Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Renewal

I apologize for my long absence from writing.  Life tends to fly by at a pace that it is hard to grasp all that is happening around us.  I have even had my own personal struggles and fears that I have had to deal with over the last year.  There are always trials, and changes that need to be faced.

So much has happened that have shaken my faith, but not destroyed it.  There have been injuries to loved ones, the loss of my grandmother to cancer, trying to buy a new home, a new job, and the list keeps on going.  And I have caught myself many times questioning why all this was happening all at about the same time.  Is it all a test?  Is it God showing me what I am capable of handling?  Is it preparation for something in the future?  And through all of my questioning, I have found that I had developed a lack of trust.  A lack of faith.  I had become prideful about my accomplishments, and somewhat bitter about my downfalls.  But, even at my lowest point, God was always there within reach.  It was not that He left me, but I allowed myself to move away from Him.

2 Chronicles 7:14
"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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Renewal to God is based on a few conditions as seen in this verse.  And these conditions all rest on us.  First, we have to humble ourselves.  We have to understand the fact that there is nothing about us good enough on our own to please God.  As Paul said, he did not feel worthy enough to tie the sandals of Christ's feet.  Only through humility, can we adequately approach the throne of God.  Secondly, we need to pray, and pray often.  If we want a right relationship with God, we need to speak to Him on a regular basis.  This is our way to reach out to Him.  As I stated earlier, He never leaves us and is always there.  Next, we need to seek Him.  We do this by studying the Word of God.  We look to find what He expects of us, and we learn of who He is.  This helps us to draw closer to him.  Lastly, we need to repent.  Repent literally means to have a change in mindset.  Not only do we need to ask forgiveness for our shortcomings, but we need to consciously change our actions to match.

When we submit to these four conditions, God brings about renewal to our lives.  He will hear our prayers, He will forgive our sins, and He will bring about healing for all of our sufferings.  No matter where we are in our lives, or the level to which we feel we suffer, God is still there.  We just have to recognize it, and actively seek Him for help.

Lord, forgive me for my distrust and distance from You.  I know that you have always been there, regardless of my situations.  And I know that I have come through them, not own my own power, but by Your grace.  Please give me the continued strength and guidance that You always have provided in times past.  Shower me with Your love and comfort, so that I can push on in this world,  and show the world who You are through what you have done in my life.

Amen.

Thanks for reading and God bless you all!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wait

Hello all.  Forgive me for my absence from the blogging world these last couple of months.  Life is always interesting, and presenting new challenges.  But, I have felt really encouraged this past week to continue my writing.

The inspiration for this post comes from the dinner table.  Now those of you who have or have had small children my gain some appreciation from this.  One thing that I have noticed from my kids, ages 7, 4, and 2, is that they are always in a hurry.  "When is supper going to be ready?"  "Can I have a small snack while I wait?"  "Can we hurry up and say the blessing?"  "Can I get down and leave the table?"  My wife and I have been using the all powerful "Just wait a minute."  Supper time at my house is a big deal.  Not only is my wife an awesome cook, but that is the only time that I get to spend with my family when I am working.  As a teacher, and a varsity coach, when school is in, I miss a lot of those moments.  So we stress the need for family time.  This made me think of an Old Testament verse.

Isaiah 40:31
"Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary."

Waiting can be the most stressful things we as humans can do.  We want what we want, when we want it.  Waiting can also cause all sorts of anxiety.  Take a job for instance.  From the time that you apply for a job, the anxiety builds while you wait.  Will they call for an interview?  Did they like my interview?  Will they call back?  Did I get the job, or did that pass me up for someone else?  The same can be said for waiting on your child to be born.  Is the baby ok?  Will the baby come early?  Will I be a good parent?  And once you get to the hospital to have the baby, how much longer before the baby is here?

However when we wait upon the things of God in our lives, the anxiety is absent if we truly trust in Him.  I have been told often that things happen in God's timing, and not ours.

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."

Philippians 4:6-7
" Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

God has a specific plan for us.  When we try to do things on our own, without seeking the will of God, we deal with all sorts of anxiety.  But, when we trust in the Lord, when we pray about the direction God has in our lives, and be at peace with the fact that God is in control, waiting does not seem so bad.  Because the reward in the end is so much greater.

Thanks for reading, and I pray that God will bless you all!