As I am typing these words, I can see the trees outside of my window. The same trees that had been bear all winter now have budding leaves on them.
I have learned that there will be winter seasons in my life, but they won’t last forever, spring will come. The seed won’t remain in the ground forever. At some point, life will spring forth. Sometimes winter can go a lot longer than we would like and we lose hope for spring. I have been there. But it will come. Be attentive and celebrate the signs that show you that spring is here. Sometimes we are waiting for all the flowers to fully bloom to celebrate, instead of shouting at the bud we see on the tree. Spring is breaking forth in my life, and I am learning to celebrate every little sign that I see. How about you? Have you given up hope for your spring season because your winter has gone a lot longer than you wanted?
Psalm 30:5 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
Isaiah 43:19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
I have learned that not everyone will understand my pain and that it is OK. Throughout scripture, we are encouraged to pray and encourage each other. However, nowhere does it say we should expect of man only what God can give. People have a limited bandwidth, which is fine because they are not God. I have learned that I should not put unfair expectations on people and get angry when they don’t understand my pain. I ask for prayer and share my pain with others when it is needed. However, I am learning to not get frustrated when they are unable to empathize or even offer just the right words in response to my pain. Instead, I am learning to cast my cares on Jesus because He cares for me. He totally understands, and He always has the right response.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
I Peter 5:7 …casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
I have learned to be at peace with not having all the answers and to put my trust in the God who does. I won’t always understand the why behind the what, and that’s OK. This is a hard place to get to if we lack faith. We as people love to be in control and when we don’t have answers it can drive us crazy. The enemy can have a field day in our minds if we don’t get to that place of accepting that the secret things belong to God. I don’t always understand the mind and ways of God. However, I can rest in peace knowing that He is faithful, and whatever He allows, it’s for a purpose and it will always work for my good.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I have learned to redefine success and ditch what the world told me. This lesson has really hit home for me the last few years. I reflect on my life and it did not go as planned. It would be easy for me to say it hasn’t been successful. However, that’s just not the truth. My life is successful because I am doing what God has called me to do. That’s as simple as it gets for a definition, but it can be a challenge to live out. Truth is, when you say yes to God, that yes leads you to carrying your cross.
That yes leads you to a place of death
Death to self
Death to your own agenda
Death to things you could have done that would have caused the world to applaud you and call you successful.
I also realize if I am not careful, I can abort what God has told me to do if it doesn’t become a “success” in my prescribed time frame. If I don’t guard my heart, the response of others can make me second guess if I am truly successful.
I have been a stay at home mom for the last 14 years. My duties can be summed up to tending to my husband, children, and house. Nothing glamorous about that. However, I have had to remind myself to keep my eyes on Jesus and look to Him to define true success. How about you? Are you struggling with this truth? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
How would you feel if you gave someone a well thought out gift, only to find out that they didn’t think much of it. If they used it, it wasn’t very often and they didn’t take good care of it. You wouldn’t be too happy would you? Here is the thing, God has given each of us gifts, and He expects us to use it and for His glory.
I have learned that I shouldn’t take my gifts for granted. I must work on perfecting them, and one of the best ways to do so, is to use them often and according to God’s leading. I must also look for ways to develop my gifts. I should never get to the point of thinking I know it all because there is always room for growth.
Additionally, God has shown me that I can’t turn my gifts “on “and “off” based on my feelings or the setting that I am in. Sometimes, we are placed in certain situations that we think is beneath us, so we choose not to share our gifts in that setting, and if we do, it is not with the spirit of excellence. WRONG ANSWER! We take orders from God, not our feelings or ego. We shouldn’t wait for the “big stage” to turn “on” our gifts. We must start now and do so with all our heart. If teaching is your gift and you have been asked to teach a Sunday School class with only two half-awake students; I encourage you to prepare to teach those two students in the same way you would if you were called to teach an audience of a million people and all the cameras were on you. It is also important to note here that sometimes we don’t operate in our gifts because we don’t see the value in them. Instead, we are too busy coveting another’s gift that seem bigger and shinier than ours. We’ve missed the point all together when we have this mindset.
It is my desire to be a good steward of the gifts God has given me. I want Him to be pleased with the way that I used them to be a blessing to others. In the end I want to hear, “well done good and faithful servant, enter the joy of the Lord.” How about you? What have you been doing with your gifts? Are you using them for His glory or have you hid them and only take them out when its convenient for you? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
1 Peter 4:10-11 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
There is nothing like feeling overwhelmed or having something hanging over your head that you just don’t want to deal with. In cases like these, I am quick to look for something to distract me instead of dealing with the issue or how I am feeling. I sometimes grab my phone to do some mindless scrolling or reading. I have also been gluttonous and even ate the wrong things, to use food as a distraction. This is not beneficial because after I am done being distracted, the problem still exist.
For today’s lesson, I have learned that I must be willing to turn off the distractions and deal with the issues that are before me. Before I can turn off the distractions, I must be honest with myself and admit that I am not looking to relax but I am trying to avoid dealing with an issue. There is a difference! I am learning to turn off all the external distractions and run to God to help me deal with the very thing I am trying to avoid.
Do you find that you look for ways to get distracted when you have issues you are trying to avoid? Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.