*All Scripture references found on BibleGateway.com and taken from the NLT (2015) translation unless otherwise noted.
Finally, the creative juices have come back after a busy couple of weeks and a bout with the norovirus (which you may know as the “stomach virus,” “stomach flu” or “winter vomiting bug”). Very well, I did manage to do some writing in that time and do see a light at the end of my current tunnel. If any of you are going through some difficult circumstances right now, read Psalm 33 and focus on verses 18 and 19 especially:
“18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
those who rely on his unfailing love.
19 He rescues them from death
and keeps them alive in times of famine.” (Psalms 33:18-19, NLT)
Indeed He does. I wouldn’t be writing this right now if He didn’t because I would probably be places I don’t want to consider. Praise the Lord, He takes care of His loved ones no matter what we think of how we’ve lived, what the future holds for us, et cetera, and it’s never to late to live for Him and chase lions for Him while we’re at it!
In that vein, the inspiration for this poem also came from a book that started all of this. Some of you may know of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., of which Mark Batterson is the lead pastor. He is also a published author of many books, iincluding In A Pit with a Lion on A Snowy Day (2006) and its sequel, Chase the Lion (2016). My church is doing a study on the sequel presently and something he said about feeling stuck in life and how to respond to feeling stuck resonated with me.
That is, “Don’t despise the day of small beginnings!” Initially, when I read that sentence, I laughed from an even mix of cynicism and skepticism, but was convicted simultaneously. While I realized I needed to praise God for where He has me now and that He is working wonders I don’t yet see, I felt stuck. I also admit to thinking, “Yeah, well, I’d sure like to be where I want to be like He promised me He’d take me!” Since then, I realize the waiting is hard, but worth doing.
What is more, earlier in the book, Pastor Batterson refers to life-changing moments as “genesis moments:” reading a book, talking with a friend, writing a school essay, deciding where to go to college or to take a job, writing a blog post, et cetera. Yup. Even the seemingly mundane moments of our lives can have far-reaching impacts on the rest of our lives- and many others, whether in the present or the future. That stuck with me and formed another crucial theme of the work. That is, the small beginnings of your life are often the genesis moments that make fulfilling your dream possible. If you honor God with the dream He gave you, indeed, the small beginnnings will have been the genesis moments of making that possible. (See Romans 8 on how God uses pain for a purpose.)
Finally, a recent conversation with one of my dearest friends and sisters in Christ, Nena, gave me cause to realize that I am where I’ve been meant to be all along. I just had to submit myself to God and be willing to let Him break me of my stubborness, fears, insecurity, frustration, and even anger concerning my personal struggles. Nena’s encouragement to pursue my dreams and let God win out over my fears rekindled the motivation I had to write as well as pursuing my other current dreams, so that helped. Thank you, Nena. Your encouragement and willingness to remind me of the value I have in Christ and the impact I can make on others for Him came when I needed it more than I realized. (By the way, Nena, too, has a neat blog, which y’all can- and I think, should!- check out here:
Without further ado, then, here is the promised poem that came out of all of this. Let me know what you think and I pray, above all, that God encouraged you when you read this piece as much as He encouraged me when I wrote it.
Finally, the pieces of my puzzle are falling into place
And I’m seeing my cave of Adullam for the strengthening of my faith/
And a much-needed training ground that God had made for His glory!
Perhaps the pain I had to bear was for my good in ways I didn’t see/
And that God’s doing something with the hurt, even when I have unbelief.
In any case, I find despising the need for me to be here is foolish
And while my feelings are valid, instead, I should give them to God and trust Him./
Help me remember, my Creator and King- Jesus- You and You alone know all things.
So to give up and give in would bring You dishonor, and what would that accomplish?
Help me instead to make the most of this situation, this genesis moment
That will lead to Your glory and promises You made to me accomplished./
After all, You declared that Your Word would go out and not return void
So help me to recall that and make each day lived by hearing Your voice.
Thank You, God, for the small beginnings that made possible this genesis
And now I look forward to seeing what, now and forever, is to come next.
In Your Name, Amen.