Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fear and Why I Didn't Floss for 3 Years

I have a confession:

Sometimes fear keeps me from flossing.

I'm one of those "ignore the problem and hope it goes away" kind of people.
My car never got a consistent oil change until my mechanic husband discovered 6 oil leaks and a bunch of work that needed to be done on it.
My teeth never received proper care from a dentist until I chipped a tooth and discovered I had 8 cavities and a lot of problems to fix.
My relationship with God often doesn't receive proper attention and care until I'm in a spiritual slump that seems impossible to get out of.

It's a bad habit.

Wait for things to get incredibly bad and/or painful, THEN seek help.
Everything within me knows this isn't right.

But after a while I know it's been too long since I've been to the dentist, taken my car in, talked to God. The longer I wait, the more fearful I become. I am afraid of the outcome. Because...

what if I am also the forgotten one and not just the one who forgets?

Sometimes most of the time I feel so small and even annoying to God. I've convinced myself there is no way he is concerned about my worries, problems, fears, and cares. I know that there are more important things going on in the world. And because God is both intangible and closer than my very own skin, He's hard for me to pin down. I don't "get" God. Don't understand Him.
But I think He made it that way. After all, He's the one who declared, "my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways." {isaiah 55.8}

So sometimes I have to do what my pastor taught me and what my husband does all the time.
I have to preach to myself.

I have to search His word and see that He loves me. I have to repeat His promises to me over and over and over until there is no denying it. Promises like:

I have made you. You are my servant. Israel Kelly, I will not forget you. I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.
{Isaiah 44.21-22}

God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. 
{Galatians 6.10}

Shout for joy, you heavens! Rejoice, you earth! Burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones. But Zion said, "the Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me." Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
{Isaiah 49.13-16}

(my favorite)
The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
{Zephaniah 3.17}

Yet this I call to mind and therefore, I have hope. Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him. 
{Lamentations 3.21-25}

I have hope. I have written proof that the Creator of all is jealous for me and has a love for me that is unlike anything else in the universe. I am loved. He cares for me. He cares for you.

And trust me, it is much better to turn to Him first, before anything is wrong, rather than waiting until things are desperate. Better to floss now than deal with 8 cavities later. Better to spend the time and money on maintenance now instead of sitting on the side of the road with a broken car later. Better to build a committed, intimate relationship with your Father now than to always have to hit the bottom before turning to Him.

No matter how "small" the problem, no matter how silly the fear, no matter how long it's been, He cares.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Compassion's Cry

Today I am the featured activist on the blog at Compassion's Cry.

Rylie, Jennifer and Jhen have put together an amazing project that highlights some major needs in the world. Their blog is full of great ideas of how to give back to those in need. I find their faith and their generosity inspiring, and I feel so blessed to get to be a small part of this movement.

Please, if you have a minute, check out Compassion's Cry and learn how you can help. My favorite page of theirs is the Move to Action page, which highlights over 20 websites geared towards giving back to those in need.

Go check it out!