I mean, sure there is the normal annoying mumbo-jumbo that always happens.
But then – there are those times when you are truly STRETCHED.
Stretched in your ability, your capacity, your trust in God, your faith in yourself and what you can do.
This week, I had a couple of events that really put my obedience to God ability to the test. Things I knew I needed to do, but really didn’t want to.
Wrestling with God
I wrestled with it. I tried to fight. I lost sleep. And it made me think of Jacob as he wrestled with God until morning.
In Gen 32, Jacob was facing a huge challenge. God had told him to return home to the land of his brother, who he had swindled out of his birthright AND his inheritance.
Jacob had done much growing since then. Growing closer to God and away from his previously tricky ways. And then God asked him to face his past.
Jacob knew that he could and maybe should be killed for what he had done in the past. But he (#1) trusted God and (#2) prepared wisely.
He obeyed God in what he should do. Then he sent gifts ahead to Esau his brother. He divided his family into groups in case they were attacked. He divided his assets to make it harder to lose all. He expected the best and planned for the worst.
He put thought process into how he was being stretched and didn’t go through the process haphazard.
Jacob then spent the night alone, wrestling with God.
I pray a lot when I can’t sleep at night. And then I wonder if one of the reasons I stay up at night is because it turns into prayer time! And sometimes, like this week, I wrestle with God.
Is this right? Do I have to? Is there any other way? But God….
Then – I gave in. I did it His way. I stopped wrestling and said, “Yes sir.”
I did what God asked me to do. It seemed hard. I didn’t want to… but I did. And as I walked into my office for the first time that day, I saw a box.
In that box was something that would seem trivial to most, but it was a major blessing to me.
There were three little tubs of sugar scrub.
I usually buy these at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx for $6 each and use about one tub a week. Then they stopped carrying them and the only place I could find to buy them was over the internet in London for $15 each plus international shipping. YIKES! Too rich for my blood!
When I walked in my office, opened the box and saw these – I knew. I knew it was a little sign from God letting me know He was pleased with me. He was letting me know that things would be okay.
I might have stretch marks from this latest STRETCHING. But those marks are also the proof of a birth into a new level of trust and commitment between me and my God.
Have you been stretched? Has there been a sign afterward that let you know you were on the right path? Tell me about it…
Reading this story gave me goosebumps…Thank You Nicole!
Now I am saying ‘God, stretch me to the fullest…I will not fight it’
Fantastic blog! I love how honest & real you are in these posts. Feel like I’m reading your diary 🙂
That is awesome Pastor Nicole,
Sometimes I wonder when I am up and cant sleep and then I end up in the word or praying if that is Gods way of getting my attention. God truely is amazing the way he is working through me. Thanks for all your encouraging words. Love you…
Dear Pastor Nicole,
I have really been missing coming to Faith Church for at least four months, however I watch the services on channel 30 on Friday and Saturday Nights. Please pray for me. You see Pastor Nicole, I have been homeless for two years now….Right now I am living with my daughter and it is putting a pressure on her marriage. I feel as though I have no were to turn. I am not a drug user or dealer, I do not drink, I do smoke cigrettes. I have been working on various temp jobs……that are not leading into anything long term. People in my family have stolen things from me…….and yet I have forgave them. Currently, I am living off of $108.00 in unemployment. I don’t know where I went wrong. I have work for over 35 years and it is extremly difficult for me to adjust to this new way of living. I know that Our Father puts us through test. And I am trying to hold on with all that I have….,I am 54 years old, I have been told that I am too young for a senior living facility and too old for a job……?????? I need help so bad Pastor Nichole…..I pray every night that Our Father will turn my and others that are in this situation around. Please help with with resources for affortable housing and employment. Thanking you in advance for your prayers……Many blessings to you and Pastor David…….and Faith Church St. Louis….
love it pastor nicole! you always know how to make a girl’s (and guy’s) heart cheerful and mind think.
thank you for your passion and everything that you do.
i am honored to call you my pastor.
I don’t like being stretched either…and the stretchmarks–great analogy. When I look at them on my body, I for an instance see them as ugly but then remember what I got for those stretch marks, 3 beautiful children. It sometimes isn’t pretty to be stretched but really, if we do what you did which is OBEY…beautiful results happen. I will be stretched next week, it will be hard but I know that I can count on the Lord to help me through. Thanks for sharing.