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 news 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.
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...