My sister and I had a trading game we played when we were growing up. It started with Halloween candy but it also worked with stickers, hair clips, jelly bracelets, or on really bored days random bits of fluff and junk. We’d bring our bags and dump them out on either side of the coffee table. We’d each line our offerings up and then take turns picking from each other’s side until at the end we had a brand new batch of whatever. It was a little like chess because you had to keep a strategy to protect your best candy. I don’t remember the rules but I know they were complex. I was six years older. I usually got better stuff. My sister though is a wily one and she caught on very quickly. Neither of us liked coconut then so the Almond Joys and Mounds always presented a problem. At some point I figured out that my dad would take these nasty candies out of the Halloween pile if I offered them up and then my sister and I didn’t have to worry about ending up with those.
The last few days I’ve been reading a great book. Second Guessing God by Brian Jones. If you have questions about faith that you can’t seem to answer try this book. If you have been hurt deeply I think it might help. If you, like me, just need a good attitude adjustment I am almost positive it’ll work.
Yesterday I was driving out to meet my family for a night at the lake. On my way, I prayed an honest and painful prayer. It went something like this….
“ARGHHHH. I am in a crabby mood! I’ve been tired and sad for a bit here and frankly I’m sick of myself. I do not want to reflect to people around me anything that resembles despair. I want to reflect hope but right at this second I don’t have that. I know when I went to Rwanda I said it was because I wanted to be Gloriously Ruined but this broken thing is not at all what I meant. (read Kay Warren’s book Dangerous Surrender and you’ll know what I’m talking about….God knew when I said it) I really just need to know You see me. Help. Help.”
Guess what. God likes honest prayers. I pulled over to the side of the road and took this picture.
For me last night this was not just a sunset Psalm 19:1 says “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
I had a little mini revival in my Mazda 3. It’s a zippy little car. Corners nicely on the windy roads. Has a cool Ipod hookup and speakers that last night were blaring out church songs. I’ve heard them all a million times but last night I was singing along. I sang loudest last night to I’m Trading My Sorrows.
I am pressed but not crushed
persecuted, but not abandoned
struck down, but not destroyed
I am blessed beyond the curse,
for His promise will endure
and His joy is going to be my strength
Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning.
I’m trading my sorrows
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord
I am definitely taking that trade. I feel much better. Let me know if you need a copy of Second Guessing God or frankly if you need a Bible. I’d love to get you one, maybe we can trade. What books do you have?