Thursday, April 21, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Unite

"Teach me Your way, O LORD, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name."  Psalm 68:11

My heart is so easily distracted.  Fears, emotions, dreams, goals . . . all these things often take my focus off of God.

It is so easy to go my own way, not even trying to seek His way.  The temptation to listen to lies from the enemy is strong, and I forget to listen to and walk in His Truth.

In being distracted by all these things, some of which are good things, I look up and realize that I haven't been living my life in the fear of God.

I remember the story of Mary and Martha.  Martha was so distracted by so many things, like service and even her own emotions.  Mary chose to focus her heart on the Truth Jesus spoke.

Lord, let me be like Mary, refusing to be so distracted and instead choosing to listen to and follow You.  Unite my heart to fear Your name. 

". . .but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"When You Don't Move the Mountains"

Broken dreams are hard.  It's part of life, but losing something you've been hoping for is never easy.
Recently life took an unexpected turn for me that meant giving up a dream I'd had for a long time.  Even though in the grand scheme of things, this loss is small, it still hurts pretty deeply at times.

I've noticed that I tend to respond to this hurt in two ways (and I go back and forth between these responses frequently).

My first response is to focus on the hurt.  I think about all the things that will never happen and how someone else will get what I always thought I would have.  I let the hurt build up until it overflows and I have an emotional melt-down or am tempted to become bitter.

The second response is to quick dream up a new dream to focus on.  Maybe if I replace the dream it won't hurt so bad . . .

As I was driving to class today listening to Lauren Daigle sing on the radio, I realized that maybe I have the wrong focus.
It's not wrong to hurt, and it's not wrong to have a new dream.

But what if Jesus wants me to fill the hole not with another dream, but with Himself?  What if He took this away so that I would look to Him for joy and life?  Running to Him for comfort has been a struggle.  I run to so many things before I go to Him.  Perhaps this loss of a dream is meant to help me see that only Jesus satisfies.

It's okay to hurt.  But it's not okay to stop trusting the One who knows all my hurts, loves me deeply, and has promised to work all things together for my good.

"Occasionally weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have." - John Piper

Friday, April 1, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Decide

There's nothing like a big decision to cause me anxiety.  And there are plenty of decisions to make in life, especially in the season I'm in right now.

Honestly, I'm not so great at decision making.  I overthink, worry, come to a conclusion, and then second guess myself, starting the process all over again.

Then the decision is made (finally) and I move on with life.  Until I look back and wonder if that was the right one.  What would have happened had I chosen the other option?  Did I ruin my life?

In the midst of anxiety, I need to remember two things:  God cares, and He's in control.  

When I'm worried and anxious, these verses bring so much comfort to my heart:

Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.
 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? 
 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
Isaiah 40:26-28

He knows the name of every single star and holds them up by His great power.  He didn't lose one on accident.  

He knows me.  He cares deeply about all the details of my life that confuse or hurt me.  He knows.

He is in control.  Even if I do make the wrong decision, He's still sovereign over my decisions and His plan will be accomplished.  I can't ruin His plan.

He cares.  He's in control.