A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. I’m thirsty for God-alive. I wonder, “Will I ever make it—arrive and drink in God’s presence?” I’m on a diet of tears—tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, pestering, “Where is this God of yours?” (Ps 42:1–3)
I have learned that obeying the Lord does not always lead me alongside bubbling brooks and quiet pastures. It most often leads me to depletion. Drought leads me to need him – only him. In this life, a diet of tears. In the life to come, unending joy. But, between here and now, there and then, is life. There are times that I am filled with the sustaining depths of God – heaven on earth – a taste of what is to come. Quickly, I return to the reality of drought all around me. I am not yet ready for there and then.
Dear Sustainer, you alone give me life and promise. My rebellious world cannot do it. I cannot even help myself. As much as I dislike the journey in the desert, thank you for these drought times. You uniquely reveal yourself every time I call to you.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Worry is never helpful. In fact, if I read these verses carefully, it is prohibited. Don’t is the first word of the first sentence. Instead is the first word of the second. Let is the first word of the third. Don’t – instead – let. When I accept this instruction, and I relinquish my worries to the Lord, he settles me down. A sense of his wholeness (worry always fractures) and a reminder of his promise to bring everything together for good (worry always challenges this) settles everything. If that is not enough, I am reminded of what is in the center of my life. If my Lord is, no controlling worry.
Lord, you are the only One who can settle my heart, putting it in order again. Please do that. And, when things come to me that could cause me to worry, help me take them to you. You are the only One who can properly handle them.
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
God wants me to live this way…that grabs my attention. Simple, straightforward instruction.
Be cheerful no matter what – how? By praying all the time. Regardless of the situation in front of me, I can pray, “Come Lord Jesus into this.”
Pray all the time – how? By thanking God. I can be filled with gratitude because he remains the Constant One. I can trust him. I can relinquish what is in my heart and hands into his care. He is more than enough for this day. Keeping these truths in mind, I can be continually thankful.
So, my life is not driven by circumstances but by my responses to them. That’s the bottom line regarding how my Lord wants me to live. Life happens to me like everyone else. How I process life is the issue.
Lord, it’s all yours. Every part of this day I give to you to direct and guide and provide. Thank you for being consistent and steady and faithful.
Who out there fears GOD, actually listens to the voice of his servant? For anyone out there who doesn’t know where you’re going, anyone groping in the dark, Here’s what: Trust in GOD. Lean on your God! Isaiah 50:10-11
God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in “the shadow of His hand”. The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision Never try to help God fulfill His word. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. – Oswald Chambers
Two voices – one truth. God has often revealed his will to me in stages. Little glimpses. Most of his will-revealing for me requires waiting in the shadows. And, though never easy, it is easiest when I remember I am waiting for him not for a certain thing to happen. My Lord’s timing is perfect – remember! Therefore, there is no fear of losing out as I wait in the shadows. His delay is his process of preserving me for his best and protecting me from that which is less than his best.
Lord, help me wait patiently and remember that you are perfect in all you do. What you do is rightly done.
“Even then God had designs on me…” Galatians 1:13-16
I wish I could say that I have always loved God’s designs for my life. In fact, there have been times I thought I had a much better plan. Even now, I look back and wonder if my plan had been better. What pride!
Many times, my Lord has spoken to my heart with, “Is it all right if I take care of this for you?” You are more than enough also impacts my submitting to his desires and plans. In fact, when I question him, I question whether or not he is more than enough for me. This has to stop.
God’s desires for me express His nature and what is suited to my nature. Only he knows how to blend the two.
Lord, reorder my life through simplicity. I surrender to you and acknowledge you are more than enough for today and every day to come.
“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7
God’s work in my life has brought me to where I am today. Even through my mistakes and rebellions, his grace has brought me here. And, with unlimited time he gives me unending grace and kindness. Today, here, then and there…forever. What glory that is!
The past and the present are surrounded by his grace and kindness. The next bend in the road leads me to more of his grace and kindness. So, no uncertainty or need to fear. He is meeting me at the next stop.
Lord, mostly, what you do is love me – through it all. This captures my heart in a way I cannot express. My story is your story of grace and kindness. So, I entrust into your grace and kindness all that this day brings to me. I give you my future and submit to you my past. Thank you Lord.
“At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.” Matthew 18:1-5
What an amazing question! What type of person thinks that heaven has a ranking system? And, who is this who would assume preferential treatment? Jesus answered the question by focusing on becoming a child of God as a requirement for entrance. I will be in my Father’s home because of his grace…nothing more.
Lord, you are my Father and I love you today. Thank you for making me your own, adopting me into your family. Only your love for me compelled you to do that. So, as your child, with all I have, I trust you. Help me remain childlike before you and our world. At the same time, free me from childishness, which is so unattractive and opposite your desire that I mature.
I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. Philippians 4:10-14
Contentment ebbs and flows if there is no unchanging constant. It’s a lesson which has to be learned and, it can only be learned by the experiences of loss and gain. Though loss and disappointment take their toll, when our lives are focused on our Lord who is the Unchanging Constant, their impact is controlled. Contented people grieve. Contented people relive mistakes. Contented people struggle. The difference is how loss, regrets and difficulties impact the heart.
Happy with little, happy with much. Happy when full, happy when hungry. Happy with full hands and happy with empty hands. The Unchanging Constant is the key to this ebb and flow life.
I love the last phrase, the One who makes me who I am. I am not defined by gain or loss, success or failure, good times or bad times. I am who I am through the faithful work of the Unchanging Constant.
Lord, I am a fickle person, you know. My emotions, thoughts and plans ebb and flow as the ocean. All around me are shifting tides. But you alone remain my constant one. Thank you for being so faithfully rock-steady.
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
It’s interesting how people’s perspective on an incident or object or experience can be so different, even opposite. Some are masters at seeing the smallest details while others most naturally see the big picture. Some see life from a half empty glass and others from a half full glass. We are all different when it comes to perspective. We just don’t see it all.
How we approach difficulties is affected by our perspective as well. When wanting to give up, we can persevere if… We can overcome when things are falling apart if… we look up and beyond, where our help comes from.
“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from GOD, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.” Psalm 121:1-2
Even the majestic mountains, with their appearance of permanence and strength, remain unhelpful during difficult times. Look up…and beyond…perspective!
Lord, how easy it is for me to be convinced I know all there is to know. To know or not know is really not the issue during difficult times. You are my God – the one who has full control over all. You can make sense of difficulties and use them as indispensable tools in my life. So, whether this day is one of hardship or ease, I look up from the details of this day and look beyond them to you, my Helper and Sustainer.
“Also at that time, people will say,
“Look at what’s happened! This is our God!
We waited for him and he showed up and saved us!
This GOD, the one we waited for!
Let’s celebrate, sing the joys of his salvation.
GOD’s hand rests on this mountain!”
There is an ongoing battle – do I want only my Lord or what he gives? Presence or presents? “I will trust him if…” has no place our relationship. It reveals that I really don’t know him at all. If I am progressively and intimately getting to know him, I will trust. Doubt destroys growth. Subtly, desiring what he gives more than him brings everything to a dead stop.
Lord, my prayer today is, “You are more than enough!” Regardless of what has happened, this is true. And, when you act, please remind me to point others to you and keep from being so enamored with the gift you gave.