Someone I love is going through a challenge and I want to help! Since I have contacts, it seems natural to help get this done. Also, there are financial resources needed and I feel I can make the needed phone calls. Then, as I quieten my thoughts in prayer, it comes to me to slow down and turn wholeheartedly to God. Certainly I will take human footsteps as I am led, but I needn’t yield to human will, but to God. My heart overflows with gratitude to witness my own growth.
There was a time when I would have gotten the job done one way or another, but by willful force. My gratitude is that I now realize I don’t know the spiritual growth this person needs and God is always on the job and I trust Him implicitly. Have been praying with 1 Thessalonians 5:18 which reads “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Recently read an article about a man from the Middle East who now lived in an affluent part of a large city in America. He reported that he frequently was mistaken as the “hired help” when he was out shopping. Often he said it was very irritating and he and his friends from that part of the world would discuss this whenever they were together. It finally occurred to him while praying one day that type of behavior was just perpetuating those feelings. Matthew 7:5 reads “first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
As he prayed, he realized God knows neither victim nor villain and it was his own thinking that needed to be addressed. This certainly stirred up some things in my own thinking that I could address as well.
This morning I was reading some scriptural text from an old classmate. He was giving his views of what the Bible says and it was definitely God-inspired as he saw it. Some of it was actually quite good. Afterwards, he began spouting his political views which differ from mine. I always question how someone could quote God but not love all of His creation. At that very moment, a light came on and I realized this was just exactly what I was doing!! I was judging this man while questioning his authenticity and intelligence.
Previously I had seen a cartoon of a dog chasing his tail and the caption read how easy it is to entertain and amuse a dog by chasing his own tail. Then the author said that he thought he had been amused by this for almost ten minutes! That, too, hit home for me.
Philippians 2:15 reads “So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” This is only true without judgment; leaving all judgment to God.
As I worked with this verse from Matthew 10 which reads “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known”, a thought came to mind. This could also mean that our true identity as God’s precious child would come to light! In the past, I would think of something someone had done that had not been made public and it always seemed to be dark and foreboding. Then I was led to Acts 17:27-28 which states “God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.'”
Light seemed to shine inside my head as I prayed with these verses.
When discouragement attempts to sneak in at anytime, Joseph immediately comes to thought. It seemed he had one challenge after another and he continued to grow spiritually. Anyone familiar with this story knows that the same brothers that had plotted to kill him but sold him into slavery instead, later in life they owed their very existence to him. They had to come to him for food. I never read this without going to Romans 8:28 which reads “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Every challenge he faced was necessary for his growth, but he was never separated from God and neither are we. Whenever I feel I am stuck, I simply remind myself that I just cannot see the entire picture yet, but I know it is always good since my life is guided by God and it will soon be revealed to me.
This afternoon my niece called from another city while visiting her mother, my sister. She put the telephone up to her ear and I was able to tell her that I love her! She has not known me for over five years but my niece said that she smiled a big smile. In my heart I believe she recognized my voice and that call has made my day. Gratitude and humility are filling my spirit as I bask in God’s Love. Psalm 16:11 reads “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fulness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
There is always something to be grateful for and they seem to multiply when we become conscious of them.
While at my desk studying and praying, I received a frantic call from someone in another state asking me to pray about the weather since the predictions do not look good. The verse to a Hymn we sing at Church came to mind:
“In heavenly Love abiding, No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding, For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me, My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me, And can I be dismayed?”
Isaiah 41:10 states “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” These words appear to me to be a promise and I will take them as such.