Give and it will be given unto you.
How often do we hear Luke 6:38 and think of it as only the giving of things/moolah?
Now though, I am thinking it is wayyyy more than that.
There is a story in Mark 12:41-44, of the widow who had little yet still placed her last bit into the Temple treasury. Now, mind you, this is after many of those who had plenty put in their offerings. JESUS says “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.”
What is it that you have little of? Time? Patience? Love? Forgiveness?
You see, I know for me, that I can have little patience and a short fuse. So, those times where I can still serve another with love, even when they can take a toll on my patience; is truly when I am loving like CHRIST.
Being giving to those that are easy for us to give to... well, that’s not a huge deal. I mean it’s nice and all.
But try loving the unlovable. The ones who you “think” don’t deserve love or kindness.
Try forgiving the unforgivable. The ones who you “think” will never be redeemable.
Try offering patience to those who grind on your last nerve.
Because it is those times we are being like that widow. Those times when we go against our own self to care for another.
(I’m not speaking of an enabling heart; that’s when there is something in it for us (OUCH!)
If you are like me... you may be saying to yourself... “no way!!”
But.... there is a way!
You see, when we are weak, JESUS is strong. When we think we can’t, JESUS will.
It was faith that allowed that woman to drop those last coins in the basket. Reliance on CHRIST that no matter how little money she had, HE would take care of her.
And I need that. I need to give of me even when I feel totally spent because I know that it will be CHRIST that will refresh me, protect me, and love me. And only through the LORD who can change my heart of stone to a heart of flesh, I can change! Amen!
Here are the disciples on a boat. In the middle of the water. Nothing near. The wind starts picking up. I imagine some thunder and lightening. And huge waves begin to blow the boat all around. They all start to panic.
Here I am working. Tech issue happens. An irate customer complains. Decision after decision must be made. Just like those waves hitting the boat, trials and challenges are hitting my day. And like those disciples, I start to panic.
Meanwhile... also in the boat, lays JESUS peacefully sleeping. Perfectly calm. Right in the middle of the chaos.
Meanwhile, in the midst of my chaotic day of struggles; there is JESUS. Right beside me. Calm... waiting..
JESUS says to the disciples, who wake JESUS up in a state of panic. Where’s your faith? Reminding them WHO is in their boat. And then... just like that... JESUS quiets the storm and a calm comes over the waves.
JESUS reminds me, while I react in worry and fear, who lifts me, stands behind me, catches me when I fall... and my worry calms... yep.. JESUS calmed my storm!
Moral of the story:
Lack of faith = worry
JESUS = calm
I see today. I make assumptions of the future based on what I see today.
When I look back throughout my life, more often than not, events turned out much different than I expected. Usually much better! When my first marriage ended, all I could see was the end. I was devastated.
Eventually, I met someone else. And he had a son. I had always wanted a son. And they both entered my life and became amazing blessings. That was 25 years ago.
Had I not believed in hope, I would have wallowed and missed out on those blessings.
Measuring our tomorrow’s by what we see today will often deplete any hope.
However...Looking at our today’s with faith and hope brings an eager anticipation in the things to come.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)
Yep! GOD always makes a way to a perfect tomorrow even from an agonizing today!
I will have a dream. If convicted to do so, I will pray about it and work towards it. Yet, minutes pass, nothing happens and I’m ready to throw in the towel. Well, maybe not minutes. However, whether it be days or years, when it becomes scary or tough - I’m ready to run for the hills. I read story after story in the Bible of those who had to wait. Abraham and Sarah were way older before having Isaac. (Genesis 15:2-6) Jacob waited 7 years for Rachel only to be deceived and waited 7 more to get his love! (Genesis 29:25-28) Mary held onto a promise from God for 30 years that her child would be the Messiah (Luke 1:31-33) Those are just a few examples.
Waiting is difficult for most. Agonizing for many.
And that is why, in the wait, I know I gotta rely on the LORD. HE carries me through the impatience.
I cannot tell you how many times I was ready to drop the dream and take what I thought was the easy way out. Just because things got tough!
Those times I need to focus on the LORD. Psalm 40:1 tells me that when I wait patiently for the LORD; HE gets closer to me and hears my cries.
Furthermore, when we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." (Romans 8:25)
I may not see the possibility of my dream or calling coming to fruition (right now).
But I need to remember and remind myself.. GOD will bring me to it in HIS time.
This way, when I get antsy, frustrated and impatient... I remember to hold on to the hand of JESUS; get down on my knees, get real in my prayers and cry out to the HIM.
Since I am surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, I must throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And run with perseverance (patience) the race marked out for me ...In other words “keep on keepin on” (patiently) with CHRIST by my side!
And I will reach the finish line!
My way is not always the right(eous) way.
I love doing for others. I love serving. Giving. And that desire makes me feel exhilarated.
Until it doesn’t.
I am going to admit to something...
My intentions to help, often come with a price-tag. The price is my way! I want to do it my way. Or the way I think it should be. And when it isn’t, I get frustrated, irritated and I am ready to roll. Pop out. Disappear.
I recently had a difficult-to-hear conviction from GOD. An arrow right through my heart. The opening of my eyes, wide as can be.
This is what the LORD said to me loud and clear - no stuttering..
“Deni, I have not asked you to serve to make things the way you think they should be. I simply ask you to serve.”
I froze and wrote the words down. And have read them over and over.
I’m not in charge. Even though I may know a thing or two.... my ways are not what counts. Nope! GOD’s ways are higher than any of our ways (and that includes my ways)
This... is a hard lesson for me. But a lesson needed.
It’s also more links falling from those chains that bind me.
Being in an uptight and bound state all the time is not good physically, mentally or spiritually. And as I let go of my way and make room for GOD’s way, a blanket of peace lays upon me.
JESUS came to free us from our sin. And believe me, you, I have one sinful nature.
Sin is not something I always contemplate. Sometimes, I’m in it before I realize I’m in it.
Kind of like munching an apple after being told not to.
And that is why I must continuously turn my will and heart over to the care of the LORD,
every minute of every day! And ask “LORD, open my eyes to what I need to see”
How overwhelming it would be.. to see too much too soon.
So I chant this well known utterance:
“GOD grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” And GOD does open my eyes. And allows me to see exactly what HE wants me to see. And through CHRIST, I can and will make any changes needed. Not on my own strength but only by the strength of the LORD! And that is where I find serenity. All by the grace of GOD!
I don’t get it! I look around me and scratch my head in confusion. Don’t get me wrong. I have spent hours trying to figure things out. Or make things work in my own ways. I realize, however,
it is ok if it doesn’t make sense. It is ok if I don’t understand it.
Because the ONE who created the heavens and the earth does understand it.
And you know what??
it does make sense to HIM. Therefore, I will lean not on my understanding! And that is faith! And hope! Not in what I see in front of my face. But holding on tightly to the LORD even when everything around me is in complete disarray.
That is it! I must hold fast to the LORD with everything within me. All my strength. All my knowledge.
All my heart. And all things do work out and will work out for those that love GOD and rest in HIM.
All my paths shall be made straight. Peace is mine for the taking!! All when I choose to let go of my own understanding and rest in the LORD! Amen!
We are blessed by the children GOD gives us. As a mom, one of the most difficult concepts to adopt is that they are truly borrowed! We can only do so much and then GOD intervenes. For a mom of a child twisted in chemicals, enticed by drugs and alcohol; the agony watching this is hell.
Standing by, not knowing what to do!
Perhaps a child who is having trouble getting along at school. Children can be cruel. Sure, we can intervene,
go to a teacher or even the parents, but that tends to make things worse.
What. is. A. Parent. To. Do.?
Every day, moment and second, I must relinquish my ever-so-tight grip on those I love and turn them and
me and my desire to step in over to the LORD! Do I mess up?
Yes, without fail!. Am I provided another chance!
By grace, I am! Will my offspring be okay? Will those I love be safe? At the least they will be “saved”! And that
equals okay and safe! And more loved by GOD!
“But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their
children’s children–“(Psalm 103:17) We pray and we share who JESUS is and what he has done and continues to do
in our lives. And on and on it goes! Sharing is caring.... we have either heard that in school, from our kids or right here,
right now! Whether it is breaking it down for the little ones, getting real with the older.. we plant seeds. And those seeds
grow and plant their own seeds! So when our children are troubled.... enabling is not the “thang” to do....
praying, sharing and loving are!