Religion Magazine

Quality Control: The Mistake in Striving for Self Preservation

By Jenrene

perfect“Oh, that we were back in Egypt,” they moaned. “It would have been better if the LORD had killed us there! At least there we had plenty to eat. But now you have brought us into this desert to starve us to death. Then the LORD said to Moses,
“Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. The people can go out each day and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether they will follow my instructions.” Exodus 16:3, 4

When I moved to Gaithersburg Maryland about six years ago – I ready to begin  a new life, without incident. I had just gotten divorced and was gung ho about starting my life anew, and excited about being in this state of mind and being. The only problem was, I really didn’t realize I had such a HUGE amount of pride and selfish ambition. I was trying to preserve my life, by “keeping it safe.” – from everyone and everything.

I wasn’t doing anything unusual. Most women can have a tendency to retreat when things are not going well. I had a friend mention during this time that I was what she considered to be a very “sweet”: person, but not one who is able to be very affectionate nor warm with others. She said she saw this side in me desiring to be set free. I listened, but I didn’t acknowledge I was hurting and in pain from relationships. I was not very warm and full of “warm-fuzzies” at the time, because I felt stuck. I had a really bad attitude; and Maryland was my “back up plan.” I wanted to work and was anxious to work and begin anew, but God wanted me to SERVE. And not only that God wanted me to learn how to RECEIVE.

- Serving is receiving. These two principles are interrelated. Let me tell you how.

My journey to being able to receive from God was learning how to practice acceptance. I really had a hard time accepting things I couldn’t change. I thought that if things were not going a certain way in my life that was pleasing to me, then SURELY God could not be in control! But was not aware of the fact God is in the details of our lives and we only need to allow Him to be. As I began to struggle through my Red Sea experience, God showed up and began to speak to me about learning how to serve, when I didnt know what else to do. So I did. I fell in love with children at a friend’s day care and looked forward to going everyday to read them books, smile and laugh with them. I also fell in love with my friend Sherri, my friend who ran the day care. We developed a special relationship and she is forever cemented in my heart. memories in this season of my life shall never be forgotten, because God provided “manna” in my life in a special way.

Manna is simply defined as God’s grace. The one thing we attempt to do when we feel as if we cannot control a situation – we freak out and begin to wish to go back to what’s comfortable.

There are two major things you should know about God’s modern day provision of manna:
1) God sends manna (His daily grace) every single day of our lives. We just don’t
often seek it out, nor do we ask God where it is present. We must expect grace to receive it. You will miss it if you blink. Your attitude should be: “This is going to be a good day, and I am going to find out where God is, and look for how He desires to bless me!” I held strong to the scripture in Lamentations 3:22  – “ By the Lord’s mercies ( great love)  we are not consumed…God mercies are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.”

The second thing you should know about modern day manna is: Manna is usually right before us, and sometimes it even comes with instructions. Receiving “modern day” manna isn’t the easiest concept to understand. Modern day manna doesn’t fall from the sky. Yet it still falls in
amazing places. That should give you extreme hope. When I am in a struggle, I can’t say I don’t fret, I become anxious and often I get very concerned. I do know those things don’t help my situation very much, so I decided within what must I do to shift into a mode of emotional and spiritual strength. There’s a place I go to – that I call “going low.” Here, I talk very little, I share very little and have little conversations with others. I begin to entreat of the Lord why I am there, in the situation. If there’s any negative energy around me, I give it very little attention. I also pray a lot. Basically, I become tremendously FOCUSED. I don’t focus very much on what I feel. Feelings can really cause you to go into emotional shock. You can become disoriented and believe more on
what you feel, instead of being more attentive to God’s voice.

I learned from this expereince I should be focusing on what I need – for that moment. I begin to talk to God openly and proclaim: “I know you have this situation in your hands,… thank you. I receive the outcome. I thank you for the peace you give me, even if I don’t have it… yet”. Yet faithfully, it always comes. Something happens on the inside of you when God validates the expectation you have in Him. He will begin to sanction what you believe. Like Abraham, in the Bible. He counted it to Him as righteousness, when He believed that God would save his son, even though he placed Isaac on an altar to offer as a sacrifice.

Sometimes this is the place where we need to get in order for God to speak to us and for us to receive. In serving, I found Him. But remember, I also listened to his instructions. It’s takes time, meditation and simple quiet – to hear from God.

Make the time. You won’t be disappointed.


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