My ballet teacher used to say, “Yes, the stretching hurts, but it’s good pain!” Continue reading “Commitment That Hurts” »
Know what happens when you go through seasons of blessing? The enemy comes at you like a flood. He hates that God is working in your life. He overwhelms you with lies and discouragement. In an instant, you fall from joy to despair. For some reason, the lie feels more real than the truth. It takes a bit to realize what just happened, but then you have decision to make. Whose truth will you believe? In the middle of discouragement, it’s difficult to mentally make the decision to believe the right thing, but you have to do it. Will yourself to just believe what is true and the truth will flow back into your spirit. The clouds will part and you’ll be back. Resist the devil and he will flee. That resistance is the result of a decision. The longer you allow yourself to wallow in discouragement, the longer you believe the lie. Just say no.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11. When God has thoughts about you, they are actually promises for your life. He’s planning a path for you to have a future and a hope. His thoughts are not wishful thinking, they are true. He’s not up in heaven looking at all your mistakes and keeping track of all your failures, He’s thinking of ways to draw you close to Him. He thinks the best things for you.
The scripture says He’s thinking thoughts toward you. Those thoughts are a moveable force, an energy wave that can cast aside all the plans of the enemy to change your circumstances for your good. His thoughts toward you are powerful promises to save you and bless you. Quiet your spirit and ask God what He’s thinking. What ever you hear will change your life.
Discipline is a good thing. When I feel down, I know to still rejoice. When I am sad or depressed, I can still be thankful. Regardless of how I feel, I know you are true. I know that your promises are the wonder of the universe. How could I ever doubt that? So I am always grateful, even when the waiting brings sadness. Smiling through tears, as my old voice teacher used to say. Yes, I am grateful. There is no hope without you. In you, there is more than hope, there is joy today. There is being sheltered under your wings. There will be no need for that in heaven. Today we need your shelter, your grace, and so much more. Draw me into the more. We know so little. Show me a glimpse of the more. I have no idea what’s behind the curtain, but I will press in regardless. You are my life, my breath, my hope. Thank you for help when I need it. Help that will train me to be better at the things I need to do. I just want more of you. I want to hide in you and only come out when all the world is new and safe. Ok, I’ll be who you want me to be because I can trust in you like no other. Thank you for everything. Thank you for everything you do for me, for loving me completely.
I know I just talked to you, but I need to come back again. God, there’s so much to cringe about in the world- floods, joblessness, hopelessness. People are trying to find answers when they don’t really know what the questions are. We need help. We need to know that our lives count, that we matter, just as much as other people who seem to have it all. What will happen when the money runs out? Who will take care of us? How do we deal with cancer and diabetes? How do we deal with loneliness and isolation?
It’s a lot to think about. It can look scary. Really scary. But that’s why I wanted to talk to you. I know you’ve got a plan. For all the issues, all the problems, you have a plan. You have a way to take away all the fear. You can restore what’s been lost and build what’s been torn down. You can make the new better than the old.
The thing is, we’re not good at listening to you. We like to think that we don’t need you. We want to be in control, despite the mess we live in. Silly isn’t it! Help us to see that when we act like stubborn children who won’t let mom help, we have to live with our own decisions. Help us to see that you are close, that all you’re waiting for is for us to ask. So easy. So simple.
I like that you have a plan. Thanks for that. I know that your plan is way better than mine. So much better than mine. Help us, as a community, as a country, to see that you know how to bring food to the table and health to our bodies. You are so much bigger than the issues that hurt us and worry us. I give it all to you. I know I still have responsibilities, but I will listen to you and do what you say. I’ve been pretty happy so far.
Another post on God’s plan for us: I’ve Been Set Apart. Have You?
Hope. It’s a new year and new year’s always inspire hope for the future. It does sound a bit like wishing for world peace, but hope is alive and well, if we dare to believe. I have so much to hope for. I have personal hopes and hopes for other people. I have hopes based on promises from God and hopes I want Him to touch.
When I think of those hopes, it makes me think of dancing. Not just dancing, dancing, but ballet. I remember, back in the day, when I took ballet. The teacher would say, “You have a string tied to your wrist. At the other end of the string is a balloon, lifting your wrist light as air.” We would move our arms through first, second, third and fourth positions, trying very hard to have balloons tied to our wrists. Ninety-nine per cent of the time we were tied to anvils not balloons. The truth is, it was very hard to move that “effortlessly”, especially when equal concentration had to be made to moving our feet at the same time.
My point is that hope sounds wonderful and fluffy, but it comes with a good deal of hard work. We look forward to open doors to part before us, but it is our feet that move us through them. You can’t move across the floor with grace without putting in hours of practice to develop it. Hope is only hopeful when we put ourselves in position to grab it. And when there’s nothing in the world that we can do, we position our hearts to expect what we need. That takes work. Hope is not trusting that a fairy godmother will show up to take us out of our misery. Real hope is based on reality. Do you hope to be a great writer? Then work your craft. Do you hope to lose thirty pounds? Then knock off the cookies and go walk.
Hope is not a band-aid, it’s the carrot to get us working toward our own goals. I have a lot to hope for this year. That means I have a lot to do. The rest is up to God to bless. I’m so thankful that He puts those hopes in me because He does like to bless.