Isn’t it nice when someone is happy to see you? Every time I turn my key in the lock I know as soon as I open my front door, I will be greeted with tail-wagging excitement by our family dog, Tucker.
“Really?” was my husband’s comment. The Oxford Dictionary defines deserve as “do something or have or show qualities worthy of (reward or punishment).” What qualities do we possess that make us worthy of a sunny weekend? What great act have we done to merit such a reward? “I’m glad God doesn’t give us what we really deserve,” my husband continued.
John Lennon said, “Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.” I’ve often thought about that quote because I think it’s true. I said it once to a friend. She looked at me thoughtfully and then said, “I don’t believe that.” I haven’t been challenged on many things in my life so when she disagreed with me, I really had to step back and consider it. Life throws us challenges and hardships but I truly believe that everything always works out in the end. Maybe not in the way we intend, but if we’re Christians, certainly in the way God intends. So I thought about that through the lens of not being a Christian and I can see why my friend disagrees. If you’re not a believer and life deals you tough stuff, you have no hope. You try to muscle your way through things in your own strength. That is a heavy load to bear. No wonder Jesus said in Matthew 11:30, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (NIV) He will gladly take on our burdens if we let Him. In Proverbs 3:5 it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” If we take our worries and difficult circumstances to God, He will carry us through. Matthew 11:29 says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The graduation cards read, “Good Luck! You did it! Congratulations on your outstanding effort! You’re going to go far! Reach for the stars! Insert money here.” I was hoping to find something a little more heart-warming and perhaps God-honoring.Yes, it takes effort for most students to get good grades. And some graduates have worked very hard to pass all their classes in good standing. But have we thought about our God-given gifts and abilities? The brains He blesses us with? The wisdom, guidance, and encouragement of the Holy Spirit as we’ve “burned the midnight oil”? OK, maybe I should write greeting cards … or at least find another place to shop.
picture yourself driving; the front window is large so that you can see where you’re going, but you look in the small review mirror often for shorter amounts of time. It helps to keep you safe to get to your destination. I love that visual. If you stare in the review mirror for an extended period of time you might crash or have to pull over because you can’t drive forward staring backwards.
I’m in a season of life where some major change is about to occur. I’m sort of outside-looking-in to my own life, wondering how I will adjust to these changes.I’d like to think I adapt well to change. Actually, there are some changes I enjoy. Maybe you’re thinking just the opposite. You hate change and fight it every step of the way! The fact is change is unavoidable.
I hear about self-care often, from memes to thoughtful friends; but what does the Bible say about self-care? I feel like I need some “me” time, and lots of women’s blogs support me in this. I can definitely find feelings that match this, as there have been times when I felt emotionally depleted and lacking in compassion towards others’ suffering. But is “me” time the answer to that? Is focusing our energies on ourselves going to help us in the long run, or will it just give us a temporary escape from our troubles? I have always enjoyed getting away on a women’s retreat, and having quiet time to myself. Who doesn’t love that? But is doing that once a year going to sustain me? I need a solution that isn’t temporary.
First of all, we are not alone in the raft. The “I will never leave you nor forsake you Jesus” is at the back of the raft with His hands on the rudder. And, by the way, He has been through this white water before. Having been tested in every white water of life, He welcomes you to come to Him in complete confidence for grace and mercy in your time of need. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV)
Let’s start preparing our children to still trust God when life gets unexpected. Every time your children get angry or upset at things outside of their control, ask them, “Who is in control of these things?” and when they answer’ God,’ ask “And is He good?” When they answer “yes,” ask “How can this truth help you feel about the situation? How can you pray with honesty to God?” When they struggle with other people’s behaviors, ask, “Can you remember a story in which people were mean to Jesus? What about when Jesus was crucified, do you remember how the officers treated Him? How did Jesus respond? Do you ever do anything to offend God? How do you think He r
Well it’s taken years of raising my own children, fighting tooth and nail down a path I didn’t want to be on, and hours upon hours of study and dwelling on God’s word, and praying honest hard questions, and putting my hope in things that fail, and God graciously leading me through a spiritual storm that broke me to my core, till I finally got the answer to the question I had been asking in my heart for so many years.