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.
When you have big dreams and high expectations, sometimes the gap between where you are and where you hope to be can be a bit overwhelming, tiresome and stressful. It can be easy to feel ill-equipped, insignificant and/or inadequate. It can be easy to give in, give out and give up— but don't!
The good is that the Good News isn't for people who have it all together, all the time. God isn't looking for someone who has already made it. He isn't looking for the most eloquent, intelligent or affluent person in the world. God is after 'one man... God expectant, just one God-ready woman' Psalm 53:2 MSG.
Often the best stories have humble beginnings. Trust the process! You don't always have to take leaps of faith, just steps. Little by little courage builds, boldness grows, character is proven & transformation happens.
God has a way of making something out of nothing; of doing extraordinary things through ordinary moments and ordinary people like you and I. Celebrate every season and every tiny victory! Little is much when God is in it
This year has been the BEST! God has brought about countless blessings, breakthroughs and new beginnings! From completing university to graduating, landing my first real job, making amazing friends, spending quality time with the fam, going on numerous adventures, and so on – God has definitely been good to me.
Having said that, 2016 has also been interesting, to say the least. I had my fair share of disappointments, doubts, and frustrations this year...
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving." (Matthew 6:30-32)
Flowers exist momentarily; here today, and gone tomorrow. Yet, God continually chooses to lavish His energy and love on them! What more with us, his workmanship whom He has formed in His own image? I imagine that God feels the same way toward us - only a thousand times more. Lilies, or wildflowers in this translation, neither toil nor spin; they do nothing to feed or nourish themselves. Instead, God lovingly provides exactly what they need in order for them to blossom beautifully! Likewise, God intends for us to bloom, flourish and thrive right where we are today.
Waiting— not my favourite word. I'm not a big fan of waiting… and I'm 99.99% sure that I’m not alone. Our world is so steeped in instant gratification. From instant oatmeal, to instant messaging, instant relationships and Instagram... it’s clear to see that waiting has become somewhat counter-cultural in this crazy society of ours. So, in an age where everything is just one switch, one button and one swipe away, how can we learn to wait?
I've come to the realization that this waiting game comes down to one thing: trust. A lot of it. See, I don’t actually have a solid explanation for why God pauses and delays some things. I don’t know why we have to go through days, months and years of waiting sometimes.... But I think that’s the point. God uses seasons of waiting to show us that we don’t need to know everything – we just need to know Him more.
One thing I've noticed is that Jesus never stayed in one place too long. He never got too comfortable. He was constantly on the move.
I think we ought to be more like that.
I ought to be more like that.
I'm not the biggest risk taker, I don't like feeling vulnerable, and I really don't like uncomfortable situations. Because I'm stubborn and because I would rather stay where I am, I often leave little room for God to stretch and expand my capacity.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am…” 1 Cor 15:10 (KJV)
In life we're taught repeatedly that we reap what we sow. Perhaps that's why grace makes no sense at all.
Lately God has been reminding me that grace - thankfully - is and will always be His initiative. Not ours. Grace has no terms and conditions. There is no vetting process. It isn't based on how lovable or faithful (or faithless) we are. It isn't something we can can earn, work or build toward.
Grace is simply God's gift to us.