Excuses

The morning after we discovered that Brewer, our then 27 year old, had had a major stroke and was now on a ventilator, I had trouble opening my eyes. They were heavy from all the tears that had been shed and from a lack of sleep. I had been up for over 36 hours before closing my eyes. I sat up with blurred vision and the tears flowed once again….it wasn’t a dream, it was real time and real life.

Even though my body, soul and mind were so, so tired, my body clock still woke me up at 5 a.m. My normal routine for the last several years has been a prolonged time in God’s Word, worship and prayer first thing in the morning.

You see, for years God had been second in my life. It took Christian counseling to help unearth where the darkness had originated. Once I identified the source, I vowed I would never again allow myself to get to that place. I invoked a “rigid policy” of nothing before God and my time with HIM.

My first thought that morning though was to jump up, get dressed and get to Brewer! I grabbed my phone to see if I had missed a call from the hospital. Brewer was in Neuro-ICU which meant we were barred from staying with him during the night. No missed calls….Praise the Lord!

Thankfully, I have always believed “no news is good news!” I breathed a sigh of relief and laid back on my pillow. All was quiet in the small apartment in Greenville where some of us were camped. I looked over to the bedside table and stared at my Bible and my laptop.

Did I break my routine, my strict policy? Did I make an allowance and put God’s Word to the side along with my time with Him to rush to Brewer’s side? My mind was spinning with thoughts.

I have become accustomed to knowing God’s loving and kind voice in my life. As I pondered what to do, He simply said, “Come to Me! I have Brewer!” With that, I reached for my Bible, still with a drippy nose and flowing tears, and opened to the Psalms.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:9-10). His Word began to wash over me, warm me and dry my tears. The longer I read the more calm and peaceful I became.

In my head my thoughts were becoming more organized and my back and forth banter with the Lord was precious–“Lord, really? You want me to write and post this a.m.? Surely not? That would take too much time! What do I say?”

His answer was a simple but clear, “YES!” With that, I reached for my laptop. As I opened it up to write down my thoughts, I noticed a flurry of notifications but refrained from looking at them until after I had written what the Lord led me to write. Never had I felt more inadequate. My insides felt so sorrowful and sad, but God, as He always is, was faithful to help me put fingers to the keys and my thoughts on the screen.

Nineteen months later, as I reflect, I realize that God makes you adequate when you feel inadequate. He enables you to do what you otherwise could not, would not do. Thankfully on that day I was prompted not to allow the “emergency” in my life to keep me from going to the “REAL E.R. Doctor” and allowing Him to do His work in me….to equip me…..giving me peace in the midst of the unknown.

One of my favorite studies in all of Scripture is the study of Moses and how God used him, despite his failures, inadequacies and excuses. He wanted to make an excuse when God directed him to go to Pharaoh. Exodus 4:10, “Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘Please Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’” Thankfully, Moses’ excuse, valid or not, was rejected and God moved Moses past his excuse!

Point of post…Don’t allow excuses, valid or not, to keep you from writing the stories God wants to write in your life. He writes the best ones. All we have to do is surrender to His voice. Put HIM FIRST and FOREMOST, even in emergencies. He does the equipping. We can trust Him with the pen in our lives!

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