A lot of us are quick to declare things - myself included - but the truth is, we're not very good at walking the talk. It's easy to write nice words, to speak about our faith, to shout 'Amen!' at Church on a Sunday… but the real proof is in our actions.
I should probably put a disclaimer here: I am writing this not because I’m good at walking the talk – in fact, I am the very opposite. Quite frankly, I am just another person in need of God’s grace. Every single day. My record is far from clean. I don’t always do what I say. Heaven forbid if someone looked to me as a great example - that would be a disappointing endeavour. In spite of everything I believe about God, sometimes other things get the best of me. Just like everyone, when challenges come my way, when prayers go unanswered, when pressure builds... my actions don't always align with what I say, let alone with what God says.
Mark 4:35-41 is probably one of the most well known passages in the Bible. Long story short, it's the one where Jesus turns to the wind and waves and tells them to calm the heck down.
I think it’s safe to say that everyone has a storm to face. For some of you it’s vocational – you can’t find a graduate job, debt is piling up, you can't find a house. For others it might be health – chronic pain, an accident, cancer. For others it's change, heartbreak, grief, depression. And for others it might literally be a storm.
When faced with big challenges in life, it can often feel like we’re on a tiny boat in the middle of a raging storm. There’s no way out. No shoreline in sight. No one to rescue us. But none of this is true. I’ve realized that sometimes God lets storms come our way so that we can learn to run to Him. So often we try to handle the storms in our lives all on our own. Out of desperation we try to get the water out of our sinking boat and forget about the One in our boat.
We live in a world where greatness is measured in terms of one's career, possessions, prestige, appearance etc. Because of this, it's easy to believe the lie that greatness is a result of our own good works. I'm learning that greatness actually has nothing to do with how I am - it is about realizing how great God is.
The book of Haggai recounts the story of a group of people who, after returning from exile, were faced with the task of rebuilding their city. Slowly but surely homes were built, businesses were established and everything fell into place. The people eventually became so consumed by their own greatness that they no longer felt the need to include God in their lives. They put His plans on hold and instead went on to pursue their own. They decorated their homes beautifully and left His temple in ruins. Because of this, God withheld His blessings from them. No matter how hard they worked, no matter how much money they made, no matter how much they sowed, they were never satisfied.
Ever felt like you’ve been seenzoned by God?
In 2014, God radically flipped my world upside down and for the next year or so, He continually poured purpose, encouragement and favour into my life. He answered my prayers one by one in jaw-dropping ways and for the first time in forever, I heard and saw Him clearly.
Now imagine going from that… to complete silence...
Singleness is great. I could go on and on and on about the benefits of being a single pringle… but I won’t. Because let’s be real here, sometimes, it also sucks.
Comments like, “The perfect one will come along, just keep waiting!” and oft-repeated conversations starting with “So, who do you like?” make me feel as though singleness is something I need to (and should) escape from, a.s.a.p.
Yes, marriage and relationships are beautiful gifts from God – I am surrounded by so many amazing families and couples – but as my Mum pointed out, being single is just as great a gift, too. Singleness isn’t a consolation prize, a minor league or a pre-season game.
The one that got away. We all have one... the job that got away... the opportunity that got away... the person that got away.
So many people lose themselves in the pursuit of their ‘what ifs’, because they think that nothing greater will ever come.
Nothing could be further from the truth. God always has more.
Transitioning from student life to working life has made me realize just how precious time is! A lot of people (myself included) always complain that they never have enough time for all of the things that are going on in their world. But that is a lie! A big fat lie. The truth is, we have the choice and ability to make time for the things we care about - we're just bad at managing our priorities (#honestyhour).
On my list of priorities, God is and will always be number one. But I’d be lying if I said that that’s the case 24/7. Nope. Work, family, friends and other areas of life are constantly competing for my attention. With so many things going on, sometimes quiet time with God seems counter-intuitive. It often makes more sense to get on with the things that need to be done rather than step aside for a moment with God.
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward— to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. Philippians 3:12-14 (MSG)
Going through the motions doesn’t please You, a flawless performance is nothing to You. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. Psalm 51:16-17 (MSG)
Let's face it, we're all after a piece of perfection... a perfect job, a perfect career, a perfect family, a perfect image. So many of us grow restless in our pursuit of perfection, only to find ourselves exhausted and unsatisfied. Why? Because we were never made to pursue it. Right now, I'm learning that we were made to pursue excellence, not perfection. And there's a big, big difference between these two things.