Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Blob Of Clay

There was a time in my life when I was more active than I am now. I ran, played tennis, and rode bikes.

I still remember when I first started running and had certain goals to meet. It would seem the last stretch would be a killer on my body, but I knew if I didn’t quit, the accomplishment would be worth it. So I’d press on.

Then after being involved in a car wreck I wasn’t able to do those things like I did before. I’ve had to work at building physical strength and agility.

Sometimes, while I’m working at the physical goals I re-injure an area I had hurt before and have to back off, only to have to start over again.

Because of that and how busy life is the progress has been slow but steady.

It reminds me of when I first became a Christ follower. I’d enjoy learning what the Bible said about God, I loved singing the songs, getting to know the people, and watching amazing prayers get answered.

Then something happens in life where the answers from prayer don’t come so quick. Or the answer is a no that hurts deep.

I remember one time after such an incident that hurt really bad. I opened the Bible and read, “God is good.”

It was a time where I had to decide to believe, or say, “If he’s so good then….”

It was a time I had to figure out how to trust Him during a trial with my hurt when He could’ve stopped the pain.

It was a time I had to learn to say, “You are the Lord.”

Was it easy?

No. It was a season of growing in a relationship with the God of all creation, who knows all, sees all, and is everywhere.

It was a season of trusting that what He said about Himself is true and that He is the King.

During loss, or seasons of waiting, the Bible says, “God is good.” It’s during those times of trials the Bible says our character is being shaped.

There is a verse in Isaiah about Him being the potter and we are the clay.

I can remember when I took a pottery class. (It was very boring to me.) But I still remember how important it was to keep the clay wet. And how easy it was for the clay to get all wobbly, I had to be careful to keep my hands a certain way to shape it into what I wanted it to be. I had to cut off extra pieces that weren’t necessary for the object I was making. I wasn’t very good at it at all. My things normally ended up being, well, nothing worth talking about. Then it had to be fired before I could paint it and try to make my blob look halfway decent.

The good news is, I can look around and see how talented God is. The sky, mountains, oceans and even the people are beautiful.

So as a piece of clay, I’m glad He’s the potter that is molding me and shaping me.

During those times He has to cut off those pieces that don’t fit or put me in the fire, yeah it hurts. But I’ve been learning to trust what He’s doing and remember how loving and talented He is.

Isaiah 64:8

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm Waiting

There was a time in the Bible when the apostles couldn’t cast out a mute spirit from a guy’s son. When Jesus appeared, the man explained what had been happening to his son since childhood. It was some pretty horrible things. The man ended with saying to Jesus…"But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Jesus didn’t rebuke him for his unbelief rather he rebuked the unclean spirit. He helped his unbelief.

Ever been in a place in your life where you believe in Jesus with all of your heart. I mean you don’t doubt that Jesus can take care of the situation, but…you’ve been praying a long time and you’ve suffered loss in the waiting for an answer. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus could speak and there would be healing, everything would be fixed, if only…and as you wait it’s so easy to waver, it’s so easy to wonder why, or where is He? It’s where a person’s faith gets stretched and…Lord, help my unbelief!

It’s not a matter of not believing in Him, it’s just, sometimes a person can be stretched so far past where a person is in their faith. A person can even reach the point of asking "Haven’t I been stretched enough?" And then there is that moment where faith grows. Unbelief is helped.

I had one of those moments recently in the waiting period…"Lord, help my unbelief during this tough time." The verse that went through my mind was from what is called the Lord’s prayer- “give us our daily bread.” Jesus was teaching the apostles how to pray, “give us our daily bread.”

What is your need for today?

Then I was reminded of Jesus saying, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Wow, that is a difficult thing to do, but I’ve discovered the key to waiting, is to take care of today’s troubles and trust God with the tomorrows. What can or should I do today?

One thing I can do today is, cast my cares upon Him and bring all my anxious thoughts to Him so that the peace that passes all understanding through Jesus will fill me.

I can praise Him for all the things He does and is going to do.

Another thing, I can follow the example of all of those people in the Bible doing their faith walk.

Abraham believed God – I can believe Him.

David had a heart after God – I can have a heart after God.

Joseph never compromised – I can be sure to not compromise.

Joshua didn’t fear – I can turn from fear.

Caleb believed God was bigger than the giants – I can believe God is bigger than the giants.

Peter trusted God love for him when he failed – I can trust God’s love when I fail.

Paul was content no matter what situation he was in – I can be content no matter what situation I am in.

There are so many things I can do today. The moment I am in, is the moment I can live for, and do, all that I can, to make the right choices and keep my heart toward Him.

I’m not saying I don’t wake up panicked, I don’t get frustrated, or wonder when?

No, I’m saying these are the things I can practice doing while I wait and trust God during the trial.

I know, though the answer hasn’t come yet, the Bible PROMISES all things work for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

I can trust in the promises God makes, because He never lies.