Is the Pit My Palace? Enduring the Process To Obtain the Promise
Wow it’s hard to believe I started writing this blog over 1 year ago & just came to a complete halt. Immediately I started thinking about what happened that caused me to just simply stop & what was the sermon I was referring to (I had to go back to review my notes lol)? If I may be honest life happened. There were so many small things (as I look back on it) that I allowed to get me off track. Have you ever looked at your life with a magnifying glass & panicked because your situation looked so big it will swallow you whole? Oh ok I guess I’m the only one. When I stop trying to fix my life & allowed God to fix it I realized those little problems were no match for my BIG God. I also had to repent because there was obviously a reason I started to write this blog in the 1st place & me allowing myself to be delayed in writing this doesn’t just affect me, it affects everyone that needed to read what I’m about to share (I apologize to you as well). Any who lets get into my original blog….
On Sunday January 30, 2017 I stood before the congregation and delivered the realest sermon (entitled From the Pit to the Palace: Enduring the Process to Obtain the Promise) I have ever delivered in my life. This message was delivered from such a real & transparent place (not that the previous ones weren’t but this one was just different). This particular Sunday I decided I wouldn’t follow my usual routine of flawlessly beating my face & applying the most perfect lashes because I knew in about 10 minutes into my message I would be crying like a baby.
As I stood there with the mic in my hand looking at the congregation trying to compose myself, I wondered if they could hear how loudly my heart was beating. It seemed like the more I had looked at their faces the faster my heart began to beat. I stood there shaking in my stilettos trying to fight back the tears all while continuing this conversation with God in my head…How am I supposed to stand here to encourage the congregation that you (God) can do anything but fail? How can I confidently declare you will never leave them nor forsake them when I had been feeling like you had completely abandoned me & left me in the world to fend for myself? So many times I didn’t feel like he was anywhere around. (Totally overlooking the fact the teacher is always quiet during the test). It seemed like the moment things started going well for me something would come & knock me back 75 steps. Did I really want to be honest and share that with the congregation? Let’s be honest some of the “saints” can be extremely cruel & judgmental. Sometimes people think preachers don’t go through & we have all the answers & no real feelings or emotions, which is so far from the truth. It’s easy for me to encourage you to keep pressing & keep praying because God will always come through, but find it challenging to speak those same words to myself.
As I prepared this message my mind went back to the period I was diagnosed with cancer. I couldn’t see God anywhere in that situation. I was questioning God about why he would allow ME to be diagnosed with stage 4 Cervical Cancer when he had not yet fulfilled the promises in my life. It was at that moment I began to realize how selfish that why me attitude was. What I was saying to God is how dare you allow me to suffer with this horrible illness when you should have picked someone else. So as I lie in the bed feeling sorry for myself, feeling both defeated & abandoned I decided that I would abort my promise by taking my own life. I hadn’t considered all the other things that come along with suicide like what would happen to my kids or how my family would be affected (there was that selfish attitude again). I was trying to by pass the process of endurance & faith to obtain my promises. I wanted to skip over the test that produces a testimony. But if I had never experienced Cancer how could I boldly declare that God is a healer of even cancer?
If I had never been violated as a child how could I help others overcome? How could I with confidence declare God is able to heal your emotions so you are able to live a normal life? How could I teach people about forgiveness if I never had to forgive someone that NEVER asked for nor acknowledged what they done to me? Perhaps there are some of you reading this, that are holding onto something’s from childhood or even adulthood that have allowed you to be trapped in the pit longer than you need to be. I’m telling you let those things go & allow God to do a total work in your life so you are able to continue on towards your promise.
Have you ever had life throw you a quickly thrown curveball? How do you handle the loss of a job, home, or a car? It never feels good but how else would you know he’s Jehovah Jireh? If we were never in a position of need how else would we know we need the help of God?
As long as we live things will never always go as we plan! We will not always have everything we want however God ALWAYS has a plan! It was never my plan to be a teenage mother. It was never my plan raise 2 children alone. But even in that God had a plan! If I didn’t have my children then I would not have been able to have children of my own. Pauses & inserts disclaimer…I am NOT condoning sex before marriage! But God was able to take the mess I created & make that part of my message. No matter what mistakes you have made in your life God is able to use that to help others overcome. How could I tell a single mom God still loves her contrary to what church folks say? How could I teach people they are able to live a pure & holy life if I haven’t been conditioned to live one? Everything in my life was part of the process that is preparing me for my promises.
I had to change my mindset & begin looking at my situation differently. I had to stop equating God & his promises to the broken promises we make each other. When I really looked back at my life I realized there has NEVER been a time when God didn’t come through for me. Look at Joseph (read Genesis Chapter 35, 37-50), he faced many things in his life but he never let go of the dreams God had given him. I’m sure he faced moments where he questioned God & asked where he was in all he had gone through. But Joseph realized the pit was not designed to kill him it was designed to prepare him & to sustain him, that pit had become a well. When we’re going through it’s easy to complain, to doubt God, to question where he is during the test. We may feel abandoned & neglected, but while we are complaining we are telling God we don’t trust him to fulfill his promises to us. We forget storms are only temporary. At the end of a really bad storm you look up in the sky & see a rainbow it should bring you great joy because the rainbow is a reminder of his covenant to you.
There is a process to everything in life; in order for things to work we have to follow the necessary steps. When we decide to go somewhere we don’t just walk out our door & voila we’re there, we have to go through the process of following the directions to get to our destination. The same is to be said for our journey to our promise. The process (a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result) is never comfortable nor is it convenient but it is a prerequisite to obtain the promise (a legally binding declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act). Remember on this journey to the palace, you will face many pit experiences, let the pit be a temporary rest stop rather than your final resting place.