Monday, August 25, 2014

When It Feels Like You're Spinning Your Wheels

There aren’t too many things I dislike about life.

·         Watermelon would be one.
(Every summer I try again and hope my palette has changed. . .it hasn't.)

·         Hard chairs during long sermons.
(Some things make you tune out even the best words.)

·         Bitter words spoken in haste.
(Especially when they come from my own lips.)

·         Deception.
(In all forms.)

·         And realizing I trusted when I shouldn’t have.

Right on top of all these, however, is rut-living and wheel-spinning.

There’s nothing like looking back and thinking you’re exactly where you were and where you didn’t want to be, and it looks like all you’ve been doing is spinning your wheels.

You had hopes, you worked hard, you lost sleep, you kept trying.

But you’re not moving forward.

You’re spinning your wheels.

And it’s right on top of the list of things I dislike most about life.

But then I remember some of my favorite things.

·         Like the truth that God never wastes our time.
(He can restore years that have been eaten up by hopelessness. Joel 2:25)

·         He’s never too late.
(Jairus thought so. But the Lord showed up still, and He worked an unexpected miracle. Mark 5:35-43)

·         God never makes mistakes.
(Even when we do. He works it together for good. Romans 8:28)

·         And this truth repeated five times in the Bible: “The LORD reigns.”

Even when wheels keep spinning and ruts grow longer, the Lord reigns.

He’s in control of the mundane everyday’s.

He knows the ruts, the rabbit trails, the steps that seem to be useless in our lives.

And He knows how to set our spinning wheels on a path that will take us somewhere.

When you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, remember He reigns.

Remember that wheels were made for movement, lives were made for living, paths were made for taking us somewhere. And all the dislikes and favorite things of life can be opportunities to start looking upward.

To the One in complete control.

Who looks at your life and mine.

And He's satisfied.

"Why do you say . . . My way is hidden from the LORD? . . .
His understanding is unsearchable . . .He performs what is appointed for me." (Isa. 40:27,28; Job 23:14)

Monday, August 18, 2014

One Important Reason We Can Hope for the Impossible

My cousin and I spent two days at the coast this week. We watched the waves, we listened to the ocean while we slept, and we contemplated the majesty of our Creator.

The ocean always reminds me there’s a greater reason why I exist, why I can trust, and why the impossible is not so impossible.

Because the God of all the earth created that.

 “In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Exod. 20:11).
“He made the earth by his power” (Jer. 10:12).
“With God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).

How many of us have requests we bring to God daily—impossible requests we keep bringing to Him?

We bring our requests to Him because He’s the God of power.
He’s the LORD of hosts. The LORD of ALL the powerful, heavenly hosts.

We hope, we pray, we trust in a God of power.

And as the hymn writer reminds us:

 “God’s great power guards every hour.” – Johann Franck

Our hours. 
The world and all things in it.
Our hopes and cares and days and years.

The LORD of hosts guards it all.

The one important reason we can hope for the impossible.

"Earth and all its depths adore him,
Silent bow before Him."
-- Johann Franck
(taken from“Jesus, Priceless Treasure”)

Monday, August 11, 2014

How to Get There When You Don't Have a Road Map

Have you ever wished that birth certificates came with road maps and that life offered a few more directions along the way?

Life often looks like one giant highway full of bends in the road, four-way stops, and endless freeway with no assurance that you’re going to actually get there.

God doesn't leave us directions, a map, or a voice mail that assures us we’re headed in the right direction.

Maybe because He knows us too well.

 “God doesn’t give us a map because we’d follow the map and not Him.” – Allen Arnold

Our family used to go camping when we were small. One year, when I was six or seven, we hiked up part of Mt. Jefferson.

The snow was deep.  Too deep for my small legs to find their own footing.

Instead, my dad went ahead of me, and all I had to do was step into his giant foot prints.

I was safe as long as he’d already been there, and I knew the way as long as I stayed close behind.

Psalm 85:13 tells us our Heavenly Father “makes His footsteps our pathway.”

He doesn’t hope we’ll find the path.

He makes it for us by going ahead.

We find our way by staying close behind.

Like a child.

Not trusting our steps, but watching for His and stepping into them with full assurance.

He “makes His footsteps our pathway.”

We don’t need a road map to life.

Just childlike faith.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with my eye.” (Psalm 32:8)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Where to Go When You Feel Like Rejoicing in What God Has Done

You don’t have to live very long to learn that life’s paths involve Red Seas—crossroads in life that look to us like insurmountable obstacles.

Life brings us to barriers marked by “No Outlet” signs and roads that end with no way around or through.

We all face stops in life that leave us doing only one thing—looking up.

We’ve watched the Lord step into our impossible roads and create paths we never dreamed possible.

We’ve watched Him bring us to gateways and new roads and different journeys that left the Red Seas looking like puddles.

Our God is that big.

The kind of God that sees Red Seas and obstacles and ends of the road as opportunites to step in and “provide from [His] goodness” (Psalm 68:10).

“He is awesome in His doing . . . He rules by His power forever” (Psalm 66:5,7).

He opens the way and sets our feet on new paths of blessing.

And we’re left rejoicing when we thought tears would be our food for years.

The Psalmist was there, but he found the perfect place to rejoice.

 “Because you have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice” (Psalm 63:7)

He still went to the safety of God’s wings, even when God had worked and all he felt like doing was rejoicing.

You and I never stop needing Him.
After we’ve watched Him work, we still need the safety of His wings.
We still need to look up.

When we feel like rejoicing in what God has done, the best place to go is the place of praise that is still a place of trust.

Rejoice in that place of trust.

It is here that God continues to work.