“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” – 2 Peter 3:8
Having our spring in East Tennessee start in February this year has been quite unusual. But God has been teaching me that His timing, although it can be unusual, always has a purpose. It’s easy to think that we know what is best for our lives and that if things turn out how we hope, then life would be perfect. But God works in His own timing. He knows what is best for our lives. And like a good Father, He intentionally wants the best for us. It isn’t always easy to trust the unknown to Him…but He gives us the faith to step out and give Him our plans and watch as He works and the beauty unfolds with our best interest in mind.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11
“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgement, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” – 1 John 4:17
“…because we live like Jesus here in this world.” A good reminder for today to live our lives the way Jesus did. He loved the people in the world differently because He was not trying to be like those here in this world. I am confident that with His power, we can love others like this. But if we immerse ourselves in the ways of the world instead of the things of God, we won’t be able to. Our jealousy, anger, greed, bitterness, entitlement, hurt and selfishness are too strong when we don’t put Christ first in our lives. So while others may hurt, slander, persecute or treat others unfairly…let’s learn to live like Jesus and love as He loves.
“…we will have many trials and sorrows…” John 16:33
Brokenness is a part of life. God said in John 16:33 that “we will have many trials and sorrows…” As I read through the New Testament, it is laced with the honor of suffering for Christ and what those valleys produce. I have seen a lot of brokenness in my life and in the lives of those I love. But I have also seen God work to make beauty from the brokenness. It may look different than how we would have chosen it to look, but His redemptive hand rebuilds our lives when we let Him. Like clay in the Potters hands, He doesn’t throw it away when there is a problem. No, He starts over from the beginning and reshapes and rebuilds until it is what He desires it to look like. I’m thankful today for His heart to make beauty out of the brokenness in my life and in the lives of those I love.
His redemptive hand rebuilds our lives when we let Him.
W O R R Y
It’s something I struggle with on a regular basis. I worry about finances. I worry about relationships. I worry about time. I worry about the future. I worry about things that have never happened. The “what ifs” plague my mind consistently, swarming with fear and drenched in doubt.
Continue reading “Worry”
B R O K E N N E S S.
We have all felt it and experienced it in some way. The severity may differ, but the weight of it the same. It can feel like what you are enduring is impossible to overcome. One thing I’ve learned in my different seasons of heartbreak and brokenness is that God does not call us to remain broken. He may call us to those uncomfortable and painful places, but His intention is never for us to wallow there. No, His intention is that we grab onto His hand to get back up and grow from there.
Just like the Israelites formed an altar each time the Lord had protected them and provided for them, we are to remember our broken seasons as we rise out of them with hope in what our God can do. Not only does this give Him the glory, but it also reminds us that our God is able. He never leaves us to figure it out, but He always comes through and gives us strength to make it through any trial or persecution that comes our way.
Today take a moment to reflect on 2016. It may have been a year of blessing for you, or it may have been a year of extreme loss or brokenness. Whatever you experienced, write down the moments where God revealed His provision for you. When we take time to focus on who He is and what He has done, it will glorify Him and give us hope for the future when more trials come our way.
When we take time to focus on who He is and what He has done, it will glorify Him and give us hope for the future when more trials come our way.
“But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His.'” 2 Timothy 2:19
Take time to rest today in the fact that you are known and pursued by a God who loved you before time began. You don’t have to try to be good enough to receive His love. You are enough as you are right now. So often I think we over-complicate God’s love. We take what we know here on earth as a broken version of love and try to mimic that relationship with Christ. “If I just try harder, then He will love me.” “If I can just clean myself up a bit and look a little better, then He will love me.” “After I get through this mess, then He will love me.” The truth is that God loves you as you are right now. He takes those broken places and seals them with His love. It says later in this chapter that after we turn from our sin, He makes us into a new vessel. One that is used for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful and ready for every good work. So embrace the truth today that you are enough…because who He is and His love for you is more than enough.
“Oh come let us adore Him.”
What does the adoration of Christ mean to you in your life? The word adore means to regard with the utmost esteem, to love, to respect and to pay divine honor to or worship. This season, as we approach a time where we reflect on the significance of what Jesus did for us, let’s throw aside the expectations and just rest. Rest in who God says you are. Rest in who Christ became for you. Rest in complete adoration of the One who gave it all up in order that we might know Him. True adoration of Christ begins when we throw aside the selfish idea that we can do it all and remind our hearts of how desperately we need a Savior.
As the holidays draw near and the pressure to buy more, be more and do more start to creep in…take a moment to pause and breathe in the truth that you are enough and what you have is enough. So often we can get caught up in the commercial aspect of the holidays and forget the importance of contentment. This upcoming month I am challenging myself to find something each day to be thankful for and to begin my day in the Word with a spirit of contentment. It is the most wonderful time of the year. So let’s spend it with the ones we love and let go of what we have or don’t have and learn to be content.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” 1 Timothy 6:6-7
“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
“Let it go.”
I hear these words turning around in my head. I know they are from the Lord, but I feel like I can’t do what He is requesting.
The older I get, the more I realize how weak I really am. I see all the things Christ has brought me through and given me strength to accomplish, and sometimes I just forget.
Continue reading “Bitterness and Surrender”
Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.’ Jeremiah 9:23-24
I toed the line at the annual Toronto Marathon that I had trained many months for. I wrote verses on my shoes, prayed about my upcoming race and goals I had set and gave it all over to the Lord as we made our way to the start line the morning of. Some people don’t understand running, and that is ok. But for me, running is a way that brings me closer to God. I feel His love and heartbeat for me in moments of pain and find His joy and protection in the moments of simplistic beauty that surround me on each run. To me, running is my unique time spent with Jesus. My own special way to worship Him.
On this particular day, I felt complete peace about this race. Usually, I am very nervous and can’t seem to keep food in my system. But this race felt different. I knew I had given the long months of training my all. I had worked hard, struggled with injury and enjoyed every moment. Even if I didn’t meet my goal, I had peace.
Every one of us longs to be a hero. God has engraved this in us. We know that we are made for more and long to accomplish the biggest of feats for Him and for His glory. Sometimes along the way we lose sight of the One who we are serving. It feels good to succeed and to do it all “for His glory.” As we begin to excel, flattery can so easily creep in and seeds of pride can be planted. But what about losing for His glory? What about not accomplishing what you hoped you would, for His glory?
Continue reading “The Unusual Hero”