He is better. Covid Questions.

There are several things I don’t like about being a Christian. A few things Jesus said rub me the wrong way. Some of his ways are difficult to follow. Some of his teachings are challenging to swallow. But there comes a point in our faith where we have to decide – what is better?

Is what Jesus has to offer better than what it costs to follow him? 

In the context of surrendering our ‘why’, the question may sound a bit more like this…

Is knowing the answer to your ‘why’ better than finding freedom in Christ and living out the fullness God has to offer? 

When I look at that question in print, it feels ridiculous to even write it. 

Of course we would choose Freedom in Christ…..

I didn’t. I didn’t for 16 years. 

Most people don’t either. 

Why is that? 

Because we don’t know what we are missing. Hindsight is 20/20. When I was obsessed with answering my ‘why’, I didn’t even realize it. At the time, I couldn’t articulate that my ‘why’ created a blind spot and it kept me from seeing who God truly is. I came to believe that is what faith looked liked. I subconsciously believed following Jesus was a hard, long journey I had been called to endure. I thought for some reason I had a target on my head for God to throw darts of hardship my way. 

Photo by Marc on Pexels.com

But I was wrong. 

Being on the other side of surrendering my “why’, I can’t tell you if I believe God causes hardship or just allows it because we live in a fallen world. I don’t know. But I am sure of one thing, God makes good out of bad. The whole time I thought God was bringing hardship my way to make me tougher and develop my character – he was actually just trying to reveal my blind spots. He was using the trials and stress to bring me closer and closer to a place of brokenness. He knew that only in a place of brokenness would I be able to finally see who he was and experience the fullness he had to offer. 

He knew what he had to offer was better than what I had settled for. 

I’m so glad he didn’t give up on me.

I’m glad he didn’t give up because now the freedom I have experienced after surrendering my ‘why’ makes the ‘why’ question seem irrelevant. 

Your journey to get to that place of surrender is going to be different than mine. You may not experience as many hardships along the way, but regardless of our path I believe we all must get to a place where, deep in our soul, we can honestly say – God you are better. We have to come to a place where we truly believe whatever God has on the other side of surrendering our ‘why’ is better than knowing all the answers. 

If I were you, I would be thinking, that’s a great idea Lisa – but how do you get to that place? 

I thought you would never ask. 

Pray. I recognize that on this side of the struggle, it’s easy to make the process sound easy and simple. My journey to surrendering my ‘why’ was anything but simple. It was painful and confusing. But like I mentioned, part of the reason it took me so long to surrender my ‘why’ is I didn’t realize my ‘why’ had become a blind spot. So let me spare you years of pain and hardship. Ask God “Am I allowing my ‘why’ to keep me from experiencing the fullness of who you are?” God has already shown us through the cross he will go to the greatest lengths to bridge the gap between him and his people. If you ask with a sincere heart, I PROMISE you God will reveal your blind spots to you. 

Find glimpses. Find people around you whom you think are walking in the freedom and fullness Christ has to offer. If you know don’t anyone like that, find some biographies to read of people who give up everything, yet gain everything. Being reminded of what you don’t have, but have access to, hopefully will motivate you to keep fighting for freedom.

Ask yourself hard questions.What answer could God give you that would satisfy your ‘why’ question? When I actually sat back and thought about it, I could not come up with an answer that would truly satisfy my ‘why’.  “Why does it feel so important to you to understand ‘why’? Take time to think through those questions. 

Start a better than list. Faith plays a huge piece in surrendering your ‘whys’, but there is also a bit of logic to consider. Is knowing ‘why’ better than freedom in Christ? Make a list of reasons why surrendering your ‘why’ is better. 

Look for the good. Over the last several years, I have found a lot of comfort in the simple truth that God makes good out of bad. Although I would love to avoid the pain altogether, it helps me to know that there is purpose in what I am going through.  

The reason I write is so that people can learn from my mistakes. So please take some time to pray. Ask God if there is a ‘why’ in your life that has created a blind spot keeping you from seeing who he really is. Find glimpses of what life has to offer on the other side of surrender. Ask yourself hard questions and be honest in your answers. Cling to the truth that God makes good out of bad. 

I believe if you commit to doing those things, in the not so distant future you will be able to say from the bottom of our soul – He is better.

Because there is more,

Lisa

Each day this week I will be providing daily journal prompts and thoughts based on this post. Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss anything!

I don’t know. Day 6.

If you missed yesterday’s post, read that first. Each post this week will build on one another.

Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

I believe at the heart of surrender is brokenness.

This is the definition of brokenness we are working off of. “In the positive spiritual sense, brokenness is the condition of being completely subdued and humbled before the Lord, and as a result, completely yielded to and dependent upon Him also.” (deeptruths.com)

We took a closer look at what is means to be humble, subdued, yielded and dependentto surrender.

So after a taking a deeper look at surrender and brokenness this week I just have one question for you.

What does it mean to surrender your ‘why’?

Tomorrow I am going to share my next blog in my current series, Covid Questions. In the mean time, grab your journal and keep on writing.

Because there is more,

Lisa

I don’t know. Day 5.

If you missed yesterday’s post, read that first. Each post this week will build on one another.

Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

I believe that at the heart of surrender is brokenness. We are taking a closer look at what that means.

Here is the definition that we are working off of. “In the positive spiritual sense, brokenness is the condition of being completely subdued and humbled before the Lord, and as a result, completely yielded to and dependent upon Him also.” (deeptruths.com)

Today we are going to look at the definitions of the words subdued, yielded and dependent.

Subdued speaks of bringing something or someone under control. In war it happens by force, but with God we always have choice. We choose whether or not we put our life under God’s control.

To Yield means “to surrender or submit, as to superior power.” (Dictonary.com)

Dependent: “relying on someone or something else for aid, support, etc.” (Dictonary.com)

Journal questions for the day.

What does subdued mean in the context of surrender?

What does it mean to be yielded to God?

How are you dependent on God?

How do these words different from each other? How are they similar?

More tomorrow,

Lisa

I don’t know. Day 4.

If you missed yesterday’s post, read that first. Each post this week will build on one another.

Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

I believe at the heart of surrender is brokenness.

This is the definition of brokenness we are working off of. “In the positive spiritual sense, brokenness is the condition of being completely subdued and humbled before the Lord, and as a result, completely yielded to and dependent upon Him also.” (deeptruths.com)

Today I want us to take a closer look at the word humbled. I have really struggled with what humility means. I have seen a lot of examples of false humility, but what does true humility look like? Is it wrong to proud of something you worked really hard on? I went on a quest to find out. As a result of my search, I have started to see humility like this: We can do great things, but God can always do it better. Humility is knowing your place in relationship to God.

Journal questions for today.

1. How would you define humility?

2. How do you think humility and surrender are linked?

More tomorrow,

Lisa

I don’t know. Day 3.

If you missed yesterday’s post, read that first. Each post this week will build on one another.

Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

Yesterday I mentioned that at the heart of surrender is brokenness. I asked you to process through three questions. 1. What words come to mind when you think of brokenness? 2. Have you ever felt this way? 3. Why do you think brokenness is at the heart of surrender?

I don’t believe that you can truly surrender until you come to a place of brokenness. For a lot of us (like me) we had to hit rock bottom in order to experience spiritual brokenness. I don’t believe that is always the case.

We are going dig a little deeper over the next few days about what I mean when I refer to brokenness. Here is the best definition of spiritual brokenness I have found. I found it on deeptruths.com

Definition: “In the positive spiritual sense, brokenness is the condition of being completely subdued and humbled before the Lord, and as a result, completely yielded to and dependent upon Him also.”

Journal questions for today:

What parts of this definition do you agree or disagree with?

What words stick out to you?

More tomorrow,

Lisa

I don’t know. Day 2.

If you missed yesterday’s post, read that first. Each post this week will build on one another.

Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

Yesterday I asked what answers people have given you to the question, why do bad things happen to good people? I would love to hear your answers.

At the end of my blog post on Thursday I shared that I came to a place in my life where I surrendered my ‘why‘. To read more about that experience, check this post out.

If I was reading about someone else’s experience of surrender, before I experienced it myself, I would have been skeptical. I would have thought, that sounds great – but how to do you that? That is the question we are going to explore over the next few days. How do we surrender? What does it mean to surrender?

Keep in mind two things as we dig in.

1. As I write about my experience of surrender it can sound like it was quick and easy. That experience was 16 years in the making.

2. Also, keep in mind that surrender is not a one time experience, I have to surrender my ‘why’s’ to God daily.

First things first. Brokenness

I have found that at the heart of surrender is brokenness. I’ll share my definition with you tomorrow, but today I want you to come up with your own.

Journal questions for the day.

What words come to mind when you think of brokenness? Rock Bottom? Lost? Humbled? Devastated?

Have you ever felt that way?

What is your definition of brokenness?

Why do you think that brokenness is at the heart of surrender?

More tomorrow,

Lisa

I don’t know. Day 1.

If you missed yesterday’s post, start there. Each post this week will build on one another.

First, things first. Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

In yesterday’s post I shared about answers people gave me to the question of ‘why’. People had a lot of thoughts about why bad things happen to good people.

What answers have people given you?

I want you to take some time and write them down. With each answer write about how you feel about that answer. Do you believe it? How does it make you feel? Do you feel defensive? Does it make you feel angry?

If you are struggling to know where to start, take a look at these. These are the common answers people gave me.

God allows bad things to happen so that people can see his power and glory. The story of Lazarus is the prime example. Lazarus’s sisters came to Jesus begging him to come and heal Lazarus. John 11:4 tells us that ““When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’”

God allows bad things to happen to good people because God uses it to develop perseverance and character. I don’t know how many times I heard James 1:2-4 quoted to me. It states “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” 

God sees the big picture. Each human has an important role to play in the world. God sees the whole picture. Our actions and experiences have ripple effects. Our struggles could lead to someone else’s victory. 

I would love to hear your answers! If you feel comfortable, comment below. Or send me an email: Lisdschmidt@gmail.com.

More tomorrow,

Lisa