Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 143: God is working

My last post was somewhat sad over the situation of money being stolen at work, but I had truly come to peace over it and I have some really great news to share today!  I was just informed from one of my co-workers that the stolen money miraculously showed up returned today!!!!  Now if that doesn't make a person smile>>  I don't know what else would!  I'm so happy that God was working on it the whole time and that this individual made the RIGHT choice to take God's way out after their sinful behavior!  I always try and teach our kids (and stress to them) that when we sin, God always provides a way OUT........you just have to TAKE it!  And so many don't or won't because of pride or fear of being revealed in what their sin was.....but God is more concerned with our character being developed than with our reputation being tarnished!!!  

I'm so glad I prayed about it.....and I'm so thankful that God gave me peace to replace my anger about it.......and I'm so thankful that a soul was redeemed today!!!  Thank you God!  For always working on our problems and on us......even when we feel unworthy!  You are the light and the way!!!  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 143: The Holy Spirit

I have often heard people refer to being overcome by the Holy Spirit and I think I have finally experienced it myself!  

A few days ago there was a theft at my place of work.  It was worse to me than any other because it was a collection that we had taken up for an ill colleague who'd recently been through unexpected surgery and had an extensive hospital stay.  Granted, it is always wrong and awful for anyone to steal but this particular stolen item hurt everyone at work because we felt that it was an inside job and it wasn't the first time it had occurred.  It was in a location only few knew about and it was taken by someone we have suspected of thieving for years.  

Mad doesn't even begin to describe the way my co-workers and I felt after we heard the disturbing news.  Some were down right furious and we all wanted the person to be caught!

This feeling lingered with me for more than a day and I found myself being even more upset because I have been stolen from in the same way for a long, long time.  I also know several other people I work with who have experienced similar theft and so we have all just been very upset and hoping the perpetrator would be caught this time!

I, as well as others I work with, had a strong desire to RIGHT the wrong that had been done and to catch the one who had stolen.  We have been violated for long enough and we felt it was long overdue for this person to be caught and stopped.  We began discussing ways to catch the person and we felt that WE had to DO something to put an end to this sinful behavior that has permeated our work atmosphere for such a long time.  

By the second day after the event occurred, I came home from work and prayed.  I prayed for God to please let the person be caught.  I prayed that it would happen and soon!  And then all of a sudden, as if being covered by a warm blanket, a sense of peace came over me.  I felt the presence of God and felt and instantly thought--that He will handle it in His time.  I had a revelation that each person is on their own journey through life and this journey is a spiritual one.  No one knows the path that others will take and no one can MAKE a person repent.  My first thought was that this person has probably been stealing for so long that it is ingrained in them, that it is a way of life for them, and that they are probably living in denial about their "problem" because there'd be no way anyone could continue this sort of behavior on a clear conscience.  I decided that it wasn't as important that they were caught in what I saw as MY TIMELY MANNER.  It was all about God's timing and this person would probably need a very serious incident to occur to be their wake up call that what they are doing is actually wrong and sinful.    I also thought about how it wouldn't do them any good to just be "caught" and "punished" without their truly accepting what they'd done as wrong.  It was more important to their soul that they realize, truly realize what they have done and it was more important to their soul that they admit their problem, repent and change.  

In thinking of the situation in this manner, I felt an enormous relief and an incredible sense of peace about it.  I not longer felt a need to "catch" them or even know about the results of any investigation.  I discovered that the Holy Spirit had calmed the storm inside of me and the feelings of righteousness and anger dissipated.  I was free from all sense of urgency and anger to remedy the situation and it was WONDERFUL!    What's more--I felt a desire to PRAY FOR this individual.  I realized that praying FOR them was not only a much better idea than trying to catch them and a much more Godly reaction to their sin.  (Becoming Christ-like came to mind......)  Was I?  Was I maturing in my thinking and gaining wisdom through the situation?  Perhaps the lesson was about me and my reaction and not so much about what had occurred that I disagreed with in a worldly way, but what occurred provided me with an opportunity to practice my Christian walk in a very meaningful manner.  Yes-this person is a sinner, yes, what they did was wrong but God knows our sins and He is the only one in any condition to judge.  I even felt a little guilty for being so judgmental.  Don't we all sin?  And maybe our sins differ but who are we to point out other's sins simply because they differ from our own?  This person may continue to sin......right up until their very last breath but as long as they truly accept that they are sinners and seek God's forgiveness, even on their last breath, who am I to say that it won't be forgiven by God?  Shouldn't we all hope that we are ALL forgiven? (Pending true belief in God and authentic repentance).

So I write about this incident for a couple of reasons.  I hope it can be helpful to anyone facing a similar situation and to teach my children to grow in their faith and seek Godly wisdom above all else.  I want my children to know of my example of receiving the Holy Spirit when I sought prayer over a frustrating situation, say, rather than revenge.   Or even just staying angry about it--praying and giving it to God (who is best equipped to handle it anyway;)  is always the better choice!  And God blesses us when we seek him over pursuing our own desires.  I was blessed with a sense of comfort and peace and it even encouraged me to pray for the other person.  This person probably has a disease or is has a living hell that they are so desperate as to steal from co-workers for so long.  Either way, praying for them is a much better act than persecuting them.   If our praying for someone else could save a soul, wouldn't God be pleased about that? Our God is pretty amazing!  :)

This last image pertains exactly to my experience.  Talking did no good.  It just allowed us to vent and probably stirred up more strife.  Praying about it--now THAT made a difference!