I felt like such a hypocrite. I was sitting at my Bible study desk preparing to teach a lesson on Hebrews Chapter 6. In this passage, we look at Abraham, the great man of old, who through “faith and patience” inherited the promises of God. Then, I looked at my own life and faith compared to Abraham’s. The enemy came in low and strong and dealt me a devastating punch.
“Lisa, you are such a hypocrite. How can you teach about faith when you don’t have any?”
The phone rang. I was out working in the yard, enjoying my flowers, but I decided to run into the garage to grab it. It was a friend in crisis calling for prayer, like many friends before her. I found a quiet spot in the house to sit and fully listen to her story. She had made a mistake on her taxes and potentially owed the government $13,000. $13,000! I did not know what to say, other than “Wow,” so I offered to pray for her. And as I listened to Holy Spirit and prayed for her, these keys for surviving a crisis emerged.
Head hanging low like a guilty child, I slowly make my way into God’s presence. There have been times when I have run boldly into His presence, but today is not one of those days. Today is one of those days that I am struggling to believe that God’s cares about me. I feel guilty for not believing in and standing on His Word. I’m not convinced that God is going to move on my behalf. And as I come before Him, I sadly have little faith that He is going to “fix” my problems. If the currency of heaven is faith, then I am surely broke.
I love the book of Hebrews. I studied it and taught it all last summer, and I am studying it and teaching it now on Facebook Live. I hope to teach it this summer, too, at my church. It is one of my favorite books of the Bible because it encourages me in knowing that I can approach God’s throne with full confidence. It is also full of warnings and exhortations that challenge me.
It is time to go to sleep. My head is on the pillow, my eyes are closed, but the tears are flowing. Two hours ago I taught an amazing Bible study. People were encouraged. People were challenged. People met God. I should be filled with joy but instead my soul is tossing and turning with guilt and shame. I taught tonight about being like Jesus, but in the quiet of my home, I feel as far from it as possible. Everyone around me has faith to believe that God will heal my chronic migraines, but I’m sorry, I’m just not convinced. I struggle to believe.
I close my eyes tight and ask God, “What is wrong with me? How can I teach your Word with great power and anointing, but I can’t believe you will do the simplest of things for me? People think that I’m this great woman of God, but really I’m not. I don’t have a steadfast faith that is able to weather the storms. I am not able to ask that you will heal me, believing that you will, because really, I’m not sure (Mark 11:34). I know that You can heal me, but I’m not certain that You will. (more…)
“In Jesus Name, Amen.” I came down from the stage, took off the headset microphone, and breathed a sigh of relief. I had just completed teaching the first week of an 8 week Bible study. I had expected to teach to a crowd of around 40 people,and around 80 showed up. The teaching had gone SO WELL and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I should be on cloud 9, right? Instead, I was an emotional mess.
That night, I could not sleep. I could see the room full of people. I heard the words I had spoken over and over. My insecure self, that Lisa that I have been trying to banish for 44 years, questioned everything that I said and did and made note of all of my mistakes. Why did I say THAT? What are people thinking about me? And what was I thinking, agreeing to teach an 8 week Bible study? Clearly I was NOT thinking. My stomach was a ball of nerves as I considered being on that stage again, seven more times, in front of all of those people.
AAAAHHHH! What was I thinking?
I’m laying on a bed in the ER. My feet are freezing cold, that’s for sure. An angel dressed in scrubs just brought me a warm blanket and I’m feeling it’s comfort. My husband is sitting quietly on a bench reading on his iPad, and my teenage children have been left at home, alone. I’m texting all of my praying friends and distracting myself from the seriousness in the room with Facebook.