Faith y’all. Faith.
Faith without works is dead. James 2:17. The whole chapter is worth reading.
My brain is finna feel dead. I have four posts to edit in addition to the four? I’ve finished and Proverbs 21. Sheesh. It’s my fault though. Poor planning and time management. Digression.
But, works require us to do something. God gives us insight and wisdom on how to obtain some things that we pray for. Either we miss it or are stubborn, obstinate, don’t want to do it His way.
If we do nothing the faith we had to ask for it or believe it would happen dies. Why? Because we do not obtain what we believed through our failure to act.
There are some things and miracles God just does and gives. I’m not talking about that.
I want to lose weight. I want to drink more water. I asked God for help. This isn’t the first time. I have tried.
I didn’t love exercising. I didn’t love water. Usually didn’t drink much of anything unless it came with the meal and could eat without any beverage. Didn’t love the outdoors. Ion like weather extremes after living in the cold midwest and hot south and not being out in it much as a child.
Something happened in the middle of the pandemic. Y’all, for my Apostolic/Pentecostal/Holiness/well informed folk, I just quickened.
In the middle of death. In the middle of devastation. In the middle of uncertainty. In the middle of chaos. In the middle of confusion. In the middle of confinement. In the middle of quarantine. In the middle of loss. While I was essential personnel. While I worked every scheduled shift unless I requested off. I lost weight while others gained it.
I would love to say I worked hard. But I didn’t really work at all. I just stopped eating more than one maybe two meals. It was really laziness. I was staying up after I got off at midnight and sleeping or not wanting to go get food. I wasn’t cooking. I feel like I may have said some of this elsewhere. Forgive me. It’s worth repeating.
Once I saw what I had done while accidentally, inadvertently intermittently fasting, I was sold. I bought a half-gallon igloo and decided to drink my water. I started craving it.
I started walking in the park and loved it. I get irritable, definitely today, when I can’t go outside and walk due to the weather. I have been out in walking in the teens or low twenties at the coldest. I just bundle up. I have come to love, love, love God’s nature.
I don’t just eat vegetables and healthily. As a matter of fact, I lost weight eating junk and fast food. I stopped most of the bad stuff at first. I don’t eat nearly as much junk as before. My water intake has slowed. As has the exercise. Moving and having a different lifestyle is an interesting adjustment. But somehow, I am still losing.
I have worked my faith and God has been gracious to me.
Whatever you are believing God for, figure out what your part is. And walk it out. Work it. He just may be waiting on you.
First off. These are huge. Second. There are pictures of dirt and trash. Look away if you want. It will make sense in the end.
I was at someone’s home who has a dog. But the dog gets sick if it eats random crap. In order to let the dog be free and not get fussed at for eating stuff, I decided to vacuum the floor where the dog is allowed to roam.
As I vacuumed, it seemed like it wasn’t picking up what I was vacuuming. As you can see below, the tank looked empty. I was confused. So, I took it off and looked inside. All of that clumped stuff in the middle was in the hole on the vacuum and in the part that connects one of the hoses.
Since I cleaned the vacuum, I decided to just sweep up what was left after picking up the clumps. No need in dirtying up what I had JUST cleaned with the same dirt.
I put the vacuum back together and swept the carpet. I took the vacuum apart again and this is what I saw.
Now at first, I thought maybe I had missed all of that in the tank. But when I looked at the pictures again, I didn’t think that was the case. I think that is a bunch of dog hair.
That is what the filter looked like. I had a bag less vacuum and when it got dirty I washed off the filter. I decided to do that this time too.
I think I failed to upload a pic. Ion care. I’m not going to. Just know, it looked better when I applied water before applying any soap. This pic is after water and soap.
I told the person I washed it and they questioned me since it was going to get dirty again. They said they never thought to clean it. I let them know that I had before and at least it would be clean.
I have had several thoughts and lessons flit, come through my mind while typing this and intially forever ago when I created the post.
First of all. We may look clean but there is a whole lot of mess and stuff in us. If we don’t clean it out we will not work properly. Huh. Sounds similar to what I just wrote in Still There. This was a draft before that. I guess I had the same thought again though since it got published first.
Second. If there is more than one way to do something, and you have made progress with one way, why not try it another way? Aaaaaand. If you have cleaned up one area, don’t just mess it up again because it is easy to do what you have done.
I could have just vacuumed up the leftover dirt from pulling the packed dirt out. But why? A broom and dust pan is just as effective. I didn’t just do what was easy or what I had done and plug it back in and vacuum it back up.
Third. If we do use the same methods, go the same way, we may just have to clean again. But in a different way. Some different issue or consequence will arise. We don’t necessarily reap the way we sow or reap the same way we have reaped before (Galatians 6:7-8). I used the same vacuum on a different surface in a different area. I thought I missed the dirt. But, upon further inspection, it was different dirt in a different area of the vacuum.
Fourth and finally, just because all looked well and clean, that was NOT the case. In the pic of the trash can, it appears that the filter may just be dirty from the way I dumped the tank. However, upon further inspection when I flipped it, it was FILTHY. It was hidden.
What are we hiding? What have we cleaned some, cleaned one way, given to God some, given to Him one way but left dirty, held on to? He knows it ALL. Just give it ALL to Him. He wants it. He can handle it. Let Him be God! Let Him give us what He has promised us!
Galatians 6:9 (KJV) promises us good news: let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
I did not give up. I kept looking and made sure I found all of the dirt. I didn’t wash or wipe the whole thing. Just the filter. But my diligence, persistence, the fact that I kept going, ensured that the vacuum was cleaner and capable of functioning properly. Unlike the condition I found it.
Fooling with the vacuum wasn’t that hard. Examining myself sometimes is. I don’t always wanna act right. I don’t always wanna say the right thing. I just wanna be in my lil fleshly feelings. I mess up.
However, I am doing the hard work of trying to emulate, be like my friend, my brother, my lord, my savior, my Jesus. It has not been easy. It has hurt. It has been confusing. Like why that thang was dirty but I saw nothing.
But guess what? I see change. I see growth. I am obtaining the fruit of the spirit. I am hearing from God and getting alla this revelation in ways I wasn’t before.
I am cleaning my life, my relationships, my emotions, my mind, what I consume (entertainment, food, and conversation). I am making room and space for my relationship with Jesus.
Like I said the other day, it looks a mess on the outside. But, to me, this is the best life I have lived thus far. I’m content in the state I find myself in (Philippians 4:11).