Ever had the wind knocked out of you? Or the rug pulled out from under your feet? I think we all know what it's like to be going through life nicely thinking that all is well.... then BAM! Suddenly the ground you've been walking on isn't as stable as you once thought... and now everything feels a bit, well, shaky.
Times like this are a great a reminder that God is our sure foundation - nothing else. While everything around us is constantly changing, we can rest in the knowledge that God isn't. And He won't. Many things are fleeting and fickle, "but there is not a more secure foundation to build my life upon than You." (Psalm 18:31).
When things don't make sense, when questions are left unanswered, we can either linger in defeat and sit with our eyes glued to the rear-view mirror, or we can focus on what God's unchanging word and what we can do from where we are right now.
Nothing is easy and sometimes, you just have to faith it til ya make it. If you allow yourself to push through difficult seasons, you'll discover that God has been there all along, working all things together for the good.
Hang in there! April showers bring may flowers.
From The Word For Today:
God can make you comfortable in some of life's most uncomfortable places. He can bring you through situations you think you won't survive, or feel like you've been stuck in forever. He can give you peace when you're under pressure. Losing some things will actually help you to appreciate the things you have. It's the taste of failure that makes success so sweet. You'll live not knowing what tomorrow holds, but knowing that God has all your tomorrows planned out. Your future isn't in the hands of your boss, your banker, your spouse, or anybody else. Nor is it in your hands to control. All your tomorrows are in God's hand. Just because you don't understand the path you're on doesn't mean you're not being led by God. God said He leads us on the paths we have not known...
The story of Esther fascinates me. It might actually be my favourite. Long story short, Esther was an orphan girl who was taken from her family to become a part of the king’s harem, but the story doesn’t end there. While the king was looking for a beautiful new gal pal, God had more in mind; He would use this beautiful girl to save His people.
We live in a world where we are wired to yearn for all of the things we don't yet have. We are constantly accumulating, consuming, collecting and taking. I'm guilty of this. In fact, even in my relationship with God I am always asking Him to fill me more... show me more... give me more. And while this isn't such a bad thing, I have learned that too much of a good thing isn't so good. We're not here to just keep receiving. We're here to be a part of something so much bigger than just ourselves.
I've become so good at asking God for more, but when it comes to actually DOING more? Well... call me the queen of excuses. I'm too young. I'm too old. I'm busy. I want to save for a house. My family needs me. I need me. I'm not qualified. I'm not the best person for this... the list goes on.
Passionate was a huge wake up call for me. There, God challenged me to stop thinking about all of the things I'm not and all of the things I don't have. Instead, He breathed life into dreams that I had set aside for so long, and showed me ways that I can utilize the testimony, skills and resources that He has already entrusted me with. For the first time in a long time, I felt His presence and courage rise in me. I heard Him say, "What are you waiting for, Rebekah? What more do you want? When do you think you will be ready? Take your vision and run with it."
We don't find purpose by asking for more, we find purpose (and life and meaning) when we walk it out. We already have what we need to make a difference in our world, right now.
YOU have what you need to make a difference right where you are, in the circles you are already in, with the abilities God has already given you.
Today, instead of asking God to give you more, I challenge you to ask Him, "What more can I do today?"
"Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure..." 1 Pet 1:7
In order for gold to shine, it has to be refined and purified by fire. Sometimes we have to walk through fire so that God can take away the things that dull our shine and dim our light. Some circumstances will cause you to challenge your capacity, but is in those very moments that God will confirm your calling! Resistance is where God reveals our potential. Thankful for a God who redeems, repairs, refines and rekindles.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit (Jeremiah 7:17)
What have I been learning recently? Healthy roots, healthy fruits. A tree can only grow stronger, taller and more fruitful if its roots go deeper. It's our roots, the stuff beneath the surface, the things in the dirt and in the unseen, that cause us to stand tall, withstand dry seasons and keep bearing good fruit.. even when (and especially when) the odds aren't in our favour.
When we plant our roots in God and who He says we are, we can stand firm when the wind blows and storm comes.
Whoever said 'God can make beautiful pieces out of broken things' was onto something. Through my shortcomings, through my weaknesses, through the frailty of my own love, I am learning about a 'despite anything, through anything, in anything' kinda love— vast, steadfast and relentless.
Lately, God has been reminding me that grace isn't about how good we are, but about how good He is. Grace has no terms and conditions. No vetting process. It's just there. I am thankful for a love that covers all - shame, guilt, heartbreak, doubt, comparison, and so much more.
“God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.” Romans 3:24 (MSG)
This is the way God put it: “They found grace out in the desert…” God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again...” (Jeremiah 31:3 MSG)
While eating dinner a couple of weeks ago, God deposited this in my heart:
Stirred by this thought, I quickly flicked through my Bible to the verse below.
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” Matthew 5:13 (MSG).
Nothing kills contentment and confidence like comparison. Like many other habits, comparison does not go away easily. Over time, I have learned that the only way to live free from the trap of comparison is to lift up my eyes - again and again and again.
Lift up your eyes.
We look to our left and right way too much. We compare ourselves with our best friends, peers, colleagues and leaders. We use others as our point of reference. We allow them to define and dictate how we perceive our own value. And while comparison can push us forward, sometimes it can also skew our view of who we are and whose we are.
My six-month hiatus/break/fast from writing is over and I am feeling good, refreshed and ENTHUSIASTIC! It is indeed true that the greatest work God does is not what He does through us but IN us. No matter how big, great and God-glorifying our plans are, God will always be more interested in how we deal with the mundane and challenging moments in between.
In this season, I am learning that there is nothing more essential to achieving anything, than a joyful, enthusiastic and steadfast heart.