(Selah!) Pause and Calmy Think of That...

If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.

- Edgar Watson Howe

Monday, June 18, 2012

Trusting God as My Father

It is amazing the things that you realize when you are watching children play. As I was sitting in the carpool line waiting for my son to be dismissed from school today, I rolled down my window only to hear the sounds of children screaming, yelling, and laughing. I looked up and saw children running around playing and smiling…without a care in the world. My mind then filled with images of my own beautiful children; my pre-teen sleeping peacefully in his bed at night, my toddler running to me with his arms reaching out. Our children trust in us. They don’t worry if whether or not they will be clothed, or fed. They know that they will be taken care of and that they are loved and wanted.

Then I thought to myself, “Isn’t that the way I should be with my Heavenly Father”? What happens to us that we learn not to trust Him?

When circumstances arise in our lives and things don’t go according to our plans, most of us allow those circumstances to cause us to distrust God. This leads to all kinds of anxious feelings. We can have thoughts that overtake us and even affect our health. However, God’s word tells us NOT to allow ourselves to be anxious about anything.

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you Why do you have so little faith?

“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

Luke 12:22-32

I have had many difficult situations in my life. Some of them I was able to readily give them to the Lord, but there have been others that have caused me to feel anxious. I have found that trusting God to handle the situation always results in peace.

Peace: harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts (Amplified Bible)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ignoring the Small Gifts...

The other morning I was washing dishes and staring out of my kitchen window. The sky was gray and it was drizzling. I love the rain, and I am always looking at clouds. This particular morning, however, I wasn't enjoying gazing at the clouds because I was so tired from the night before (my toddler did not sleep and so neither did I). I was simply trying to finish the dishes so I could sit down for a second before my little one finished watching his video.

As I sighed with relief at only having a few more dishes to wash, I looked out of the window only to find the most beautiful break in the clouds I have ever seen. It was as if the Lord had carved out a wedge in the clouds just for me. The light shining through the opening was so bright it actually hurt my eyes to look at it, but I didn't want to look away from it.

I am always in awe of the gifts God gives His children. He formed us. He knows all of the things that will truly bring us joy and it gives Him great joy to provide them for us. How often do we miss out on His "small" gifts because we are so busy looking out for the big ones? How often do we get so busy living our daily lives that we overlook the beauty and blessing of our Lord?

He loads us daily with benefits (Psalm 103), but do we allow ourselves to get so overwhelmed with life that we don't recognize them? The Lord knows this life is full of many challenges and struggles (John 16:33). He gives us many gifts to soothe our pains, discomforts, and disappointments that life can give us at times.We just need to keep our eyes open for them.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:16-18

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Seasoned with Salt

Life throws many challenges our way. I was reflecting on my own life earlier today. Compared to many, I have to admit I have had a pretty good life. It has not, however been without its share of challenges. As I have grown more spiritually, I have recognized those challenges as more opportunities to trust the God that I claim to serve. What I mean is this. For some of us we never really know how much we really love the Lord until we go through trials. Something that forces us to fall on our knees, through up our hands to Him surrendering every ounce of our being.

There have been many situations in my adult life that have done just that. Much of the circumstances have been beyond my control, but nevertheless still difficult to endure...without the Lord's help. The past 3 years He has proven to me the same scriptures that I have been reading since I was younger. Reading them through the eyes of a person that is thankful to the Lord for the gift of eternal life He has given me, but what I like to call...Unseasoned. Its one thing to read about the promises of walking with the Lord, but it is something totally different to watch your life as you see those promises coming to pass.

We are told that we are the Salt of the Earth....the way I look at it is that the more experiences you have to trust God, the saltier you will be (I guess that sounds funny) The example I use when I'm talking to someone about the Why question is about the summer I had a Multiple Sclerosis flareup with caused me to suffer complete paralysis from the waist down. My neurologist did not think that I would walk again (Praise the Lord I am walking now...it truly is a miracle!). Think about it for a minute. If I am witnessing to someone that has suffered paralysis, is recovering, etc. Who is better to share with them? Someone who has been shielded from that specific malady, or someone that has walked in the shoes? That experience made me a little saltier and believe it or not, the Lord did allow my path to cross with people who are walking in those shoes. I feel blessed to have been given the gift to share God's love with them...regardless of the challenges I had to face to get there.

When I am feeling overwhelmed with challenges I am facing, I remind myself of this verse. I am being conformed to the image of Christ. Whatever it takes to get me to that point, I know it is for the best.

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Colossians 4:6

Let your conversation be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you know how to answer everyone.