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?

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Warning: Danger Ahead


Warning

“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

1 Thessalonians 5:2

 If you and I were walking in the woods and I said, “You need to be careful because I have spotted a bear here in the woods before,” what would you think?

What would happen as we walked along if, on the ground, you saw signs that indeed a bear had been in this area?

If I suddenly yelled, “RUN! There is a bear,” what would you do?

Would you run, or would you tell me I was crazy? Would you wait around to see just how close that bear would get to you before you would begin to run away?

 It is absurd to think that you would stand and wait for that bear to reach you before you ran. It is crazy to think that you would turn around and face it head on as if you could battle it alone.

Hopefully you would heed my warning. Hopefully you would trust me enough to run when I told you that you were in danger.

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Friends, I am here this morning to warn you. I pray that you will heed my warning. I pray that you will trust me when I tell you that something is coming.

I am here to tell you that if you are not a Christian, if you are not covered by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, then you are in grave danger.

I firmly believe that Jesus is coming back very soon. Too many things are happening and too many signs are being seen to believe differently.

Just as you would never chance being chased by a bear, or just as you would never try to fight it alone, please do not think that you can handle being left behind. Please do not think that you still have plenty of time to get it together.

Today’s verse reminds us that we do not know when Jesus is coming back. His coming will be instantaneous. It will take everyone by surprise.

My question for you is this: Will you be ready? Have you made preparations to leave this world behind and be taken up in the clouds?

There will be no time to make this choice when Jesus does come back. It will be too late when you realize that friends and family are missing and you have been left.

The time to prepare is now. The time to get it together is this very second. We are not promised tomorrow. We are not even promised our next breath.

Will you heed my warning today? Will you trust me when I tell you that something is coming? Will you take the time right now to seek out God’s forgiveness and gain the assurance that you have a home in Heaven when that time comes? Only you can make that choice. No one can do it for you.

The good news is, it is simple to do. Let me tell you how:

1. Realize that you are a sinner. ( Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”)

2. Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness. (1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”)

3. Believe that you have been saved. ( Romans 10:9-10 “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”)

Once you have done these things, Jesus will begin to work in your heart and in your life. He will begin to grow you into the person He wants you to be.

If you follow God’s word and listen to His commandments, you can be assured that when the Lord comes back for His children, you will not be left behind. You will not have to face the many terrible things that are to come. You will have a home waiting for you in Heaven.

I pray, today, that you have taken these steps to prepare for what is to come. I want to know that I have done everything I can to warn and prepare those I love.  It breaks my heart to think of friends and family left behind.

Remember: The Lord is coming back as a thief in the night. I pray you will be ready.

Indescribable Peace


http://1shada.deviantart.com/art/Peaceful-Life-84811856

photo credit: 1Shada

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

Peace. It is a wonderful feeling to experience in life.

Peace that only God can bring is something, as a Child of God, that I long for.

The past couple of weeks have been quite stressful for me, not in a negative way at all, but stressful nonetheless. You may be wondering how stress can be anything but negative. Let me explain what I mean. God has been teaching me lately to grow and to step out of my comfort zone. While it has been a good change and I have enjoyed the chance to stretch my wings, it has not come without a bit of fear. I have spent a lot of time in prayer.

I found myself longing for and searching for the peace I knew could only come from God.  As I prayed for wisdom, thanked God for all that He had done, searched for answers, and trusted God, I found that each day He was leading me, calming me, and carrying me in His arms. There, I found peace. In the arms of my Savior I could rest.

Lately I have learned what today’s verse really means. I have read this verse before. I had to memorize it when I was in school. The past couple of weeks, however, it has really taken on a new meaning to me.

I have heard the voice of fear in my mind telling me that there is no way I will get through this, only to have it overpowered by an overwhelming sense of peace that could only come from God. Lately, I have experienced that peace that passes all understanding.

What a wonderful feeling it is to know that even through my scariest storms God is carrying me, caring for me, and shaping me into the person He wants me to be.

I do not know what storms you might be facing. I do not know what is stressing you out right now. But, I do know that there is a peace that can only come from God. He offers you a peace that you could not possible understand, but when you sense it in your life there will be no doubt from where it came.

I pray today that you will seek God, go to Him in prayer, and thank Him for all that He has done in your life. As you do this, I pray that you too will experience this peace that passes all understanding.

This Too Shall Pass


temporary

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

When I was a little girl my parents would tell me two things when I was facing a trial. Even now, as a grown woman, this advice still rings in my ears. My dad would tell me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it is all small stuff.” My mom would tell me, “This too shall pass.” At the time, I did not quite understand what that meant. But now as an adult, I know exactly what they meant: Life is hard, but the things of this life are just temporary.

We struggle. We get hurt.  People disappoint us and let us down.

Life has a way of  handing us things we are not ready for. People hurt us or misjudge us. Our bodies betray us and our health begins to fail. ( I am sure we could each add a trial of our own here.)

There are so many things we could talk about this morning that afflict us, things that catch us off guard and try to bring us down. However, when I read this verse, I am reminded that we are not to focus on these things. Paul reminds us that these “light afflictions” are just temporary.

We are told to focus on the things which are unseen; the spiritual blessings that we are given. We are to focus on the things which are eternal, the rewards that await us in Heaven.

When trouble comes our way, it is very easy to become so focused on our hurt and pain that we lose sight of what is really ahead of us. We lose sight of the prize, so to speak.

As Christians, we need to remember that the things of this life are just temporary.  We are reminded in James 4:14 that life is just a vapor:

” Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.

For what is your life?

It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

When we begin to count our blessings here on earth and to focus on Heaven, somehow the trials of this life seem to get lighter. When we focus on God and His love for us, our troubles seem to fade away. You see, these are the things that will not fade away. These things are eternal.

I pray these words will encourage your heart today.

I understand that life has a way of throwing a kink in our plans. I understand that there are times in life when our feet are knocked out from underneath us. I know how painful people’s words and actions can be. Today, I want us to remember that these things are just temporary. They are only a vapor compared to God’s love for us and the eternal rewards that await us in Heaven.

I want to encourage you today to keep going, even when life gets hard. Keep pressing towards the mark. Remember that we serve a God who loves us and has gone to prepare a place for us. Jesus has promised that He will one day come back and receive us to Himself. I personally believe that day is fast approaching.

When life gets you down, I pray that you will remember these words of wisdom:

  • This too shall pass.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it is all small stuff.

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.