Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sitting on the Sidelines

I've been watching some loved ones struggle these past few months.  Nothing major, like life and death, but definitely anxiety provoking for them.  I want so much to tell them what to do and how to approach everything. And when I try, my well-intentioned advice is not necessarily appreciated.  The Lord has helped me to see that struggle is a necessary part of life!  We learn the best lessons when we are stretched in ways we could not have imagined, and we grow to heights that are not possible otherwise. We actually learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes!  When people we care about are struggling with issues, they have a chance to see God and grow in faith in immeasurable degrees. Melissa speaks to struggling with issues and reports with joy the inspiration that came from it!   So, my role is to uncomfortably sit at the sidelines, and try to stay out of what God is doing in other people's lives!  I need to maintain a respectful distance, approachable silence, and prayerful support as the Lord does His work in the lives of others.  Meanwhile, God has given me plenty to keep me busy!  So, I will focus on doing my calling this week, and let the Lord give the orders to everyone else!  Wishing you times of clear sailing and spiritual hearing! Blessings ~ JBM

Monday, September 2, 2013

Arguing with God

I have the unfortunate habit of arguing with God.  I don't mean to be disrespectful or rude, difficult or rebellious, I just don't always appreciate the direction I'm being told to take.  I just don't want to do what the Lord is asking!  For example, this summer I felt I was suppose to write a note to one of my top superiors in my new job complimenting her on a bit of wisdom she shared at graduation.  Even though I believe passionately in the importance of spreading as much sincere, specific, positive thoughts as possible in the universe, I felt self-conscious and uncomfortable about this note. The individual has never even met me, and certainly would think I was simply flattering!  So, I didn't do it.  After about six times of having that person come to mind while I was reading a reflection or in prayer, I caved it.  I wrote the note many weeks later.  I don't know why God thought my little note would be meaningful to this person, but our role is to follow Jesus, not argue with him. Mind you, I have never won an argument with God, and I certainly do not recommend it!  Melissa struggled and questioned God in a prayer that she wrote in her cancer journal.  Questioning God's wisdom is the natural, human reaction to the difficult things in life. I used to feel badly about arguing with my Lord, but I just listened to a sermon that encouraged struggling, questioning and arguing with God.  The important thing is remaining in dialog with God!  As long as we keep talking and listening to Jesus, we will be OK!  When we turn away, we are in danger.  I also realized that God wants to help me with the difficulties in my life!  He can only do that when I bring them to Him, so I can realize HE is helping me!  So, pray today about the tough challenges in your life as well as the reasons to praise. And let our awesome Creator not only help you through those things, but also hold you and keep you and fill you with joy that goes far beyond our circumstances!  Blessings ~ JBM