And now for “the rest of the story”…
I hope I left you wondering…”What was he talking about? What could it possibly be? It probably is not as big of a deal as he is making it out to be.” Well, I promise you…it is! Last week, I ended part one with a picture of Julia and I holding the broken pieces of what used to be a beautiful picture of our lives. We were gasping for air because…here is our slip-up…we had stopped relying on God. You see…we had spent all of last summer depending on Him, seeking Him, and growing in Him. God drove the ball the whole way up the field, but in the end we wanted to run the ball into the end zone for our own glory.
I remember one particularly difficult Sunday, we had hit rock bottom, and we couldn’t take it anymore. “Where was God?”…I asked myself. But sitting in the front row, with my head in my hands, I knew it wasn’t God; it was me who had gone astray. I knew right then and there I needed to rely on Him again. As soon as I realized this truth, the long road to recovery began (that’s right, most of the time it takes more than just one quick prayer for everything to be fixed).
After the message that particular Sunday, Pastor Dave pulled me aside and encouraged me greatly by being open and honest with me about his own struggles in his own life and ministry. After that, Julia and I began discussing ways we were failing in our own relationship with God and the actions we needed to take to make it right again. There were various people I thought I was disappointing, but instead they showed me more grace than I could ever imagine. To top it all off, while visiting my former church, the pastor preached from the book of Hosea and God used that message to show me that He wanted me to repent right where I was and He wanted to forgive me too! A huge burden had been lifted and I began relying on Him again. We are far from perfect, but He is still working in our lives.
Now I know some of you are saying, “That wasn’t a big slip-up…I knew it was going to be something small. Everyone stops relying on God at some point.” This is true, we all lose sight of God, BUT the biggest lie we can tell ourselves is that “it’s no big deal.” Losing sight of God and glorifying ourselves is a big deal and it leads to all kinds of other sins! Romans 3:23 says that sin is falling short of God’s glory (check, I did that) and Romans 14:23 says everything not proceeding from faith is sin (uh…check, did that too). We are nothing without God; and the worst possible place to be is in the realm of self-sufficiency, where we forget or refuse to continually seek Him. Even our good works are not our own (cf. Eph. 2:10). They are God’s works performing through us. Simply put…without Him, our works are nothing and our lives are nothing.
A Quick Word from Pastor Dave:
Prairie Flower, choose to fully rely upon God. We call this faith. And choose to constantly seek His face even in moments of physical strength, mental clarity, and emotional stability…because, believe it or not, it’s in those moments that we need Him the most! We love you Prairie Flower…stay strong!