Friday, April 20, 2018

Fractured Favor

“Could you open this. I just put on hand cream.  It seems that I always need you to open something right after I’ve put on hand cream. Why is that?”

Turning around from loading the washer, laughing in agreement hubby took the peanut jar from me and twisted the top.  Handing it back he said, “Mine are gone.”

Picking a few out of the container looking directly in his eyes I smiled smugly while crunching down on them … “I know.”  Right away he realized I wasn’t about to offer him any from my stash.

“You wouldn’t be eating them if I didn’t open the jar.” He said and snatched the peanuts out of my hand.  Retrieving my jar, I put them back into the cupboard and he returned to what he was doing.

That’s the way it’s been all week.  One of us is in the middle of doing something and we’re abruptly interrupted by practically anything.  How in the world are we to ever get work done around here?

Enough is Enough

Nothing seemed to be going on schedule this week (as if having one was the solution).  My time with God was squeezed into a few minutes here and there when I could stay awake. 

When praying together we kept one eye open because of all the activity that was going on around us.  Even God had to wait as we stopped to do something in a middle of a sentence.  Both of us apologized to the Lord, but it happened over and over. 

It was close to another feeding time for the cat rescues, but I simply didn’t have the energy to do it.  Neither my husband or I had breakfast or lunch and were barely functioning due to practically no sleep.

As many of you know from your own experiences, ministering to elderly, sick or special needs animals round the clock takes a lot of energy and practical management.  Since October 2017 our hands have been full – literally.  Sadly, two cats have passed over to Heaven after extended illnesses and old age.  One on December 1st and another on January 1st.

When four-week old Angel kitten came into our care (on October 2nd, 2017) even though she wasn’t weened and had to be bottle/syringe fed, we welcomed the quiet quality time with her.  I can happily report that with some encouraging Angel kitty usually eats on her own, which we hoped would free up some time. 

Along with other issues there is another animal who has to be cautiously hand fed due to an inoperable tumor in her mouth that prevents her from eating or drinking on her own.  In January she had a feeding tube put in her neck at a University Veterinary Hospital, which exposed another world of problems we frankly never handled before with rescues.

After a few weeks of feeding her every four hours an incident with vomiting caused the feeding tube to come out resulting in us now mouth feeding around the growth.  Her feeding schedule varies but is every few hours, so it is round the clock feeding, cleaning and medicating which takes a toll on the body, hers and ours.

Lately we’ve been working trying to piece “this and that” into what we needed to do, but it wasn’t happening.  I knew why and was about to change it.

Our tasks, sleep, study time, eating and normal functioning structure had become so fractured that we were spent emotionally, physically and socially.  I finally said enough is enough!

Fractured Living

No matter what I’m doing in life, the first thing I do when I wake is talk to the Lord.  I thank Him for the new mercy (favor) He has in store for me on that day in allowing me to wake, and I ask what He wants me to do as His servant.

“It is because of the Lord’s mercy (new, endless favor) and
loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His (tender) compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and
abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22 Amp)

The problem lately isn’t that I haven’t talked to God, but that I haven’t hung around long enough for His answer.  I know not to do this, but have done it anyway, because “my needs are fierce” and I have to get going.  God can catch up with me as I move throughout my day, right?

I recently read an article that made a statement that I have a hard time wrapping my belief around.  It went on to report that smartphones have now outnumbered people on earth.  When I talked about it with my husband he also didn’t believe it but added that it may be true since some people have several phones for home or business use.

Their declaration was that these “so called” devices along with other technology is keeping us from living a “normal” life and is fracturing our thinking into tiny pieces to the point that we never give our full attention to one thing anymore.  (Hold on while I take the clothes out of the dryer.)

Since we don’t have kids, and neither of us have smartphones, television or play video games (Bubbletown doesn’t count. It’s therapeutic.) something else must be dividing up our attention.  Yep, I figured it out … just life, regular stuff that has us hopping off on bunny trails leaving no time to hear from God.

This kind of living is only allowing God to give pieces of His Daily Favor in dribs and drabs.  There’s no room for peace or His abundance. There’s only one little flaw with this … me. 

The Lord revealed to me that it’s not typical life kinds of things; I’ve been doing okay with those.  However, He’s been really dealing with me on the subject of patience or should I say – the lack of it which is why some things haven’t gone the way they could have.

Shedding Light

Recently my husband and I began a new project (which we prayerfully received a green light to from the Lord) that has practically torn up or rearranged the entire back yard.  I don’t’ want to say that it’s a mess, but … it’s a MESS!

Along with cutting down trees and branches which are positioned almost anywhere you have to walk, we had to dig up some bushes over a week ago and they’re still stuck in a large bucket waiting to be replanted.  The problem is that I have no idea where they should go, because the previous location was so perfect.   

None of this will change eternity and compared to “real” problems going on in this world I’m rather taken back at my emotions and behavior.  In my own reality though, with things in such disarray (inside as well as outside) I’m not getting to spend the time I need with the Lord to focus on what He would have me do to keep everything moving in the direction He wants.  The only way that would change is if I stopped everything else to spend time with Him.

By now it was almost 3:00 in the afternoon and we still hadn’t eaten. I made sandwiches for the two of us, packed some BBQ chips (hubby loves his barbecue stuff) along with beverages and we headed out to eat in the shed!  That’s right … our practically empty shed.

The current project I’ve been hinting about revolves around this “shed” which was moved in order to be repurposed.  At this point the only thing in it are a few chairs and a folding table.  It’s clean, quiet, free of animals and people, with no electric or technology – perfect for “shedding light” on the entire situation.

Daddy and Me Time

With so many things pulling at us in our lives it can be hard to hear the voice of God for direction.  That is why it’s so important that we spend time in fellowship with the Lord.

So often we forget that God longs for a relationship with each of His children.  The other day I was moved by something a father did just to spend time with his child.

Trying to catch up on some of my social media I saw a video post of a father who was having “Daddy Time” with his daughter at the nail salon.  Attempting to get her to respond was like pulling teeth, but he was excited and loved sharing what they were doing together. 

The first thing I thought was how ungrateful she was.  Here her Dad was being so patient in words and action, intentionally taking time to be with his daughter.  He was willing to foot the bill by lavishing her with additional favor, but all she wanted to do was focus on what she wanted. 

Then I took a step back as it reminded me of how I sometimes get when God is trying to shower affection and favor on me.  I want the favor, but don’t want to relax and hear anything else God has to say.  An attitude like that will actually stop favor instead of releasing it on my situation.

The very thing I ultimately want is to spend time with God and learn more about His desires.  If I fail to seek Him because my schedule is overwhelming it will prevent me from hearing His voice to receive what He has already prepared for me.

“Seek the Lord and His strength; yearn for and seek His face and
to be in His presence continually.” (1 Chronicles 16:11 Amp)

That 90 minutes in the shed allowed my husband and I to hear from the Lord.  We actually ate without interruption, he was able to get some estimates done and I heard from the Lord regarding some written work.  Our strength was renewed as well as our faith in what God was revealing to us about the project and situation regarding the animals.

While There is Time

The Bible tells us that there will come a time when this world will be so fragmented in chaos that no one will be able to hear or discern the voice of God.  Don’t think that as a believer you won’t get caught up in the frenzy, because it can happen easier than you think.

“Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found
(claiming Him by necessity and by right); call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

In studying scripture I’ve learned that King David’s life was full of distress, but he knew it was vital that in order for him to win in any situation he needed to spend time with God.  

Whether it was for victory over enemies, failing health or broken relationships with his family David, the servant of the Most High God, sought the Lord's presence daily and knew the Word of God was the final authority over his problem.  Repeatedly we read the same prayer he makes during his time spent with the Lord.

“You have said, Seek My face (inquire for and require My presence
as your vital need). My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for and require and on the authority of Your Word.) (Psalm 27:9 Amp)

If God is to continue to favor us with His goodness, we have to be in the Throne room seeking His face more and more in order to receive these blessings.  We cannot rely on the favor of man; the wisdom of God will always point in the direction right for us.

“Many crave and seek the ruler’s favor, but the wise man (waits)
for justice from the Lord.” (Proverbs 29:26 Amp)

God never stops extending His hand of favor, but sometimes He can’t get it to us because we’re too busy to find out where He has it stored in waiting.

Our Action Challenge

Maybe you are facing some difficult challenges right now concerning health, family or financial issues.  The key to your victory is knowing that the authority of God in each situation has been given to you through salvation and the blood of Jesus Christ.  Spending time with God, speaking His Word and acting on it releases God's mercy, favor and power for whatever you are experiencing.

I know that in this information age it’s getting harder to get some one-on-one time with God, but there is nothing more important than hearing from the Lord if we are to win over the enemy.

“And they who know Your name (who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy and favor) will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek (inquire of and for) You (on the authority of God’s Word and the right of their necessity).” (Psalm 9:10 Amp)

That gentleman I discussed purposed to set time aside to spend with his teen daughter despite her open reluctance to respond as he hoped.  It didn’t sway him from continuing on with the outing and eventually her attitude softened.  His desire is to have a relationship with his children, all of them.  He’s found a way to do that with each of them that isn’t always easy, none-the-less he does it.
While there is still time make room in your life to fellowship with the Lord so you can hear from God, because fractured favor isn't part His plan!

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God - The Marantha Singers

“Honey, could you get my phone … I just put on hand cream and …”

Until next time, fractured favor limits possibilities.

“With Me all things are favorable!”
Jesus Christ 

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by Greg Holder

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