I have to know – have you heard this song by Natalie Grant?
When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world.
How could I make you so small when you’re the one who holds it all?
When did I forget you’ve always been the king of the world?
You will always be the king of the world.
Oh my heart…. this has so spoken to and touched me in a deep deep way bringing clarity to my weary mind.
It has been a long 18 months around my world. I have worked really hard at seeing the good in all things and being positive. Although a solid attribute to have, I inadvertently have convinced myself talking about the hard times would somehow be a weakness of faith or cause someone else to not be as faithful in their hard. Or even that somehow saying “this is hard” negates how honestly blessed I feel. Actually, the “hard” for me is a portion of where this blog was born. Birthed through growth when I hurt, growth in God speaking to my broken and tired soul. Strength grown, even through the struggles, knowing God has time and time again been faithful in the hardest of my days.
But, the reality is, some days really are the hardest. In the last 18 months I have had four immediate family members spend a collective 35 days in the hospital through 8 surgeries/procedures, countless doctor appointments and an ever-changing medicine regime to manage on top of the regular ups and downs of life and work and home and empty nests and not-so-empty nests… and… We all have our own “and…”. As a wife/mom/daughter, there truly is nothing more I want to do than nurture and care for my family, yet there are hard days. Days I am tired physically and emotionally.
The more tired I become, the less energy I have had and in full disclosure my time with God has been suffering. For a while. This is reality friends. As I began to realize the slump of ‘going through the motions’ I had to pull myself out of, I realized “Why when we know what we need the most to get through the hardest of days, do we feel it’s the first thing we can let go of?” It is as silly as saying, “Here is the medicine that will make you well, but leave it on the shelf and don’t take it. ” Makes lots of sense huh? Not too deep to have taken me a few months to realize. (I am smarter than I behave, I promise.)
When I first heard this song by Natalie Grant, I was so convicted I literally broke into tears. I had been feeling so weak on my own. In that weakness, I was overwhelmed with the weight of our life’s circumstances. I have been completely sure my tiredness meant I was a failure at the harder times in life. When I don’t feel joyful in my tough moments, I wonder what is wrong with me. Through Natalie’s precious voice, I realized – these are the days when I have taken life back out of His hands and have tried to do it all on my own. Through such clear words, this song reminds me He never intended me to handle anything in my own strength.
I have said before, I write about what I struggle with in hopes someone else will grow with me. If you are struggling to handle your “hard” in life on your own, learn and grow and be reminded along with me. Let’s give it back to God and our successes will be that much more kingdom glorifying when we say “I could never have done it on my own. God carried me!”
And rest in this truth with confidence – My struggle doesn’t mean I don’t love God or trust Him or that I am failing at living faithfully. It just means I need Him that much more. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus tells us, Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. I pray for you today, and please do the same for me, that you make quiet time for God. Let Him speak life into your tired and strength into your weary. Give your circumstances back to God and let Him be King of the World – His track record is way better than ours.
In His Grip, Ashlee
Pray with me: Dear Heavenly Father, We love you and we praise your amazing love for us. I stand in awe at how patient you are with me Father. Right now, God, remind us that you are in control. Remind us of your sovereignty in a very tangible way. May there be a peace come over our lives that we cannot explain any other way than through praises and glorifying of you as the provider of all strength, rest and provision. Father remind us when we grow weary, you are the place of rest and the energy source we most need. When we are tempted to take things back over into our own control, remind us that you are the King of the World and we can trust you as our refuge and fortress. Help us to be confident even when we feel weak and like we are failing. We are already conquerors through your son Jesus and it is in his name we pray, Amen.