A long time friend of mine from Redding sends out an e-mail every Monday with a quote. Today’s matched my thoughts from the past few days. His quote was from an unknown person, but it said: Stop telling God you got big problems. Tell your problems you’ve got a big God.

Last Thursday afternoon I came home from meeting with someone feeling totally discouraged. Feeling forgotten. And really feeling like nothing was ever going to change. Ever felt that way? I will admit that I got emotional. I cried on my drive home. I cried as I sat in my car at the parking spot at the house, and I was nearly in tears as I walked into my house as well.

As I walked into my house and sat down on the couch next to my wife she could tell how much I was hurting. In my heart, for whatever reason, for a brief second, I actually questioned myself on whether or not I’d share my continued frustration. I questioned whether it really mattered anymore, and I wondered if it was even worth sharing.

It mattered to her. It mattered that my heart was hurting. It had been over 65 days since I had left my role as one of the pastors at my previous church. So, I shared, once again, my feelings of discouragement, of feeling forgotten, and my fear and wonder over if I was ever going to pastor again. I remember that night I changed my status on Facebook to, “I need a job”.

I said, “Babe, all I have left in my heart right now is love…my faith and my hope is so lacking right now…” (I said this as I stared at the wall of the living room in my house where we have this huge sign that reads: Now these three remain…faith, hope, and love…)

Melanie did an amazing job to encourage me. And Friday morning she wrote me this amazing letter of continued encouragement. Reminding me of why she loves me and how much God loves me. But I couldn’t help but remember my major complaint from the night before…

…as I sat there, sharing all of my toxic feelings towards God, the economy, job hunting or whatever, I shared with my wife something that was so so selfish, something I had never before spoken out loud to anyone, but something I had been dwelling on for a few weeks.

From the pit of my hurting heart came this thought: God, I obeyed You!!! I never questioned Your direction. I did what You asked and followed Your prompting to leave this place of ministry where things are going well and I moved. Without reservation I obeyed You and I followed Your leading in my life and now Lord, here I set, with nothing God – not knowing where I am to go to in ministry next, no place to pastor at – I feel like I am nothing, and that I am not being who You’ve called me to be. I obeyed you Father and I followed You. I stepped out in faith and in obedience and I am still standing here Lord…!!!

As I look back on brutal rant and rave I see how honest my “feelings” where being expressed. And although I was being honest, I was being very dramatic and well, very selfish. In a way, I had lost heart. I felt like I was losing my faith and hope in it all and in Him and I had started to treat ‘my problem’ with the wrong heart.

Friday night Melanie and I went to a church in Rocklin that was having the the Watoto Children’s Choir from Uganda perform. Little did I know on this Good Friday 2009 that the my Great God was going to begin to treat my heart problem.

The children opened with a few lines, sharing about their suffering in their country and about being orphan’s. Their opening song was “Not Forgotten” and they sang this song with joyous smiles because they truly felt that no matter their problem in life, God had not forgotten them.

As the song opens, three times it says, “I am not forgotten. I am not forgotten. I am not forgotten…God knows my name.” The chorus took my breath away…

He is…

Light over darkness
Strength over weakness
Joy over sadness

He knows my name

Father for the fatherless
Friend to the friendless
Hope for the hopeless

HE KNOWS MY NAME

My faith was renewed, and my hope restored. I am not forgotten, for Christ knows my pain/weakness/sadness/hoplessness and, He knows my name. It’s time to stop telling God my problems and it’s time to start telling my problems that I’ve got a big God who knows my name. I know where God has called me to step out, and I will be faithful in my obedience to step out and wait upon the Lord because I have faith in a gracious God who restores my hope and my calling in Him. And so, just like Melanie remind me…I want to remind you…

You are His precious child
You are His workmanship
Jesus has prepared a way for you
You have been called by God
You have been chosen by God before the foundation of the world
You have been adopted by God
Christ gave the ultimate sacrifice for you
You are worthy because He has made you worthy
You have been glorified
You have been made righteous
You are loved by the King
You are forgiven
God has GOOD plans for your life
God promises that all things in your life will work together for good
You are co-heirs with Jesus Christ…..God’s own Son!!!
God desires to bless you with good things
You have been gifted by God and have been equipped by God to do good things for His Kingdom

I want you to remember those truths too. We all are precious to Him. He knows us all by name and no one is beyond the reach of God, and no one has God ever forgotten. You may feel that way at times, or maybe you have felt that way for years, but the truth is that God does want all to know that He has called us and that He is faithful to love us like no other person can and it took my loving wife and some amazing kids from Uganda to remind me of the Lord’s powerful, life-changing truth.

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3 thoughts on “Stop Telling God You’ve Got Problems

  1. thank you for writing these thots down, nick. altho my "waiting" is for a different answer, i totally know the place you're in, as i am in it myself. you wrote of knowing all you knew you had left at that time was "love"…that your faith & your hope seemed gone. a few weeks ago, with that same discouragement, i was literally on my face before the Lord, pouring out those same feelings…knowing too, that i knew i had love, but feeling as if my faith & my hope for the promises that He has spoken to me over the past couple of years, were gone. He took me also to the plaque i have on my wall with only those same three words…faith~hope~love…then He sweetly & graciously spoke these words to me: "daughter, faith is the substance of what you hope for…the evidence of what you do not see. i will bring you joy in the morning…it may not be "your" morning, but i will bring it. i have given you a vision…a vision for your future…& though it tarries, wait for it…it will surely come…it will not come to late" (hebrews 11:1, psalm 30:5, habakkuk 2:3)………..He is amazing…& just simply faithful, isn't He? thanks again for writing encouraging words…you do have a gift & i am praying for that "place" He already knows is yours!…..jennifer ithurburn p.s. just want to share habakkuk 2:3 from the version i use & looked it up in after He gave it to me…it's cool: "it is not yet time for the message to come true, but that time is coming soon; the message will come true. it may seem like a long time, but be patient & wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not be delayed" (new century version)

  2. You’re such an awesome guy nick. Seriously, you’ve been one of the biggest examples of Christ in my life. Thanks so much for that. I can’t wait to see how God will use your whole life. Big things man.. Big things. I miss you dude!

  3. Okay Nick, i kind of hate you for writing this… 😉 i almost had to walk out of my government class because i started to cry while reading it!! haha…”He is… LIGHT over darkness…”today started like every thursday- i got up at 6am and got ready for school. but the one thing that was different was that my heart felt heavy. i just felt weighed down. i felt the darkness in my life. while driving to school i turned on a podcast from mosaic church in LA and the two speakers talked about King David and how he was consumed by darkness. he slept with his best friends wife, got her pregnant, then committed murder to hide it, and lied about it! AND he was still called a MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART! so i’m listening to this thinking, “okay God, how could David be so consumed with darkness and STILL serve you?” thats when Psalm 139:11 came into play…”If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”I get to school all emotional and just amazed that God had decided to speak to me and spend time with me. after my first class i checked facebook on my phone and followed the link to this blog post- which i read during class. i began reading and EVERY SINGLE WORD hits me like a ton of bricks. when you talked about the kids choir and the song about Him being light over darkness, that was one thing, but when you spoke specifically to me…oh boy!”You have been called by GodChrist gave the ultimate sacrifice for youYou are forgivenGod has GOOD plans for your life”i broke down, right there in class. i pulled it together as fast as i could but my focus and concentration from class were GONE. so i just prayed the rest of the time. i left school after that just so i could come home and leave you this comment. nick, your words are powerful and reach MANY. and it’s SO obvious that you listen to God because he used your blog to shake me and comfort me. thanks bro, you’re truly awesome!-joeyalso, this is the rest of psalm 139…”For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (it goes on and on… but this is what i like most)

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