Thursday, October 29, 2015

I Know You're Feeling Like You've Got Nothing Left

My prayer list this morning is a long one.  It is loaded with friends that are just plain old hurting, and for good reason.  Being a parent is hard, and seeing your child hurting magnifies any emotion you have.  I have multiple friends with children in the hospital battling diseases, some physical and some mental. Others are battling the same kinds of diseases for themselves.  In most of these cases, my friends are helpless to solve the problem, as am I. But..I can pray and that is a powerful tool.

On occasion, I see people somewhere with their heads down and the words “sad” and “broken” and “beaten down” come to my mind.  Sometimes, they are standing waiting on the bus, sometimes they are children that I am tutoring, and sometimes it’s the homeless girl on the street in Columbus.  

I would bet if you looked around today, you would notice people like this too.  I have probably looked that way more than once in life, but by the grace of God, His spirit fills me and most days I look up, make eye contact with people, smile and try to show HIs love to people.  

I can give the homeless girl the leftovers from my meal and that might solve her problem for a little while.

I can encourage and try to make the child I am tutoring laugh and that might make him feel better for a little while.

I can make eye contact and smile at the person waiting on the bus, and that might make them smile for a little while.

I can listen and encourage my friends who are hurting, and that might relieve some of the heartache for a little while.

But God is the only thing that can fill those voids and heal those hurts.

I saw this Scripture and it made me think of these things this morning:

Lord, You know the hopes of the helpless.  Surely You will hear their cries and comfort them.  
Psalm 10:17

My goal for this week is to lift each person I see that looks sad, beaten down, and broken up to God and ask Him to comfort them.  I pray for my friends, but I don’t often think to pray for the strangers that I see that are hurting.  This week, I want to change that.

The words of TobyMac’s Move (Keep Walkin’) are running through my head..

I know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you're feeling like you got nothing left
Well, lift your head, it ain't over yet.
So..Move.  Keep walkin’ Soldier keep movin’ on..

Lift your head, move, keep walking.  It isn’t over yet, but one day it will be. Amen!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Do You Ever Think God Must Be Laughing At You?

Do you ever have a moment when you think God must be laughing at you?  Not in an evil, maniacal way, but in a “Seriously?” way…

I had that thought today as I was vacuuming.  I was praying for the son of a friend who will be undergoing surgery soon, and then my thoughts went to the prayer requests that I repeat daily, and feel like I have been repeating for a LONG time.  But, then, out of the blue my mind went to 

2 Peter 3:8
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends:  A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.

I have this one particular prayer request that I have been praying for years, and I always end it with the word “soon”.  That’s probably where God gets a kick out of me and starts laughing.

Soon!  What does that mean?  To me, it means tomorrow, or actually later today would be preferable.  To God, however, He already knows if and when He will answer and “soon” probably doesn’t mean a lot to Him.

In a world where we live and breathe by schedules, appointments, timetables, practices, meetings, yada yada yada, God will breathe life into us through fellowship with Him and spending time in His word.

Do I think it’s a coincidence that the particular Scripture mentioned above came into my head? Absolutely not.  Something about the whir of the vacuum let my mind stop long enough to actually listen, and that’s what God wanted to tell me.  So, people, I am going to try and stop saying “soon” after my prayers.

I am going to try and focus on God’s timetable and not the one that is accepted by our society, which might lead to less frustration, which will probably lead to being more grateful for all the countless things He has given me and prayers that have been answered, which will probably lead to God smiling at me.  I like that.

Sound like a plan?  I’m going to start NOW (not soon)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

I love Jesus...and Justin Timberlake

It’s true.  I love Justin Timberlake.  I like his music. I think he’s funny and I am a fan.  It’s also true that I watch television shows and movies that contain behavior that I don't condone, but I am a fan of those shows.  I admit it.  

I was reading this passage this week, and it made me think..

I John 2:5-6 (NLT)
But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him.  That is how we know we are living in Him.  Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

That is some heavy stuff.  I could list 1,000 ways I don’t live my life like Jesus did.  As I was contemplating this passage, I looked at the footnotes in my study Bible and it says this, “How can you be sure that you belong to Christ?  If you do what Christ says and live as Christ wants.”

So, what does Christ tell us to do?  He says to love one another. Over and over and over and over, he says that we are to love one another.  What does that mean?  Does it mean the same way I love Justin Timberlake? No. 

 To me, it means that we give to other people in need, we listen and support the people He has placed in our lives, and serve others.

Jesus did all of those things while here.  He didn’t have any material possessions, and warned many times about the dangers of being rich, however, he gave healing and comfort to many people through His miracles.  I don’t have the ability to heal people, but God has blessed my family with enough resources that we feel comfortable donating to people who need it.  I always hope that they feel loved through that support.

Jesus picked twelve disciples while He was here, and while Scripture doesn’t talk much about His human friendships, I tend to think that He was a good friend to them.  He rescued Peter from the water when Peter’s faith wavered.  Peter was a hothead.  Matthew was disliked because he was a tax collector, and it wasn’t done so kindly back in those days.  The twelve men that he chose weren’t perfect,but He loved them, was patient with them, and was there when they needed Him even when He knew they wouldn’t be there for Him in the end.  I want to follow that example with my friends.  I admit that it isn’t always easy to do, but I hope they feel loved.

Jesus, the Son of God, who deserves nothing but honor and praise and worship also took the time to serve other people.  He washed the feet of His disciples which in those days was one of the most humbling things you could do.  I am currently not working outside the home, so I have sought out ways that I can serve other people.  Believe it or not, I don’t watch Netflix ALL the time.  For those of you who have careers, you have been placed in a position that gives you the opportunity to serve other people and show Christ’s love while you’re working, whether you know it or not.

So, yes..I like to listen to music that isn’t always Christian based, and I watch some shows and movies that aren’t rated PG-13 or below.  I even read books that aren’t written by Christian authors.  I could go on, but you get the point.  I have no doubt I will hear from some folks that have told me before that I shouldn’t be doing those things, and be so public about my Christian faith, but I am who I am and the bottom line is that I love Jesus and He loves me.  My relationship with Him is strong and He knows my heart and my intentions.  

The love that Christ has for you and me is a REAL , selfless love that gives, supports, and serves.  He really does love us so!