I believe that through prayer we have a ticket to a personalized conversation with the Creator of the universe; yet it is something I take advantage of every day. One thing I am notorious for is taking things to the Lord in prayer, but then failing to praise Him when those prayers are answered.
How often are we so distracted by the “extras” on the sandwich of our life that we forget the main thing? I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a neighbor, an office manager, a stranger to passers-by, and the list goes on. Each of these roles brings its own set of responsibilities and expectations.
I recently began working with my sons’ youth group, specifically for the junior high girls. During our last small group session, a general discussion question prompted the girls to share their struggles as believers amongst friends and in school. Across the board, the girls shared how difficult it is to be a Christian these days.
I have the unfortunate habit of wanting to be the best at things for which I think I have a natural talent (perceived or real). I recently got a road bike and an app that times my ride and on certain stretches of pavement. I can’t wait to get home to see if I set a new record or beat someone else’s time. Now every time I go for a bike ride, I feel like I’m in a bike race.
Through the next few months, the yard lay seeded and covered in straw, eventually hidden under a heavy blanket of snow. We wondered if anything could survive the cold and harshness of our northwest Ohio weather. By spring, we were thrilled to see tiny green shoots begin to resemble a lawn. The mystery plants near the house turned green again. Everything survived!
I am grateful that I know our Lord who plucks me out of my pit. “He lifted me out of the mud” and gave me a “new song”. I am a child of God and He fights my battles. He pulled, lifted, tugged and sometimes dragged me out of the pit to put me in a better place, a sturdy place, on a rock and not on sinking sand. I know that I can visit that pit that was my home for a long time and I can ask God to lift me out and leave it behind.
Do you ever have times or seasons of your life when you think back over choices or decisions you made or didn’t make, that have changed the entire course of your life? I’m sure anyone who is reading this can relate. Our life is a process filled with the ebb and flow of choices–many that created failure, which may affect you this very moment. And many choices you and I have made have come and gone which brought great blessing to you and others–choices that have proved a catalyst of positive influence to other people.
I’ve read this before, and any kid who grew up going to Sunday school or Vacation Bible School has doubtless heard the story of how David slew the giant Goliath. But as a writer, I like to imagine that David’s speech was loud and mighty and that he resounded with his audience just like William Wallace or Aragorn. But whether he shouted or spoke quietly, David went out with confidence because he knew that the fight belonged to the Lord.
When I found out I was pregnant the first time, I was heartbroken. I took a pregnancy test on Mother’s Day (I know, ironic) of 2010 and found myself devastated and overwhelmed. I was terrified. My mind was racing, scared of all that I was going to have to give up. All the things I loved and enjoyed were going to change: my job, my education, my marriage, my body, my mental sanity, my sleep, my freedom, my relationships, my pride, my selfishness. How could I possibly do this? I was horrified of all I was going to have to sacrifice. It all seemed daunting, impossible, and I didn’t want to do it.
I’m learning to stop obsessing over the mistakes of my past, trusting the One who has already covered them.