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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace



Singin' the Blues?



Elijah's job is to keep the pantry neat and clean. He straightens cereal boxes, stacks cans of vegetables in neat rows, puts boxes of rice and macaroni back on the shelf and straightens the napkins. Yesterday as he walked up to the door he exclaimed, "What?! It's messy again??!! I just cleaned in here! All I ever do is clean the pantry!" With a look of despair on his face, he began putting the boxes in order again.


That's just the way I feel, I thought as I watched Elijah work. Seems like we go through hard times, then just when I think things will get better, there we are with a messy situation again.


Do you ever feel that way?


Chase, Grayson, and I have been studying the life of Abraham. Every night, before I go to bed, I study a portion of Scripture. Then, prayerfully, I type out a study sheet for them. The next morning, they study that portion of Scripture and complete the worksheet I have for them.


At the end of December, we were in Revelation. On January 1 we began again in Genesis. For several weeks now, we've been studying Abraham. (Well, his name is still Abram since we're only in chapter 15).


Have you considered his life? First of all, he packs up his wife and nephew and follows his dad, Terah, out of town. But why? Ur was a big city! It even had a library (one of my family's favorite places).


But God's beckoning was more important. God was moving Terah onward…but then they stopped in Haran and settled there…who knows for how long…


But then? Terah died.


Abram's dad died -- the one leading them! And responsibility fell upon Abram. It must have been hard. Abram was singin' the blues of grief and loneliness and total uncertainty. Ever been there?


I have. Watching Jonah struggle now to use his hands fills me with grief. On wheelchair days -- when his legs are aching and he just can't stand up for long -- crippling sadness fills my heart. The uncertainty of the days ahead can have me singin' the blues. It can consume me if I let it.


But truly God doesn't want me to stay there! Like Abram, He wants me to move on!


God called Abram to move on in Genesis 12:2-3.


I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing;
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.


That must have given Abram such relief -- what an encouragement! God had such great plans for Abram, even in the midst of death and sorrow! Abram obeyed immediately. He packed up his stuff and traveled awhile.


Then, he built an altar and praised his God.


Your ways, O God, are holy! What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples,
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people…

Psalm 77:13-15

That's when the famine hit! Food was so scarce that Abram made a bad decision. He went down to Egypt…"down" is right! Egypt had a gravitational pull on God's people -- not just geographically -- but spiritually! Egypt was a pagan nation full of idol worship and compromise.


God had just taken Abram to a new land. Why would Abram leave God's best and go to Egypt?!?


Fear, perhaps. Lack of trust. Did Abram doubt God would do what He said He would do?


Abram took matters into his own hands.


The other day Jonah was having a particularly painful time. I held his hands gently and said through my tears, "Jonah, I would take all of this for you if I could! I would take the pain and the weakness and anything else you are suffering!"


"You can't, Mom, don't you see? This is not your journey. You aren't strong enough; you couldn't handle it. God is allowing this in me because this is His plan for me, not you."


"And don't worry about me because God will not give me more than I can handle."


I gave Jonah to the Lord a long time ago. God has promised to care for Jonah -- to strengthen my son, to comfort my son, to fulfill my son. He would never forget His own.


I think Abram forgot this truth. I know I did.


Abram was soon singin' the blues of disobedience. Abram lied to the Pharaoh and got into a tangled mess. God protected him, but not without the sting of consequence.


Upon God's deliverance from Egypt, guess what Abram did? He built an altar. Praise and worship were on the map this time:


The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know Your name will trust in You,
for You, Lord,
have never forsaken those who seek You!

Psalm 9:9-10


What happened after this altar experience? Fighting from within! His own family just couldn't get along!


Have you ever sung the family blues? We sure have. Abram and Lot didn't have enough pasture space for their animals. This was causing huge arguments among the ranks.


We can relate to that. Fights break out regularly around here!


"Mom! He's singing in my ear!" "MOOOOOMMMMM…NOBODY'S CLEANING BUT ME!!!!"


"He pushed me!" "She bit me when I pulled her hair!" "He breathed on me and he hasn't even brushed his teeth yet!"


"LOOK! She slapped me!"


Perhaps the most ridiculous Lovelace argument was over a dream Emalee had. She dreamed Emerson was a black-eyed pea. Since they were invited to a party (in her dream) Emalee didn't want Emerson to miss it, so she put Emerson (the black-eyed pea) in her pocket.


Somehow, while at the party, Emerson fell out of Emalee's pocket and Emalee accidentally stepped on her and squished her.


Emalee was truly shaken! The memory of that dream was haunting her! She had stepped on her sister (the black-eyed pea) and smashed her!


Upon hearing Emalee's dream, there was fire in Emerson's eyes!


"Emalee! Why was I a black-eyed pea!?? I'm so mad at you! At least you could have made me a pinto bean!"


Emalee stared at Emerson in disbelief.


Sometimes I feel more like a referee, judge, and jury, than a mom! It's crazy! Trying to be diplomatic and patient and wise all at the same time? That's hard for me! I'm not very good at it.


But Abram was amazing at it. In Godly wisdom and humility, he offered his nephew Lot a choice of land.


Lot chose the best for himself, but Abram wasn't angry; he wasn't rude or self-seeking. Abram gave Lot his blessing as he watched him walk away.

It was at this moment that God spoke, again, to Abram. Isn't God just like that? He knows just the right thing to say at just the right time.


Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west.
Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land,
for I am giving it to you.
Genesis 13:14, 17


Abram must have been deeply encouraged. Guess what he did?


Yep, you guessed it! He built an altar.


Are you singin' the blues this week? There's always cause to praise Him. Build an altar!


Tune in for more on Abram's life…next time.


I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together!
Psalm 34


You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalm 30:11-12


Copyright © 2012. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com


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