Learning to Wait

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I hardly know where to begin. It seems as if God has been working double-time in my life. But, I guess the beginning is the best place to start, so I’ll go back there.

The last time I posted I talked about the beautiful reminder I had received about how when we are weak that is when God’s strength can truly be revealed. Through this observation I am discovering just how beautiful it is to step back and really let God do his work. 

It should have been a normal day, filled with normal activities. We had plans to do school (we home school) and I had fun things to do in the evening (kind of a Mommy’s night out.) However, the day didn’t start out at all how I had planned. I had been fighting a small head cold that week, and on this particular morning I woke up with a magnificent headache. I don’t get migraines often, but when I do, I just cannot function. That day was no different. I found myself inevitably in the most worshipful position I know–Face down on the bathroom floor, begging for God’s mercy.
Now, of course I am a believer in Gods ability to heal. I can praise him that in the past I have received His miraculous grace and had a migraine healed immediately.
But, sometimes God has other plans for how He shall be glorified through our circumstances, doesn’t he?

So, back to the headache. It was bad enough that I just was not doing well. at. all. With four little ones at home I needed help. My husband had some flex time and mercifully came home.  My first, “Thank you Jesus!”
The day was also very wet, windy and dreary. Not twenty minutes after my husband had been home and we hear a loud Crack! Swish! BOOM! A quick glance up confirmed our roof was still intact, but a look out our front window confirmed that one of the Huge Cottonwood trees out front had lost a major limb that extended across the yard and over the drive way. 
I went back to bed. 
A short while later my headache finely abated. My second, “Thank you Jesus!”
I came downstairs only to find that my husband was now not feeling well. So, we traded shifts, he went to bed and I took over with the kids.

I have to admit that the hours after a headache are so sweet to me. I am always so grateful to be able to be a present, functioning human being. 

Anyway, looking out over the yard I surveyed the damage. The limb did fully extend over our drive. There was no getting around it. It was far to big to just pull it out-of-the-way and we don’t own a chainsaw, Nor do we have a tractor that could pull it the rest of the way down from the tree.

But, rather than fret and worry, and try to figure out on my own exactly how we were going to get this mess cleaned up. I decided, no, I’m just going to be patient and let God do his thing. 

I decided to trust that God would take care of this in His timing. The result? A surreal amount of peace. Quite an experience, especially for this born fretter.

The only thing I could do was clean up the outlying small branches that would make it a bit easier for whoever would arrive to help us remove the tree from our drive way. 

So, that’s what I did. Just worked on the small stuff that I could carry. 

Not, long into the project we got a phone call. It was our neighbor. He said he and his son would be by in a bit with a chainsaw and a tractor to help us out. 

Now, I do have to say, that I am certain we live in one of the most wonderful neighborhoods. We have some fantastic neighbors, who love the Lord and walk out his love and grace every day. So, it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that they would volunteer to help us. But, at the same time it was. Because, normally I’m the one fretting and trying to work out exactly how we are going to do something. I’m not very good at just waiting on God in his timing (Thank goodness He loves me anyway.)

Soon, that tree was but a memory. 

 Gratitude is the feeling that you get when you are thankful for the grace and provision you have received. But I am convinced that no feeling is sweeter than when we take a minute to thank God for the thing that he is yet to do, or does without our even asking. To know that God truly has our care and best interests in mind is truly so sweet. 
And it remindes me of what Jesus said in Luke 12:22-31

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things[c] shall be added to you.

So, you might think this was but a little test. However, it taught me a big lesson. 

Dear Lord, 
Thank you for all the ways you provide for us throughout the day. I’m sorry I don’t praise and give you the credit more often, for truly every good and perfect gift comes from You. Thank you for taking care of the little details in my life. Lord, may I not forget how you have saved and provided in the past, so that I may trust you more fully in the future. You truly are a good, good God. Thank you. 
In Jesus name, Amen.

~Rita

The Chains of Fear

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For God did not give us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power,
love, and sound judgment.
2 Timothy 1:7 [Holman Christian Standard]

In my youth I was privileged to live in a house on a lake. To me, there has always been something magical about the early morning hours when the sun was just peeking over the edge of the horizon and the mist was still rising off the waters; when no other person was awake, and the only sounds on the lake came from birds and bullfrogs. Oh how I longed to be able to take the canoe out and paddle across that mirror-smooth surface while the mist swirled around me! But I never did. Not once. I lived in that house on the lake for several years, and I never once took that canoe out. Why? Fear. I was afraid. The “what ifs” of life kept me from going: What if I tipped the canoe? What if I was unable to navigate the lake and find my way back to the dock? What if…What if…

To many these seem like ridiculous things to fear and perhaps they were. Even so, they were strong enough to keep me chained to the land and prevent me from moving beyond the end of the dock without company. Chains – that is what is produced by fear, endless links to an ever-increasing set of chains.

Our old human spirit, the one we had before we were born again, was characterized by fear and with good reason! We were doomed to a life full of nothing good and an eternity even worse. Fear was reasonable. But once we gave our hearts to Jesus, when we asked him to come in and reign, he recreated that human spirit. He didn’t just fix it up and make it better. Nope. He totally made it over! Amazing to think of isn’t it? According to His word, our born-again, recreated spirit is not characterized by fear, but by power, by love, and by sound judgment or a sound mind. No longer are we slaves to fear or bound by the restrictions it tries to impose!
So then, why did fear still stop me from paddling that canoe? I was saved. I was a believer. I had a recreated spirit. But I was still chained by fear. What happened? I’ll tell you what happened; it’s the same thing that continues to happen to believers all over the world. You see, when I asked Jesus into my heart, he unlocked all those chains. I was not subject to them any longer. However, the shackles still rested, unlocked, across my spirit until I knew enough to throw them off. We, you and me, need to exercise our God-given authority and toss those chains aside and refuse to let the enemy convince us to pick them back up and refasten them. Jesus unlocked them; we need to throw them off and walk away!
A few days ago, while the sky was still dark, I left my house. I loaded a kayak in the back of the pickup and drove to that very same lake on which I lived some thirty odd years ago. And there in the predawn light with the mist rising off the water and swirling around me while the air exploded with the sounds of bullfrogs and birds I paddled across that lake alone and without a single ounce of fear! Victory! No chains! No fear! No more! Praise God!
What seemingly small things have you never done because the “what-ifs” of fear have you bound? If you are a child of God, you can toss those chains off and move forward! Refuse to allow the chains of fear to keep you from the abundant life your Heavenly Father intended you to have!

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~Patrica