Saturday, March 9, 2013

{day twenty one} at the foot of the place I lay down second place...

There are moments in this life when you don't get first place.  Or even chosen at all.  It may hurt and cause pain that only your heart knows, but it is a hard fact of life.

I was reflecting on this yesterday as I was doing my best to encourage my precious niece.  She is one brilliantly talented and breathtakingly beautiful young lady.  But yesterday, she learned the hard lesson of not being chosen.  My heart broke for her.  Not so much because she wasn't chosen.  More because I desperately want her to understand the beauty in not always being first.  I want to lean on the promise that He has chosen her for specific purpose.  I pray her heart sees His plan through the pain.  I pray she recognizes His call on her life and grows bold to that calling.

I find it not the least bit ironic that I had to deal with my own issues of this with the rising sun.  I suppose I had been dealing with it a bit, or pushing it to the side all week.  But this morning, the reminder of taking second place hit me like a steam roller.

There was someone who came first.  Which left me in second place.

The Enemy can have a field day with my heart when I allow him room to slither in and speak louder than Truth.  I found myself in that very place as I was getting dressed this morning.

The air felt thick as I struggled to catch my breath.  My waist felt thicker.  Sucking in caused even more struggle and less air.  I agonized over what to wear.  Something stylish, but not like I was trying too hard.  And for goodness sake, please let it be a good hair day.  Not like yesterday.  I put a fresh coat of polish on my nails and even flossed for teeth.  For crying out loud.  Who am I?  

I am the woman who would come face to face with the first place winner today.

So, I listened to the Enemy and starting comparing all the ways I fell short.  From a second place view, that only sees the first place winner, the beauty in the story loses it meaning.  The louder the screams, the more I tried to polish up.  The more I needed second place to look {and feel} desirable.  Chosen.  Accepted.  

As we are rushing out the door, my eyes feel on the very Scripture I had read just an hour earlier.  A Scripture that washed over my soul and spoke sweetness to my spirit.  Verses that gripped so tightly to my heart that I could barely finish my cup of coffee.

Oh how quickly I forget.  So, very, very quickly.

We were running late.  But I felt God calling me back to His sweet, sweet words.  Words that soothed my heart.  Words that spoke gently to my shaking soul.  Words that needed to be heard louder than the lies.  I took a few extra minutes to read again His words of knowing.  His words of acknowledgement.  His words of acceptance.  His voice never fails to draw me to my knees.

Lord, you have seen what is in my heart.
    You know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
    You know what I’m thinking even though you are far away.
You know when I go out to work and when I come back home.
    You know exactly how I live.
Lord, even before I speak a word,
    you know all about it.
Psalm 139:1-4

God knows me.  He knows everything about me.  I can't say that about another person.  But He knows me intimately and discreetly.  And He knew exactly what I would be struggling with this morning.  Which makes these words all the more sweet.

You are all around me. 
You are behind me and in front of me.
    You hold me in your power.
I’m amazed at how well you know me.
    It’s more than I can understand.
Psalm 139:5-6

God stands in the gap between my past {with all the hurts and mistakes} and my present {with all my forgetfulness of Truth and struggles for control}.  He goes before me in my future, all while keeping His gentle hand on me at all times.  He knew I would struggle with not being first.  So, He prepared the way.  Not only for this day, but for all the days when I would lose sight of His plan over our lives. And He still cared enough to remind that I am chosen.  If by no one else, but Him.

God, your thoughts about me are priceless.
    No one can possibly add them all up.
If I could count them,
    they would be more than the grains of sand.
If I were to fall asleep counting 
and then wake up,
    you would still be there with me.
Psalm 139: 17-18

God's thoughts about me are a whole lot kinder than mine.  His kind thoughts are innumerable.  And precious.  It was exactly what this heart of mine needed on a bright, sunny Saturday morning.

God, examine me and know my mind.
    Test me and know all my worries.
Make sure that I am not going the wrong way.
    Lead me on the path 
that has always been right.
Psalm 139: 23-24

My God knew this morning that I would struggle being chosen.  And He knew I would need the savory taste of words as sweet as honey.  Words that reminded me that He handcrafted me and chose me.  He handpicked me for this life I am living.  And sometimes, on mornings like today, He has to scoop me up in His warm embrace and then place me back on the right path.

I may not always get first place.  I may not even get chosen.

But I will always be chosen, loved and redeemed by Jesus.  Always.  It makes second place a whole lot sweeter.

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