Tuesday, April 26, 2016

When You’re Stuck Between Now and…When Lord?!?


Call it what you want—the desert…a time of waiting…the land between—it’s all a time of not knowing the future. It feels like being stuck between now and when Lord?!?

This time of waiting is a time of growth—uncomfortable, stretching, and learning to trust without seeing growth. I know that. I believe it. I’ve even written about it.

Perhaps I’m just plain tired, because I see God’s blessings along the way. Really, I do.

But, sometimes what I know to be true doesn’t make it to the rest of me. I get tired of waiting and praying the same prayers over and over…because I don’t know what else to pray.

Some days are just hard…

Knowing God has a plan, but not being able to see past today.

Trusting God will bring good out of a trying time, but unable to fathom what that good might be.

Waiting for God’s work in a situation, but still not seeing any change.

So, if I believe and trust, shouldn’t I be able to wait patiently? Maybe. On the good days. But on the tougher days, the emotions take over—weariness, worry, sadness, fear, even anger.

These emotions can be overpowering, and some days, I simply can’t battle them on my own (no matter how hard I try).

But with God all things are possibleeven keeping the emotions in check. {Tweet this}

God created us with human emotions. He knows how powerful they can be….and He knows when we need help to control them. But so often, we don’t turn to Him first.

As I tried to work my way out of a bad mood earlier this week, I decided there are a few steps to take when I’m feeling stuck between now and when Lord?!?

* Take it to God right away. Remind yourself of His promises and spend time reading His Word. Ask Him to show you why you’re feeling so emotional. Pray for guidance in dealing with the emotions before they become overwhelming and for peace in the situation. Make a list of Scripture verses that lift you up when you’re feeling down, and keep adding to the list.

* Consider what other factors might be influencing how you feel. I think everything seems worse when I’m tired, hungry, or not feeling well. If I’m physically drained, my emotional strength and patience are also diminished. Sometimes, I just have to recognize that I’m tired and weary and today is not the day to dwell on anything I don’t have to think about.

* Find a distraction…something that will change your focus. It might be reading your Bible, listening to uplifting music, or calling a friend. Even running errands or helping a neighbor can change your frame of mind. Whatever can help to change your thinking—do it.

* Try to look at the situation from a different perspective. This can be difficult, I know. When you’re knee-deep in something, it’s really hard to see it in any other way than how you’ve been looking at it. Ask God what He wants you to see and to reveal a different view of what you’re going through.

I’m not saying it’s easy to persevere from now to someday (when Lord?!?), but it’s worth it. I can’t always control how I’m feeling, but I can control my behavior while under an emotional influence.

What do you do when you feel stuck in a time of waiting? How do you keep the emotions from getting the better of you?

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: FreeImages.com]

Linking up with: #TellHisStory, #RaRaLinkup, Intentional Tuesday, #LifeGivingLinkup

Sunday, April 17, 2016

God’s Word is Clear, But It’s Not Easy


I’m joining the Five Minute Friday community with Kate Motaung…5 minutes, no rewriting, and a one word prompt…
Easy

God's Word is clear, but it's not easy. Oh, it's So. Not. Easy.

It might be easier to follow Jesus if I could get out of my own way, but time and time again, I trip over myself.

What I want blocks the way when I'm trying to live by God's will. I have to find a way around, over, or through my own obstacles.

My emotions get the better of me when I'm trying to hold my tongue, and words I wish I hadn't said were indeed said.

I have to keep reminding myself to give grace to others. How can I keep forgetting this?

And to forgive others the way God forgives me...I should write this on sticky notes and surround myself with them.

Following God's word is not easy, especially when I rely on my own strength and memory. But in God's strength, it all becomes a little clearer. And God's reminders are more gentle than my own.

God says, "Here's what you should do and how you should act." And then He says, "And I will help you. Just stay by My side."

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: FreeImages.com]

Friday, April 1, 2016

We Have to Decide


I’m joining the Five Minute Friday community with Kate Motaung…5 minutes, no rewriting, and a one word prompt…
Decide

Every day we make choices. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we make decisions all day long.

What to have for breakfast...what to wear...which chores to get done...how much time to spend scrolling through Facebook...when to go to bed, etc.

But the most important decision of all is whether or not to follow Jesus.

What do you mean? I'm a Christian…of course I follow Jesus.

Yes, but every day, we're met with challenges and how we react makes a difference.

Will I act out of my own desires or follow Jesus’ example? We have to decide.

Every day is hard. Temptations threaten to pull us down a different road than the one God wants us to follow.

We have to decide...my will or His?

It's a choice we have to make...today, tomorrow, and every day after that.

In Christ,
Laura 


Saturday, March 26, 2016

God’s Gift of No


Think of a child who asks her parent for something…and the answer is no. Rarely is that the end of the conversation. The child wants to know why? Why is the answer no?

I think of this because I know I’m often that child when God answers no. But why God? I don’t understand. Why can’t I have that? (Because, in my mind, it seems so perfect.) But like the parent who knows what’s best for her daughter, God knows what’s best for me.

Even as an adult, “no” isn’t what I want to hear when my sights are set on one particular thing. I justify it. I explain it. I might even whine a little. Maybe God will change His mind.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been looking at God’s answer of no a little differently. I know I’m in a season of life that won’t last forever. 

Maybe God’s no to one thing is so that I can focus on where I am right now. So I can be fully present where I’m needed today. So I don’t miss out on this season that will one day be over.

It wasn’t easy to reach this point of acceptance. Some days, I take a few steps back and ask why again. And God gently reminds me to be here today.

With acceptance comes peace. Peace with the season I’m in. That doesn’t mean the struggles aren’t real. They are, and some days are like walking into a squall. They can be brutal. But acceptance calms my desires for what isn’t mine to have right now.

Acceptance doesn’t mean I stop trying. It doesn’t mean not moving forward. 

Acceptance of the season I’m in means I can see the gift of today. 

Despite the most difficult moments, today won’t last forever. God’s gift is the peace to see that.

Maybe God’s no is really a gift of right now because tomorrow I will regret missing today. It’s too easy to be so focused on what I want that I can’t see what I have.

God’s no right now might only be for this season. Like a child hears, “Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up,” I’m hearing, “Don’t be in such a hurry to rush through to the next season. There’s too much to miss today.”

I don’t know what the future holds, but God does. Whether the future is tomorrow or years from now, God knows what He has planned. I don’t want to look back at yesterday and regret what I missed because I was whining about tomorrow. 

With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment. Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow. Proverbs 3:5-6 CEV

Are you in a season where God’s no is a gift?

In Christ,
Laura