Friday, November 30, 2012

Hard Paths and Hinds' Feet

I don’t know about you.  But when it comes to life, I prefer easy paths. 
No sickness, no burdens, no turmoil.   
I prefer days free from hardship and full of happiness. 
I love laughter and acts of kindness. 
I love smooth, even paths with no upward trudge.

But I’ve racked my brain, and I can’t think of one time when someone in the Bible prayed for easy paths.  I can’t think of one promise that says life will never be hard or free from challenges. 

God never said, “Only laughter and things that make you feel good will follow you all the days of your life.”

Instead, I read that God gives us hinds’ feet.

A hind is a female red deer and the most sure-footed mountain animal. Her feet are like suction cups making it possible to leap from rock to rock. She never loses her footing, because she has feet that enable her to scale the toughest path.

Instead of praying for easy paths and pleasant things, maybe we should pray for feet--the right kind of feet. 

Feet like a hind's--fit for whatever path we find ourselves climbing.

I prefer easy paths.

Instead, the Lord gives feet to scale our paths with ease.

Are you climbing a rough path today?

Pray for hinds’ feet. 

The kind of feet God gives to those who see His way as perfect, no matter how flat or steep.

“As for God, his way is perfect . . . He maketh my way perfect.
He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.” 
(Psalm 18:30-33)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Raise Your Hand

Raise your hand yesterday.

Go ahead.

Try it . . .

It’s impossible, isn’t it?

You can’t raise your hand yesterday, because it’s now.

And now is now. And then was then.

And it’s impossible to do yesterday what you think today would make tomorrow better. (If you followed all that, you might be living in a different time zone altogether!)

My point is this.

Trying to re-live your past is as impossible as raising your hand yesterday.

Trying to change the past, wish it away, or bask in the memory of it will only result in forgetting about today.

How about trying this instead? 

Raise your hand tomorrow.

That's just as impossible, isn't it?

Right now, we can only live today.

Not yesterday.
Not even tomorrow.

Today, we breathe an average of 21,600 breaths.

Today, our heart will beat 100,800 times.

Today, we choose what those breaths and heartbeats will live for.

But only today.

Soon, today will be yesterday, and we’ll no longer be able to raise our hands back then. We won’t be able to live it over.

And it’s impossible to live tomorrow yet.

But we can live now.

In fact, that’s what now is for.

To live in.

If you’re ready to live today . . . raise your hand. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thank Who?

It's already on my calendar: Thanksgiving Day.

I didn't pencil it in. It's just there.

And all across the country, thousands of homes have it on their calendar, too.

Thursday is a day for giving thanks.

Thursday, we will set life aside for the purpose of finding something for which to be thankful; a day to have a grateful heart.

But I wonder. . . is it enough just to have an attitude of gratitude?

Let's not forget Who deserves our thanks.

Give thanks unto the LORD. . . (Psalm 136:1)
Give thanks unto the God of gods . . . (v.2)
Give thanks to the Lord of lords . . . (v.3)
To him who alone does great wonders . . . (v.4)
To him who by wisdom made the heavens . . . (v.5)
To him who stretched out the earth above the waters . . . (v.6)
To him who made great lights . . . (v.7)
To him who smote Egypt . . . (v.10)
To him who divided the Red Sea . . . (v.13)
To him who led his people through the wilderness . . . (v.16)
To him who smote great kings . . . (v.17)
Who remembered us in our low estate . . . (v.23)
Who has redeemed us . . . (v.24)
Who gives food to all flesh . . . (v.25)

Oh, give thanks unto the God of heaven; for his mercy endureth forever. (v.26)


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lessons from a One-Legged Sandpiper

Sometimes life seems like a one-legged journey in a two-legged world.

An effort to accomplish.
A hindered hop from one hurdle to another.

I wondered if that’s how this sandpiper felt.

One leg or two, he could still soar.

But to walk through the everyday ins and outs of life; to live with an unchangeable circumstance day after day; to survive one-legged in a two-legged world took courage, determination, an effort others hardly noticed.

I doubt this one-legged sandpiper thought much about it.

He hopped alongside the others determined to survive in this two-legged world.

He had a life to live.

And he made it work.

When he hopped by, I almost missed him.

I almost missed his silent courage; his seemingly effortless determination.

I almost missed this tiny reminder that obstacles can be overcome; hurdles can produce courage.

And life doesn’t have to stop just because it’s hard.

This one-legged sandpiper kept going.

Is there anything stopping us?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Questions, Doubts, and Trusting God

Has God ever done something in your life that really just didn’t make sense?

Has He ever asked you to go through something or give up something or commit your life to Him when it seemed like everything He was doing contradicted everything about Him?

If so, you’re not alone. 

Men and women of faith throughout time have faced these challenges.

But they stood firm, they kept on believing, they obeyed, they lived content, because they discovered the importance of knowing who God is.

The men and women who walked by faith trusted God’s character no matter what He asked of them or allowed them to go through.

They weren’t basking in the blessings of God all the time—going from one blessing to another.

They trusted God even when blessing was withdrawn. 
When He seemed to be against them.
And even when what He was doing seemed to contradict everything about Him.

That’s what faith is all about.

Faith is trusting God’s character.

What would Job have done if he had defined God by his circumstances?
He would have listened to his wife who said, “Curse God and die.”

Instead, he uttered one of the greatest expressions of faith in all of Scripture.
He said: “Though he slay me, yet I will trust him.”

How was Abraham able to lift the knife to slay his son on an altar?
Because he was standing in the confidence that God is who He says He is.

God had made a promise to Abraham that through Isaac he would become a great nation. Abraham knew Isaac would somehow live.

He didn’t understand why God had asked him to do the unthinkable.

But he knew (and believed) that God would do something.

Because when God makes a promise, He keeps it. 
He’s Jehovah.

When there’s a need, God supplies.
He’s Jehovah-Jireh.

He’s the God He says is and will do what He says He will do, no matter how much our circumstances might contradict that.

We don’t want to just survive the Christian life.
We’ve been promised abundant life.

A life of peace and joy and comfort that isn’t based on our circumstances.

An abundant life that’s based on the kind of God we have.
The kind of God we believe we have.
The kind of God we remember we have.

The kind of God He is . . . no matter what our circumstances might look like.

Our faith must be in who God is.

No matter our circumstances.

Faith is trusting God’s character.


Has there ever been a time when you’ve doubted God,
and then watched Him come through to supply your need?

[Listen to the lesson on Jehovah-Jireh.]