"The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble." (NIV) Psalm 9:9
It happened - the day of days. It's a new year and I had many high hopes for a year filled with good things, great moments for Jesus. I wanted to ensure that each day I lived my life as Jesus would want me to live it - full of love and patience, a life of servant hood. Then Thursday happened. As they say, best laid plans . . . . and this one was completely destroyed.
Someone did something that disappointed me strongly at work. Let's set some things straight - I usually don't disappoint easily - but this was a doozy!! I became unglued. I had started the day with high hopes for good things - I ended the day with hurtful feelings and saying EXACTLY how I felt to my husband. Yes, he was patient (thank my Dear Lord for him), and listened intently. He let me vent, and that I did. I vented with hurt feelings, I vented with poor choice of words, I vented! Inside, I couldn't understand how my best intentions could have turned bad/wrong. My heart was filled with such disappointment and hurt. I reviewed the entire situation over and over in my head - all throughout the night. There was one thing completely missing - time with God.
As I thought about everything, I realized that when I was hurt, I didn't stop, I didn't pray. I just kept on going, kept on reacting, kept on hurting, kept on blaming. I kept on and I didn't JUST STOP. Would anything have been different if I stopped and prayed before reacting? As we all know - everything would have been different. Because when I realized that prayer was my missing link in this situation, I began to do just that - I began to pray.
I prayed all the way into work on Friday. I prayed for the person who hurt me, and I REALLY prayed for me - prayed for my forgiveness in reacting, prayed for guidance, prayed for a change of heart, prayed that Jesus would walk with me during this difficult time. Many things happened during my time of prayer. I prayed with earnest; I prayed with a gut-wrenching, outpouring of love for my heavenly Father. As God always works in mysterious ways, He worked his miracles on me Friday.
The harder I prayed, the more God worked in me. My heart started changing. Yes, I was still disappointed, but I looked at things differently. I knew that Jesus would be sitting right next to me that Friday, helping me for the better - not the worst. That He Did!! My day was tremendous. Good things happened - including an apology from the one that hurt me as well as some positive outcomes to the situation. As I drove home from work on Friday, I couldn't help but sing praises to God - I know who created a better day. God orchestrated that day for me, as He orchestrates every day. The day was good.
I learned so much from that 24 hours. I learned that stopping and praying BEFORE all this happened was truly the right thing to do. If I had done that, I am sure God would have shared a different perspective with me - right away. I learned that by stopping and not reacting, my words and thoughts would not have been blame and anger. I learned that "I" owned much in my Thursday not being great - I owned my emotions, I owned my choices, I owned not taking a few moments to stop, just stop, and pray.
I am sure that there will be other difficult days. Yet, I will try next time to stop - actually stop - and pray. I will lay my soul at Jesus' feet. I know He will love me as He always does, take me in His arms, and guide me on the right path. I pray that if you have tough days, that you take the time to stop and pray. Jesus truly is the stronghold in times of trouble. Blessings for a week filled with peace, love and joy.