So…its 20 days into a new year. Supposedly there is something special about being able to start afresh. In the new year we can choose to do things differently, right? We could choose to evoke resolutions that we want to happen in our lives. Let’s just be real, those things never last. Two weeks after I resolve to wake up every morning and run, I stop. If its not a habit, then it probably won’t become one unless I try very hard. I heard on the news that a habit doesn’t fully form until you do it for 6 months consistently. 6 months is a long time!!!! LOL.
So what do I do with it all? All being my life and all of its contents: everything I want to change, every uncomfortable characteristic, every unfulfilled relationship, every heartache, and every deferred hope. How can everything be new if the old still exists?
One thing I am learning about my relationship with Jesus is that He is so willing to wait until I give Him an opportunity to work. I can try, try, try and try until I am blue in the face and black in the feet. But something overwhelmingly breaks like a snapped bungee cord and smashes me down to reality when I stop trying and rest. Jesus says: “Live in me, and I will live in you. A branch cannot produce any fruit by itself. It has to stay attached to the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit unless you live in me.” (John 15:4)
When we live in Him, we give Him space to open doors of limitless possibilities for us.
I am reminded of the scripture that says:
“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
Clearly, God is making a point here. He is going to do something new…fresh..lively..invigorating in the lives of His people. Is this the same God I follow? Yeppers. He can do new things for me too! YAY
I’m finding that there are very few times (maybe never) in my walk with God that He is dependent upon me to accomplish something. The only effort I put forth is to trust Him to make and re-make all that pertains to me.
So… this year, He’ll be my resolution.
I resolve to be open to Christ and to allow Him to… do what He does best. Will you?
Life events can easily go from bad to worse. Hopelessness can settle in. You may just be learning how to manage a different family life when another setback occurs. Your resources are somewhat limited to change things because you’re still under your parents’ authority, so you’ve prayed for God’s help but nothing seems to be changing.
Mary and Martha felt the same way. Jesus was their close friend. Their brother Lazarus was sick and near death. Jesus sat in their home frequently and ate with them, laughed with them, and shared stories with them. Mary even rubbed very expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. There was no doubt in their mind Jesus would come and heal Lazarus.
But Jesus didn’t come and Lazarus died. Mary’s reaction to Jesus after her brother’s death is relative for all of us. She tearfully asked Jesus in John 11:32 “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” She was broken by her brother’s death but also the one hope for her brother’s recovery never showed up.
Mary didn’t know what Jesus knew. Jesus knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. He wept because of the pain Mary and Martha were going through, but Jesus knew through this miracle many would believe in Him. If Jesus had healed Lazarus naysayers could claim Lazarus would’ve gotten better even without Jesus, but by raising Lazarus from the dead there is absolutely no other explanation than God.
Whatever your turmoil today, Jesus hears you and He’s working on your behalf. Keep believing and keep praying. His timing is not our timing. His timing is perfect.
Jesus never said there would be no pain in our lives, but He did promise to go through it with us. Even when it feels like He’s not doing anything, He is. He may answer in a way you could never have imagined but it will be for the best possible outcome for you.
You are His priority. Let this consume you because there’s no better feeling in the world.
Know I’m praying for you,
Music for your Playlist: Held by Natalie Grant
“How long do you think it will take for them to go away?” I asked while examining the 3-inch scars on the sides of my feet.
“Oh, I’d say about three weeks or so,” my podiatrist answered absentmindedly. He finished up his check-up and handed me back my crutches.
“Really? That seems pretty quick.” I answered, a hint of disbelief in my voice. When I had gone in for my first bunion surgery almost two months ago, I hadn’t considered the fact that I would come out with these scars. Now that the second surgery was over, I was beginning to wonder how long I would bear the marks that made wearing flip-flops a little more dramatic.
Now, almost two and a half years later, I still have long, pink scars on the inner sides of my feet. It’s interesting to see peoples’ startled reactions when they glance down during a conversation and notice them there for the first time. Sometimes I like to come up with outrageous stories of how they got there, at my poor friend’s expense.
There are other ways to get scars than just getting physically hurt. Divorce leaves some big ones – maybe not so visible. Sometimes we can want to hide those scars deep down where no one will ever notice them. We are afraid that we will be viewed as weird or ugly because of the hurt we have experienced.
Unlike the scars on my feet which might never completely go away, the scars that we carry from our parents’ divorce can be healed. God wants to heal you from the ill effects of your parents’ separation. But there is one thing you have to do: stop hiding them from him. Go to Jesus in prayer and expose your hurt to his healing hand. He will make you like new inside.
Are you wondering why Jesus doesn’t do something about the storm you’re going through? We believe Jesus is all-knowing, in control, and loves us enough to die for us. So why doesn’t He do something?
You’re quite normal if you feel this way, even the men who walked with Jesus questioned His best interest for them.
“Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Mark 4:38
Get the impact of this scripture. The disciples and Jesus were on a boat during a full blown storm. The next wave could bury them at sea and Jesus slept. They didn’t see Jesus doing anything so they assumed He didn’t care.
Are you in a situation where you’re ready to push the panic button? Divorce can feel bigger than any roar of thunder or bolt of lightning you’ve ever experienced. Jesus showed the disciples He was in control of their storm by speaking three words. Quiet. Be Still.
Let Jesus speak to your storm today. He’s bigger than anything or anyone coming against you.
Jesus cares about you more than you I can describe in words. He knows exactly what’s going on during and after your parents’ divorce. You may be dealing with one or both parents who are not Christians but please know God is in control of them, too.
Don’t doubt for a minute God’s ability to speak peace over your problem. Ask Him then sleep well knowing it will be done.
Know I’m praying for You,
For your Playlist: Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns
“Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.”
Do you ever find yourself waiting on the next bad thing?
When perhaps all you have known the majority of your life is heartache and uncertainty, it becomes so easy to embrace life as a perpetual state of chaos. Maybe you view words such as joy, happiness, and peacefulness as foreign moments that only seemed to have existed when your parents were married; but now that the divorce or separation has really sunk in, you have simply ruled out ever feeling these emotions again. Perhaps you have accepted the fact that life will simply never be better, that things will never be as good as they once were and so from here on out you simply accept life’s chain of events knowing that when things are bad, they most likely will only get worse.
However, at some point in time you are going to come across someone or some experience that will debunk the downward sloping perspective of life which you have embraced for so long. Suddenly, you will find yourself struggling with feelings of guilt and disbelief as you try to swallow life’s sweetness and face the fact that there is another side to the God that we serve- a side that pours out blessings of love and joy upon His faithful servants.
I encourage you to seek joy today and continue to pray for it relentlessly. Stop living your life waiting on the darkness and look to your Heavenly Father for the joy that only He can provide you with. Don’t give up on a brighter tomorrow.
With all my heart,