Monday, February 28, 2011
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
Hebrews 10:36 (NIV)
It's a new day...
Yesterday is behind you.
Do not cling to it's disappointments.
For God is doing something new.
Promise and possibility lie before you.
In this given day, God is weaving
something beautiful into your life.
Embrace all that is and all that will be.
Wonderful promises, fulfilled, are ahead.
They will unfold in His time, for His purpose,
in your life.
Remember, all that happens today is for your good and His glory.
Accept that today will hold both trouble and triumph.
And that is OK. God is working in things both good and bad.
For without the problems and praises of today, you would be ill-prepared
So don't fret. Don't falter. Don't forget.
God is doing something new.
Draw near to the LORD.
Trust in His power and faithfulness.
Keep challenges in His perspective.
Greet today with a heart of faith.
All things shall become new.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I am small.
Just an everyday woman, with an ordinary life.
I am nobody important.
I am not elite.
I am not well read.
I don't have wealth, position, or power.
There is nothing about me that stands out in a crowd.
In fact, by the world's standards of measurement,
I am insignificant. Small.
Sometimes, I feel big.
They seem unlikely, even impossible.
But, then I remember...
I have a great big God!
He knows my dreams, for He planted them in my heart.
He understands my ideas, but He thinks even bigger.
He is the author of hope. Of love. Of life.
And he loves to vanquish the "impossible".
How grateful I am for His sovereignty.
How amazed I am by His grace.
How small I am in His presence.
How great is His love for me.
I search His word and recall His faithful promises.
I meditate on His unending truth.
I fix my eyes on His majesty.
And I remember...
I may be small.
But, My God is big enough.
I have seen His deliverance.
I have witnessed his provision.
I have experienced His faithfulness.
“Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?" (Deuteronomy 3:24)
And suddenly...I don't feel so small anymore.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Being a busy mother of three rambunctious gifts from Heaven, I know a little bit about interruptions. In fact, like many in this season of life, interruptions are more the norm than the exception. I have to rise pretty early in order to capture some quiet moments and protect them from interruptions. Some days, I feel like that old Army commercial..."Heather Arbuckle. She does more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day!"
This morning, as I started to rush through my list of errands, a catchy tune caught my ear. It's called "This Is The Stuff" by Francesca Battestelli. Long story short, the song paints a picture of those pesky annoyances that plague us in our frenzy. Lost keys. A forgotten lunch. A lost cell phone. As the lyrics to the song so eloquently state..."In the middle of my little mess, I forget how BIG I'm blessed."
As I listened closer and even started singing along, my heart began to feel lighter. Then, I remembered...this is my life, the only one I get, interruptions and all. And I decided, to adjust my attitude and lighten up. For in everything, God is working. Sometimes these interruptions are meant to teach me patience. Others mercy. Still others remind me to laugh at myself. So,today, I embrace life interrupted.
For most of us, life is full of interruptions. Not just the petty small moments of quiet time that get disturbed by sibling rivalry or soccer practice, but major detours that set our feet on a completely unexpected and uncharted path. To be honest, it is that type of interruption that most sets me into an anxiety ridden tailspin. The type A planner in me does not take kindly to a change in plans and I do not often embrace life's interruptions.
But God is in all things, both great and small. And I am called to trust Him. For He promises that "In all things He works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) Did you hear that? In ALL things...even the life interrrupted. So breath deep and sing along. For the Sovereign King sings over you.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Recently, I received an email that made me giggle. It said, "You must have the gifts of perseverance and patience." When I read those well-meaning, though grossly inaccurate words, I heartily laughed out loud. And, I am pretty sure that Jesus laughed along with me. For few people who know me well would use either of those words to describe my personality.
To the contrary, I have never been very good at waiting. In this fast-paced world of instant gratification, waiting sometimes feels like such a waste of time. It seems I am always in a hurry to get where I am going, and my time-table doesn't always match up with God's. However, as I reflect, I must acknowledge that waiting has always served me well. In my experience, God tends to "show off" most significantly during seasons of waiting.
In Hebrews, we are instructed and assured, "do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." (Hebrews 10:35-36) As we wait for God's promises to unfold, we are called to trust, remember, and endure. It's a lesson many of us seem to be continually learning. Often, it seems that as one season of waiting ends, a new one begins. At times, it feels as though the waiting will never be over.
And so, we must choose to actively trust as we wait on God to act on our behalf. Since God is good all the time, we need not doubt His beautiful intentions towards His people. Indeed, the Heavenly Father is always at work, sometimes behind the scenes, to bring about His purpose in your life and mine. As we fix our eyes on God's sovereign power, God's plans will surely unfold in His perfect timing. But, we must place our trust in Him alone.
Further, we are advised to remember God's faithfulness. Truly. the LORD likes to "show off" in the lives of His children. Recalling His great victories is a good way to ease the angst in our seasons of waiting. Look to the past and remember all that God has done. Be assured that the God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow will surely meet you where you are. Even in our toughest circumstances,it is a certainty that God will accomplish His purpose. Still, He will do so in His perfect timing. And His time-table is not negotiable.
Yet, we are not to be passive as we wait. Rather, we are called to endure. Perhaps this is the most difficult challenge of all. The dictionary definition of endure is "to suffer without yielding; to hold out." One could argue that a better definition in God's kingdom could be "to hold on".
Hold onto God's promises.
Hold onto God's faithfulness.
Hold onto God's power.
Hold onto God's hand.
A new year is upon us and with it come many new beginnings. Some of us are waiting for a new job. A new opportunity. A new start. Our Heavenly Father is in the business of making all things new. Whatever you are waiting for, accept His plan and trust that He will be glorified in your life. Thank God in advance for the blessings to come. Remain in His presence. Cling to His promises. And endure.
Just hold on... and watch God "show off".
Thursday, February 3, 2011
The past two days we have been homebound due to an ice storm that hit the area on Monday night. While the first day at home was a welcome break from the hectic demands of suburban life in North Texas, the past day has seemed to drag on considerably. Cold, bored, and at times without power, I began looking through old photos.
Not long into my walk down memory lane, I stumbled upon summer vacation pics from Okaloosa Island, Florida. Our family loves everything about the beach and this former Iowa girl never tires of the wonders of the sea. The dolphins. The sunsets. The surf. We love it all. Perhaps our favorite thing to do as a family is play in the sand. For several hours each day, my three children took delight in creating their very own architectural masterpieces in the soft, white sand. And every morning, as we strolled the beach, my kids found the tide had washed their sand castles away.
Some of us never outgrow our desire to build castles in the sand. As we strive to meet life's demands, we erect our very own creations based on worldly desires and human principles. And it seems like the right thing to do. Still, over time we watch helplessly as it all falls away. For, "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127:1)
Truly, the LORD will not allow anything to stand that takes His place in our hearts. We are told "everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." (Matthew 7:26-27)
We are not to place our hope in wealth, humanity, or infrastructure. All of these things, though reassuring, are temporary. To the contrary, we are told to place our hope in eternal things. Our efforts and investments must be in those things close to the heart of God. Reading God's prayer and regular prayer give us a strong foundation of faith. It is the state of our union with the LORD that most concerns Him, and God does not take kindly to second place. Once we truly understand the heart of God, we are free to build for Him. Only then will our efforts stand up over time and bring Him glory.
The Bible teaches us that "everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." (Matthew 7:24-25) Truly, as God's children, we have a moral line in the sand. It's called the Bible and it's truths endure time and culture.
We are His people. God's ambassadors to a broken world. And as such, we must be mindful that "there is no Rock like our God". (1 Samuel 2:2)It is time for us to build on His promises and invest in those things our Heavenly Father holds dear. For the LORD is building His church on Christ, the Rock Eternal.