I Got This


maze

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Oh, the joy of raising children! (any story that begins this way must be good, right?)

I must admit, there is never a dull moment in our house, especially since the kids are growing up and beginning to spread their wings just a bit. All three of them are at an age now where they are beginning to assume more responsibility. This means learning to do new things around the house. The boys, being older than sister, are the first ones to learn how to do things for themselves and to help me out when I need it. One favorite for the boys right now is learning to do things in the kitchen. (Yes, I let my boys help in the kitchen. I believe that it is good for them to know their way around. Plus, I am sure their future wives will thank me one day.) Both of our boys really seem to enjoy learning to cook, and they are pretty good at it.

Learning new tasks does not always go as planned. We have had a few mishaps along the way.

The latest adventure for the boys has been learning to “make the coffee pot” as we call it in our house. ( I think that is a southern term.) Each night before we go to bed, we get the coffee pot ready and set the auto-start for the next morning.

Last night, as I was cleaning up the kitchen and putting things away, I remembered that I still had to set the coffee pot. When I turned around, the younger of our two boys, Little D, was already there working on it. When he realized what I had come over to do, he looked up at me and with that big boy, take charge tone, he said, “I got this.”  This is something new for Little D, so I was reluctant to leave him with the task. He was so sure of himself , however, that I decided to let him do it all by himself. I went on about my business and never thought anything else about it.

This morning when I walked into the kitchen, still half asleep, I saw my husband bent down looking at the coffee pot. As I approached the scene I could see Daddy B wiping down the coffee pot and the counter top. When I asked him what had happened, he told me that coffee was all over the coffee pot and the counter. While I examined the situation, the image of little D “making the coffee pot” came back to my mind. The image of  him standing there so confident and saying, “I got this,” played in my memory. After further examination, I discovered that he had failed to replace one of the pieces. Instead of running into the pot, the coffee overflowed the filter, filled the reservoir and ran  down the sides of the machine. Needless to say we had quite a mess on our hands. Thankfully I was able to clean the coffee pot, remove most of the coffee grounds, and make another pot of coffee so that Daddy B could be on his way to work.

After everything settled back down and I had a moment to reflect on the situation, I could not help but chuckle at what had happened. After all, these are the things of  which memories are made.

As I thought more about what had happened, I could not help but hear Little D’s voice over and over in my head saying, “I got this.” He was so sure that he knew what he was doing. He wanted to prove to me that he could handle this task all by himself.

Friends, how many times do we treat God this way?

How many times do we face a task, a trial, or a new situation and say, “I got this,” to God?

You see, it is human nature to want to handle things ourselves. From the time we are just little children we want to do it ourselves. We want to do it our way. It is as if we have something to prove. As if we feel the need to be self-sufficient.

In our lives, God gives us tasks to do. He allows us to face trials, and new situations in order to teach us. He wants to help us grow through these things. Why is it then that we refuse to listen to His guidance? Why do we insist on doing things our way? What is it that makes us so confident that we say, “I got this,” to God? It is our carnal nature. It is the part of us that still believes that we can make it on our own.

So many people are stumbling through life. They are making one mistake after the other. They are failing and can not figure out why. It is because they are trying to do it themselves. They are confident that they “Got this.”

 God does not set tasks in front of us planning on failure. He is not sitting back waiting on us to fall on our faces. No, God wants us to succeed. He wants to see us grow and learn, but He knows that we can not do it without Him. He has told us over and over in His word that we need to depend on Him. God, however, is a gentleman. He will not force us to follow His will. He will not force us to depend upon Him. He will allow us to fall. He will allow us to fail. Yet, the entire time He will be calling to us. He will be whispering to our hearts, ” Let me have it. Lay your burden on me,” and He will be there waiting with open arms when we are ready to surrender our lives to Him.

I want us to realize something today. We can not make it on our own. We can not figure it out. Outside of God’s mercy and grace we are hopeless. The only hope we have in this world is Jesus Christ. If we are going to have any hope of succeeding in this world, we are going to have to learn to depend on the One who created us, the very One who spoke our world into existence. When we turn our lives over to God, when we allow Him to show us the way, life will begin to make sense. This does not mean that we will not face trials and troubles. It simply means that we will have God to lead us, to guide us, and to help carry us through even our toughest times.

God loves you, friend. He wants to see you succeed and grow. The question I want to leave with you today is this: Will you turn your life over to God, or will you say “I got this,” to Him?

We are all Beautifully Imperfect


imperfect2

 

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Psalm 139:13-14

 

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you just did not hit the mark?

You might have missed a deadline at work, or lost your temper with one of your children. Maybe you spoke harshly to your husband or wife. You may have planned on finishing a project over the weekend and you woke up this morning to yet another thing left undone.

We all have those times when no matter how hard we try we do not meet the requirements we set for ourselves. In that moment we feel like failures. We feel as if we may never get it right. We realize that we are imperfect people.

We must stop focusing on our flaws and all the times we fail to hit the mark. We must begin to focus on God and the work He is doing in us. We must realize that we are all works in progress. Every time we fail, every time we fall down, we need to see it as another opportunity to learn something new. God is teaching us new things every day. It is up to us to look past our own flaws and even those of others and focus on the lesson at hand.

Today I want to encourage your heart.

I want to remind you that God loves you, and He thinks you are wonderful and beautiful in spite of all your imperfections. God created you. He knows every part of you from the inside out.  No matter how many flaws you can find in yourself, God loves you just as you are. He sees every time you fall down. But you know what? He loves you anyway.

We are beautifully imperfect people. This is a fact we must understand. But, just as a potter looks at a piece of clay and sees what it can be, God looks as us and sees what He created us to be. Just as a gardener looks at a seed and sees the potential in it, God looks at us and sees the potential that lies within each of us.

We are God’s handiwork. That is what makes each one of us beautiful.

Let us focus today, not on our flaws and our imperfections, but on the potential that God sees in each of us.

Let us pray today that God will reveal to us the people He wants us to be.

Let us ask God to help us see each other through His eyes. And let us encourage each other to be what God has called us to be.

I pray today we will realize that we are all beautifully imperfect, but with God’s help we can all become exactly what He has planned for us to be.

 

 

 

Two Wrongs do not Make a Right


peace lily 

See that none render evil for evil unto any man;

but ever follow that which is good,

both among yourselves, and to all men.”

 1 Thessalonians 5:15 

Have you ever been mistreated?

Has someone ever done something that hurt your feelings?

Maybe someone says something unkind to you. 

What is your first response?

If we are all honest with ourselves we will admit that the first thing we want to do is to give that unkindness right back to them. If someone says something unkind or treats us in a way that hurts us, our first response is normally one of defense. We put our dukes up and we are ready for battle. 

Many times the wrongs done to us go unnoticed. Often times the one who hurts us never even realizes what they have done or said. 

I know in my own life I have said or done things that have hurt someone who I love and never realized it until it was brought to my attention.

Many times in life we are going to be hurt by another person’s words or actions and it will be up to us to decide how we are going to handle each situation.

I would urge you to first bathe the situation in prayer. I have found many times in my life in which I prayed about a wrong that was done to me and God took care of it without a word ever being said about it.

There have been other times, however, when I prayed about a situation and I felt that God wanted me to take it to that person and discuss it. Thankfully, with God’s help, the situation was resolved.

Whichever way God sees fit for you to handle a situation, I can assure you of this one thing: Two wrongs do not make a right. No matter how badly we may want to lash out and strike back at the one who has hurt us, this is never God’s plan. I know sometimes it seems like the easy thing to do and as humans it is what we want to do. But, God has a better plan.

God has told us in Romans 12:18: “If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.” God desires for us to do our best to keep the peace with other people. Sometimes this means praying about the situation, letting go and letting God handle it. Other times it means speaking your piece and leaving the results up to God. 

I want to encourage your heart today. When we are wronged by word or deed, it hurts. I understand this. But God has told us to never repay evil with evil. Two wrongs do not make a right. If you have been wronged, cover it in prayer. Seek God’s will in each situation and allow God to lead you in the way that He would have you handle it. I can promise you this, any situation we face will ultimately turn out better when God is allowed to take control rather than us trying to fix it ourselves. Remember: With God, all things are possible.(Matthew 19:26)

 

 

 

Motivational Monday: When you are in Need


praying hands

” Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Have you ever found yourself in need but were unsure of just what you needed?

Where do we go when we are in need? Where do we go when we need advice or a shoulder to cry on?

Many times we go to a friend, or someone who we trust will be there for us. Sometimes we go to a parent, a grandparent, or maybe our pastor.

Sometimes the need is so great that there is only One who can meet that need. His name is Jesus

Last week I found myself in that place. I found myself in need of something, but could not voice exactly what it was. My heart was crying out for something, but I could not put my finger on exactly what it was. I needed a touch from God.

I found myself wanting to write. I wanted to pour out encouragement for each of you, yet as I sat to write every day my mind was blank. I searched for Scripture to share that would help you through your week, but nothing would come. I was empty.

As I prayed and read my Bible every day, I felt my heart crying out to God. Each Scripture I came across was one that I needed to hear. My heart would soak each one up like a sponge. My soul would drink them in like the dry ground after a summer rain.

I quickly realized that I was not going to be able to pass along words of encouragement or wisdom as long as my heart was in need of the very same thing. I knew that the best thing to do was to spend my time alone with God every day and soak up what He had for me. Each day as I sat alone and read my Bible and prayed, I felt God ministering to my heart. As each day passed I felt more encouraged, more alive in my Spirit. I began to feel full rather than empty in my heart.

As hard as it was to take that time for myself, I quickly realized that it was necessary for me. My mind needed the break, my heart needed the encouragement, and my soul needed the wisdom that I found in God’s Word.

I was a little hesitant to share this with you today because for me it is very personal, but I realized as I began to write that someone may need to hear this. Maybe you have found yourself in this place. Maybe you are in this very place right now. I pray that this ministers to your heart. I pray this encourages you today.

There is no shame in needing a break. There is no shame in needing some time alone. Many times in the Bible we read where Jesus went out alone to pray. He realized the importance of time alone with God. He knew that His strength came from God. He was setting an example for each of us.

Let me offer you some words of encouragement today: If you ever find yourself empty, or in need of something that you can not put your finger on, go to Jesus. Take time to pray and read your Bible. Seek out God and you will find Him.

We are called to be ministers for Christ, but we will not be able to do that if we are not taking the time that we need for ourselves.

The Scripture we looked at today told us to, “Come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” If you are in need today I pray that you will do just that. I promise you, you will find what you need at the feet of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Motivational Monday: Keeping it Simple


serve Him

“Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.”           I Samuel 12:24

Have you ever wondered why living for God has been made so complicated? Is it really as hard as people have been made to believe? Let us look at some Scriptures that will help us better understand what serving God and living for Him is all about. Let us keep it simple.

Our verse today says to “consider how great things He has done for you.” So what has been done for you? John 3:16 tell us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die for your sins and my sins. If you had been the only one on earth, however, I believe that He would have died just to save you. What great love.

So, what does serving God require? Let us look at some other Scriptures that I believe will help us paint a better picture of what it means to serve God:

First, we must understand that we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 tell us:For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Does this mean that we are all hopeless? No, because God has made a way for us. Romans 6:23 reads: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  The wages of sin is death, but God has made a way for us, through His Son, to have eternal life.

The next thing you must do is be saved. A lot of people want to know what they have to do to receive this gift of salvation. The gift of salvation is free to whomever will accept it. We are told in  Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”  All you have to do is to simply believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, and confess your sins to Him and you will be saved. This is the gift of salvation.

After you have been saved God will begin to work in your life and He will help you to live for Him. Mark 12:30-31 tells us the first things we must do as Christians: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

Living as a Christian is simply loving God and loving each other. As we do these two things God will work in us and begin to make us the men and women He wants us to be. Living for God is not complicated at all if you will allow Him to come into your heart and do a work in you. God loves you and wants what is best for you. He wants to save you from your sins and help you to grow into the person He has planned for you to be.

I pray today that this will encourage your heart. If you have not been saved, if you have never asked Jesus to live in your heart, I pray that you will stop and simply ask Him to forgive your sins. Ask Him to live in your heart. It will be the best decision you have ever made. If you have been saved but seem to be having trouble figuring out what to do next, simply do as God has commanded us to do. Love Him and love each other. Allow God to work in your life. If He shows you something in your life that needs to be changed, ask Him to help you and then begin to work on that area of your life. As you grow as a Christian, God will continue to do a work in your life. Paul said in Philippians 3:12: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” We need to understand that salvation is an instant thing. When you ask God to forgive your sins He does it immediately. Living and growing as a Christian is a process. It takes time. We simply have to allow God to do that work in our lives.

Being a Christian is not complicated. I pray today that this has helped you to better understand what it means to live for Christ. I pray that I have kept it simple.