Archive | December 2012

Praising God In The Hallway

Romans 5

New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Triumphs in Trouble

5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

One of the college students at my church started a Facebook group to bring a bunch of us together across the miles to read through the book of Romans together.  We post our thoughts and discuss it as we go along, following a week by week schedule.  It has already been a blessing to me as I needed the push to find a place to again begin the practice of daily reading my bible.

We’re in chapter 5 this week and as I was reading it yesterday I stopped dead at verses 1-5, especially verse 3, which I highlighted in pink above.

See, my week started off Sunday morning with trials and tribulations.   My car has been in the shop being fixed more than it has been driven this year.  I finally got it back Friday and was so excited to finally be able to get around independently again.  Sunday I get up, get ready for church, it is pouring down rain…and the car is messing up again.  I wanted to cry, instead I yelled.  No one heard me, but that wasn’t real productive.  It was not rejoicing either.  I was determined to go even if I had to walk to services.   The car eventually cooperated and I made it on time for Sunday School, but it was not the way to start the morning.

In hind sight I wonder, could I have handled it better? Certainly!  A stopping, regrouping, and praying would have been a better way to handle it.  Yelling didn’t do anything, I simply raised my blood pressure and stress level.  Instead I could have prayed for the Lord to help me.   I need to be more aware that when a bump in the road hits, I need to stop, breathe and pray.

I did get a lesson in faith though, during worship services.  I put the last bit of cash I had to my name in the offering plate, praying and trusting the Lord for what I needed this week in order to keep my Avon business running.  I did not get a huge influx of cash, but instead, after praying, received just enough to meet my needs.  🙂

My prayer of late has been, “help my unbelief”, and to continue to seek joy.  Only now I understand a bit better that even in the rough spots, I need to find the joy and rejoice, praising Him in the hallways of my life.

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Lessons In Brokenness

angels-falling-broken-feathersToday was the first Sunday of December, which means at church it was the day to celebrate the Lord’s supper, communion.

I had gone over the things from Pastor’s email, and spent time praying during the service, and there were things I needed to confess.

In my heart I carry a root of bitterness toward my soon to be former sister-in-law.  I won’t go into details other than to say that I see her as a very evil, manipulative person.  But the Lord put it on my heart while praying about things I needed to confess, that I need to forgive her for  the perceived wrongs toward me, and pray for her daily.

During that time of prayer, thinking on the fact that Christ died for my sins…and then it hit me.  He died on that cross over 2000 years ago for my sins…sins that had yet to be committed!  Mine and everyone elses, yes, but MINE.  Sins of a woman that had never even been born!  Sins that would not be committed until nearly 2000 years later!  He died to cover the sins of all of His sheep, and those sins, so many were yet to be committed because those sinners were not even to be born for a long time to come.  How unimaginably incredible that weight must have been!  I cannot begin to wrap my head around this!

How could I not want to fall on my face and serve the Lord, the One who paid for my sins thousands of years before I’d ever walk this earth?  Sins I had not yet lived to commit?  The love the Lord Jesus has for His people is not something to be comprehended, that He was willing to die such a horrible death, suffering like we cannot begin to imagine under the weight of sins He knew would occur but were yet to happen?  It is beyond my ability to begin to understand.  Any parent understands they would take a bullet for a child…but can we imagine dying for a child or person who was thousands of years in the future???  No, we cannot.

While  in Sunday School, a passage came up that really made me think, especially during communion:

Isaiah 55

New King James Version (NKJV)

An Invitation to Abundant Life

55 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—

It really made me stop and think…What IS my focus on?  What is it I “buy” with my time and efforts?  It isn’t that it is wrong to work hard to achieve my goals, but which areas of my life are taking the priority?  My study in the Word of God? My walk with Christ?  Or is it still all about me, and things of this world that won’t last?  I need to prioritize my life, really focus on the things that last, delight in the Lord’s abundance first, then the rest of my life will take shape according to His plan for me.  I can pursue my dreams, but pray for what His will, for where I should go and trust that those paths will open up if they are His plan for my life and how I can best serve Him.

I’m thankful that I’m broken, or I’d never have returned to my Father in Heaven, the prodigal daughter, the broken angel in need of Him.