WHAT IM WEARING:
Sweater: Target ; Jeans: Motherhood Maternity
It’s been quite some time since I last updated the blog. If youâ€™re following me on Instagram, then you know that I am expecting baby number two, by the grace of God. My family and I are overjoyed and exceedingly grateful to God for hearing our prayers. But as you can imagine, life has been pretty interesting with a toddler, start up business, full time job and blog. September was a good month for me. Husband and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary, to the glory of God; and our first born reached some very cool milestones- like walking. But it also came with unexpected news and really difficult times. I spent some days really down and emotional, and other days not really excited about anything.
One day, after receiving some unfortunate news, I was led by the Holy Spirit to read the book of Nehemiah. If you haven’t studied this book in the Old Testament, I would encourage you to do so as soon as you can. In re-reading this book (well really the first two chapters), the Lord reminded me that it is perfectly fine to cry and become emotional with bad/disappointing news. As a Christian, I often wonder if my initial response to something tragic or disappointing is an indication of how much faith I have in God. Sometimes we hear narratives online and in church that crying and worrying means that you doubt what God can do in your life and with your situation. And while I agree to an extent, I think we should remind ourselves that we are humans with emotions; and crying or becoming angry about something doesn’t make you less confident in the supernatural power of God to change things around for your good.
Nehemiah was a cup bearer to a heathen king named Artaxerxes. He worked in the palace, ensuring that the food and drinks served to the king was safe and free of any poison. One day some friends visited Nehemiah from Jerusalem, and when Nehemiah asked about the city and the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, he was given tragic news. The men told him that they were in great trouble, being persecuted, and the wall/gates of Jerusalem were burned down. Upon hearing the news, the bible says Nehemiah did five things:
1. Sat down
3. Mourned for some days
If you continue to read the story of Nehemiah, you will be truly blessed with so many important lessons on the rewards of obedience to God, how God can give you favor with people who don’t even believe in God, and so many other powerful lessons. But for the sake of this post, I want to encourage you that your initial response to something tragic is really just that: an initial response. Upon hearing the news of Nehemiah’s people being in great trouble, the Bible tells us that Nehemiah took it hard for several days before he decided to do something proactive like focus on the only One who can turn the situation around. Nehemiah cried and mourned for days before he decided to pray and fast. And him doing so didn’t produce less rewarding results than if he just got up and went into prayer. By the grace and help of God, Nehemiah was even able to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Another example of Someone initially responding emotionally to tragic news is Jesus Christ, Himself. As a believer I consider Jesus to be 100% God and 100% man. And the scriptures tell us in John 11 that Jesus wept when He heard and saw that Lazarus was dead. This same Jesus ended up raising Lazarus from the dead shortly after. But this is a beautiful reminder that tears/mourning isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a sign of compassion!
A person who cries or mourns upon hearing tragic or difficult news is a person moved with compassion. There are a few accounts in the scriptures that show us that God is moved by our tears. If it were not so, Jesus wouldn’t have cried when he saw Mary crying over the death of Lazarus. And God would not have told Jeremiah to gather the skillful wailing women to wail over Israel before the Lord destroyed the people (Jeremiah 9:17).
Do not let anyone make you feel bad about being consumed with emotions when you hear bad news. There is nothing wrong with mourning. I am more concerned with what you do after the mourning that truly makes the difference. Crying just to cry will hardly ever produce any real results. But Crying out to God, praying and fasting always does! While bad news or difficult times may move you to tears, don’t let it shake your faith. Rather, use it as a building block to build upon your faith. Your circumstances and your bad news are a great opportunity for the Lord to show you that He is still God over your circumstance.
Mary, the sister of Lazarus, was very sad about the passing of her brother. But her declaration to Jesus should encourage you to remember the God of the impossible amidst your circumstance.
But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You- John 11:22
Whatever you are going through, whatever bad report you have received, remember that even right now, God can change your situation around. Hope against all hope, and have faith that the Lord is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ever think or ask, according to Ephesians 3:20.
Encourage yourself in the Lord!