Monday, March 5, 2012

"Keep Your Fork"

This past Sunday in Sunday School we started a new unit/ book on the Psalms. We began with a lesson on prayer and looking to God. It was based out of Psalm 42 and 43. I have read through the Bible many times and even took a Sunday Night discipleship class on Psalms but I had never experienced these particular Psalms like I did yesterday.

My life is a little crazy and hectic (At least for my own personal taste) right now and it seems to only be getting worse. To sum it up "in a nutshell"...
  1. My house in Shawnee STILL HAS NOT SOLD so we are still living with my in-laws. (Not a MAJOR issue, at least not right now, but I cannot even plan a room for my new baby and do all the nesting because... I DON'T HAVE MY OWN HOUSE!!!!!!
  2. My job is currently crazy with State Testing and extra hours all the time.
  3. Chris is FULL-TIME baseball right now which leaves me as a SINGLE PARENT (BTW... let me praise those single parents out there!!! I don't know how you do it!! I will pray for you more :) ) and not a lot of family time is available for just the three of us. This is really important to us since in just 3 short months, there will be four of us!
  4. I don't really like my teaching job and would rather spend my time with my kids. I know EVERYONE out there feels this way but for me this is a new feeling. I have NEVER (EVER) felt this way about teaching (Even when I was at Bowlegs) and I am getting worried each and every passing day with heightened depression about my job and teaching in general.
  5. Oh and... I AM 5 1/2 months PREGNANT! That alone is mentally and physically draining!
So we are reading through the Passage yesterday in Sunday School and I had an "Ah-ha" moment. The first five verses of Psalm 42 state:

1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

I really keyed in on verse 5 as it stated "Why are you depressed? Put your hope in God." There have been many a depressing time in my life and times for self-pity and doubting God but none like they are right now. I am not doubting God at all but just not trusting him as much as I should (Of course this is easier said than done!) It was in the middle of this lesson yesterday I thought back to October 2008 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee, OK.

At this time in our lives, Chris and I had been trying to get pregnant for about 13-14 months. We had tried everything... Literally everything; my doctor told me I was too fat so I lost a bunch of weight, I cut-out caffeine and sweets from my diet, started a exercise routine and held it faithfully each and every day and Chris changed his clothing style but nothing worked. We were both so depressed and had nearly lost all hope it would ever happen. In fact it was in October 2008 that we had spoke to my doctor about In-vitro and other means of conception.

One Sunday at IBC after I had played in the orchestra and came out into the congregation to sit with Chris, our pastor, Todd Fisher, was preaching on prayer and how to pray correctly. Now I am a preacher's kid and I have been attending church all my life and honestly kinda tuned it out at first. In fact, Chris and I both did. He wrote a note to me on the bulletin saying "I have heard this one before". I laughed and smiled at him thinking the same thing. But within a few minutes my heart turned and my ears became open. I was being convicted by the Holy Spirit. I listen to his 45 minute sermon and throughout most of it I sat at the back of that auditorium crying and sobbing knowing I had not been praying correctly and my heart was being convicted. Chris was very kind and held my hand and gave me tissues.

I went home that Sunday afternoon and sat down to talk with Chris. Oddly enough, he was feeling convicted as well. We both had been praying together multiple times daily for a little miracle but obviously not correctly. About 4 hours later after many tears from both of us and several scripture references, we prayed and asked The Lord to help us pray to Him correctly. The following days and weeks were full of amazing prayer, quite time and commitment to God from each of us seperately but also as a husband and wife. About 6 weeks later, we found out we were pregnant with Natalie Grace!! It is amazing what prayer can do!

I sat there in Sunday School this Sunday just thinking back to how I was convicted that day and how God was speaking to me right then and there as I was reminiscing. We continued the lesson and the tears came slowly. I thought of all the things and "problems" in my life right now from the above list and I just fell on my knees and asked God to help me pray correctly and to put my hope and trust in Him that he will provide for all my needs.

At the end of the lesson, our teacher read an illustration called "Keep Your Fork".

Keep Your Fork
A widow of 20 years came into her pastor's office one day and asked to plan her funeral. Among the many familiar requests such as songs to be sung and scriptures to be read was a request that she be buried with her fork in her hand. The pastor was a little dumbfounded and looked at her a little bothered. "Ma'am, if you don't mind me asking, why a fork?" The widow responded, "My whole life I have been trained that after dinner EVERYONE, including the hostess, keeps their fork because dessert will be next." The pastor laughed and thought it was just a cute inside joke type of a thing for her family. The widow continued, "No matter what life is handing you and no matter how your life is going right now, just hold on a little while longer and remember THE BEST IS YET TO COME!" The pastor granted her request and 6 months later he honored her at her memorial service with her fork in hand and this story read aloud!

So there I sat with tears flowing down my face and I just kept thinking... THE BEST IS YET TO COME! Just hold on! All those things I listed above are just things... HOLD ON because the real prize is coming! I prayed at that moment that I would focus on putting my hope and trust in God for all of these crazy things and request I am making. I will yet Praise Him... even in the darkest of times always knowing THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

Maybe you are facing your own troubles right now... KEEP YOUR FORK! Pray and God to help you trust in Him and put all of your hope in Him. God will provide because... The best is yet to come!

God is Good... ALL THE TIME

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