Too Good Not to Share

“look — we’re facing some pretty big things, Lord,
And You whisper: “Child, look — look at Me.
Now You’re facing the Best thing, who dwarfs all the other things.”
And we exhale.. and we get it, God, because that is the thing:
Prayer isn’t so much to remind our God of what all the problems are —
but to remind all the problems of who our God is.

And You cup us close tonight and tell us: No matter what you’re facing, look into My face — and know it, feel it: Your God is greater than what you’re trying to face, your God is bigger than what you’re trying to escape, your God is better than anything you’re trying to chase.
And our problems fade in the light of Your gentle face, Your tender embrace….” (Ann Voskamp).

That’s it. “Prayer isn’t so much to remind our God of what all the problems are– but to remind all the problems of who our God is.”

That sentence. For the win.

I got my health insurance premiums for 2016. Apparently, they’re going up over $150 a month. That’s a whole lot of moolah.

But no matter how big my insurance premium gets, God is bigger.

No matter how overwhelmed I’ve felt over the pressing issues facing me, God has been and will always be able.

That’s not a news flash, but it’s a good reminder out there to all the weary and heavy-laden hearts tonight who need to hear it one more time. It’s a great comfort to all those who feel like they’re less than adequate to meet all that life has thrown their way this past week.

No matter what, God will be enough.

Let that be your mantra for the days to come. Let it resound in your heart and mind when the lies come and try to drag you down into defeat.

No matter what, God will be enough.

 

What You Can’t Do (And What You Can)

I have gathered a collection of some observations that I’d like to share with you. Most of them fall into the “duh” category, but sometimes we need those basic reminders. Okay, I do.

1) You can’t catch up on a bad night of sleep in one night. It’s not like if you only got 2 hours of sleep that you can sleep 14 hours the next night and be back to your average of 8. First of all, I’d be a zombie after 14 hours of sleep. Second, I’d still be tired. Just a very tired zombie.

2) You can’t repeat the past (regardless of what Jay Gatsby says). The only way to do that would be for you to go back to who you were then, which is impossible. Also, everyone else in that scene would have to revert back to who they were then, too. You see the problem? Besides, what lies ahead, what God has for you, is way better than anything in your past.

3) You can’t make people be friends with you if they don’t want to be. You can be a friend for your part, regardless of whether that friendship is returned or not.

4) You can’t succeed if you don’t try. You aren’t guaranteed success if you try, but you are 100% destined to fail if you fail to try. Oooh, that should be cross-stitched and hung on somebody’s wall. That was good.

5) You CAN trust God at all times at any point in your life to get you through anything. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a choirboy or a saint. The key is asking for help. The key is acknowledging your need and God’s vast supply.

6) You CAN trust God’s perfect timing. It may not be according to your timetable, but it will absolutely come when you need it most. And most likely when you’re least expecting it or looking for it.

7) You can’t be whatever you want to be and you can’t do anything you put your mind to (like me wanting to dunk on a 10-foot basketball goal). But you CAN be exactly what God created you to be and you CAN fulfill the purposes he created you for.

More reminders to come later.

That Ol’ Emmaus Road

roadtoemmaus

 

In the story in Luke 24 about the two disciples walking down the Emmaus road, a question probably comes to mind. How could they have not recognized Jesus walking beside them, conversing with them, the whole entire time? I mean, wasn’t he the focus of their lives for three years? How could they have been so blind?

But then I think I understand. Sometimes deep grief and pain can keep you from really seeing what and who is around you. Sometimes, you just get too wrapped up in your own problems and anxieties to really pay attention to where you are.

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Maybe you feel alone and abandoned as you walk your road. You may not realize it, but Jesus is silently walking beside you.

Maybe you feel like you need to clean up your act and get your life together so you can be “good enough” to meet Jesus. You may not be aware of it, but Jesus is already where you are, waiting on you to recognize him, drop your pretenses, and come running into his arms.

It’s interesting to me that the moment those two disciples recognized Jesus was in a moment of worship. They broke bread, like they had done earlier in the week with Jesus, and suddenly their eyes were opened. True worship does that. It helps us to find Jesus and understand that he was already with us all the time. ¬†After all, he wasn’t the one lost and needing to be found. We were.

So maybe all you need to do is cling to the promise Jesus gave that he would never leave us nor forsake us. Maybe you need to reach out your hands in faith to find his own reaching toward you. No matter where you are or what you’ve done, no matter how badly you’ve messed up, Jesus is always ready to receive you again. He’s never stopped loving you or pursuing your heart.

I think that qualifies as the best news ever.

Just Another Sleepy Sunday

I have been sleepy all day today. Maybe it’s because it’s been grey and overcast just about the entire day. Maybe because it’s Sunday. Maybe it’s because I didn’t take my customary Sunday afternoon, choosing instead to watch an old movie on TCM.

Regardless, I have a feeling I’ll sleep really good tonight.

I’ve never been more aware of my dire need for God than lately. I need him desperately every hour of every day, every minute of every hour, and every second of every minute. He’s the one who holds me together.

I’ve also never been more aware of the abiding peace of knowing that God is in control of my life. I don’t know what the days and weeks and months ahead hold for me, but I know God knows.

So instead of seeing problems and obstacles, I’m choosing to see blessings. Like the blessings of family and friends, good health, freedom of worship, and life. I hope I never get over the joy of celebrating each and every day as a gift and every person in my life as a blessing that I don’t deserve but I get anyway.

So many will go to bed hungry. So many will end the day alone. So many will have to wake up tomorrow without purpose or meaning or God in their lives.

I need to remember that I’m not blessed so I can grow fat and happy. I’m blessed so that I can in turn be a blessing to someone else who needs it.

So my questions to you are the same ones I’m asking myself. Who are you going to be a blessing to today? Who will you pray for? Who will you encourage? Whose lives will you speak into, whether through a phone call or a text or a facebook post?

If you woke up at all today, you’re blessed. If you had at least one meal today, you’re blessed. If you had shelter from the rain and a car to drive, you’re blessed. If you had family and friends to cheer you up, you’re blessed.

So, how will you pay it forward?