Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seeing God's Hand When You Least Expect It

I know it has been awhile.  Part of it has been because the busyness of life sets in, which tends to consume all my time.  And, the other part of it has proved to be spiritual.  Let me explain.  From the beginning of August to about the end of September, I was literally in the dumps spiritually.  I thought God was not coming through so I shoved Him aside.  I was not chosen to be a part of the India missions team.  I applied to work at a few places and was either turned down or never got a call back.  And, to put the cherry on top, my speech was not helping at all.  It seemed like I blocked every other word and it took forever to communicate my thoughts to others.  It was pretty bad.  But, through all that,  I can say one thing stayed constant.  Even though I was faithless, God still remained faithful.

Now, as September turned into October, I was knocked on the side of the head by a 2x4.  The men in my Bible study group would know what I am talking about.  But, it usually means that God does something to wake you up out of your doldrums.  This happened at one of the new Bible studies I joined at Rock Harbor, the church I am now attending with my family.  God used a specific guy named Pete, who delivered a much needed message I desperately needed to hear.  The verse He used to pin me down with was Galatians 2:20.  It reads, "I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."  What does this mean?  

When Christ died to pay the ultimate penalty of bearing all our sins in his body (1 Peter 2:24), He created this defining motivation of sorts that we must follow.  The ultimate act of Him bearing our sins signifies a deep motivation within us that we must put away our self, our motives, our flesh, our sinful ways in order that we might live toward the greater purpose of magnifying His glory (Romans 3:23; 1 Cor. 10:31) and displaying His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24) to a filthy world in desperate need of His Son.  In other words, as Christ bore our sins in His body, we follow His lead and die to those things that destroyed Him because He loved us and gave Himself up for us.  Then, we do not live to ourselves anymore.  Instead, our lives reflect Him in all that we say and do because He lives in us as we walk in faith seeking Him for direction in what we are supposed to do and where we are destined to go on a day to day basis.  So, the question I posed to myself was this:  Why in the world am I not walking in faith reflecting Him in all I say and do?  

The answer was easy.  I did not see Him working in my life at that particular time.  I did not believe that He would come through for me.  He seemed distant, farther away than usual.  The closeness of our relationship was not there.  The life inside of me was waning because we were growing further and further apart.  But, even through all that, God remained faithful by waking me up with a bashing my head in pinning Galatians 2:20 on top of my skull.  He really showed me how little faith I had and what I needed to do to guide me out of my unbelieving daydreams.  I desperately needed to start walking in faith believing that Christ lives in me so that I could start reflecting Him on a daily basis.  So, I graciously began walking on this road.

Now, we will shift our minds eye to a few days ago.  On Wednesday October 19th, I made my way to the counselor's office at Santiago Canyon College not really expecting anything.  The only thing I was expecting was to get a couple questions answered about possibly transferring to another college that I had.  I have been attending this community college since the Spring of '08 with a lot of highs and lows.  I would say more highs than lows, but for attending college that is pretty normal.  So, what I am processing in my mind at this point is that I am nothing more than an average student trying to figure out what I want to do.  With that said, I make my way into the counselor's office and tell her I am changing my major.  I also tell her which college I am planning on attending as well.  As soon as this is all completed, we work our way through which classes I must take next semester in order to make my way closer to my goal.  Blah.. blah blah... blah blah... blah blah.........  Sounds interesting, right?  No, but as we go through this information she relays something out of the blue that had me screaming inside.  She said that I have multiple associate degrees, four to be exact.  And, a fifth one in the wings if I decide to go for it this next semester, which is very possible because I need to take a couple more science classes in order to get a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering.

Wait!  The fun is not over.  She said that I have a GPA of 3.47.  I am .03 off of graduating with honors in the Spring, which I am hoping of doing.  But, there is one problem that lies between graduating with honors and where I am right now.  I need to get all A's in my Spring classes to get over the hump.  Sounds easy.  It would only be easy if I was taking classes not directed at my major like History or even Precal. for that matter.  The classes that lie in my way though are Engineering Physics I, General Chemistry, and Analytic Geometry and Calculus II.  I definitely have my work cut out for me.  It is difficult having two math/science classes in the same semester, but taking three of them is another story in itself.  However, I only have to focus on these three classes, which is a good thing, rather than focusing on these three and a couple other ones.  

All in all though, the counselor said I should be proud of myself.  But after thinking about it for awhile, I was like I should be proud of God.  He came through for me in a mighty way that completely blew my mind out of the water.  I was expecting little.  And, instead of giving little or nothing, God created this massive wedding cake full of decorative icing and a photograph of His Son to show me how much He loves me even when I am faithless, even when I expect little or nothing.  Through this, I found out that God was working even when I was wrapped up in my own pity party for two months.  He was involved in my life.  From bringing me back to Himself by revealing a verse to me that I have read many times before in a whole new way to the graciousness that he showed when he blew my mind away at the counseling office, He is willing and working in me by constantly being faithful.  And, He is doing the same in you, my fellow brothers and sisters.  Thank you Lord!!!!





Anonymous said...

I praise God for what He has been doing in your life! Know that you were/are not alone. His love and patience are amazing, aren't they?
Praying for you, Josh, as you continue to live Him.

Paul A. Daly said...

Praise the Lord! Prayin' for you bro!

Deborah said...

God's been showing me that whenever I think I'm wasting time, He's really in the background doing something on the inside of me I had no I idea needed done. "An inside job" so to speak. These "Inside jobs" propel us into the future He has ordained for us.
Hang on ~ you'll probably be surprised by what He's doing in you!

Lhen said...

I'm encouraged with your story. God is indeed faithful in your life. He simply wants the best for his children. keep the faith.

Lhen :)

Debbiehere said...

Gal. 2:20 That's the verse I chose to put next to my Senior Picture in my VPHS Yearbook. Quite a verse to live up to huh? It's been challenging me ever since!

I'm really proud of your scholastic accomplishments (we both are)! But most of all we're really proud to see you continue to grow Spiritually! Your example has been inspirational & challenging to us for years now!

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!" (Eph. 3:20-21)

Go get 'em Tiger :) We love you!

susanwalkergirl said...

Joshua, I'm praying that you will continue to be faithful where God has you. Wow...multiple majors and a 3.47 GPA! I do hope that you will allow Chris and I to come to your graduation. You and your family continue to be in my prayers.

Blessings in Christ...Susan

That's a great question to ask myself each day, is Christ living in me today?

Melanie said...

Joshua, this was a really neat post! Praise the Lord for His work in your life-I thought it had been quiet over here for a while...
I had a quote I was going to share which came to mind while reading your post; but for various reasons it is unavailable to me at the moment. The basic gist is that God graciously holds us in the palm of His hand and withholds/gives us the circumstances that will best draw us closer to Him. Even when we think we know what would be best. It is so wonderful knowing our God is omniscient! And seeing the end results; looking back and seeing how tender and gracious He was with us.

Anyways, thanks for sharing...God bless,

Lauren Nicole said...

God is so mighty! Thank you so much for sharing. We are never, ever alone. HE is forever and always faithful.

Lilac Bud Gal said...

Thank you for sharing this. I was greatly encouraged by it. It is so wondeful to know that God is in control at all times, isn't it? I love looking back at my life to see where God guided me and kept me safe from different things. Such a beautiful reminder that He knows all and is holding us in His hands, patiently waiting for us to look up and realize that His ways are best, not ours.
God bless you!
In Him, Sarah

*Lizzie* said...

I found your blog today and really like it. I love seeing others who love Jesus Christ too and seeing that they want to glorify Him in everything they do. It is so important that we live our full lives for Christ. That is why I like your blog. Because I can see through your blog you want to put Christ first in everything you do.

And by the way, thanks for following my blog :)
God bless!!!

A Servant for Christ,

Preacher K said...

God Bless you!

Just wanted to give you some encouragement! Stop by and take a look at my blog, Valiant Christianity!

I pray it will minister to you in a very special way!
God Bless you!
Preacher K

Israel Sanchez said...

Praise God, thanks for sharing this awesome and honest testimony my friend. Praying for you!