Friday, March 29, 2013

Trust and talent

I apologize now if this post seems short.

I never tire of the parallels between my relationship with my children and my relationship with God. So often I scold my kids for something then as soon as the words have left my mouth I think about how I am towards God, my father.

In this entry I want to share with you one of the lessons I learn while trying to teach my children.

My daughter is amazing. She has a pure heart, and a passion for God. She can be a goofball and I love it. Today though, she broke my heart a little.

Lately she's been trying her hand at a little of everything, and just can't find where she excels. She came to me broken hearted and crying wanting to know what her talent was. She wanted to know why she had no special talent. She wanted to know why she couldn't run fast, go across monkey bars, or write songs like she wanted to. In her heart these are important to her. She wanted to know why she wasn't naturally good at these things.
What am I good at? What are my talents? These were the questions she was asking.

From my perspective, as her parent, I can see her talents. I can watch her grow every day and see the ways she is growing. I can see how good her heart is. I can see her kindness. I can see so many talents she has. She is amazing with young children. Yet, she cannot see these things. I try to praise her and show her what a great person God is making her into. Yet, she cannot see these things.

In the end we talked, prayed and cried. I gave her glimpses of what I see, and assured her we all feel like this at some time.

Now, after I was done talking to my daughter, I had a thought. How many times have we sat there, convinced God has no way to use us? Convinced we have no talents? Convinced that We feel as nobody has felt before? Many times.

I know for me, it has been just within the past couple years that I feel I'm finding my talents. So many times, God tried to show me what my talents were. But,they weren't what I wanted them to be, so I dismissed them. Are we open to what God's will is? Or are we convinced the things we want are better?

The older I get the more I realize what a wide range of talents there are and how they are all equally important. When I was young, if I didn't have a popular, well known, or huge wasn't a talent.

Our talents and gifts can change with time. Or God may not be ready to reveal them to us because he's still helping to equip us to use our talent. Whatever the case, we have to have faith that he can see us in a way we cannot understand. God really does love us with an immeasurable love.

What is your gift? Will you trust God to reveal it when the time is right? Will you trust you are worth more than you know? My daughter had to trust me, that I can see her talents, and her worth more than she can. I have to do the same, and trust God. Will you?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The battle.

Life is a battle. Sometimes we watch the battle helplessly, and other times we are in the midst. Whichever the case, the battle is for us. Really, it's true. Every single day Satan wants you to join him. Every day you must fight or be fought for.

Each soul is a battle ground in the war for souls. We know that God wins the war. The bible assures us of this throughout scripture.

What about the battle? That's where we come in. Our free will plays out. We can choose to seek shelter in Christ our Lord, or we can choose to give in and stop fighting. Stop sounds so nice, doesn't it? Just give in and stop the exhausting battle. No more struggling, heartache, or care. At least it would seem that way.

God is always at work for us and it often goes undiscovered. Your pulse. Your breath. The sunshine. The air. Take God out of this life and what are we left with? Hell. That is the best description I can muster for is a place where God isn't. Think about that. Let it sink in and stew.

Now, misery loves company. Satan is misery and he wants all the company he can get. He is going to coax, lie, and allude. As wonderful, and tempting as his offers may seem, we know he is a liar. We are armed with that knowledge.

When you are frustrated, discouraged, and feel hopeless, know this; this battle is worth fighting. Shall we go into battle naked? Certainly not!!

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth , and having put on the breastplate of righteousness , and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace ; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation , and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:11-17 NASB)

How is your armor? Are you familiar with your sword? Do you know how to use it? What of your shield? Is your faith strong?

Too often I've heard people tell me,"I don't need to read the bible, I know what it says."
How sad! Do we really think we can come to a place when there is nothing more we can learn from the word of God? I hope not. Our hearts should always be open to the different ways scripture can apply to our lives. Never. Stop. Learning.

Lately I've felt overwhelmed by life. Moving stinks. That is only one small piece of what is going on. I am guilty of not reading God's word daily. Shame on me!! Even a single psalm or verse. I need to improve on this. How could I go to battle with no sword?

This battle we fight may not seem like a battle every moment of every day. It may not be a loud, epic event. It may be quiet, even silent. The person you sit next to could be at battle at this moment and you may not know. You could even be at battle without knowing. Those little things that slowly creep into your life, that you get used to being there. They could be your destruction. A word of caution; if you aren't at battle or haven't been for sometime, you may want to step back and see which side you're on. You may have changed sides without knowing. Believe it or not, if you're under fire from satan, it's because he knows you are a threat. He knows he will have to fight hard for you. Perhaps you're crying yourself to sleep at night because you just don't think you can do it anymore. But you can. You can.

We will slip up, and make mistakes. We will faultier and fumble. At the end of the day pick yourself up, dust yourself off and make sure you know WHO you are fighting and that YOU are worth fighting for. Our battles will not all be the same, but they are worth fighting. Keep your sword sharp, your shield strong, and your armor ready. You are precious to God.

But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11, 12 NASB)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Faith in Timing. Timing in Faith.

Time is an interesting topic. There are many layers and aspects to time. It is said that the older you get the faster time goes. While it doesn't actually speed up it is a smaller fraction of your life. When your 2 a year is half your life! When your 80, it's 1/80 of your life.

Time is also a gift. God gave us time to repent. Can you imagine never having time to make things right? It is an interesting thought. Time to God is like us looking at a wall. He can see the beginning, end, and everything between. Time does not apply to God though. He always has been and always will be.

10 minutes can seem like 10 seconds when we are with the ones we love. Then there are times in our lives when 10 min seems like an eternity. When we are sitting in a hospital waiting room. When we are holding someone's hand as they pass from this life. When we are waiting for Gods response.

Myself and several people I know are waiting on God's response for one thing or another. Waiting is a tough thing to do, isn't it? I keep reminding myself that God is not late, ever. We have mapped out in our head exactly how and when things are to happen. But Gods timing and ours are very different. We live in a world of instant response. We go nuts when we can't get a hold of someone NOW. We can text, call, email, and face time. Gone are the days when people were ok not to hear from you until you got home and checked your answering machine. I think we have come to expect the same of God. God's timing is perfect. He is perfect and therefore everything he does is perfect. Our view is so limited that we can't see Gods plans and think that if God hasn't made an obvious answer in our time frame, that he has ignored or denied our requests. We are impatient creatures.

God loves us. He really does. When we look at our children and tell them to wait for something that they want an answer to now, often it is because we know something they don't know yet. How then, can we expect our children to trust us, if we will not show that we will trust God?

      Right now my kids and I are studying the life of Abraham. God promised Abraham and Sarah a child. As many times as I have heard this story something new stuck out to me. The waiting. From the time God promised them a child to the time he was born was (I think) 14 years. Sarah got impatient with Gods methods and told Abraham to have a child with Hagar. as I was reading this I thought....that sounds like something I'd do! I mean, I can see myself getting impatient and trying to force God to hurry up. I can just imagine me trying to figure out a way to make happen what I want to happen rather than waiting on God.

I have also been reflecting on this scripture.

Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the L ord came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He said, "I have been very zealous for the L ord , the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." So He said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the L ord ." And behold, the L ord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the L ord ; but the L ord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the L ord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the L ord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 19:9-13 NASB)

Often we expect God to be obvious. We like to think we know how he works and that we can predict him. We like to stuff him into a box and keep him within our limits. Shame. On. Us. God has no limits and he does not follow our rules. He is God and he makes the rules. In Psalms 46 we are told to "be still and know that he is God." Be *still* ??? In this information overload, instant gratification, instant everything society?? Yes. It has been said that if you are too busy for God than you are busier than he ever intended you to be. Do we spend the time in meditation and prayer that we should? I know I certainly don't. Do we count our blessings?

Every difficult time is meant to make us grow. To purify our hearts. Is it pleasant waiting? Certainly not. I encourage you to find someone to confide your desires in. Pray together. Just because something good will come of it in the end doesn't mean the experience will be pleasant. It does mean that you can make it through. It does mean that God will reveal his purpose. God will not ignore his children. Let's make it through this together.

"Farther along we'll know all about it. Farther along we'll understand why. Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine. We'll understand it, all by and by."

Ecc. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Things will work HIS time.