Archives for June 2013

Is “No” An Option?

Hello!  We are busy at our house getting ready for a week long houseboat trip with Jonathan’s parents and sister.  I look forward to sharing pictures from our trip!  In the meantime, I wanted to pass on a beautiful devotional that my mother-in-law, Liz just shared with me.  It is SO true for my life where saying “no” is one of my biggest challenges….unless I realize who am able to say “yes” to. 

Is “No” an Option

Jun 13, 2013 01:00 am | Anabel Gillham

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. I Corinthians 1:9

I remember reading an article about marriage, “Does Your Husband Need You?” The gist of it was something like this: Of course, you do fix his meals-but he could hire a cook if you were not around. You do clean his house and iron his clothes-but he could employ a maid who might be more efficient. You did give him his children, but maybe he doesn’t want any more. What are you giving your husband that only his wife can give? Does your husband need you? It is so easy to fall into the trap of emphasizing the doing for him rather than being to him.

Christianity is a relationship. I know that you’ve heard that, but what does it mean? It means that I have been created for fellowship with the Lord and no one can take my place in His life-I’m His bride-His wife! Anything that separates me from Him, His presence, or His companionship is damaging our relationship. Having too many duties to do can actually hinder loving my Husband and separate me from Him. I can be so busy “doing” for Him that I am not filling my role of “being.”

I spent many long hours “working for God” and “livingfor Jesus.” To me that meant being at the church house every time the doors were open; believing that “no” should not even be considered as part of my vocabulary when asked to perform some extra duty at the church; feeling super guilty when the announcement was made about a shortage of workers for the nursery or teachers for Vacation Bible School, work-day on Tuesdays, and visitation on Tuesday evenings. I know that people won’t come back to the Church if they don’t feel like the nursery is well-staffed, and statistics show that so many children make decisions during Vacation Bible School. Yet, every spare moment from my family responsibilities was already being spent preparing lesson plans for Sunday School and keeping in touch with my fourteen class members, choir practice, and mentoring a new Believer.

Is “no” an option for me when there are so many things that need to be done? Good things. Necessary things.

But I wonder if Jesus would like to spend some quality timewith just me? It’s difficult to accept the fact that I am so special to Him that He longs to be alone with me. I know. He is with me all the time and I could have close communion with Him while painting at the church or stacking cans in the food pantry. I mean those rare times when I’m not telling Him about all my problems or pulling out my list of names that I’m praying for. Times when I am focusing only on being with Him-watching the sunset and praising Him for His art work; smelling the flowers and thanking Him for letting me smell; looking at the moon and stars and reveling in His creative genius. Realizing that we are walking together. He tells me that he is holding my hand. Difficult to comprehend, isn’t it? Walking along knowing that Someone is right beside me and holding my hand but not being able to see Him?

The Lord Himself is my inheritance, my prize. He is my food and drink, my highest joy! You have let me experience the joys of life and the exquisite pleasures of your own eternal presence.” Psalm 16: 5,11 (TLB)

It is inside this fragile body that life with Him is lived to the fullest and His love becomes our food and drink.

Reflection:

Lord, I want to be your wife-not Your errand boy or a servant in Your house. I want everyone to see us together-watching the love exchange between just You and me. Oh, there are a lot of chores for me to do, but don’t let me get so wrapped up in chores that I don’t have time to sit in the swing with You.

 

 

 

The Lord Provides

Hello! As you may have noticed, my posts are fewer and farther in-between.  Typically I scale back a bit in the summer since time with kids and family commitments fill in all the spaces that existed while the kids were in school.  However, I still want to pass on the rich inspiration I come across in my own journey with God when I can. 
This devotional is from Wisdom Hunters Devotional (an app on my phone):
 
“But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17
 
The Lord provides. He provides because this is His heart’s desire. By His very nature He is a provider. He cannot, not provide. It gives Him great pleasure to provide. Just as an earthly father delights in providing for his children so does your heavenly Father. “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:13).

When you fear, He provides peace. When you feel lonely, He provides companionship. When you suffer loss, He provides comfort. When you become proud, He provides humility. When you lack the necessities of life, He provides your needs. When you struggle with confidence, He gives you little victories to gain back much needed confidence. Your confidence grows out of your trust in Him. He gives you strength.

“If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11b).

God’s provision may come in a manner that you are not expecting. It may be an unsolicited check in the mail. It could be the compassionate prayer of a complete stranger. It may be a material provision that comes out of left field, because someone at church felt led by the Lord to provide for your need. They are blessed. You are blessed.

God gets the glory, so do not underestimate the creativity of God. Do not lock His provision capability into a conventional box. He may have bigger and better plans. Do not limit God with false humility or lack of faith. He loves being your provider. Do not forget Him. The grace He provided yesterday will not suffice for the grace He provides today.
 
You can trust that He has just the right life mate for you. Do not settle for someone other than God’s very best. He may very well do much better than your current relationship. He is in the relational business. He knows exactly the husband or wife for you. Be patient. Believe the Lord for someone who will love Him more than he or she loves you.

Many times prayer is His avenue of provision. Prayer facilitates His powerful promises. You prayed for it and now He has provided, but be careful what you pray for—He may answer. Sometimes He answers swiftly and other times His answer is delayed. Do not compromise your convictions or give up. A saint who experienced God’s provision on a regular basis said, “God’s work, done God’s way, will not lack God’s provision”.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).

Prayer: In what need do I need to be patient and pray for the Lord’s powerful provision?

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