Habakkuk 3:18-19 (Amplified Bible)
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord: I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation. The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make spiritual progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!
I do not know who to give credit to for the title of this blog, but it struck a nerve with me the first time I heard it. And then I read the verses above recently and my mind is thinking it would take an actor to live this out, playing a part that had been rehearsed and prepared. But this life we live is not a play and I am not an actor. And life is so hard sometimes it seems living these verses as life would be impossible. Not to mention that rejoicing all along the way is the last thing on my mind in some moments. Trust me, I am writing this blog to myself as much as I am writing it to encourage you in your journey.
I am going to be very personal and vulnerable and share that recently my husband and I welcomed my soon to be 89 year old mother into our home to live permanently, as long as we are able to meet her needs. She has advanced Parkinson’s disease and several other health conditions. We love her and want to do our best to care and provide for her with compassion, the compassion of Jesus. She has been with us 8 weeks now, and they have been very challenging. Every day is different. Some days she has a little strength and other days she has to depend on others to move her and meet her personal needs. The word exhaustion has gone to a deeper level in my body. At night I even sleep listening for her to call out my name through the baby monitor system we have set up. Several nights I have jumped out of bed thinking she has called out my name to get to her bedside and find her sleeping peacefully. Some days I don’t feel adequate for all the necessary care she needs. Some days as we share morning devotions and I pray with her, God’s presence doesn’t “feel” very real to me. At such moments I want to be an actor that smiles constantly and never gets tired or grumpy; always speaking in a sweet and gentle voice with just the right words for everyone; be the perfect wife, mother, and daughter selflessly caring for everyone with the sun on my face and a song in my heart.
That is why the scripture at the beginning of this blog meant so much to me when Jesus brought me to it not too long ago. It was already underlined with a green pen in my Bible and as I read I could see why. I believe I am camped out right here for this chapter in my life. Even if I don’t “feel” Jesus’ presence in a profound way every day I know He is in me, and He is for me. I know that Christ is my resource for living my life. I do not have to depend on a script for a play. There are no rehearsals for this life. When it takes an hour to bathe Mom and my energy has hit the wall, Jesus is in me. My rejoicing may not be singing from the bottom of my lungs, but from my heart as I think I could not be doing this without Him as my life. My exulting comes in thanks-giving for a smile on Momma’s face; her recognizing me and calling me by my name; her enjoying home cooked meals by cleaning her plate; sharing our devotion and prayer time and hearing her heartfelt prayers from a delicate and worn voice as she tells God how much she loves Him. Thanking God for the man of God He blessed me with as my husband, who is all in this adventure with me.
As I re-read the verses and I press on, I find them to be true because without Jesus Christ, I would not be able to even attempt the task of caring for Mom on top of all our other life obligations and responsibilities. He is my personal strength, bravery, and my invincible army because He is my life. He makes my feet like hinds feet as I push the wheelchair that moves Mom around because He is my life. He makes me walk by faith when moments of doubt and fear assault my mind, so I will not stand still in terror because He is my life. He causes me to make spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, and responsibility because He is my life. He never leaves me. And He sure doesn’t have an actor with me. He has me, His daughter bought by the blood of His Son. His daughter, who is walking by faith two steps forward and one step back, all the while trusting and believing He is the author and finisher of my story.
So I close with another selection of scripture that explains the why and how of “God’s not looking for actors”…..
Ephesians 2:10 (Amplified Bible)
10 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].
I don’t know where you are walking in your journey, but if you are a believer you are not walking alone. Keep walking by faith. If you don’t know Jesus as your personal savior, you can. Call out to Jesus, acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
To God be the glory!