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Saturday, April 5, 2008

God is not into labels



Because I only had a small finishing touch (a signature) to put on the devotional I had already written, I waited until late last night to do it. It's a two minute job even for my techo-challenged self. So, some time around 11pm-ish, I sat down to 'sign' and post it. Two minutes later, the post disappeared. Seriously.

The disappearing post was about how I occasionally ask God to "label" my trials. I sometimes tell Him that if He labeled them, and I had some kind of warning - before the tough situation hit - I might possibly be equipped to react . . . better. (Something like, "Darnelle, pay attention, fiery darts up ahead!!") So far He's not gotten on board.

Most of the time when I encounter some trial, some unexpected difficulty, I often catch myself falling into 'default' mode. Default mode for me is generally a mixture of anxious thoughts and a sizable portion of fear/doubt. It's not where I want to be. It's certainly not where I should be and yet, before I have a chance to think, there I am. Default mode. Eventually I make my way back to thankfulness and praise mode, but usually only after the detour.

Now, I invite you to enjoy the humor with me. I sat down to publish this post - about how I wish God would label my trials to give me some warning and:

#1 - The post disappeared. (then minutes later)
#2 - My husband injured his back (history says - days in bed for him) and all of the over-time dinero he was going to make this weekend - out the window. He is very disappointed and in pain. (then minutes later)
#3 - I walked into the kitchen only to find our income tax bill that states we owe thousands in taxes - (because of the mismanagement of a former - not so ethical - employer)

Strike 3 . . . And not one of them with a label or warning.

The longer I sit here, the more I realize that a few folks reading this, right now, may be sitting at the top of the slide with me, ready to slip on down to default mode. The place where the enemy causes us to forget who we are and more importantly, Who we serve. The place where fear and doubt reign - and not our King. The place where our (un-announced) trials seem bigger than our God.

Maybe today could be a new day. Maybe today, we just skip default mode, and go directly to thankfulness and praise. Maybe today we just trust what we KNOW about Him and not what we think we SEE . Maybe we could stretch ourselves to believe that, really and truly, ALL THINGS, in God's hands, work together for good.

That's my plan. Though the trials of today, the ones with no labels or warnings, were a surprise to me, they were not, to Him. That's good enough. Join me?


The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation; My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior . . . (2 Samuel 22:2-3)



In Him . . .



Visit Darnelle at her personal blog: All Things Work Together. . .

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14 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Bless you dear one.

April 5, 2008 at 1:43 AM  
Blogger lori said...

Preacher girl.....I waited for this one...I've GOT to know...it's driving me nuts...WHERE do you hide the camera?? It's GOT to be here somewhere....hidden...

" Default mode for me is generally a mixture of anxious thoughts and a sizable portion of fear/doubt. "
oh yeah....been there...

and YOU are RIGHT...as usual...wise as well....there are USUALLY no warnings...I think thats part of the plan...to see just how we really REACT when it all comes crashing in...

I've climbed the stairs of the slide...with you...you know the ones...those crazy sprialy ones...let THIS time be different...no DEFAULT mode....no fear...let's slide CONFIDENT that HE has it ALL completely UNDER CONTROL....

preach it girl....
I love when you do that!!!
you do it sooooo darn well!

but really....the camera???? a clue....
hugs...
lori

April 5, 2008 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Darnelle,
I loved this devotional. I have sure been where you are and can be there again easily. There were times when I felt like the state of Florida in 2004...."one hurricane after another hitting the shores of my life".

It's easy to get taken out in the midst of all that hits us. I wrote last night about "waiting on God" on my blog. Waiting is not one of my favorite things to do. So often in the midst of waiting the doubts rise up within me. It all comes back to trust for me. What will I choose to believe. I am glad you are seeing the choices before you.

Last week I had issues with my back. I am sorry for your husband. Back pain is horrible. Icing it got me better thankfully.

Praying for you and yours!
Julie

April 5, 2008 at 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! I needed that!

April 5, 2008 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

This is great. Just finished studying through James which tells us to consider our trials "pure joy". Not something we just line up to do, huh?! But because of the resulting testing of faith which leads to perseverance which makes us pure and complete, we should see them as a good thing.

But like you, I'm much more tempted to take the low road. Thanks for this great reminder!!

April 5, 2008 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Beautifully said, Darnelle. I pray that your struggles are short-lived...

April 5, 2008 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Peculiar said...

Darnelle,

What a timely post. We are just going through difficulties again with our son, again with no warning, just like the last strike. And you know what? We've reminded ourselves of the very words you wrote here. God is not surprised and although it sounds cliche, we MUST trust Him! We need to ask Him to exchange our default mode for His "I am still God" mode. That small sentence means an incredible amount. It comes packed with everything we need to make it through and have His provisions. Thanks for this post.

April 5, 2008 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Darnelle,

This was just INCREDIBLE! It was painful just "reading" you lost your post. (Now you see I may be more like you then I thought after reading this!)

Sorry to read about your husband's back, ouch...

I'll be praying about all the situations you mentioned. I'll check out your blog now.

Blessings to you, and yes, no matter what, God is never caught off guard and He's just a prayer away♥

April 5, 2008 at 4:37 PM  
Anonymous elaine olsen said...

Darnelle,
Thank you for this post. I am making true efforts at being more consistent with my praise to God. Where I usually trip up and forget is with my thought life...in those moments of mundane when routine sets in. This is fertile ground for the enemy, so when prompted to remember (why is remembering so hard?!) I speak outloud to God my thoughts. In the car, during exercise, while cleaning...cooking, and sometimes in mid-sentence with another person!

I want to, as Brother Lawrence would advise, practice the presence of God. For me, practicing means speaking because when my mouth is moving in praise to God, my thoughts aren't hopping down the nearest bunny trail.

I'm new to CWO, but I will be back.

peace~elaine

April 5, 2008 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Sondie said...

Oh my...I've been running from my default mode as of late, or rather trying to. Today I decided I was wearing out the phrase "default mode". I am currently in a year (yes, 2008 is not going according to plan) that I certainly hadn't planned, and it keeps coming. What a great reminder that even though we have no warnings, we need to trust.

Best wishes to you and family

April 5, 2008 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Darnelle...I have been too busy to "read" much of anything other than what I NEED to. I have just posted my post for Sunday....promise I DID NOT read yours first...but I have been through 2 painfully emotional days dealing with some issues that "there was not warning label for!" When the enemy attacks my children....he attacks me...when he attacks me....God comes on the scene. I don't know what the future holds beyond the foggy scene in front of me...but I know that God is in control of this. And when I read your post....He confirmed it in my heart. The Lord is my Rock, my Shield and FORTRESS! IN HIM DO I TRUST!

April 5, 2008 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you for being so open with us!

I have found that, over time, my default mode has changed...I am becoming excited (though not always) to see what God has in store for us...because I know that when HE does something unexpected, something new and different is in my future. Can't wait to see what He's doing!!

April 6, 2008 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Technonana said...

Oh Sweet Friend... our trials NEVER take God by surprize!! He already knew what you'd be going through and He has been right there before you all the time. How do I know this??? He told me, and He told me that this was to build my character, and sometimes you just want to ask...Lord, how much character do I need?? But this I know, as soon as I feel that I have finally come out on the other side of a trial, there is someone right behind me going through the same thing.... looking for help, looking for guidance... and I KNOW WHERE TO SEND THEM!!! PRAISE THE LORD, we have a ROCK, a FORTRESS and a DELIVERER!!!

April 6, 2008 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Darnelle,

Such a great post. I have been there on that slide. You have a way with words. Wonderful.

April 7, 2008 at 1:31 AM  

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