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Welcome to week 2 of this lesson and our SOAP Method! I just wanted to remind everyone of what the SOAP method consists of:
- Scripture: Select a verse or verses that stuck out to you in your reading.
- Observation: What did you observe about the scripture that struck you. This can be one sentence or a whole book.
- Application: How can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today.
- Prayer: Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life.
I don't know about many of you but this week's lesson hit especially close because I find myself constantly asking the question "WHY"? Life gets tricky, plain and simple. It doesn't always end up the way we expect or envision it to be. Sometimes, we feel like God has failed us and that we are being punished for something that we have no knowledge that we have done.
I know that I still have those thoughts. Even as I see my life starting to turn around, I still find myself asking "WHY?". I had my own ideas of the kind of life I wanted to lead. I had those dreams of being a wife, mother, and successful career women. I know that I haven't always been close to God but I believed that he had a reason for everything. We may never know those reasons though.
I do still firmly believe that God has a plan for each and everyone of us. That he doesn't give us more than we can handle and that if he gives us difficult events to endure, he will not simply abandon us. Again, I firmly believe that but unfortunately the human brain doesn't always see eye to eye with our HEARTS. Sometimes our brains and thoughts take over what we believe and then we find ourselves drowning in the "WHYs".
With that said, let's begin:
Step 1: Scripture
The following scripture stood out to me the most personally:
"Exodus 6: 9 - So Moses told the people of Israel what the LORD had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery".
Step 2: Observation
Key word in this verse: DISCOURAGED. It happens to the best of us. We become so discouraged with the way life turns out or maybe it's the events in our life that have kicked us time and time again. When we feel discouraged, we tend to do one of two things: either we open up to God and lay out our fears for Him and PRAY ..... OR.....we WORRY. We tend to panic and thoughts run through our heads. We try to rack our brain about what WE could have possibly done WRONG to anger God.
Have enough bad events happen in a short period of time or time and time again and we become discouraged. There's no other word for it. When I read this verse, the FIRST thought that came to my mind was being at the my husband's grave shortly after he committed suicide. I found myself YELLING at his grave, kicking the ground, falling to my knees, crying "WHY God?!? WHY did you allow this to happen??! How could you take a father away from two little girls and a husband away from his wife??? What did we do to deserve this?!
Those moments came and went when things got hard. We get discouraged and we doubt God's plan, we doubt His actions when we really we should be TRUSTING Him. We give up when we should be putting our faith in God and in His plan. Whether we believe it or not, He knows what He's doing.
Image credit: http://spiritualinspiration.tumblr.com/
Step 3: Application
Application. This is the hardest one for me. I have a hard time believing that God has a PLAN for me. I know He does. I can't possibly think that everything my daughters and I have been through was for nothing. I've learned SO much from it and one of those things is being PATIENT.
Things have slowly been working out for my daughters and I. Yes, I still have the "WHY" moments so how do I apply this to my life TODAY? I'm going to enjoy the little things in my life RIGHT NOW. I'm going to appreciate where I am at in my life TODAY because without those HARDSHIPS of my past, without the need to be STRONG, without the need to be PATIENT and believe that everything happens for a reason, I wouldn't be where I am at RIGHT NOW.
Step 4: Prayer
Lord, I ask that you continue to light the way for me like you have done in the past. Continue to carry out the plan that you have for my little family regardless of my thoughts, fears, or feelings about it. Give me the strength, and more importantly, the patience to know that everything will work out in ONLY your timing. Amen.
Like last week, here is a picture of my SOAP journal entry :)