Guest Post: Moving Forward
I’m a morning person. I love to rise early in the morning and enjoy the moments of stillness, peace and quiet before the emails start pouring in for the day and the demands of work and obligations fill my schedule.
This morning was no different. I sat down with my cup of coffee and started opening up God’s Word, drinking in my truth for the day in the book of 1 Peter.
As I meditated on Scriptures about suffering, I drew encouragement looking back on some of the journeys God’s carried me through. There’s a saying I heard from a ministry training class this weekend, during which we were warned about the inevitability of trials. Being reminded about suffering and spiritual warfare, the pastor said: “If the enemy’s not doing something, then it’s likely we’re not doing something.”
My spirit buoyed by what God spoke to me in this glorious early morning time of quiet and coffee, I reflected on some of my recent trials, some of which I’m still walking through, and thanked God for His victory and that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. It was so front of mind, I even stuck it onto my Facebook page:
Lynne Cheney once said "dogs don't bark at parked cars.” If the enemy's not barking at you, then it's likely you're not moving.
Going forward with my day, I was in pretty high spirits. One particular thing I’ve been waiting on God for crossed my mind, and I immediately felt the peace of His presence in this time of waiting. Feeling that joy and the freedom, I drove to work singing hymns.
Then suddenly, I got an email.
Reading it at a traffic stop, it felt like a big slap across my face. Yep, that’s right. Just one little email. A praise report from a sweet friend sharing her good news about the SAME prayer request I’ve had of my own but haven’t yet received.
My lip started to tremble.
Nooo! I thought. Don’t do this. You know better! You were just singing HYMNS! What was the word this morning—something about the enemy loving to attack when we’re moving forward in God’s purposes? For goodness’ sake, you stuck it on your Facebook page!!
Then the bad thoughts poured in. “Yep, someone else living the blessed life you’re not living. In fact, she hasn’t even been praying about this as long as you have, right? She’s obviously more in God’s will for this right now than you are. She deserves this more than you do. Yep, you’re a freak.”
No!!! I said back. I’m not going to compare myself! God’s faithful. He’s going to get all the glory when He answers my prayer. He’s got a plan. He’s got a plan. He is good.
Nonetheless, despite my valiant attempt to hold the thoughts captive, it wasn’t long til the tears I couldn’t hold back started streaming down my face.
“Hah! See? You thought you were so high and mighty this morning, so faithful and at peace with God. You’re not. You’re such a fake. And that Facebook post? Puh-leeze. It only takes seconds to wreck you.”
Ever had one of those moments?
I took some deep breaths.
Okay, I’m not perfect. So I’m going to cry for a second, but then I’m going to get over this and be okay again.
The funny thing is, that word God gave me this morning wasn’t necessarily so much for that time of solitude and coffee in the still hours as it was for the squall He knew was going to blow toward me at 8:45 am as I read the words of someone else’s praise report.
He knew it all along.
You see, the test was not about whether I would stumble in a moment of weepiness and loss over an ungranted prayer request. The test was whether I would cling to a word and use it to get back up.
The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. Proverbs 24:16a
God knew this all along, and that alone points to His faithfulness and love for me.
I write this because I may have tripped this morning, but I am choosing to get back up. In fact, I’m choosing to JUMP up. Maybe he tried to wreak havoc, but now I’m turning the tables and exposing him so anyone else who reads this will be reminded of how much more great is our God.
Thank you, Lord, for Your love, for Your goodness, kindness, and faithfulness to me. Thank You for being with me always as I walk through trials and pain. Thank You that You are for me, You have a plan to prosper me. Thank You that You speak to me and comfort me in any affliction that I may be able to comfort others with that same comfort You have given me. Thank You that You are able to do exceedingly, abundantly, far above all I could ever ask or think, according to Your power at work within me.And how is it we overcome? By the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony
Dogs don’t bark at parked cars.
Moving forward now.
Erin is blessed and loved immeasurably by a kind and redeeming Father who masterfully knit her in her mother’s womb. He created her with a heart for worship, loving her husband Scott, cooking, feeding people, gardening, kitty-cats, and the occasional jog. She studied communications, government, and worship music at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Scott and Erin have been members of Gateway Church in Southlake since 2003. Erin has worked since 2007 for a nonprofit think tank in effort to promote economic freedom and change hearts and minds across the nation and in Washington.