Posts Tagged ‘God’

God Works Through The Lowly

April 27, 2011

I was standing at my bus stop the other day after a long night of hard rain. Putting it bluntly, the pavement was icky, crawling with earthworms of every imaginable size, displaced from their flooded out wormholes.

Earthworms.
Is there anything lowlier in the animal kingdom than earthworms???

I think not.
And yet, they are one of God’s most wonderful creatures. These long, squishy, slimy icky things are so very important : They transform dead fallen leaves into a natural compost to enrich the surrounding soil. They also continually tunnel through soil to aerate it and mix the mineral content with the organic content, creating a better soil structure and drainage for plant growth. Without these icky, slimy, lowly things our efforts at farming and feeding the world’s human population would come to a dismal halt. No kidding.

Lowly earthworms.
Sometimes, God’s greatest work is performed by the most lowly of creation.

This is something we should never forget, especially when it comes to people and spirituality. A lowly person can be just as useful to God as anyone. Scripture is rife with examples of this, for example:

Gideon: He was from the the most insignificant family in his tribe and the youngest boy in his father’s house. And yet, God called him to deliver Israel from the Midianites (Judges 6:11-16

Jephthah: His mother was a prostitute, and his half-brothers on his father’s side refused to acknowledge him because of this and drove him out from their midst. Jephthah eventually banded together with some outlaws. In spite of these things, God used him to deliver the Gileadites from the Ammonites. (Judges 12:1-33)

Rahab: Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho. In spite of this, God still used her to help Israel defeat the city of Jericho, saving her and her family in the process (Joshua chapters 2 and 6)

The Adulterous Woman: An unidentified Israelite woman was caught in the act of adultery and the religious leaders brought her to Jesus to be stoned to death. Although the law at the time rendered this a righteous judgment against her, God saw fit to use her as a lesson in forgiveness, and thus Jesus forgave her and let her go (John 8:1-11)

Shepherds: In Bible times shepherds were regarded as a very lowly bunch who were reputed to be big liars; so much so that the testimony of shepherds weren’t even allowed in a court of law. And yet God ensured that the news of Christ’s birth was told first to shepherds in the field before anyone else.

The Blind Beggar: The lowly blind beggar was a fixture at the temple, constantly begging for alms to support his day to day living.  Although lowly, poor, and unemployable at that time, God saw fit to use the man as a lesson in compassion and faith, and thus Jesus Christ healed the man to the glory of God (John Chapter 9)

Of course I could keep going with more examples, but I think you get the point: Lowliness does not preclude a person from becoming a glorious part of God’s plans. God doesn’t see the stuff that you can’t do, He sees the stuff that you CAN do, and uses your strengths to work His purpose no matter what weaknesses you may have.

It is important to understand that God doesn’t view us like other humans view us. Our social connections, our financial status, our past lives aren’t what God looks at, as these things are all shallow and temporary. Our Social connections can die, move away, or simply have a “falling out” with us; financial status can come completely undone with a single pink slip, and our pasts are in our past — there’s no need to stay tied to that, therefore all these things are shallow and temporary. Instead, He sees what’s in our hearts, and our potential for faith and trust in His will — qualities that run deep and permanent. These are qualities that cannot be bought or schmoozed with. And THAT is what He is looking for.

So please don’t be discouraged if you feel that you aren’t worth God’s time and effort. If you cultivate the qualities that He seeks in mankind, He will see that your good qualities are put to good use.

The Easter Season

April 10, 2011

First, my apologies for not blogging so much lately. As I’ve stated several entries ago, I am working on a new website and book, which is taking a lot of my time (because I still have to go to work, be a mom, be a wife, etc. etc.). These projects will be finished by the end of this month, and then I’ll be able to blog more often.

In the meantime, the Easter season is coming up very quickly, and I simply cannot ignore it.

What is Easter to you?
Personally, I prefer to call it “Resurrection Sunday” because, well, to be honest I’m put off by the title “Easter”. More on that in another post.

The word “Easter” evokes many mental images to people, and there are three ways that people view Easter:

ATHEISTS/NON CHRISTIANS: Eggs, bunnies, candy baskets, decorations, and bunny cartoons on the t.v.
BIBLE THUMPERS: (that’s me) Church services, crosses, Bible readings, and Jesus movie DVD’s on the t.v.
REGULAR JOES: Eggs, bunnies, candy, decorations, bunny cartoons, church services, Jesus movies, and Bible readings.

I want to make this abundantly clear:
Although I am an admitted Bible Thumper, I do not judge those who are less conservative in their views.

That being said, each and every one of us (you and me) still need to take time out to deeply consider what Easter is to each of us as individuals. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind, getting busy with errands, and work, and life and stuff that we only take a passing thought on the topic, not taking some time to really let it sink in: Jesus Christ, a sinless man, died in order to pay off our debt of sin.

Between now and Easter (which is April 24th this year), I ask each and every one of you to take out a mere 15 minutes each day to stop and consider the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice, and how blessed we are to receive such mangificent love. Consider the abuse and torment he endured. Consider his emotional state as he went through each stage of the process between his arrest and his death. Consider his feelings towards his friends, family, and the strangers around him.

Fifteen minutes each day is doable. Let’s not reduce Christ’s sacrifice to a mere passing thought.

Mary’s Plight

December 20, 2010

Taken from Luke 1:1-55 and Matthew 1:18-24
(I have taken a few liberties with this, just so you know)

You are a young teenaged girl, engaged to be married to an older man.
In your society, premarital sex is a crime worthy of death.
In your society, being engaged was as good as being married — and adultery is also a crime equally worthy of death. Therefore, your engagement to this man is pure; you remain a virgin as you await your wedding day, and you avoid being tempted by other men as well. All is going very well.

And then the unthinkable happens: An angel tells you that God has chosen you to to be the mother of His Holy Son. And, without any sexual action, you are suddenly pregnant with this child.

Who in the world is going to believe that you are still a virgin?!?!

Your much older cousin, Elizabeth, is also miraculously pregnant through the will of God…and has been for about six months now. Perhaps she can give some guidance on this situation. So you tell your fiance, Joseph, that you are going to visit her. And you do…for three whole months. Elizabeth recognizes your God given position and praises Him for it; even the miracle baby still growing within her reacts to your presence! Surely this is an encouraging sign! And for three months, your cousin and her husband give you very strengthening encouragement.
And then it’s time to go back home again.

To your husband-to-be.
And you are starting to show your pregnancy.

The lengthy visit with Elizabeth and her mate has been so uplifting and so encouraging that you happily explain everything to your betrothed — after all, you are bearing the only Son of God! How glorious!

You forgot that your fiance received no visits from angels; whereas you and Elizabeth’s husband did. You forgot that your fiance has been clueless the entire time; all he knew is that you took off for three months to visit a relative!

And he is angry! Sad! Hurt! How could you possibly be pregnant when he waited so long for you to return! He’s been faithful to you the entire time! And what’s this story about Holy Spirit and angels and miracle pregnancies??!! C’mon Mary, what do you take me for???!!!

He storms away from you, angry, confused, and deeply wounded. To break up with you requires an actual divorce in your society; and a divorce requires proof that you cheated on him — something that your pregnancy would show. But such proof would also be your death sentence.

Oh dear God! What are you supposed to do now?! You don’t want your pure reputation dragged through the mud! You don’t want the accusations, the rumors, the stoning! Oh please, Joseph — you have to believe me! I’ve been true to you the entire time!

He doesn’t believe you. It’s simply too incredible of a story to be real! In his eyes you’ve betrayed his trust in many different ways, and your silly story is an absolute insult to his intelligence! He leaves you, and doesn’t look back.

He cannot bear to be with you any longer, but  he also can’t bear to see you be put to death over this foolish mistake of yours. He can’t marry you, but he also can’t bring himself to make a public spectacle of you. No. He would divorce you quietly. That way he could go on with his life and not carry the burden of feeling responsible for your death. It was the only way.

After a long, painful night of emotion, he finally falls asleep.
And in his sleep, in a dream, God’s angel speaks very clearly to him:
Take Mary as your wife. She is not lying; she is pregnant through the will of God. The child will be the saviour of the world, and you will name him Jesus.

Joseph awakens abruptly!
What??!! Seriously??!
But this was no ordinary dream. This was for really real!
It was settled: He would marry you.  He would help you raise the Son of God.

Meanwhile, you can’t sleep either. Your betrothed has left you, accused you of adultery, and wants nothing to do with you. Not only do you now face the prospect of being a single mother, but you also face possible death — for everyone knew you are engaged to be married to him! What else would everyone think as your pregnancy grew?! How can you possibly get out of this!

God! Where are you?! You want me to bear your Son but now I face certain death!
What’s going on here?! What do I do??!!

You cannot sleep. You are too worried for yourself and the child you are carrying.
It is so hard to understand how any of this is supposed to work out.
God help me, please!

Morning comes. Sleep never came to you.
What now?

You continue to  lay in your bed, praying and worrying.
When you hear a knock at your window.

Huh???

You hear the knock again.
You approach the window, hesitantly.
Perhaps people already found out about your situation and have already come for you.
You slowly open the shutters and see…

YOUR BETROTHED ONE!

You stand there, stunned in silence.
And he speaks:

I’m so sorry I stormed out on you yesterday! You gotta understand how hard it was to imagine all this stuff…this never happened to anyone else! God’s angel told me the truth, and that I should marry you — so come with me now to my home as a show of our marriage! You’re pregnant, and getting bigger by the day — you need to come now so that people don’t start talking and questioning everything!

You don’t know whether to hug him or slap him!

Well, c’mon Mary — we don’t have all day! He teases.

You quickly gather your things, and praise God for protecting you from all the stuff you worried about. You praise God for giving you a man willing to go through this with you. You praise God for the coming saviour that you are carrying!

Amen!

Training the Kitten

October 28, 2010

We have a ferocious little tiger named Theo living with us.
He’s an orange striped tabby, about six months old, and he is quite the little hunter:
Like when you’re coming up the hall and he attacks you from around the corner.
Or when he spies his little jingly ball and he carefully stalks it and……POUNCES!
Oh he’s so proud of his kitty prowess!

And…he’s also not very good at listening to us.

Sigh.

He knows he’s not supposed to get up on the kitchen table, evidenced by the fact that he’ll immediately get down when we enter the room. And he knows he’s not supposed to get into the trash, evidenced by the incriminating kitty claw holes in the rim of the trash bags. And you tell him “Down!” or “No!”… but he’ll just go and do it anyway when he thinks we aren’t looking.

Oh he’s just as cute and cuddly as any purry furry can be, and he just loves us to pieces!  (And how can we not love him in return?!) But he still has that annoying tendency to sleep on the table, rummage through the trash, and occasionally knock things down from the breakfast bar. (Bad kitty!)

And I don’t know which annoys me more: The fact that he continues to disobey us, or the fact that I can see a bit of myself in him; the bit that I’m not so proud of.

I mean, thinking about it, I’m not much more different than Theo in some ways. I love the little bugger, and he loves me too, but still he breaks the rules even though he knows better. Just like I love God, and He loves me…and yet I find myself breaking the “rules” sometimes, even though I know better. As much as I didn’t want to, I realized that I saw a little bit of me echoed in Theo’s behaviour.

And it makes me understand God just a teeny bit better: I screw up, but He loves me and forgives me. I screw up again, and yet again He forgives me! Not an awful lot different than what happens between Theo and us.

 

The Blessing of Work

October 26, 2010

Employment.
Work.
Your Job.

Some of us love our jobs, and some of us…well, not so much. And even among those who love their jobs they still experience moments of frustration, exasperation, and discouragement.

In short, we’ve all had the “I hate my job!” moment.

I’ve been struggling with this a little bit lately. My current employment is pretty easy —  I’m a bottle redemption clerk at a locally owned supermarket.  A job can’t get much easier: Count the number of containers a customer is returning, and give them a credit slip for the amount. Feed the containers into the crusher machines, and do it all over again. Yes, I do enjoy the customer interaction, and yes I do enjoy getting a weekly paycheck. BUT…there are those times during the workday in which NO customers come with containers to redeem. THAT’S when it gets mind numbingly boring. I have to find something to do, after all, my employer is paying me to be there and work. So I’ll grab a bucket of hot soapy water and wash out the container barrels.
And wash the countertops.
And sweep the floors.
And straighten the merchandise displays nearby.
And wash the walls….

It was during one such boring moment at work when I caught myself thinking how bored I was and how much I hated having a job that can be sooo terribly boring. I’m sick and tired of washing the walls!

And God said to me: I gave you the gift of employment after you lost your previous job, and you hate my gift?

You know that feeling when your parents caught you doing something wrong?
That was the feeling that shot through me.

He owes me nothing, and yet He ensured I had a weekly paycheck when I prayed for one. Not only that, but He also ensured I had a job with low stress, good co-workers, a friendly manager, and regular hours!  Considering that my previous job included high stress, catty co-workers, a cold manager and sporadic hours, my current job is truly a step up in spite of the $5 wage difference!

AND...in spite of the much lower wage, we haven’t gone a single day without proper food, shelter, clothing, clean water…you get the idea.

I had a momentary lapse of gratefulness to God: I forgot that He gifted me with a paycheck and better working conditions.  I was too wrapped up in what little bit was wrong to see all that other stuff that was right.

I’ll have to do better to appreciate what He’s given me when I have one of those “moments” again. Instead of dwelling on the stuff I don’t like, I need to remember to appreciate that stuff that I do like.

I know I’d be devastated if God took this job away from me simply because I showed contempt instead of appreciation for this gift.

Finding the Lost

October 21, 2010

Recently, we received an envelope in the mail addressed to us…sort of.

The home address was right, and my husband’s name was right, but instead of my name it was the name of some other woman.
Now, before you begin to think this is scandalous, let me explain: There is another couple living in our area in which the husband has the same name as mine, and our last names are the same. Because of this we sometimes get a phone call or an invitation in the mail that is actually meant for them instead. In the case of the phone calls we explain that we are the other Dickersons, and in the case of snail mail mix-ups we can usually track down the sender through the return address and set them straight as well.  Unfortunately, we don’t know their address and therefore we’re unable to forward their mail directly to them.

Anyway, this recent envelope is a little different. It looked official, and was addressed specifically to them by each of their names — unlike other mail for them we’ve gotten that was addressed to “The Dickersons”  or some other less specific thing. So we KNEW it wasn’t  for us, so we looked at the return address: No business name, only the street address. Since it was so official looking we decided we really needed to get this one set straight, so I Googled the address.

Sigh. It’s an office building with 20 different offices in it! Because the return address lacked a name it would be fruitless to “return to sender” because there’s no way to tell who sent it! That meant taking the time to call each and every number until we found the office that sent the letter. Sure, we could go the easy route and open the letter to look, but we don’t want to nose into somebody else’s business, nor do we want to get into trouble! But….we didn’t have the time to go calling all of those offices. And an official matter could be time sensitive. Eeesh!

I opened it, with much trepidation.

In respect for their privacy we won’t reveal the nature of the letter, but it was certainly something that was very important for them, and it was time sensitive. So I called the office at the top of the letter head and explained the situation. I helped the lady on the phone sort out which address and phone number was ours, which was theirs, and whatever else needed to be straightened out.  In the end it sounded like she now has the correct information and is able to contact the correct Dickerson family for their official business. She also told me to toss the letter we received, so we shredded it.

And God showed me a quiet lesson in this: The other Dickerson family was lost, and we helped them get found. Their being found helped avert a burdensome consequence if they had remained lost. My hubby and I feel “warm fuzzies” for finding them and helping them out, even though they are complete strangers to us.

Now, if we can get these “warm fuzzies” for one single act of saving a stranger from a destructive outcome, imagine the magnified feeling Jesus Christ had upon seeking out and saving EVERYONE from the curse of destructive sin! Sure, my husband and I can pat ourselves on the back for our singular good deed — but what we did is nothing compared to the magnitude of Christ’s salvation! After all, we didn’t really save anyone, we simply headed off a major inconvenience — certainly not in the same league as what Christ has done!

And one can’t even begin to imagine how awesome and extraordinary Jesus must have felt, knowing that millions and billions of people have been released from absolute destruction simply because he sought them out and saved them!  God also reminded me that only love would compel one to seek out billions of people to save — even if that meant being ridiculed, beaten, and murdered for it. And I realized that I can never compete with that level of love! I mean, yeah, I’d certainly die for my husband and kids,  and I’d likely risk my life to help a stranger in the face of death; but would I be as willing to die for millions of people who absolutely hated my guts?

It’s a very humbling thought, indeed.

So, yeah. We helped a stranger, and it was good. But what we did was merely a molecule in the ocean of love that is God.

Let’s not forget that ocean. Let’s remember to immerse ourselves in that ocean.
God’s love is not something to be ignored or forgotten.
Amen, and Hallelujah.

Sick Of It

October 3, 2010

I woke up this morning at about seven thirty. Laid in bed until about eight, when all of a sudden it hit me:

A whompin’ wave of nausea and a sudden dash to the bathroom — eeesh!

I hate getting sick to begin with, but this particular “brand” of sick is the worst kind. I’d rather do anything than this!

After the “problem” passed, I went back to bed.
No going to church today.
No going to work either.
Ugh.

I slept until about 1:30 in the afternoon, after which I felt a little more life come back into me. Don’t know what that earlier “stuff” was all about, but at least I’m feeling a little better now (though I’m not exactly up to par yet). And as I’m recuperating, a certain scriptural passage comes to mind:

And none there will say “I am sick”. The people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity
— Isaiah 33:24, HCSB

The context of this verse is in relation to the coming of God’s Kingdom in the future:
Nobody will be sick.
I wouldn’t have to live with nausea today.
My husband wouldn’t have to live with diabetes.
My mother wouldn’t have to live with swiss cheese for bones.
You wouldn’t have to live with _____________ (fill in the blank).

Think of how wonderful that will be! No more cancers, or epilepsy, or heart defects! No more standing in line for the yearly flu vaccinations! No more fevers or rashes! No more need of mosquito netting or rabies shots! Nobody will get sick, meaning we will all feel healthy and vibrant every day!

Every day!

Sin and sickness has plagued the world since the beginning in Eden; not one person has experienced life without pain, sickness or death, it’s unprecedented! All that junk is accepted as a normal part of life, and God is going to get rid of it for us!

I mean, the idea of Satan being vanquished when the Kingdom comes is already a GREAT thing — but the bonus of ridding the world of sickness just makes it that much more exciting! Think of how wonderful the people in Bible times felt when Jesus healed their ailments — and those were just temporary fixes. Imagine never having to pay for health insurance, or prescription co-pays, or cold medicines ever again. Imagine your baby never experiencing another ear infection. Imagine your arthritis going away forever.

Yeah. When His Kingdom comes we’ll all be healthy enough to jump and shout and dance for joy!

Come, Lord Jesus!

Changing Seasons

September 26, 2010

It is late September here in New York State.
Acorns are dropping from the trees, leaves are just hinting at changing colours, and coolness is filling the air. Summer is bidding its last farewell as Autumn steadily creeps in.

The crisp change of seasons.

I am sad to see summer go. All the cook-outs and gatherings, all the lemonade and lake side breezes…sigh. But it’s time for the change; it’s how God ordained it.  No matter how hard I fight it, Summer is leaving and Autumn is returning.  God’s ordinance continues on, regardless of what I want. And it is good, in spite of the loss of the warmth and sun.

If the seasons didn’t change from summer into winter the whole world would unravel: Birds wouldn’t be cued to migrate, plants wouldn’t receive their necessary time of dormancy required for optimum health, and certain animals wouldn’t be cued as to when they need to hibernate for their own optimum health.  The changing seasons also cue various sea creatures to migrate to other waters, in effect giving seasonal fishing opportunities to provide employment and food in many places. Winter snow also creates glacial ice in the northern and southern regions, providing a source of freshwater and ground water,  enabling communities to thrive. I could go on and on, but the point is the advance winter is actually a necessary part of a global system that thrives. Winter has a lot of value, in spite of its cold, bleak, sad appearance.

And there is a lesson to find in this: God foreknew the need for a dormant, bleak,  time of year. He foreknew the effects of winter upon the earth and how it actually has huge benefits in spite of the discomforts it brings. And He doesn’t take away the discomfort primarily because of those very benefits that we experience.

In the changing “seasons” of our lives, we also experiences “summers” (weddings, births, graduations, achievements, etc.) as well as “winters” (accidents, failures, mistakes, etc.). Although our “winters” are very uncomfortable, God sees that they are still important for our mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. Our faith cannot be tried, our trust in Him cannot be strengthened, and our victories over evil cannot happen if we never experience the “winters”.

Thus, even in the most trying of circumstances, God doesn’t take away all the discomfort. We need our “winters” if we’re ever to be a strong soldier in His Kingdom. However, it is equally important to remember that, although He allows the “winter”, He does not abandon us. He is our warm, cozy cabin with a crackling fireplace in the midst of that terrible winter season.

When “winter” happens to you, walk up to His cabin and ask for His warmth. Although He may not take away your winter season, He will still be your quiet refuge from the biting winds and the nipping frost. Just as He won’t lock you outside in the frozen blizzard where you may be tempted to succumb to the cold, likewise He will not let you endure more than you can bear in your life’s winter seasons (1 Corinthians 10:13).

May His peace continue with you.

Trial, Or Consequence?

September 18, 2010

Your future heart attack:
You knew eating high fat food was terrible for you, but you ate it all the time anyway. You knew your sedentary lifestyle was also terrible for you, but you never got around to exercising. You deliberately avoided getting your cholesterol levels checked because you were afraid of what it would show. And now you’re in the emergency room with a full blown hear attack trying to not die, and your family is wringing their hands in desperate worry.
CONSEQUENCE.

Your future car accident:
A drunk driver rammed into you. You are now in the hospital, in surgery, getting assorted organs repaired and bones re-set. You will endure a painful recovery complete with at least six months of rehab. You cannot work at your employment in the meanitme, meaning this is a huge financial blow to your family.
TRIAL

Your future lung cancer:
You knew all the warnings about tobacco and cancer, but you continued to smoke anyway. You knew about all the products designed to help you quit, but you refused them. And now you’re in a hospice room, breathing your last few breaths because lung cancer ambushed your perfect life.
CONSEQUENCE

Your future home foreclosure:
You had a great job and thus bought a good home for you, your wife and your kids. A few years later your employer goes bankrupt and you’re out of a job. Now your wife has to work a part time job at McDonald’s while you end up slaving away 40 hours per week in a low paying job as you continue to seek a better paying job. You cannot keep up with the house payments and end up moving in with your brother’s family until you can get back on your feet.
TRIAL.

Your future birthday party:
Your friends decide to celebrate your  milestone birthday by taking you out to a local bar. You have a few too many drinks. You vomit on another bar patron. A fight ensues. You wake up the next morning stinking of booze breath, with a fat lip and black eye,  in the county jail.
CONSEQUENCE

Your future family dinner:
For fun you take your wife and kids out to a restaurant for supper. The next day you are terribly sick  and with a high fever; you end up in the emergency room with a raging case of E.Coli. You are hospitalized for the next week due to the contaminted food you ate at the restaurant.
TRIAL

Do you see the differences here?

TRIALS are the things that happen to you when you are unaware of the dangers, or when you are forced into a situation.
CONSEQUENCES are what happens to you when you are aware of the dangers but choose to ignore them.

Although God realizes that we have bad judgment at times and make the wrong choices in spite of knowledge, He isn’t obligated to save us from ourselves. The Bible clearly states that we should not test God by acting recklessly (Matthew 4:5-7 ), and that we should expect direct consequences for our actions (Galatians 6:7-8). The Bible also warns that bad decisions on one’s part can end in death (Proverbs 1:32, 14:12, 16:25 ).

As for trials, on the other hand, The Bible makes a difference: In cases where believers are unaware or are forced into a situation God was willing to come to the rescue (Genesis 19:1-21, Daniel 3,  Acts 5:18-19)

Therefore, when something bad happens to you it’s very important to consider whether you brought it upon yourself, or if it was a situation out of your control.

If you find that you have indeed brought it upon yourself we strongly encourage you to ask for forgiveness and repent of your error. You may still have to endure the consequences (just like David did when the Bath-Sheba “thing” happened), but God will have not forgotten you.
If, on the other hand, you know it’s a trial that you had no control over we still strongly encourage you to seek God, for that is where your strength and help will come from. Take His hand and He will guide you through the dark and back into the light. (Satan does love to block the light with his darkness, don’t let him win!)

The gist of the matter is this: Please be aware of the differences between trials and consequences, and act with wisdom when it comes to situations involving consequences, and pray for forgiveness (and yes, we’ve all had our stupid “consequence” moments!). And if you are in the midst of a trial, continue to act with wisdom as you lean on God for help. But either way, if you lean on God, He does not leave you.

Amen, and peace.

(With a nod to Dr. James McDonald, who covered this type of thing in a radio sermon a little while ago)

In The Way

September 14, 2010

I have a problem in my relationship with God.
The problem is ME.

What’s worse is that I can’t get away from me in order to get away from the problem!

My problem is that I get in my own way, all the time! I’m incorrigible — I just can’t seem to stop! I make plans to deepen my relationship with Him, but I fall off the wayside after a while. I’ll have solid intentions of working on a particular personality flaw, and I fail miserably.

How can plans that seem so easy be so hard to follow through on???!!! Sounds easy enough: JUST DO IT, as the Nike slogan says.

Yeah. Right.
And the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

God wants to work in me in good ways — I know it. And for the most part, I do follow His lead. And, just as I’m doing well and going strong, I stumble over myself yet again.

Really, it’s annoying.
And what’s more annoying is that I can’t blame anyone except for myself.

And so, once again, I find myself at the mercy of God’s gracious gift of forgiveness and make a promise to do better.

Fortunately, God’s mercy isn’t finite. I fall again and repent again, and in return with His great Love and Wisdom, He is willing to forgive me.
Yet again.

What a wonderful God we worship!

He doesn’t use our past deeds against us if we earnestly seek His mercy. And He’ll bolster our faith if we only ask Him to. His patience with us is immeasurable, His unconditional love for us is a great comfort when we stumble over ourselves.

Thank you God, and thank you Jesus, for the gift of mercy and forgiveness!
Thank you for not condemning us for being stubborn and stupid!
Thank you for accepting us in spite of ourselves!

Amen and amen.


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