Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Reason for the Season?

Well, it's almost here-- Christmas. The world's favorite holiday. As a Christian, you probably assume I'm celebrating the birth of Christ this time of year. And I am.
Just like I do every other time of year.
If I'm living a Christian life, I am reflecting Christ. In doing this, I should continually be thanking God for Jesus, His birth, His sinless life, His sacrificial death, and His resurrection. Christmas should not be the one time of year I celebrate Christ... Christianity is reflected in a lifestyle, not attendance at a candlelight service on Christmas Eve.

~green eyes :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When I was little, I thought patience was waiting in line with my mom at the grocery store. WITHOUT complaining. WITHOUT bugging my brother. WITHOUT causing a ruckus. Easy, right? Wrong. I was never good at being patient.
Ha. And I thought that was hard.
My dear friend Mr. Webster defines the word "patient" in the following ways:

1. bearing pains or trials calmly and without complaint
2. manifesting forbearance under provocation and strain (that's one of those definitions where you have to look up more words just to figure out what the one word means
3. not hasty or impetuous
4. steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity

The first definition is the one most people think of, including me as a kid. Waiting in line, waiting in traffic. The second definition basically means putting up with people when they annoy you. Like how my mom had to be patient with me when I was impatient at the grocery store (haha). Those are the definitions just about everybody knows.
The third definition gets a little deeper. "Impetuous" means "marked by impulsive vehemence or passion". In other words, a very impetuous person acts on their impulses without consulting anyone or anything else. Everybody has impulses, but patient people are patient enough NOT to act on them right away.
The fourth one is my favorite. In a way, patience is synonymous with endurance. Usually we think of this opposition, difficulty, or adversity as being time, as in the time it takes to wait in line. Sometimes it's the annoyance someone else is causing us. But in actuality, a perfectly patient person is able to overcome any obstacle to get to their goal, no matter what it is.

Patience is a big deal to God. We are to run with patience the race that is set before us (Heb. 12:1 KJV). Love is patient (1 Cor. 13:4 NASB). Patience is listed among the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22 NASB). Abraham gained everything God had promised him because he waited patiently (Heb. 6:15). We are supposed to be patient and wait upon the Lord (Isa. 40:31, Ps. 130:5).

This song pretty well sums things up. I didn't write it, I'm not taking credit for it, nobody sue me please!

Teach Me, Lord, to Wait
Teach me Lord to wait
Down on my knees
'Til in your own good time
You'll answer my pleas
Teach me not to rely
On what others do
But to wait in prayer
For an answer from you

Teach me Lord to wait
While hearts are aflame
Help me humble my pride
And call on your name
Keep my faith renewed
Keep my eyes on thee
Let me be on this earth
What you want me to be

They that wait upon the Lord
Shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings as an eagle
They shall run and not be weary
They shall walk and not faint
Teach me Lord, Teach me Lord to wait

~green eyes

Friday, December 4, 2009

"For I know the plans I have for you..."

Wow. Life. It never ceases to amaze me. We think we're headed one direction, and suddenly we're headed 180 degrees in the other direction. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.
So many times I've had plans that were pretty good plans, or at least I thought so at the time. And God said no. That always bugged me. Why would a God who loved me and wanted the best for me shoot down my dreams? But lately I've realized the "No" answer never stopped there. I just usually stopped listening when God said, "I have a better idea."
Seeing His work in my life is incredible. So many times I would have ended up miserable if things had gone the way I wanted them to.

Things I Know:
1. God always knows better than me. Even if I can't see it at the time, His plans are far better than anything I could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
2. God will do things the way He wants to, in the time He wants to. That means sometimes I have to wait for His plans. However, they're going to be infinitely worth the time I spent waiting. Always. If I'm waiting on Him, He's going to give me the strength and patience not to give up (Isaiah 40:31).
3. If I follow Him, he's going to lead me to the people I need to know, the things I need to learn, the trials I need to face. He's not going to leave me to flounder in the dark, but I have to follow Him and seek His kingdom before everything else (Matthew 6:33).
4. Since God's in charge of my future, I don't need to worry about it. This involves letting go of my own will and submitting to His. After all, if I trust Him to save me from eternity in hell, can't I trust Him to take care of earthly problems and plans? If I humble myself to Him, He will take charge and I won't have to worry (1 Peter 5:6-7).

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." -Jeremiah 29:11

~greeneyes :)