Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. (Prov3:5)

 I mentioned before that sometimes I run ahead of God. His timing is perfect, and my anxiousness and lack of patience often gets me in trouble. But the other area in this verse—leaning on my own understanding—gets me into even deeper trouble.

My vision is finite. I cannot foresee the future, and even more crucial, I cannot see into the hearts and minds of others. What looks like anger, might actually be the way the person protects himself from hurt; what looks like selfishness, might be him ensuring the needs of his family. My understanding of a situation can be muddied by my preconceptions or my expectations. Sometimes I can’t explain my own motivation, let alone other’s.

This is just one area where relying on the Lord will not only affect our eternity, but it is a guiding principle for success in this world too.

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Children of Light

For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. (Eph5:8)

 “Children of light” sounds like an amazingly beautiful concept, like playing on a sunny beach under a clear blue sky. But allowing God to turn on the light (truth) often reveals things about ourselves that we may not like.

I find that it is easier to justify– diminishing my responsibility, shifting the blame to others or circumstances beyond my control. Justification keeps us trapped in the quicksand of darkness. But if we are willing to admit our wrongdoing (or destructive thoughts), He is faithful and just to purify us (1John1:9)

It seems ridiculous to let our silly pride keep us from all the rewards that come with walking in the light.

Healing

If my people who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin, and heal their land. (2 Chron 7:14)

What would a “healed” land look like?

God created diversity. In this country our diversity gives us the richness of our culture. But a healthy land must also have unity. We share common bonds of humanity—needs, emotions; however if our emotions ruled us, we wouldn’t be united at all. We’d be acting selfishly and destructively, each satisfying his own needs.

We can’t heal our land by legislating kindness or righteousness. We couldn’t even come to a consensus of what “good” means.

God gives us the answer in this verse. We have to park our own egos, pray, and seek His face, then listen to His voice in our hearts, telling us what to do and what to turn from.

I hesitated inserting this often-quoted verse in the conversation, but my heart hurts because of the division in our country. The solution to healing our land doesn’t lie in any person, or even any system, but we can trust the Creator Who has given us the formula for how to fix it.

Vindication

Judge not so that you will not be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged. (Matt 7:1-2a)

 I am not the Holy Spirit. That probably doesn’t surprise a lot of people, but it is something about which I often have to remind myself. Since I can’t look into other people’s hearts, I sometimes misread what they say or do.

I know I’m not alone because I am sometimes misread. That especially hurts when my intentions are incorrectly discerned and meant for good. Whenever I am misunderstood, I always feel the need to explain myself or plead my case.

Jesus never vindicated Himself. His intentions were misunderstood and criticized to the point of death.

I need to follow His model and trust that the God of Truth and Justice holds the eternal balance sheet.

Eternity

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. (Ecl. 3:11)

What’s on your bucket list? It doesn’t really matter if it’s tiny or huge; selfish or humanitarian. The minute it’s checked off another will appear. That’s okay. Goals and dreams are not a bad thing.

But God has put eternity in our hearts. Nothing or nobody this side of heaven can ever fulfill or satisfy that longing. In our limited understanding, we can’t even begin to grasp it—we can’t imagine what God has in mind. That’s not our job anyway; trust and faith and hope are.

Don’t you just love the words in this verse? They make me feel such a connection to the Father—He has placed eternity in our heart.

He is Faithful

 

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians‬ ‭4:13‬

The following was written by my daughter, Kayte, upon completion of her first marathon. She has clung to this verse many times in her life and her Lord has always been faithful:

“How did it go?” You ask….

On the morning of the race, in a cold shuttle bus in the dark, the runner next to me said “This is the worst idea I’ve ever had.” We both laughed, but deep down knew we kind of weren’t kidding. I knew he also hadn’t slept all week, had put in 100s of miles of training, was wondering if breakfast would stay down, and kind of just wanted to go home. The anticipation of covering an entire city using nothing but your sneakers and heart requires more courage than one typically has at 4am on a Sunday and a heavy dose of insanity (no seriously, this is for crazy people). Friends and family, hear this loud and clear: I could have NEVER done this without your encouragement, support, gifts, PRAYERS, and Thank you to friends who came out to cheer in the cold and wind – YOU are the rock stars! Thank you to my brother and sis-in-law for experiencing this right by side and to my amazing husband – 2 words: Team. Flynt.

What I will remember the most about the race is the dreaded last 6 miles. Imagine running for 4 hours and then someone punches you in the face. It’s kind of like that! This quote absolutely nails it:

“At mile 20, I thought I was dead. At mile 22, I wished I was dead. At mile 24, I knew I was dead. At mile 26.2, I realized I had become too tough to kill.”~ Anonymous

To anyone still reading this, you ARE too tough to kill. Set a goal, a big one, and watch what you can do.

Finish time was 4:45…it was kind of unclear where the exact finish line was so I asked an official, with tears in my eyes, “Is it over?” This huge man…and he grabs my hand and says “Honey, it’s over.” And you think about all the mornings, cold runs, sacrifices, vegetables, and pain it took to hear those words…..I am speechless & humbled. “Honey, it’s over.” And now…

We celebrate!!!!!

Sent from my iPad

Revenge, Retaliation, Payback, Justice

You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matt 5:38-9)

So which is it? There is never a contradiction in God’s word, but this sure seems like one. Actually, an eye for an eye deals with the law and how to handle legal issues, matters of justice such as retribution for stealing.

The message that Jesus both taught and modeled was love. He never sought revenge or even justice when He was falsely accused. He taught us to pray for our enemies and ask God’s forgiveness for them.

Jesus came to fulfill the law, and by following Him, instead of punishment, we are given grace.