April was hard. Probably one of the harder months I have walked through in a long while. And the hardest part about it is that none of the “hard” things that happened over the course of those days have directly effected me. All of the things that have taken place I have been on the fringe. The outside looking in watching people that I truly care about on a lot of levels have very hard things happen to them. Some of those hard things are the direct results of other peoples poor management and decision making skills. A punishment of sorts being handed down for things they genuinely had no control over.
For others the hard things have been even farther out of the realm of anyone’s control. It is just simply the world working the way the world works.
Strength has always been something that I have felt defines me. Mental strength, emotional strength, and even to some extent physical strength. I push through no matter how tired I am, no matter how much pain I am in, no matter how much I just want to quit. And usually, I do my best to make sure that on the outside I appear to the world like everything is fine. When on the inside I am like a duck on a pond paddling my little legs as fast as I can to stay afloat.
Last month I felt the chinks in my armor. I have felt the walls weakening. I have felt the rips in the fabric of my resolve. And over and over the only thing that keeps playing through my head is the chorus to the song “Confidence” by Sanctus Real. The lyrics go like this:
So give me faith like Daniel in the lion’s den
Give me hope like Moses in the wilderness
Give me a heart like David, Lord be my defense
So I can face my giants with confidence
So I can face my giants. The hard part is not knowing what those giants are. They are so very invisible that I don’t know what exactly it is that I am fighting against. But I know they are there. And this week, they didn’t choose to attack me. No, they choose to attack everyone I care about.
And the one lesson I have learned over the course of the month is this-my prayer life needs a boost. If there is one spiritual discipline that I truly need to work on, besides scripture memorization because lets face it, as a home schooling mom of 3 memorizing anything besides my kids names and hopefully their dates of birth is going to take a miracle, would be prayer.
So that is my new goal. Learn to pray. I mean really and truly pray. Not the “Dear Lord watch over so and so” or “Lord help (insert name here) with (insert minor health issue here)” type of prayers. I mean the nitty gritty down and dirty lay it all out there before the Lord type of prayers. If I learned anything from my study of the book of 1 Kings is that true genuine prayer is necessary. Not empty words meant to placate myself more than anything. I need to pray and truly seek the Lord.
1 Kings showed me what God looks for in a leader. Not necessarily to be the strongest or smartest, or fastest. But He looks for the people who’s heart is turned toward Him. The person who is willing to put their own selfish desires, hopes, and dreams aside and seek His face. There were many who became leaders who chose not to do this. Instead they chose to elevate themselves and for that they were punished. But for the few kings who really turned and sought after God’s face he blessed them. He made them and the kingdom they were leading to prosper. God looked for faith. The faith that required the constant communication with Him for the right moves to be made. That is what I am striving for. Not because I want to be seen as any kind of leader or trailblazer or anything of that nature. But because I want to set an example of how to get through the hard things, like I went through last month, for my children and anyone else God may place in my path.
So there it is. A month of hard lessons learned and my round about wrap up to my study of 1 Kings.