He's Making Me New

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Step by Step

Our family is in what seems to be another transition, so last Saturday night I did what any planner would likely do…I tried to figure out what our next step was! I was researching some possibilities, planning what we might do in each, and so on and so forth. My mind was definitely on overdrive, and although I was exhausted trying to figure out something that really can’t be figured out, sleep was a long time in coming.

Before I knew it, it was Sunday morning and time to get up. I was meeting a friend for the Multnomah Falls Trail Walk/Run. I was tired but excited to see her and excited get out and get moving. The drive there was absolutely beautiful. The peaceful highway, the sun coming up over the mountains, and the truck that was running perfectly after a late Saturday evening fix that cost less than $1 to do (thank you, hubby!) had me feeling incredibly grateful for the Lord’s provision!

Next up, was the “race”. Walkers began the race about an hour before the runners, so when our group was called, we headed up the trail.

As I walked, I decided to take in the beauty all around me. If I was going to make the journey, I wanted to see and enjoy the sites along the way. At one point, I was so focused on what I was looking at (and not focused enough on the path right in front of me) that I found myself walking a little too close to the edge. It wasn’t a severe drop off, but I could have gotten hurt so I figured I should probably pay a bit more attention to where I was going. And I did…at least for a little while.

Somewhere near what must have been the half way to the top mark, I was getting tired and started thinking more and more about the top. Philippians 4:13 came to mind, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”

As I continued to walk, I kept looking through the trees (over and over and over) to see if I could tell when we would get to the top and start going back downhill. The more I looked, the more I took my eyes off of the path in front of me. A stumble here, a little to close the edge there, and then I hear this…

“This is what happens when you take your eyes off of the path I’ve laid before you. When you start focusing on things around you, instead of what I’ve given you for this moment… When you start looking too far ahead trying to figure out where you’re going next… All you have to do is do the next step that I place before you.”

This message means a lot to me. It’s really not about the race. It’s really about my Saturday behavior (and maybe a bunch of other days in the past). You see, I’ve always been one to “need” to know what is coming up, saying, “I just want to be prepared”. (I’m a planner! What can I say?! 😀 )

I basically heard this same message Saturday, but evidently the Lord really wanted to emphasize it on my walk with Him up the mountain, and I must say that it definitely hit me in a very tangible way.

In my trying to figure everything out, what I am really doing is not trusting the Lord. (Boo!) I may be worrying that He possibly doesn’t have everything under control. That maybe He hasn’t thought of certain possibilities. That what He has for me maybe isn’t what my idea of what is best.

The Bible has a few things to say about all of that…

“Do not be anxious (worry) about tomorrow…” Matthew 6:34 (ESV)

“Do not be anxious about anything…” Philippians 4:6 (ESV)

“Casting all your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (ESV)

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare (peace), to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

So, for now, my job is to just do what He has for me moment by moment. He’s been telling me this for awhile, but I find that I often need reminders. That doesn’t mean that I never think about the future, but it does mean that I shouldn’t dwell on it or try to figure it out to the point that it overwhelms me and causes me great stress.

Moment by moment. Step by step. Even if He hasn’t shown me the whole path and I have no idea exactly where it will lead me or how long it will take. The good thing about all of this, is that no matter the path He leads me on, I can rest assured that at the very end of it all is Him.

And as a side note, I still took time to get some pictures and I even took a short video during my journey. I just made sure to actually STOP and take the pictures, rather than creating any more dangerous situations while taking them on the go. 😀

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Oh, Pops!

It’s so interesting how God reminds us of His love for us. The other day, we were looking for a “stuffy” that belonged to the little one that spends most of her weekdays with us. Finding the stuffies around here isn’t normally a problem…there are only so many places that they can be in our living room. I moved a blanket, and Voila! there was “Pops” the stuffy we were searching for…at least that’s what I thought.

Here was the conversation we had while searching:1469562123206-53171967

Me- “Oh, here he is!”
SuperBoy – “No. That one is mine.”
Me- “How do you know? They look the same.”
SuperBoy- “That one is mine. I can just tell.”
Me (still perplexed)- “Ooookay. Let’s keep looking for the other one, then.”

After a bit more searching, we eventually found Pops #2, and SuperBoy was right! We found Little Miss’s Pops in a helicopter that she had been playing with earlier.

As I was thinking about this last night, I was reminded that this situation is really kind of similar to how the Lord responds to us. We may go through times where we don’t feel like He knows us, or that He is really paying attention to us, or that He really loves us. But, just like SuperBoy knew his stuffy, the Lord knows us! He knows us so well that when the enemy tries to say that we’re not God’s, the Lord says, “No. That one is mine!”

The following scripture passage found in Matthew 10 shows how much we matter to the Lord and how much he really does know us…

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

If you’d like to read more…http://biblehub.com/esv/matthew/10.htm

If you are in a place where you feel that you don’t matter take heart, my friends, the Lord does love us…so very much! The sparrow is such a tiny creature in relationship to the universe. If God cares so much about such a tiny creature that He keeps track of all of them and goes on to tell us that he values us even more…Wow! When we’re going through times where we feel otherwise, let’s go back to this scripture and meditate on it.

Do you have any other scripture references that you focus on during these times? If so, please share! I’m sure we can all use a little more ammunition to fight off the enemy’s lies!

May the Lord bless and keep you!

 

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The Unwanted Yogurt

It was one of those days where the quote “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” was rolling around in my head. I had some grocery shopping  to do, but was feeling a bit under the weather and didn’t really want to leave the house. Somewhat reluctantly, I headed out the door. The trip actually wasn’t too bad. I made my way through the mildly crowded store without incident and then headed home to put the groceries away.

I started pulling items out of the bags and came across a single serving sized yogurt container that wasn’t mine. After checking my receipt and not finding it, I called the store and the man I spoke to asked me to bring the yogurt back.yogurt-md

Initially, I was a bit irritated at the thought of running back to the store to return a $1 yogurt after having already made a trip that I wasn’t overly thrilled about. As I’m turning off of my street, in my spirit I hear, “There’s a reason.” I quickly said to the Lord that I know He has us go through things for a reason and asked Him to show me what the reason was. With a new perspective, and a different attitude, I kept my eyes peeled for “the reason”.

Less than a minute later, I found it flashing before my eyes…

There, on the main street that I had just driven, to get home from the grocery store run that I didn’t want to take, a man was lying on the ground next to his motorcycle. First responders had just shown up, and there were bystanders gathering on the sides of the road.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the real reason for my second trip to the store. The Lord spoke ever so gently to me prompting me to pray. I prayed for healing, for protection, and for salvation for those in the accident, the bystanders, and those responding to provide aid.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the story where having a flat tire (or something else that made you late) may have kept you from a terrible situation. I’d like to add that maybe something so inconvenient, like running to the store again for a silly $1 yogurt that you didn’t even want, may mean the world to someone who is in a terrible situation.

And now, I think I need to go and apologize to the Lord for my stinky attitude, and thank Him for making me new…forgiven, humbled, and grateful…

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The Uphill Run

The other day, I ran (most of the way) a hilly 5k. As I was running, I was thinking about all of ups and downs of the course and was wondering how many more times I was going to have to endure going uphill to get to the end of the course.20160713_131500

I must admit that I’m one of those, “Love me some flat ground!” runners. Okay, “love” might be a little much. I can’t actually say that I love running, yet, but at least I don’t loathe it!  😉  Level ground is so much easier on my body and though there is some growth (in strength and stamina), it isn’t going to produce the same amount as an uphill climb, or even as much as running downhill.

As crazy as it may seem, running downhill is almost as fun as flat ground…as long as it’s not of the very steep variety! I don’t have to propel myself like I do going uphill. Good ol’ gravity takes care of pushing me right along. My main concern going down is making sure my strides aren’t too long, and I don’t start going so fast that I stumble and fall.

You will typically find the most growth happens when you’re running uphill. You’re using a greater number of muscles and causing them to work harder.

In life, we have the nice level ground and the gentle downhill times…where things are going fairly well and the stress of life seems lower. Maybe we have less pressure or less work to do.

And then we have the uphill segments…You know, the ones where you feel like every ounce of your energy is being expended just to keep moving through the day-to-day activities and responsibilities. The ones where you feel exhausted, where things feel like they are more than you can handle, and maybe you even feel like you’re near the point of giving up.

One particular uphill climb, I was thinking about how hard it was and how I wished it were over. It was on that hill that I was reminded that if we trust our lives and the outcome of our circumstances to the Lord, it’s in these uphill times where we will likely find our greatest spiritual growth. These are the times where we mature the most in our walk with Him…where more of our “muscles” are worked. The best part (and in my opinion, maybe the hardest part for me to remember) is that even before we feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and ready to give up, we can just give our circumstances to the Lord. In essence, we really are giving up…giving up our idea of what is best for us and trusting that the Lord, Who is more loving than you or I could ever be, has our best interest in mind.

I was also reminded that the way that we look at our circumstances is important. I can look at the hill/circumstance and think about how terrible it is, or I can look at it and think about how much physical/spiritual growth I’m going to get out of the experience. I am definitely a major work in progress with this!!! (Lord, please help me!) In the last several years, life has had some very difficult times. Through them, my tendency has been to have stretches of time where I notice the difficulties and then have a hard time bouncing back from them. The thought of looking at a situation and finding the good in it seemed a bit daunting. But, there is hope!!! When I take time to pray specifically for the situation that I’m going through and for the Lord to help me through it, I find that He does. The situation may not seem to change right away, but I find that my attitude and my outlook changes.

If you are in the midst of illness, injury, financial hardship, etc., will you join me in prayer to ask the Lord to help us to focus on Who is in control (Him!) and that we would remember His immense love for us? If you are in a period of life where things are pretty mellow, would you pray for us and those around you that are struggling?

 

In all of the uphill circumstances we find ourselves in, whether in running or in life, we are in training. In running, we’re training our body to work harder and get faster. And in life, God is training us to be more and more like who He created us to be….if we let Him.

Do you have a verse that helps you in the difficult times? One that helps you keep your focus on the Lord instead of your circumstances? If so, please share! I, for one, could use them! 🙂

The scripture that I find I lean on the most is Jeremiah 29:11. It says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare (peace) and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

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Running the Race

A month or two ago, I had contacted a friend and asked her if she wanted to run a race with me. I was so excited about it! I was training for a 5k, so now I had a specific goal in mind…finish the training before the race! About a couple of weeks before the race, my friend suggested that we do the 10k instead. I agreed and we both signed up for it.

With the idea of a longer race, my new goal was now to just finish the race. With no specific finish time in mind, we began the race. The people on the sidelines were so encouraging  that it made the race kind of fun!

The course laid out for us was two laps on mostly the same path, so I was able to see how well I would have done had I 1934716_10201547577287249_8242862688240926222_nrun the shorter race. As I ran next to the finish line, I checked the clock. (I can’t remember the specific time, but it was somewhere around 40 minutes.) Slow, but I still felt pretty good physically, and was proud of myself. Plus, I had plenty of time to look at my favorite flowers along the way!

The next thing I knew, though, my mind had a flood of negative thoughts. I remember thinking, “We have to do the whole course again?”, and then “What if I just decided to be finished, right now?”, “Man, I’m starting to get tired!”, “Oh, boy! This is going to be hard!”.

That’s when I had to make myself focus on just putting one foot in front of the other. Running when I could, walking when I couldn’t. And before we knew it, we were back around to the 1 mile marker and then the 2 mile marker!

Then the hardest part of the race happened…the encouraging words from those around us had long ago stopped and one of the guys pointing racers through the tulips said to me, “Wow! I thought the race was over!” I replied, “Nope! And there’s more behind me!” Feeling a bit embarrassed, I refocused my eyes on the finish line and just. kept. running.

Yes, I ran the race slowly, but I ran (well, more than I walked, anyway)! All I can do is do the best that I can. Life as a Christian is pretty much the same!

On my way home, my mind was again flooded with thoughts. This time, the thoughts were much different. I was thinking about how this race really is a parallel to serving the Lord…

  • Run the race…even if it’s so…very…slowly…
  • Stay focused on the goal.
  • Do the best you can.

Hebrews 12:1 says,

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Life is full of times where we have to keep putting one foot in front of the other just to make it through the day. Times where we have to ignore the negative comments from others on things that we believe the Lord is telling us and just keep pressing on. Times where we have to refocus our minds on what really matters and think about the finish line, where our Savior will be standing with arms open wide. Times where our race seems to be going around and around the same path, and it keeps getting harder and harder, and the encouraging words from others fewer and fewer. Despite all of that, let’s keep running, stay focused on the Lord, pray for wisdom and direction, do the best that we can, and while we’re at it…let’s make a point to encourage others along the way!

Father, sometimes our race feels so very hard. Sometimes, it feels like it will never end. Please help us to keep our eyes on You and what You will have us do to minister to those around use. Help us to keep running the race. Please give us the strength to do our best and to keep moving. Thank You for being there with us and for helping us to not grow weary or lose heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

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When the Going is Tough…

I’m not sure about you, but if you’re anything like me, you have gone through some really tough situations in this thing we call life. We all have our daily struggles and troubles, and then there are times when things are just so difficult that it can leave you with a lot of questions.

Questions like: What is going on? Why is this happening? What purpose is there in this situation? What good could come of this?

Have you asked any of these, lately? I know I have!

After a pretty rough day, yesterday, I had a good idea that sleep might be harder to come by last night, so in our prayer time I made a point to ask the Lord for “good sleep”. I may have only gotten about 2-3 hours, but it was good sleep! I awoke to my alarm feeling much better than I normally would have after having slept such a short amount of time. Definitely thanking the Lord for that! 😀

As I sat here this morning, I started thinking about the events of the last week or so. I picked up my phone, tapped on today’s devotion, and started reading. The scripture for today was from the book of Psalms, a book that is meant for people like myself…and like you…people that sometimes have hurting hearts. As I read, I was encouraged by the scripture that was given…

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“11) You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, 12) That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalms 30:11-12

 

 

To be honest, I don’t see the mourning turning to dancing in this particular situation, yet, but I am given hope that all of our mourning, if not today, will at some point turn into dancing. Until then, maybe I’ll just use this couple of verses to pray and thank the Lord ahead of time for doing just that.

Dear Lord, I thank You giving us Your Word to stand on during difficult times and to encourage us. I thank You for the love that You are and for the love that You give to us daily. Thank You for the encouragement that You have given (and still give) to us through other’s shared experiences. Thank You for the times in which You have already turning my mourning into dancing. I look forward to the time when You turn my current mourning into dancing. Please fill me with Your gladness. Help my soul to sing your praises. Help me to be thankful for who You are and what You have done. In Jesus’s name, amen.

As Christians, no matter what happens, we can rest assured that the Lord is on our side. He is for us! Sure, sometimes unpleasant and maybe even downright painful things happen, but God has promised us that, “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. (ESV) Does that make the hard times easy? Not necessarily. At least is hasn’t been that way for me, anyway…so far. Maybe easier, but not easy. The scripture does, however, give me at least a sliver of hope. Hope that He will use the circumstances that we’ve been through, those that we’re going through now, and even those in our future. Hope that He will somehow make us more like him through all of it…patient, kind, gentle, loving. Hope that maybe, just maybe, something that we have gone through will help someone else in some way…

On a side note, I just want to say how much I appreciate when the Lord gives me encouragement before I even know that I need it. Last Wednesday, I started a devotion series all about comfort not realizing how much I would need the encouragement provided in these devotions, until several days later. Keep your eyes open for things like this. The Lord really does provide what we need…sometimes before, sometimes during, and some after (we think) we need it.

And…because life happens, I’m posting this a week after I wrote it. 🙂

If you would, please share any scripture(s) that you stand on during difficult times. Let’s encourage each other with them!

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Grace and Mercy

Awhile back, I had a strange dream. In the dream, I saw two men that appeared to be father and son. I’m not sure what they were working on, but the father made a minor mistake…something kind of silly that most people would laugh about. Instead of laughing, the son became extremely angry. His face turned red, his fists clenched, and the veins in his neck were sticking out. The dream ended with me asking the son, “Why are you so angry?”

I’ve been thinking about this dream a lot, since then. The son’s response to the father’s mistake was clearly overboard, and I’ve been wondering how many times I have done that. Not necessarily the exact physical response that the son had, but how many time have I gone overboard in my responses to various situations?

Here’s a possible scene for a parent:

Your child gets a cup of grape juice and promptly spills it all over the place. Do you…

1) get angry and scream at him/her that he/she needs to be more careful,

or do you…

2) stop, take a deep breath and remember that spilled juice can (most likely) be cleaned up and is not really that big of a deal? (You might even help clean it up!)

Maybe you’re not the “screaming type” or the “positive thinking” type by nature…maybe your response is to say something like…

3)  “Aww…come on! If you wouldn’t horse around so much, you wouldn’t have spilled the juice. I’ve told you over and over to not horse around when you have food or drink!”

Let’s take a moment to look within ourselves to see where we fall on the Automatic Response Meter. Do you more often look like person in scenario 1, 2, or 3 when things frustrate you? Sure each situation is different, therefore each situation (and our attitude at the time) may elicit a different response from us, but do you tend to lean toward one type of response more than the others?

As we examine ourselves, let’s turn the answer over to the Lord and ask Him to make us into the people that he wants us to be.

Proverbs 14:17 says, “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated.”

Since the Lord is full of grace and mercy, I’m pretty sure that the response in both scenario 1 (which sounds like the “quick-tempered man” in Proverbs) & 3 should have us calling out for Him to show His grace and mercy through us toward those that do things that frustrate us. Sometimes, that might even be toward ourselves!

Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV) says, “15. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

As we’re working to give grace and mercy to others, let’s ask the Lord to help us give grace and mercy to ourselves!

Will you take a moment with me to call out to Him?

Help me, Lord, to see things the way that You see them and to respond to circumstances the way that You would have me respond. Please, help me to show the same grace and mercy that You give to me to those around me…even to myself.

***Behind the scenes look: It’s interesting how the Lord works things sometimes. I had the opportunity to exercise this exact thing as I was finishing typing this post. I was already feeling a bit of stress as I was working and Superboy kept coming over asking for things, wanting to show his book to me, asking me to play a game with him… Then, he ended up spilling his smoothie 3 times on the table right next to my computer. I can’t say that I responded perfectly, as I’m sure that I had a frustrated tone when I told him that he was finished with his smoothie for now. I am, however, thankful for the encouragement and help that the Lord gives even in the middle of frustrating circumstances. All we have to do is ask Him! And, tonight I’m thankful for having this particular post “in my face” as this all happened. (Maybe I should add “help me keep the right tone of voice” to my prayer up there, though!  😉 )

Well, I’m off to spend time with my boy and apologize to him for showing my frustration…

If you’re looking for a scripture that you can memorize to help during those frustrating times, maybe try this one… Psalms 145:8 “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”

Do you have another scripture that helps you? If so, I would appreciate if you would share it in the comments section!

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Broken Pieces

As a Mama to a very imaginative five year old and a childcare provider for another little one, I get the chance to hear some very interesting conversations.

On this particular day, I was clearing the dining room table while listening to the munchkins talk as they built with wooden blocks. Somehow part of Superboy’s creation happened to get knocked down and instead of the expected upset response, I heard him say, “I’m going to take the broken pieces and make something.”

As I stood there, I was reminded of a conversation that he and I had a couple of years ago. We were making cookies to decorate and he found a broken one. He was pretty upset but after I told him that I could “fix” the cookie, he smiled. It was clear that he trusted me. When we finished decorating the cookie, he was so excited to see that he couldn’t even tell where it had been broken. I shared with him how fixing the cookie was like what God does with us. He takes our broken pieces and “fixes” us…He makes us new.

As I finished the cookie scene in my head, my mind was flooded with specific times that God fixing our brokenness has been shown to me over the last couple of years…the broken cookie situation, when I was praying about what to call this blog, when I was praying about how hard life has been, and again in the broken block creation.

I took a second to remind Superboy about God taking our broken pieces and making us new and told him that I couldn’t wait to see his new creation. He smiled and quickly got back to work.

God’s love for us is so great that He can and will take our slivered, shattered, broken mess and make us new, if only we will let Him. When things in life are hard, when they’re scary, and when you so broken that you don’t know what to do, keep trusting God. You are of great value, even in your brokenness.

Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds.” (MSG)

 

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Daughter of the King

Everyone longs to feel important, to know that we truly matter to others. It’s such a good feeling to know that you are surrounded by people that you believe really care about you and/or the work that you do, isn’t it?! The cares of this world might even seem a bit smaller when you have others around you that make you feel important to them. We might have jobs or volunteer opportunities and family members and/or friends that make us feel needed and important.

I am slooowly coming to really understand, and not just have the knowledge, that my feelings of self-worth shouldn’t be wrapped up in my occupation, my friends, or even in my family. It’s okay to feel valued in those areas, but I can’t place all of my value in them, as they can be there one minute and gone the next. It has taken me several years to get to where I’m at today with this (and I know that I’m not fully there), but here’s the story…

Before marrying and moving across the country, I was a public school teacher. It was a calling, not just a job, to me. I enjoyed the relationships that I formed each year with the staff, students and families that I came into contact with. Of course, there were some things that weren’t as fun, like grading papers, testing, being consistent with discipline, and giving out consequences. At the end of the day, though, teaching was something that made me feel valued.

Fast forward past the move…

I spent a lot of time looking for a job when I first moved to Oregon. What I ended up finding was a job that helped pay the bills. It also gave me an opportunity to use the gifts that God gave me to minister to the people around me, but I certainly didn’t feel didn’t that same sense of value that I had felt in my previous teaching assignment. I was feeling pretty down about myself when, after nearly a year at that job, along came our little bundle of joy…our boy!

Stepping out of the workplace to be home with our little boy was hands down the best thing ever, but it also had its difficulties! It is in that place, that I have walked through finally realizing that my identity, my self-worth, was wrapped up in my occupation (my ministry) as a teacher. The Lord has done great things in me to help me understand that even with all of that stripped away, I have great value. Value, not because of what I can do, who stays by my side, or how many times I’m complimented for the things that I do, but simply because I am the daughter of the King.

Today, I’m in the process of learning how to not allow the cares of this world to sweep away the value that I know that I have in the Lord. If you’re walking this path, too, will you join me in praying for this revelation to be completely revealed to us?

Father, please help me to come to a full realization of Your love and care for me. Help me to not only know, but truly understand, that I am highly valued and greatly loved for who I am, not because of what I have done or will do. Help me to find my self-worth not in those around me, but in You alone. As each new day comes, help me to see myself through Your eyes and to not let my circumstances determine how I feel about myself. I want to see more and more of the value that I have in just being Your child. Thank you, Jesus, for making me new…

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Living Water

The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?” John 4:11.

In reading back a little further in that chapter, you find that the Samaritan woman was shocked that Jesus would even speak to her as Jews didn’t converse with Samaritans at all. Jesus was calling the woman to do something that was foreign to her. He was calling her into a relationship with Him.

How many times have I asked the Lord this very same question and felt the same way? Sure I may ask it in different ways, but the questions all boil down to not knowing how God is going to solve a particular situation and maybe even wondering why He would be talking to me, don’t they?

Our questions might look like these…

“God, how are we going to make it through this sickness?”

“How are we going to raise our children in You with all of the terrible things going on in this world?”

“How are we going to be a witness to those around us?”

Or, maybe our question might look like this…

“God, how will I pay the bills and take care of my family when [place your own reason here- I lost my job, we had a baby, someone became sick, etc.]?”

Maybe the woman at the well was genuinely just being curious as to how Jesus was going to give her water, but I think that we tend (or at least I do!) to be more on the, “Ha! Are you serious?! Lord, you must not know who you are asking! Don’t you know I’m [shy, have a hard time talking (like Moses), I don’t relate to or don’t like the people that You’re asking me to minister to (Jonah)]?” when God asks us to do something.

Or maybe your reasons are, “I like to share my views, I like being around people too much, and/or I love the job that you placed me in. Why would You ask me to ‘rock the boat’ here at work or quit this job to do [that]?”

When the Lord offers us a new way of living, a new way of thinking, or a new way of ministering, regardless of how it looks, it really is THE BEST. Are we willing to let go of our preconceived ideas of how we should or shouldn’t be used in the Kingdom of God and be the light that He has called us to be, or are we going to hold on to what is comfortable and easy just because it’s comfortable and easy and makes us feel safe?

God loves to take those that most people wouldn’t expect to do some pretty big things. A few that come to mind are Noah, Moses, are Esther. There are so many more, but God used them to deliver His people from less than desirable circumstances. Let’s seek the Lord to find out how He will use us to help those around us. Maybe He’s calling you to encourage people, or to come alongside those that are lonely, or to love those that seem unlovable. God can pour out His living water through His people, if we will allow Him.

Let’s encourage each other to do the things that the Lord has placed on our hearts. Let’s love those around us, not because of what they can do for us, but because God loves us so much that we want others to experience that love and His living water. Just like Jesus did with the Samaritan woman…

Lord, please help us to be who You have called us to be and fulfill the plan that You laid out for us long ago. Cause Your living water pour out of us to those around us.

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