“Why?” “Because.”

Be honest, how many of you have had this conversation, as a child, or as an adult WITH a child?  Me!!!!

This morning in the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study, a great, thought-provoking question came up:  Is there a time when asking “Why” was the wrong question for you?

So now, how many of you have asked God, “Why???”  And how many times????  I envision the three year old (since I have one) and God’s conversation like this:  “Why?” “Because.” “Why?” “Because.” and repeat at least 100 times…

God doesn’t tell us why very often, if ever.  I know because I have been that three-year-old at least a handful of times…(or more…)

So why do I keep asking that question???  In the midst of struggles, “Why” is usually the first work that comes to mind.  It is a simple question.  And God has revealed to me His “Because.”  Ready for this?

Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”  Best. Because. Ever.  “Because I am God. This is what I do.”

So what now???

I can never understand the depth and purpose of God’s plan, simply because I am NOT God.  So eventually I give up the “Why?” and ask, “OK, God.  What can I do?”  Sometimes, He says, “Wait.” Another time, He told me to move from Aurora, IL where I grew up and lived for 30+ years to Champaign, IL where I knew only a couple of people.  “Are You sure, God?”  “Oh yes, child.  Do it.  I’ve got this.”

That’s God’s go-to reminder for me:  “I am bigger than this, Kara.  Remember, my ways are not your ways.” “Oh, yeah, God.  Thanks for reminding me.”

Are there any scripture verses that help you overcome your “Why?” moments?  Feel free to share them in the comments!

Chasing Light, week 1

This morning’s message at LifeChurch began a series called Chasing Light.

PRIDE.  Pride hinders our relationship with God.  We deny being proud, but Pride can manifest itself in many ways.  “I am the most humble man I know,” is a quote a friend shared with me a while back.  Funny, right?  We boast in our humility, in our wisdom, our knowledge, our acquisitions.  We become judgmental and critical.  We compare ourselves to others.  We deceive ourselves and become blind to our weaknesses.

James 4:6 reminds us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  It does take a lot of humility to fall before His throne and ask for forgiveness, to admit that we need grace, we NEED mercy!  It takes humility to admit that we are sinful, broken people.  It takes humility to submit to the authority of the Most High God.  (Matthew 7:3-5, Philippians 2:6-7, Micah 6:8)

Pride hides God’s light.  It boards up the windows, settles as dust and grime in our lives.  I am reminded of an episode of Curious George where he becomes a window washer for Mr. Glass.  There is a man in the apartment building who is so focused on reading his books, he doesn’t notice that his windows and eye glasses are filthy!  He complains about the lighting being poor until George cleaned the glass!  The light streamed in and the man could miraculously see!  He was amazed at George’s ability!  What would happen if we allowed the Spirit to help us clean the windows in our souls?  What would the Light reveal?  What else would we need to clear out so that we can let Christ in?  It is only the blood of Christ that can cleanse our souls enough to expose the sin within.  It is only Christ who can help us declutter the depths of our hearts and unite us with the Holy God!  Christ alone exposes the preoccupation we have with our own importance.

Take some time this week to reflect on Isaiah 55:8-9.  Let the Light shine in!

Remain. (Reflections on Diabetes Burnout Ch. 13 and Made to Crave Ch. 12)

Remain.  This does not mean “remain where you are.”  It means, “Remain in the presence of the Lord.  Remain in HIS peace.  Remain in HIS JOY.”

I do not want to remain where I am in this spiritual journey.  I know I need change.  I know I cannot do this on my own.  I know God is with me every step of the way.  My happiness is not linked to losing weight, making money, writing a blog, reading these books, etc.  My JOY is in the love of my God.  JOY is one of the fruits that grow and ripen as I spend time in His presence.

I desire HIS FRUIT.  Not the fruit of the tree of knowledge from the Garden of Eden, but the spiritual fruit that only comes through God’s Holy Spirit present in my life.  Galatians 5:22-23 speaks of this fruit:  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Joy.  SELF-CONTROL.  EEEK!!!!  Yes, I admit, I STRUGGLE with self-control.  And yet again, I am reminded that self-control, in my weakness, does not exist.  It exists when the Spirit brings it, by the strength of my God.  When I am weak, HE is strong.  His power is made perfect in my weakness.

Why do I write all this?  What does it have to do with living with diabetes, or craving food?  Everything.

In chapter 12 of Made to Crave, Lysa writes about how HAPPY she was when she could get back into her “skinny jeans.”  We all have that piece of clothing buried in our closets or dressers that is our “GOAL” outfit.  Don’t deny it.  You know its true.  🙂

Hours later, though, that happiness quickly faded when life got in the way.  Placing happiness in the wrong things just sets us up for failure.  Oh, I’ll be happy when I am debt-free.  I’ll be  happy when I lose 100 pounds.  I’ll be happy when…

Why qualify our happiness?  Let’s abound in God’s JOY that is planted deep within and survives all kinds of life storms!  I write this from experience.  It might be hidden for a while, buried under mountains of grief, depression, and despair, but it still is there and shines those rays of hope in a hopeless world.

I love the song “Praise You in This Storm” as sung by Casting Crowns.  Every time I hear or sing this song, I cry.  Not from pain, but from joy that God has brought me this far!  I can praise Him in the storm, because I know He is right there with me every step of the way.  He has proven that to me time and time again.  Enjoy these lyrics:

“Praise You In This Storm”

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus:]
And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus]

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Lysa shared Isaiah 55:8-12 where God reminds us that “…My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…” Click the link and read this passage.  Let the words fill you, nourish your heart, mind, and soul.  Verse 12 says, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.”  It is not my peace, for this life is truly filled with strife.  God blesses us with His Peace in the storm.

And that is what this disease, Type 1 Diabetes, is to me:  a storm that rolls in each season.  We know when the spring comes to expect thunderstorms and wild weather.  We do tornado drills here in the midwest to prepare for these storms.  Having lived with this disease for 28 years, I know to expect the storms.  The lows come, the highs come, and I have tools to use when I am down and when I am even-keeled.

And yet, even having been in this for so long, sometimes I feel alone.  Sometimes I just want to give up, or live in denial.  Sometimes, it is just HARD to be diabetic.  And that is why I am so thankful to be reading this book Diabetes Burnout.  Polonsky writes about support in Chapter 13.  Support from family, friends, coworkers, fellow diabetics, etc.  We need that support for weight loss and healthy lifestyle choices too, and it is extremely important in living with diabetes.

The key to support is this:  we need to reach out for it.  We need to communicate clearly what support we need, why we need it, and we need to know where in our lives we can turn for this support.  God, of course, is part of this support.  And He brings people into our lives to also play a role in that support.

I am so thankful for my husband!  He is super supportive and encouraging to me!  I never want to take his love and support for granted!  However, I know I need more than just his love.  I need a community of support.  Support groups of people in similar walks of life are a tremendous blessing!  When my sister passed away, many in my family attended a Survivors of Suicide support group (S.O.S.).  And now, I wonder if I can find one for people with diabetes?  I am on the hunt, and have already contacted an organization to seek out information and contacts.

Now the tough part:  putting to words the type of support I need.  I know I need accountability for monitoring my glucose levels.  I also need accountability in my food choices.  And, gulp, accountability in exercising.  That was hard to type for me….

I can’t do this alone.  And I know I CAN do this with the strength of my God and with the right tools and support in place.  I will weather this storm, and I will praise my God as it passes overhead.

 

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