,  I have never been a part of a close group like this before. I will never be without one again. Something happens in a my group. I can't explain it but there is a connection.You share your weaknesses and somehow the group gets stronger. Nothing helped me through this more than my group. Partially, because some of these same issues we had discussed at one of the meetings. And just by chance (right) I found that particular study guide at my lowest moment. Additionally, these personal connections were so strong, I could not possibly bring myself to shame infront of these godly men and women. I thank God for my MY Group.
Last things last, My God.  He is the first and the last. I had to force myself to pray and read the bible throughout this.I had to remind myself of many things God word says. Like Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. The key being take delight in Him.( that means He will be what your heart desires)
One of the passages I came across was Proverbs 3 . The whole chapter was like water to a parched thirst but verses 7-8. really stuck out.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. 
   Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body
    and strength for your bones.

Charles Stanley once said" God did not call us to an open mind but to an open book." I'd do better to remember that.  
.  From the peaks you just enjoy the view of the valley.Mountains are appreciated from the valley. All mountain climbs begin in the valley.I am convinced that the deeper the valley that God brings you to, the higher the mountain He is preparing you to climb.  I am not sure this battle is over. I am sure God has already won the war. I am sure I don't have to climb this mountain alone.