Sunday, August 21, 2011

Falling Down

The Lord had lots to say to me when I found my Pokeweed in this sad state today. Only yesterday it had been standing tall and straight, stately and strong. As I pondered its condition, I thought of the factors that had brought it to this point: weight and rain storms.

Growing to the height of seven to ten feet tall, it had long ago surpassed my five foot tall frame. This is one large plant! My eyes easily find them when I am hiking, and I always marvel at their size. As they continue on in the growing season, they grow bigger and heavier. But I'll get back to today. For some reason, I was surprised to find it toppled over like this. I never thought about the possibility of it ever sharing the same fate as some of my weighty sunflowers. And hadn't it been standing just fine only yesterday?

I thought about this some more and remembered the heavy rain we have had recently. Of course! The pelting it had taken from the showers had been enough, when coupled with its already heavy condition, to cause it to succumb to the plunge downward. I wished that I had thought enough to place something near it to help hold it up.

Then came that unmistakable whisper to my heart: "Tamra, don't you see? That plant didn't have a chance without support. It didn't have anything to lean on. Your burdens have become increasingly heavy over the past few months. You, too, will topple like that plant  in the storms of life unless you swallow your pride and lean on not only Me, but the Body of Christ during this difficult time."

So here's the deal: we need a lot of prayer right now. My husband lost his job almost two weeks ago and we were already struggling before then. Just about everything that can go wrong has been going wrong. And it's been very disheartening. I hate this familiar path! I have been slow to share where we are because I worry about what people will think of us. I do not want people to judge us or wonder why we just can't seem to get it together. I fear that people will wonder if we are sinning and God is punishing us as a result. I fear, I fear, I fear....

And the Lord says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10)

and, "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe" (Proverbs 29:25).

and, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:10)

I think I need to confess that two dear friends of ours brought groceries today because we were a day or two away from having nothing. And wouldn't you know that I was still reluctant to accept help? I was still hoping it could happen some other way.

Besides the job situation, I will share another big area that we need prayer. We're going to have to move and this really grieves me. Again, the job loss came at what seemed like the worst possible moment. Our landlords divorced not too long ago, and could not reach a financial agreement about the house we are renting. The judge ordered them to sell it and split the money, which has been quite stressful for me. We are not in a position to buy and I can only imagine how difficult it may be to find someone to rent to us if John isn't working again by that time and there is no employer to check in with. A friend reminded me today that it's not my job to think (okay, worry!) about those things - it's God's.

Pray for peace for me as we will have people walking through our dwelling place when the property needs shown. We came home from church today and were surprised to find cars and people here. As it turns out, one of the landlords is having work done to improve the property value for the sale. It was a bad reminder of how unsure and insecure things appear right now. I so crave security, yet I am aware that I must not make an idol out of it.

The bottom line is that I am humbling myself and bringing these prayer concerns to those in the Body who happen to read this. We need prayer and lots of it. These are the two major things, but there are tons of other things as well. Things like me needing God's help to speak kindly to my family members when I am overly stressed. Things like the vacuum and lawn mower dying, Dmitri starting college tomorrow, and Levi being home and busy ALL of the time now. :o)

Thanks for listening.