- Navigating reasonable frustration
- Psalm 1:18-24
- Philippians 3:13
- Rejoicing in the Lord
- Dealing with the “waiting” and uncertainty from COVID-19 crisis
The following is a full transcript of a Facebook Live, where Susie is speaking extemporaneously – she is unscripted and unedited.
Hi friends, Susie Miller here. It is Friday, Friday. And depending on what state you live in, it is the end of week, either four or five, I’m going to move this cause there’s a reflection. There we go. Okay. So depending on what state you live in, it is the end of week four or five. Tell me in the comments below, are you at the end of week four of self-quarantine or safe at home or shelter in place? Are you at the end of week five? Because either way, it is a long, long, long time to be home with all your people, with all yourself, with all your work, with all your thoughts, with all your kiddos, with all the people all the time. And I don’t know about you, but even with all the people, there’s also with all the me, with all the self, with all the stuff going on for us.
And that is a lot in this time that we’re in, in this Corona crisis, Corona quarantine, Coronavirus, time of our country. And we’re all kind of waiting, waiting, April 30th is coming. We’re waiting to find out what’s next. There was, you know, some States have extended. Some we’re still waiting, but a lot of us are dealing with not knowing when this is going to end. And even then when it ends, what that’s going to look like, just found out from some friends that their kiddos school has been called for the rest of the year. Other people, they called school really early on. So we are all in these weird places of not being sure, not knowing, not knowing what our friends, neighbors, family are doing. And it is just hard. And so today we are going to have hashtag faith field Friday because I want to talk with you today at least once a week, about better relationships with God.
And I’ve picked Fridays for that. Moving forward, I would also love to hear from you, I’m going to do a poll on this page and my other page about the number of times a week, if twice a week is better three times a week right now I’ve been doing every day and I love coming out and talking with you guys, but I think I’m going to try to consolidate it a bit so we can have a few more longer focused times that might be a better thing for all of us. So let me know your thoughts in the comments. So today that would just help me out. So today for faith-filled Friday, Hey, hi, Karen. Good to see you glad you’re here. I’m going to talk to you about something that kind of, I actually looked out at my notes cause I made some notes this morning in my time with the Lord about what to share with you guys, because I know for me as I’ve been struggling and wrestling and a lot of questions that come up about, you know, how we walk with God in this, how we find peace in this.
And so the other day I was, Oh, sorry, the other day I got up and I was in that kind of morning, get ready mode. And usually, I get up, I have coffee, I spend some time with Jesus. I have the luxury of doing that before I start my day. And I woke up to a text from a, I did a webinar for a church and it was going to air that day. And there was a link. This is way probably more information, but there was a link to a free download to help out with just, you know, kind of what we had talked about in terms of, you know, marriage and relationships and it wasn’t working. And I am about, I am not techie at all. It is not, my strong suit is not my spiritual gift. It is not anywhere in the purview of my abilities.
I am so bad at it and so much so that sometimes I’m afraid to go on my site because I’m afraid I’m gonna crash something, but there was a problem with the link. And so I’m getting texts, I’m getting, you know, getting my tech person, trying to get them. And again, it’s the, you know, it’s seven or eight o’clock in the morning here on PST. So it’s, you know, almost noon 11 Eastern time, sorry, doing time zones is another bane of my existence as we traveled the country. But they needed it to be working within the hour and they’re making slides and they’re doing all their production stuff. And so I’m getting texts. I’m texting my tech guy, tried to figure it out, figure it all out. And I was just overcome with this just frustration and grumpiness and just, this is not the way I want to start my day.
I can’t fix it. I felt totally out of control and totally unable to do anything to make it better. And all of a sudden I realized, Oh, probably this is a reasonable frustration. Think about the volume on a, on a like radio or stereo, maybe about a four, but it was coming out of the seven or eight. So immediately I knew it was more about something going on inside of me, something, you know, I was frustrated and feeling out of control and other areas of my life, unable to make things work in ways I wanted them to work in other areas of my life. How many of you are feeling that way? Give me a thumbs up. If you’re feeling that way, we, I would venture all of us so we should see lots of thumbs up. We’re all feeling out of control in an area of our lives, in this bigger area of coronavirus and it’s impacting all the other areas of our life.
So I tell you that story because as we kinda got the tech, literally I think it was 8:57. I got the final text to number. I’m sending it to them, hoping 8:55, they can fix it. 8:57. I get a text from them saying it’s working. Woo. But that hour was frustrating and kind of high stress. Again, because I couldn’t do anything, but wait for people to come and make it work. My tech person. And I feel like we’re in that place, we’re waiting for someone else to make decisions that then we can decide how we’re going to live with them, what we’re going to do with them. And this out-of-control, powerless feeling makes us very, either angry, despondent, frustrated, sad, all the feelings. So that all happened. And then I sat down to have my kind of time with the Lord. My quiet time opened up my devotional for the day. And literally, this is what it said.
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice
And be glad in it. And it was from Psalm 118:24. And I literally cracked up because, after that, it was so clear, there was nothing joyful in what I was doing or feeling or, or emanating. In my case, my countenance, I wasn’t joyful. I was frustrated and I laughed out loud because I thought, how pertinent, how on point that, you know, God says in the midst of your circumstances,
Rejoice, rejoice, this is the day,
the Lord has made rejoice and be glad in it and rejoice in the Lord. And I just laugh because what a good reminder of the fact that we have a choice, we have a choice, of what to do. And sometimes we love choice. We love that. We get to choose. We love that we get to have and we’re all facing the reality of not having a choice right now. And we’re angsty and we’re frustrated. So, you know, we’re talking about wanting our choices back. And so God comes down in the midst of this and says, okay, choose to rejoice, choose to be glad. And in those moments, I’m like, Hmm, not so happy about choice. I would like to not be responsible for my attitude, my countenance, how I deal with the world. I don’t want to have that choice. I want, do I have these choices?
But as you know, it doesn’t work that way. We have all the choices. And so in this time, I was like, Hmm, rejoice in the Lord, rejoice today. Because God has made this day. And so I paused for a moment and I thought, what could I rejoice about? And so then this morning, as I was thinking about sharing this, I actually looked up what the word rejoice can mean in the, in the scriptures and basically, and also in the dictionary. And it says, exalt, revel, be overjoyed. These are some, you know, great joy delight, rejoice but revel and overjoyed. Those are some big positive feelings. And I was having a lot of feelings, a lot of big feelings, but they weren’t so positive. And here’s, what’s interesting. The antonym of rejoice, the only one that showed up when I Googled antonym was, be sad.
And so I thought about that. I thought, okay. We can choose to rejoice, or we can choose to not to be sad. now, we to live from that place. I’m not saying that we don’t feel sad and we’re not struggling but in the middle of all that God says rejoice. And what does he say to rejoice in. that was the key for me because I’m not rejoicing in my circumstances right now. I don’t know about you, but give me a thumbs up. Give me a, Oh yes, sister. Amen. If your circumstances are something that you’re not rejoicing in, whether or not, you know, are your circumstances are easy or hard in this quarantine, we’re still quarantined. I’ve talked to friends who are like, you know, I’m really enjoying this time. And you know, I’m taking this course about online gardening and this online course about gardening and a new language.
And yeah, it’s kind of hard because I can’t go out and see my friends, their level of not rejoicing is really different from mine because I am not enjoying this time in this relaxing way. I’m actually enjoying the work part of it. But the anxiety part of it with respect to work my health and those kinds of things make it really hard to rejoice. And then when you add a tech issues on it, it was not a good morning. I can tell you that, but God says, rejoice. You know this is the day I’ve made rejoice and be glad in it. And later on, he says rejoice in the Lord. So we are supposed to rejoice in hard times and in good times, not because of our feelings, not because of our circumstances, but because of who our God is and what he says about how he loves us.
And in this week after Easter, I think that’s just such an, even more, something we’re aware of. There’s a lot of Easter post cultural, you know, going around. And culturally, we’re just aware that we have this incredible joy because we are loved by God because Jesus died for our sins because we’re in Walt with the Holy Spirit. So here’s the good news. We don’t even have to figure out how to rejoice on our own because we have God’s spirit within us to help us rejoice. And so this idea of choosing to be joyful, be glad, and even that great delight, you know, what are we choosing when we choose that? God says you don’t have to choose to take great delight in your circumstances. You don’t have to choose to have great delight in your problems, in your sorrows and your struggles, whatever they are, relationally, financially, emotionally circumstantially, but you can choose. And I’m telling you to, calling you to, commanding you to, choose to rejoice in me, in me, the Lord who loves you, who’s here for you, who is ever-present in you. And in that presence of me being in you of you, sorry about that.
Little spam risk phone. How many of you are getting more spam than you ever knew what to do with spam calls? Let me go back to that. Jesus is saying you don’t have to rejoice in your circumstances, but you can rejoice in me and in my indwelling spirit. And so of course my question is always how, like, what do we do with that? And here’s the verse that came next. It said it’s from Philippians, Philippians three 13. And I want to read it to you in the message version because I love this translation. It says, I’m not saying I have this all together, but I am well on my way. Reaching out for Christ, who is so wonderfully reached out for me. I don’t count myself an expert, but I’ve got my eye on the goal or God is beckoning me toward Jesus. I am often running and I’m not turning back.
And what I love about that is God is our ability to live in God’s presence day to day, choosing to live with him, choosing to be engaged with him. We’ve kind of like, I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m reaching out for Christ. I’m reaching out for the Holy Spirit, that, that awareness of his presence within me reaching out for that to find peace and help in time of need to find positivity in all my big feelings to remember that no matter what’s going on, I have Christ in me, the hope of glory. I have the Holy Spirit to help me be patient with myself, with my spouse, with my kiddos, with my coworkers, with my friends, with my circumstances, I can find peace. I can rejoice because there’s a bigger story going on. There’s a bigger presence in our life, the presence of Christ, which helps us rejoice in him.
And so one of the things I wrote was we’re going to rejoice in the Lord, not in our circumstances, not even in our understanding. It is a choice. And so today, as you go about your day, what I love to invite you to do is look for glimpses of God’s presence. Sure. We have God’s presence within us. And that is something we can pause and take a deep breath and tune into in the middle of the day. And one of the ways I do that is this kind of, you know, two mantras. My mantra of I trust you, Jesus. But my new mantra has become a kind of my own interpretation of Philippians four 13, which says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I’ve kind of put that in my Susie version, which is, Help me, Jesus. Help me, Jesus, in the moment of a tough grumpy moment, in the moment where I’m overwhelmed with my circumstances in the moments where my kiddos might be driving me crazy or making it hard, you know, our kids are grown and far away and there’s things about that.
That’s hard. And there’s things about that. That’s disappointing. It is easier though than having your kids climb all over you all day. I’m looking at Stephanie beginning here and just knowing the activity of her kids. And so finding joy and finding joy and helping in Jesus in those times, we really get to choose to rejoice. And so there’s your places I wrote down that would be fun to find the presence of Jesus in your life today. Maybe you’re going to find it in the tenderness of a friend, the song of the bird, the sunshine. I mean, even on rainy days, if you think about it, the, the rain is you could just watch the grass get greener as the rain comes down. And that’s what brings the beautiful the spring flowers. You can find joy in the laughter of a child, the silliness of your kiddos, the presence of your friend, even on a FaceTime or a zoom.
But that moment of, Oh, I’m so sorry, that moment of finding God in the midst of all, that’s going on, of finding peace in the midst of all that’s going on and choosing to rejoice in that. I think that’s the big thing I want to leave you with. We don’t have to rejoice in our circumstances, in our feelings, in what’s going on, but God comes down into the midst of all of it and says, I’m here with you in the midst of all of it. I’ll help you in the midst of all of it. Turn to me, you know, as I said, here, I’ve set my face towards the goal. I don’t count myself as an expert, but I am reaching out for Christ who is wonderfully reaching, has reached out for me. And that’s where we get to rejoice today. So on this faith-filled Friday, I would love to hear in the comments, one thing that right now, right now, as you pause, you can say, I can rejoice in this evidence of God in my life, this presence of God, this quiet gentle Holy spirit or this big presence of the Holy Spirit and the giggles of my kids, you know, I can rejoice.
And today I’m going to choose to rejoice because that’s what we have control over. So in the midst of all those big feelings, we’re having, we can pause and rejoice in the fact that we are beloved daughters and sons of God, that his presence, his spirit lives within us. And that actually gives us the power to do the rejoicing. So throughout the day, whatever happens to you, you know, take a deep breath and think I’m going to choose to rejoice. I’m going to choose to rejoice in the fact that I’m God’s girl I’m God’s guy, and he is here with me. And that is what we do to be obedient to who God calls us to be and what he asks of us. He says this is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it, or I want you to rejoice and be glad in it.
So on this day, let me know how you choose to rejoice in the Lord and know that I’m here for you. I’m with you. I am your friend. And I would love to know if there’s other things that you have with respect to questions about God, I don’t, I honestly don’t have all the answers, but I’ll do some research. I’ll share from my experience. I do have some training and we can talk about how to live a faith-filled life in the midst of this place we’re in and beyond because eventually, we’ll be beyond this. So that’s my hope and prayer for you today. Friends, thanks for being here. And I will see you next week. Have a great day.