Delivered Like Hannah

There are things in life that you are meant to be a part of. Having just ended Scandals, I know I was meant to be a part of it. But, it’s just a silly college competition? Well, yes. It’s a silly and super duper fun college competition. However, this was an answered prayer for me. I asked God for the opportunity to break outside of my comfort zone and make new friends and grow with Him while doing it. That is why I was meant to be in Scandals.

Who would’ve thought that days after God and I had this talk that the gentlemen of Brothers Under Christ would come ask us to partner with them. Who would’ve thought I would get to be a part of it. God. God would’ve thought. And boy am I thankful He did.

So, months later I am not who I once was. I am a better singer (kinda), more outgoing and closer to my Creator than when I started. All from a 12-minute adaptation of The Hunger Games. This feeling, the morning after it’s all over, is what a full heart feels like. The feeling knowing that He heard my cry and He came to my rescue. I feel like Hannah in 1 Samuel–delivered.

“My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn (strength) is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.” 1 Samuel 2:1

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Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

John Piper is quoted saying, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” I often find myself thinking those three things are the three that He will give me next. I am expecting that because I take delight in God and so then my top three requests will be fulfilled in no time. This, however, is the basis of the prosperity message. Which, to me, is known as Joel Osteen’s bread and butter. Now, I won’t get into Osteen because I am not fit to throw stones at him because I am not blameless either. But, this message of prosperity is not free from criticism. It is the message that I, as a privileged American in 2015, have come to expect to be reality. Unfortunately, it has led me to unrealistic expectations and putting a limit on a God who is limitless. This is true in my life. I know, KNOW, that my God knows no boundaries and yet I live like He does. Why am I complaining about not getting what I want when I was not there when God created the heavens and the earth? (Job 38:4) What do I know about anything? I try to solve the entire puzzle with just one piece. That is a common problem for a lot of us, I think.

The funny thing is, sometimes He does give me what I want. I don’t know if I’ve been particularly good or close to Him and He rewards me like a parent rewards a well-behaving child or if He sees me longing for answers I don’t feel I have control over. It is random and unexpected, but many times I ask for it. I ask for help and He gives it. I long to see a friend and He makes us cross paths. It is the most amazing little gift to feel Him listening when so often I feel like I’m just talking to the sky. I know one day when I stand before the throne in terror, awe and complete adoration I won’t really care about these petty things. The most brilliant thing on earth will pale in His comparison. And in the pits of trial and temptation to quit, I find a breath that will allow me to press on towards His peace and freedom. I know that one day this will all be over. All the waiting, confusion, angst and nervousness will be vaporized in the presence of my Creator.

Things That Grow My Affections For The Lord

1. Being picked up from the airport after being away from family. Something about this just reminds me of how much I love them and how blessed I am to have them. 

2. Rainy days. Any self-respecting girl would agree with me on this one. 

3. Friends who challenge me and laugh with me. You know who you are. 

4. Quality time with my family. Top Golf, regular golf, Sunday brunch, living room quality time around a sporting event of some sort…

5. His nuggets. If you look, you can find Him anywhere. Sometimes He leaves me hints along the way. Like a verse or a conversation with a friend. 

6. Studying other religions and philosophies. It makes me realize who He is and how much I love and value the Bible. I love that book. 

7. Memories of happy times. My favorite thing is being reminded of a happy memory through a smell or a song. I love to wear a different perfume every year or listen to a song on repeat for a time in my life. In the future, when I smell the perfume or hear the song, my mind travels back to those times. It’s magical. 

8. Sweet tea and iced coffee. Not even joking. There’s just something about your favorite drinks and sometimes I thank God for simple pleasures like these. 

9. Living in Pi Phi. Being surrounded by these girls 24/7 is one of the coolest, most challenging, rewarding, exciting, productive things I’ve ever done. 

10. Coming home. I’m a home-body and there is nothing better than walking through that door and seeing my 3 favorite people and 2 favorite pups. 

These 10 things cause me to regularly stop and thank God. I delight in Him for the experiences and things above. I feel a close, connected bond to Him on a rainy day, laying on the couch, watching basketball with my family. Those things that make me, me, also grow my affections towards Him. I don’t love Him because of these things, but instead it is because I love Him, I see Him in these things. What experiences in your life make you stop and thank God for His glory, plan, goodness and truth?