Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
"Then David continued, 'Be strong and courageous and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the temple of the Lord is finished correctly.'" I Chronicles 28:20 (NLT)
I pushed the computer aside, convinced that the task I was attempting was impossible. I couldn't fathom completing the work I had ahead of me and I needed a mental break. Picking up a Christian book I was reading, I carried it upstairs to the treadmill, deciding to pound out my frustration and read at the same time. I had no idea I was about to have my own personal revival.
Several pages into the book I read today's verse. Have you ever had a verse jump off the page at you? Well, this one did. I thought back to my frustration with the work I was facing earlier and felt God speak to me through this verse. Quit telling me how impossible the task is and just do the work, He said. Don't forget I will show up each time. Not so you can boast about your abilities, but so you can boast in Me.
After my time on the treadmill, I raced downstairs to email a friend of mine who I had complained to earlier that day. I told her how the verse had ministered to me, and how I was going to simply do the work. She wrote back that she had been praying for God to speak to me about the task that was overwhelming me. I had a new motto as I recommitted to the task at hand: Do the work. Whenever I started to get discouraged or overwhelmed by the hugeness of the task, I reminded myself: Do the work—three little words that got me through one of the biggest challenges of my life. Perhaps you need to hear those three little words today.
Are you facing a challenge in your job? Do the work.
Does your marriage need to be rebuilt? Do the work.
Are you worried about your ability to be a good mother? Do the work.
Are you dealing with a personal hardship that just seems too big to overcome? Do the work.
Are you struggling with debt and financial issues? Do the work.
Do you want to eat healthier, commit to regular exercise or lose weight? Do the work.
Is there a dream that God has planted in your heart that seems too big for you? Do the work.
Make no mistake: sometimes the work will be hard. Note that our verse today didn't say "Lay around and hope things get better." The challenge we face is not in focusing on how hard the work is, but in seeking the God who has promised to show up as we work. We offer our best efforts and trust that He will multiply them. We will see Him supply the words, the resources, the energy, the time, the patience, the grace we need. But first we must do the work. Just like the priests had to first step into the water before the Jordan could part in Joshua 3:15-16, so we must begin working before we can see the solution appear.
What work do you need to start doing—or keep doing—no matter how discouraged or disheartened you feel? I pray that you will see Him at work on your behalf today as you do the work He has called you to do. Do the work, and He will be with you.
Dear Lord, help me to look to You and not to the hugeness of the work I have ahead of me. Help me not to be afraid or discouraged. I thank You for Your promise that You are with me and that You will not fail me or forsake me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
On the menu this evening.....a yummy Chicken and Rice Casserole!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
"We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need." Colossians 1:11
In a heart that values instant gratification like mine does, patience seems hard to come by.
In the last several weeks I've raced through a yellow light because I didn't want to wait at a red light – that's dangerous! I've looked up my symptoms on the internet because I didn't want to sit in a doctor's waiting room – that can be dangerous too. I've paid extra for an item off the internet because I didn't want to stand in line at the store – that's wasteful. I've also eaten dessert first, because I didn't want to wait until it was "time" for dessert – well, that's just called for sometimes! Though I can't recall a specific instance, odds are high that I lost my patience at some point and fussed at my kids.
We want stuff and we want it now. We want results and we want them now. Yet the Bible repeatedly says that patience should be a way of life for followers of Christ.
God is love and patience is part of His character. For you and I to love like God loves, patience will be required (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Loving as God loves is the ultimate goal as we walk through this life seeking to please God and become like Him.
I define patience as the ability to endure graciously. We all have to deal at times with people or circumstances that try our composure – an ungrateful child, an inattentive waitress, a slow moving line at the cash register, a spouse or friend taking our efforts for granted. How graciously do we behave in these circumstances?
The Bible says God will be faithful to complete the good works He began in us (Philippians 1:6). That implies there's going to be some "in the meantime" when we're all less than perfect and less than easy to love. This is where patience comes in. The apostle Paul instructs us to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph.4:1-3).
We also have to exercise patience with God as we wait for His full plan to unfold. At times we must wait for answers to prayers, for deliverance, for provision, or for Him to dispense justice or reveal His will. We really have no choice but to wait in these circumstances, but a woman developing patience will endure the wait graciously. It helps to remember how very patient God has to be with us on a daily basis!
Exercising patience isn't just an exercise of the human will. The kind of patience Paul is talking about is a fruit of the Spirit developed in a woman's soul in tandem with God. It's a virtue that grows from her confidence in the sovereignty of God and His ability to bring all things to completion, in His timing, in a way that benefits His children and glorifies Him.
This patience-thing may take some time to develop, but I've decided to graciously endure the process. I started today by stopping and waiting at a yellow light. As I sat at the intersection, I thought about God and about developing patience. The light turned green a mere minute later, and I went on my way with a smile on my face, happy to be a woman who is embracing patience … even if in a very small way.
Dear Lord, thank You for being so very patient with me. Help me to develop patience, and display that quality for Your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen