And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9
I think it is human nature to assume we understand…everything. We think we grasp the situation and what God is working on in our lives. And most of us would bristle if told: You don’t.
Even if we have been hitting the same road blocks repeatedly – I generally maintain, I know “what for”.
But really, no matter what I have deluded myself into believing, I don’t have a clue about:
But what if you are supposed to grow pumpkins? Only low, tough vines grow pumpkins. And you see, pumpkins can only be harvested late in the season – because they are pumpkins.
So, if God is going for pumpkins, I get to choose. I can: fight Him for cherries or join Him for pumpkins. And it is hard. But I want God to grow His fruit, His way.
Cherries, pumpkins, rhubarb, apples, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, thimble berries…they all make great pies!
A not so disastrous “disaster” stuck our household this week – we lost internet. It went bye-bye on Wednesday (serve outage…or something) and didn’t return until Monday. The good news is that paper copy always works. So we broke out paper maps for navigation, the telephone book for contact information (one with literal white and yellow pages), and an exhaustive concordance for Bible references and study. And overall, we suffered no ill effects beyond a slight case of annoyance.
It occurred to me, several times actually, as I pined to look up facts, contact people, and be entertained, would I long for God like this if I missed my quiet time? Would I think about it multiple times a day? Make a special trip to help it happen? Is my relationship with Christ always on my mind?
And as the answer to that question drove me to confession and contemplation, I was less sorry we lost internet. After all:
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. – 2 Corinthians 12:10
Think quickly: How do challenges come to us in life? Falling in love, falling out of love, the death of a loved one, the birth of twins, the loss of a job, the gain of the job…fill in what you like, all our challenges are posed to use as individuals. The goal during the hard times or exciting times in life is not to do as good as “so & so” but rather to do the best you can. Ironically, everyone agrees on this – no one can love for you, work for you, grieve for you or die for you. And everyone agrees that in these trials -- that are universal to the human race -- the goal is to be (or do) the best you can.
Yet in everyday life, most people live something completely different. If you were looking around you might guess the ultimate achievement is to be prettier, stronger, richer, smarter, or (fill in your “er” word) than everyone else. And that is how many judge their lives. If only I were as thin as her, as successful as him, as popular as her, as confident as him. Well, at least I am not a hair brained as she is, as irresponsible as he is, as selfish as she is, as arrogant as he is.
We always want to think that as long as we are better than our neighbor, friend, family member, or if all else fails, that celebrity (what’s his name?)...then we are “okay”. This is not true.
But how are we to accurately measure our lives? Clearly, it is not: Did you do better than Katie? Or: Were you, at least, as successful than John? But rather: How well did you meet a standard? Okay, but Who’s standard? Who truly measures our lives? Us? Our boss? The guy on the street? Close.
Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. – Romans 14:4
We fall or stand based on God’s standard -- the Bible.
The bottom line is: God’s says X. Am I achieving it? Falling short? Resenting the sacrifice? Ignoring it?
Now you know the measurement – no excuses, seek success and don’t be duped by the comparison charade.
It is so easy to worry about:
What in reality is
Out of my control and not even my
Responsibility instead of
Relinquishing it to
Yahweh, the LORD
It is His responsibility and, even better, He is all-knowing, all-powerful and good enough to handle it perfectly.
Worry can rob us of our joy now and in the future -- unless we are on guard. When God does not "reward our worrying" (and incidentally, a lot of us worry instead of pray) the way we think He should, we run the risk of bitterness
“Lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble…” Hebrews 12:15b
Praise God, bitterness, like worry and all other sins, has an Answer: Jesus Christ. It is not the incurable poison.
Take hold of the Truth
Turn from Anger
Evaluate your anger in light of God’s: will, plan, right, dominion, power, and holiness
Relinquish your rights
Forgive as you have been forgiveN
Surrender to God’s will
Step out in obedience and faith one day , one decision at a time
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.