God, where are you?
Jeremiah 29:12-13 (ESV) Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
God, where are you? Are you with me?…please show me you are here. Show me a …
I hit a very hard spot last week. I felt like everything was falling apart around me. I went to bed crying and when I woke up the next morning my heart was crushed.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
As I walked out of my door into the sunlight with tears rolling down my cheeks, I whispered, “God, please show me you are here. I need you. Are you with me? Please show me a… red bird! Let me know you are near.”
Our home is surrounded by trees. We have bird feeders, bird houses, and many mornings I have been awakened by a woodpecker outside of our bedroom window. I don’t know why I said red bird, but for our yard, that was a simple request. As I took the fourteen steps to my car, I looked in the front yard and the back yard and turned around again – and I did not see any birds. Not One. I got into my car and drove my short commute to work, and walked up the parking lot with my head down, fumbling for my keys. Just as I was about to unlock the door, I heard chirping.
I turned around and saw the prettiest little red bird at the border of the parking lot in the woods. I took pictures as he sang.
My eyes laughed as I watched this bird and took pictures. My ears smiled at the beautiful melody of birds chirping all around. I was so thankful to see that red bird. I posted the picture with this verse:
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
This wasn’t something I wanted to write about. I didn’t want to admit everything was falling apart, and I certainly did not want to admit to asking God to show me a red bird. But, the truth is this moment has come to mind often this week. God is teaching me a lot. And, the writing prompt from Faith Barista today is:
“What I’m Learning About Myself”
This is what I am learning about myself, as I reflect on this beautiful red bird:
- When something is not going well, I tend focus on something that is going well (instead of taking it all to Christ). For example, If I have had a bad day at work, I may focus on my marriage, my kids, my friends, and what joy I can get from that to help me get past the bad day at work. But, when all of it is crashing at the same time, that is when I feel desperate and alone and I think, “help me Jesus!” I am learning to turn to Christ and lean into him even when just one thing is going wrong. I should allow Him to lead me and trust Him with the outcome. I am learning I need to connect with Him in the small pieces and the big pieces.
- I’m learning to talk to God with a sincere heart, and to be real with Him in saying what I think, what I need and what I think I need. He already knows what I think but he wants to hear from me, and he is only a prayer away. Always on call. When I whisper my hurts and pains to Him, every exhale is replaced with his peace ~ even when the circumstances haven’t changed. I’m learning to trust His answer is what is best for me and to trust His timing. I’m learning to not linger in hurt as if I am in triage and trying to decide, should I take this to Him? I’m learning to take it ALL to Him, the Great Physician.
- I’m learning I need to be reminded, and that means I need to intentionally remember. I have to keep seeking Him and remember the ways He has shown me His love for me. Do you know how many birds I have watched and listened to this week? I still stop and smile at every sunset – especially pink skies! When the enemy tries to get me to doubt, I have to remember the truth. Jesus loves me. I have seen His Power, and His Love on brilliant display. These are great reminders, especially those in nature ~His Marvelous Creation~ that engage all of my senses..to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to smell and know that He IS Good.
- I’m learning that I can read about the Israelites and think – “Don’t you get it??? How can you doubt???” and then at the same time think, “Wait, do I get it? ” I’m doing The OWNit365 One Story plan on the Bible app, and I was reading Exodus 17:1-7 about the Israelites. These words stood out to me in those seven verses: Complained, grumbled, quarrel, thirsty, cried out, tested…and I thought Lord, forgive me. I worry, I doubt, I complain, and I wonder as I wander. Help me to focus on you, and help me to turn to you and trust you. Help me to remember your Truth, to know that I know that I know. He is with me. He loves me. He is near.
Philippians 4:4-9 (MSG)
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Wherever you find yourself right now, whether you are face down sobbing into your pillow or staring blankly ahead afraid of what is next, take a moment and close your eyes. Alone. Turn to Him. Whisper the prayers and desires of your heart to Him. He will meet you in the quiet. Read His Word, and let it speak to your heart. Listen to worship music. Find a friend to pray with you and for you. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear from you, and I’d love to pray for you.
Thank you, Michelle. It’s so awesome how God showed you His presence in a red bird. “I should allow Him to lead me and trust Him with the outcome. I am learning I need to connect with Him in the small pieces and the big pieces.” Me, too!
Trudy, thank you – your comment made me smile…I am so glad you get the small pieces too. The small pieces are huge!
Amen! Many blessings your way. Lovely post.
Thank you, Lee! Thank you for everything! 🙂
I read this and then had to go somewhere. As I was out and about I had a whole comment written out in my head and now I have lost it. Oh wait, here it comes. Yay. I love this post. I love that you asked for a red bird and He gave it to you, in a place that you normally wouldn’t see a red bird, so that you couldn’t talk your way out of it really being from Him. He really does care about us. He really does. Also I know what you mean about not wanting to admit to struggling. Like if we feel like we get to “here” we should never struggle again. I thought about how thinking we should not struggle is like saying “I know I had a cold, but I am better now and I will never have another cold again.” Pretty unrealistic of an expectation of myself. I hope this weekend is a wonderful one filled with reminders of love.
Thank you Karmen. Yes! He really does love us – and that is so refreshing in the middle of the struggle. How quickly “here” can become “here we go again!” Thank you for stopping by – and hope your weekend is full of His Love too!
love your open heart
willing to share
but I know He loves it so much more!!
Thank you Hisfirefly, for your encouraging reminder!
Beautiful writing! The reason I repeat the cycle of “getting” and “forgetting” is because I don’t take time to be still with him, as you said ” Alone. Turn to Him”. Thanks Michele, very encourage.
Hi Michelle ~
I am visiting from Faith Barista.
Thank you so much for your words on prayer. I have been working on a different approach in my prayers and your words have guided me on that journey.
Thank you so much for stopping by! I am so thankful this post helped you… some of my most powerful prayer times have been when I spoke aloud and alone…pouring my heart out – even if only in a whisper! Thank you so much for your encouragement!