Dear Forgotten One

You are not forgotten.

It may seem like it. Only you know how long you’ve been where you are, stuck and on repeat.

It’s easy to think nothing in your corner is moving when those outside of it speed through milestones that you haven’t reached yet, that you’re not even sure will happen in your lifetime. (Maybe in another one or maybe if you had unlimited time, but definitely not within this current timeframe.)

As time whiplashes you, I want to remind you that you are not forgotten. When eyes overlook you, rendering you invisible, remember that you are seen.

When the phone doesn’t ring, and opportunity hits up everyone else and their mamas, you still matter. You are important. No matter what is happening (or not), the world would be a different place without you. 

You matter.

And your feelings matter as well, but there is a greater reality beyond what you are experiencing: God sees you, and He knows you. He knows the good plans that He has for you, and those plans, full of hope, will unfold in His timing: His good and perfect timing.

But His clock works a bit differently than ours. He lives outside the construct of time; He lives in eternity. So when you’re waiting for Him sometimes it feels as though God comes through just around the midnight hour. He slides in right before you lose that last flimsy thread of hope, yet... yet you’ll always realize He’s never late: God is always right on time.

Never early, but He won’t leave you hanging.

I know what you’re thinking: where is He though?

Well, I don’t think you need to worry about where God is. It’s not something that needs to be questioned. His location has never changed. Everything around you may fluctuate, yet the truth remains that God is with you, forever. He is working on your behalf, forever.

He will leave you never.

Don’t believe me?

In Numbers 22, while the Israelites rested from battle, a neighboring nation, Moab, has been filled with dread because the Israelites overtook the surrounding land. Balak, a Moabite, summons Balaam, a person who was able to curse and bless people, and he wanted Balaam to curse the Israelites so that he may destroy them before they overtook his home.

And God opposed Balaam every step of the way. From the moment Balaam received the Moabite’s message, God told him not to curse what He has blessed. God even used a talking donkey to deter that man from going against His chosen people.

A talking donkey!

But Balaam didn’t listen and kept it moving right to the point where he stood on the mountaintop with Balak, overlooking the Israelites who “cover[ed] the face of the earth.”

And after setting up the scene with his seven burnt offerings, the Moabite expectantly looked to Balaam. Surely, the oracle will curse the opposing nation.

He didn’t. Three times Balaam approached God, expecting a different answer, and he returned each time to say the same thing, “Bless the Israelites.” And on top of that, Balaam cursed the Moabites and everyone else who wanted to see the Israelites destroyed.

To say the least, Balak was pissed off. He offered many riches to the diviner, yet nothing changed. And the Israelites were none the wiser.

They were chilling in the valley, not knowing what was going on overhead. They were covered; they were protected. A weapon was formed, but it did not prosper because God was with them.

It may seem like nothing is happening in your world, but you have no clue what God is doing behind the scenes. In the stillness, in the quiet, God is working for your good. Even in the moments when frustration and desperation have a chokehold on you, your answer is on the way.

In Daniel 10, a vision devastated Daniel, and he didn't eat or drink anything fancy for three weeks. He didn't even lotion himself; he stayed ashy for nearly a month. And while he mourned about the vision's content, no answer came forth.

Radio silence until the 24th day (three days after he used moisturizer-- and yes that matters, I am sure of it). An angel came with an answer, but also an explanation: The Persian kingdom held him up. He would have shown up the moment that Daniel sought God's face, however, it was out of his control. Persia had to be handled. Daniel was not forgotten- the answer was in transit.

Don’t give in to the lie that you are forgotten, that you are unseen, that you don’t matter. The moment you turned your heart towards God, the moment you called out His name, He came running towards you. It may seem that He is slow in answering, but you can trust that the breakthrough, the opportunity is coming.

Besides how could He forget you when He gave up everything to be with you? When He etched you on the palm of His hands?

To Him, you are unforgettable.

Don’t forget that.

Perfect Conditions: Dried Up, Empty, Formless

One thing that I love about God is His power of resurrection, His power of creation.

In the beginning, He hovered over the unformed earth, undeterred by the chaos and darkness. In Ezekiel, He stood in a graveyard, unbothered by the dead and the decay.

God doesn’t stand far from what drives us crazy: the half-baked plans, the discarded dreams, the uncertainty, the unknown. He draws in close to the things we want to hide. God loves the mystery, the insecurities, the doubts because He knows the answer to all of these, including the fear.

He is the solution. God is the answer; it’s as simple as that.

It was never up to us alone to do what He has called us to do. The earth didn’t create light and divide night from day on its own, and neither did the Israelites revive themselves and shake off their grave clothes.

God did that.

Not once has He asked of anyone or anything to do something beyond their pay grade.

All He has asked was for us to believe Him to do what He said.

The new fledging planet could do nothing but receive His word, “Let there by light.” The cemetery had no clue that among the gravestones stood Life Himself, ready with the command that would invite living breath back into those dried bones.

In darkness, light shone through. In death, life came to reign. It didn’t make sense.

It still doesn’t have to make sense; if God’s promise did, then we wouldn’t need Him. We would just go ahead and accomplish it ourselves.

But what is hope if it’s something that we could see, if it’s something that we already have?

It is not hope, and it requires no faith. God is not in the business of building up a hopeless and faithless generation.

He’s never asked of us to do anything on our own. We have never had a desire, an expectation, a goal where He stood back to watch us struggle in our strength to completion.

He comes close to help, to set up His strength within our weaknesses.

Where are your dried bones?
God will raise them up again.
Where is your darkness?
God will light it up.
Where is your emptiness?
God will cause you to overflow in those places.

Where are you? Where are you with the resolutions of this year? Where are you in relation to your five year plan?

Wherever you may find yourself as we approach the seventh month of this year, know that God wants to pick up where you left off.

God wants to be the one to bring His word that resides in you to completion.

He can certainly do it. It doesn't matter how long your dream has been dormant. God is the God of resurrection.

It doesn't matter how fragile and shapeless your desire is. God is the God of creation.

All you have to do is believe. Trust Him and His Word.

He is both willing and able.

Burying Your Talent?

I just keep thinking about the servant who buried the talent that his master entrusted to him.

His excuses are on repeat in my mind:

  1. Master is a hard man
  2. Master reaps where he does not sow
  3. Master gathers where he scattered no seed
  4. Fear-- the servant was scared.
He hid that one talent under a heap of justification of why he did nothing with his master's talent.

I'm standing over the gravesite of the hidden talent, and I hear, "Even here, I can still do it."

God can still do it in the graveyard of broken dreams and forsaken goals.

He can, and He did.

Let's go through the list:
  • Abraham was one-hundred years old when he had Isaac. We all know Sarah's womb was defunct at the age of ninety-nine. That alone should encourage us that impossibility is not an issue for God. He is able.
  • Noah had no idea how to build an ark, but God instructed him-- God gave him the blueprints to make it happen.
  • Gideon hid from the Philistines, but God called him a mighty warrior, who then led an army of 300 men that defeated forces more than ten times their size.
  • Because of God's grace in his life, Joseph climbed the social ladder from the prison to the palace.
  • The walls of Jericho, the most fortified town of that time, came down with shouts of praise from an otherwise ill-equipped people.
  • John the Baptist had no Instagram, no Facebook live feed and no Twitter following. In the desert, he just had his voice to bring about repentance in Israel, and the masses came.
Now that's just about 0.000000000000000009% of God's resume. He did so much more with the outcast and the overlooked.

And He's willing to do greater with you.

It's not complicated. Yes, it's hard, but the excuses that are holding you back, the reasons you think God cannot do it, are the very reasons why He wants to do it through you.

There is nothing (inward or outward) that can disqualify you from God's calling over your life; if there was, that would mean the cross is useless: Jesus would have died for nothing then.

But that's not the truth. His blood covers everything-- a multitude of sins and excuses.

You are free to do what He assigned you.

Even in the graveyard, under all the dirt and mess you've placed above your talent, God can and will do it here and now.

And I know that the excuses don't disappear. If they do, they come back more sinister, more warped than before, but God is not intimidated by them. Neither should you be.

If the servant was willing to not just acknowledge his justifications, but challenge them as well, those lies would have fallen away.

Maybe the Master's goodness would have been revealed to him if he took that one step. Maybe the servant would have noticed his Master's hand in places that he thought were void of the Master's workings. Maybe the fear of upsetting the Master would have gave way with the realization that remaining stagnant, living stuck pissed Him off so much more than making a mistake.

Excuses are reality until they are not.

When you take that first step you realize, "It's not as bad as I made it out to be."

Yea, you don't have the funds, but that's not your forever.
Yea, you aren't good enough now, but that's not your forever if you choose to invest in it anyway.
Yea, you have five followers, but if you keep typing, keep speaking, keep going that number can grow.

But you'll never know if you keep the talent buried; if you hide the light He's placed inside of you, the circumstances that keep you timid will not change.

What are you waiting for?

You're in the most perfect position; yes, knee deep in dirt is perfect. Water that talent with the Word of God. Feed it with your dedication and discipline. Let His light shine through it, and watch it grow.