Am I Treating God like a Jack-in-a-Box?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

A few years back, I heard a testimony that hit me to my core.

The visiting pastor at a church where I was also visiting explained how he is sometimes guilty of treating God like a Jack-in-a-Box.

Whoa.

That hit me right between the eyes.

He went on with his sermon, but I stayed right in that moment, right in the question of… “Do I treat God like a Jack-in-a-Box?”

(If you are unfamiliar with this torture device, marketed as a toy, it’s worth looking up.)

Well, it really wasn’t a question. It was a knowing. I knew immediately that I often treat God like a Jack-in-a Box.

I pack Him around in a little box, set Him in a situation where I expect Him to pop out. I wind the handle…meaning…I pray. I quote Scripture to prove to Him I’m right. I pray some more…and some more…and sometimes a little more, but God doesn’t pop out when I think He should …and I get mad.

So, I change tactics. I try harder. I pray some more. I may even add fasting. I quote Him more Scripture. I use my essential oils. I check every box I can think of…winding, winding, and winding … waiting for God to pop out. Waiting for God to keep His end of a bargain I assume we had made.

The more I wind, the more frustrated I become. The more frantic I grow.

The more I wind, the more I expect God to pop out at my request.

I become more and more uptight… but I just keep winding.

1 Kings 18:21-29 describes an amazing account where Elijah has a showdown with Baal worshippers. It’s really worth reading, but what I want you to see now is how the Baal worshippers tried to get Baal’s attention.

Here’s what the book of Kings says,“So they took the bull that he gave them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, ‘Baal, answer us!’ But there was no sound; no one answered. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made. At noon Elijah mocked them. He said, ‘Shout loudly, for he’s a god! Maybe he’s thinking it over; maybe he has wandered away; or maybe he’s on the road. Perhaps he’s sleeping and will wake up!’ They shouted loudly, and cut themselves with knives and spears, according to their custom, until blood gushed over them. All afternoon they kept on raving until the offering of the evening sacrifice…”

I think this is what I must look like when I am winding the handle on my Jack-in-a Box god. I think I’m right, so I assume I will be able to prove it. I don’t actually cut myself…not on the outside anyway. But, on the inside? On the inside, I torture myself with what-ifs.

What if I had prayed more specifically for my kids as they were growing up? Are the choices they are making now my fault?

What if I had given 5 days a week to church work and not four, would I still have been the subject of gossip?

What if I had tried harder, accomplished more, dug a little deeper… would God have popped up as I expected?

This is what happens when I treat the God of the universe like a Jack-in–a–Box.

I go, go, go instead of being still and knowing that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)

I wind the handle and wind the handle and wind the handle as tears flow wondering how long I can keep this up.

Sounds like I’ve been worshipping an expectation instead of a Savior.

Sounds like I’ve been worshipping a box and not God.

Sounds like I need to breathe and stop winding the handle on the Jack-in-a Box…now.

Can you relate?

Is that why you are exhausted and in need of refreshment?

So…where do we go from here?

How do we stop the obsession with the handle on that stupid contraption that has no place in our lives?

First off, let’s set the box down and remember who God is… who He really is.

Read Psalm 18 and take note of any verses that encourage you specifically. Write them down in a prominent place so you can revisit them often.

Secondly, let’s quit picking verses out of Scripture to suit our own agenda.

Instead, let’s read until God places the Word He has for us deep in our souls. The message He has for us to hear.

Jeremiah 15:16 says,Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became a delight to me and the joy of my heart, for I am called by Your name, Yahweh God of Hosts.”

Third, let’s quit praying just to get our needs met and instead pray simply to be close to Jesus. Let’s pray in order to stay in close connection with our Best Friend. Let’s remember it’s about relationship.

Fourth, we fast only when we get a direct call from God to do so and not just for financial gain, or to “make” God move in a certain way. (Read Isaiah 58 for further insight.)

We choose to worship instead of wind the box.

We choose to leave the handle alone.

We choose the connection of the Vine (John 15) over the expectation of the pop up.

Let’s take our Jack-in-a Box to Goodwill and leave it there.

Our God deserves to be worshipped for Who He is and not what we think He should be doing.

Our God deserves complete trust and faith in His plan and the timing of it.

Our God deserves to be adored and loved… not accused of not keeping the end of a bargain He never made.

God is not a Jack-in-a Box who comes and goes at the whim of our attentions.

God is God.

He is faithful.

He is true.

He is perfect.

He is love.

He is Savior.

He is Lord.

Let’s worship Him and throw the Jack-in-a- Box in the trash where it belongs. I guarantee you will feel refreshed.

www.seekinghearts.org

Lessons in Construction Part Four – Angels Unaware

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Several weeks ago my husband and I were driving down a rural road in central Kentucky on our way to a jobsite when we happened upon a large work truck across both lanes of the road stuck in a ditch. The driver had a stone wall behind him so he couldn’t back up to get a running start and frankly, he was in a mess. I was perturbed that it was putting us behind schedule, but I quickly realized God had put us here for this poor young man to get help.

Mark talked with him a minute and they both got to work pulling him out of the ditch. I immediately thought of how the Word of God talks about helping others, entertaining angels unaware, etc. and I was so grateful that Mark was able to show this man Jesus in action.

Sure enough, within a few minutes the truck was out of the ditch and on it’s way.

Great story, huh?

This is where I need to pause and tell you what was really going on.

The day before my man and I had literally had the worst day ever. Meaning…it was a really rough day to be married to me.

To start our day off right, we had a really weird incident in our driveway that was spot on to a horrible dream I had had several weeks before. It was really freaky. Exactly like my dream and literally terrified me.

That same day we were headed to a jobsite that had had many delays and this was the last piece to get it finished up.

The piece that needed finishing up was a part of the project I had never been around, never wanted to be around and knew absolutely nothing about. To say that I was uncomfortable with it would be an understatement. Anyway… it was a BAD day. So bad that at the end of the night, Mark asked, “Are we okay?”

Yep, it was an awful day.

Back to the day of the stuck truck…

After Mark helped the young man and we were back on our way to the jobsite, I noticed my whole outlook had changed. The burden I wasn’t able to shake that morning was lifted, I was energized again and truly ready to get on with life. Yesterday had been a bad day, but that was done. Today was today. I was so grateful that God had sent us to be someone’s angel. I remembered people saying that when you are in a bad mood, or are feeling ungrateful to get out and serve someone else. It was supposed to bless you more than the person you helped. I thought, “That’s right. Helping someone really does help lift your spirits. Being someone’s angel is so amazing!”

And then it hit me…

Mark and I were not his angel.

He was mine.

God didn’t send us to help him. He sent him to help us.

The kindness of God knew my struggle. He knew the enemy planned evil for my day, but His gracious, consuming fire burned up the enemy’s plan through a truck in a ditch in the middle of nowhere. Only God can orchestrate such a thing. Only God.

Lesson Four from a trip to a construction site… helping someone get out of a ditch may just get you out of your own.

http://www.seekinghearts.org

Lessons in Construction Part 3

Tags

, , , , , , ,

The last few weeks I’ve been talking about lessons I’m learning while working with my husband. In my last post, I referenced measuring https://tinyurl.com/2tpfmru2 which led me to this week’s contemplation.

When Mark and I were checking and re-checking all of the posts on our first official job together (and many others since then), I discovered that we have to trust the other person’s reading of the tool. Whether it’s a basic level, a measuring tape, or a laser level the person holding the object in place has to trust the other to read the instrument correctly.

That thought led to the understanding that if the person with the knowledge has never shared how to read said instrument, the expectation that the inexperienced person should “just know” how to see things clearly and correctly should not be placed upon them. Can I get a witness?!

Now, just to be clear, Mark and I have not run into this issue with measuring, but we have with other tasks… thoughts for another day…but, while we were setting those posts so many weeks ago I couldn’t help but think along these lines. It led me to ask the question, “Have I taught those coming after me how to read the measuring tape?”

Have I encouraged those around me to read the “level” of God’s Word?

Have I reminded those around me to check and re-check their life with Scripture? Or, have I just expected them to figure it out on their own?

Have I sat back in judgment of someone else’s crooked post, if you will, when I haven’t even given them a measuring tape?

In the past, I have become so angry at adults around me who expected me to “just know” how things were supposed to be done instead of verbally (and by example) showing me the way. I have to ask myself if I have become that same kind of adult.

Titus 2:1-8 says, “But you must say the things that are consistent with sound teaching. Older men are to be level headed, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance. In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. They are to teach what is good, so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered. In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled  in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching. Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be ashamed, having nothing bad to say about us.”

Does this verse sound like you? Have you been faithful to lead and encourage? Or, do you expect those around you to “just know”?

Lesson Three on the construction site … don’t just expect, teach.

Lessons in Construction – Part 2

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Measure. Measure. Measure. And then, measure again.

This is an obvious lesson to many of us…me included. I knew that you checked and re-checked measurements on a construction site, but then everything stayed stable, right? You know, once whatever you are working with is where you wanted it, it would stay.

Boy, was I wrong.

Last week, https://tinyurl.com/2p92t2aj I mentioned that my man and I set a few posts our first few days of working together. What I didn’t tell you was how many times those crazy posts were measured, leveled, leveled, leveled, leveled, and leveled again… over and over.

Checked and re-checked.

Every single one.

Over and over again.

It was shocking to me how often things had to be re-leveled and checked. I thought it was unnecessary until I remembered a previous job we had finished for someone earlier in the year…before Mark’s company became “official”. My man had to cut panels (that should have not needed to be cut) because every post was off by just a few inches, or less. A job that should have taken a couple of hours, turned into eight. Why? Because the people before us did not keep checking the status of the posts.

A successful, abundant, purpose-driven, whatever positive word you want to put in front of the word life, requires constant leveling, measuring and re-checking.

What I found when we set our posts for the deck was the slightest breeze, bump, or bug (sort of kidding) could cause it to barely shift from where it needed to be. Once it was stable, it was a different story. Now, it would take something major to shift the posts from their correct placement, but in the beginning… measure, measure, measure, level, level, level. It was the only way to make sure the posts stayed where they needed to be.

So, what is our “level” in life? What are we measuring our lives with?

Hebrew 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.”

This verse reminds us that the Word of God is what judges our ideas and thoughts….that’s our level. That’s our measuring tape. That’s what we check and re-check the direction of our life with. We don’t just say, “Yes” to Jesus and BOOM! we are perfect, mature Christians. It requires checking, re-checking and re-checking again. But, don’t be discouraged! That’s the fun part! Checking and re-checking can be done with others!! Think small groups, podcasts, church, Bible studies… anything that is helping us learn the truth of God’s Word is a way to keep the level on our lives. When the bubble strays from one side to the other (see above image), you recognize it quickly and can adjust immediately. Then, the struggle to stay in the correct position isn’t nearly as difficult as going a few years and realizing you are way off course.

Lesson Two from the construction site? Re-checking over and over again is always worth it.

http://www.seekinghearts.org

Lessons in Construction

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Yes, you read the title correctly. I am currently learning lessons in a construction zone. It is not a play on words. It is the literal truth. My husband has recently become a small business owner in the building industry, so team player that I am, I am also now in the same business. Many people have asked us how it’s working out. It’s going great overall, but that’s a discussion for another day. 🙂 Today’s blog is about a lesson that surprised me early on.

All of my life I have been told, “Shoulders back. Head up. Walk with confidence.” I had a tendency to slouch, so I was told that often. Actually, what my mom really said was more like, “Missy Dawn! Quit slouchin’!”

I am definitely not in a state of perfect posture all of the time, but I am better than I used to be. Head up! Shoulders back! But… that does not go well on a construction site. On a construction site, you MUST look down. You MUST be attentive to your surroundings. In order to be safe, you need to know where you are going and make sure the next step you take is not in a hole.

Psalm 116:8 says, “For You, LORD, rescued me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.”

On a construction site, holes are obvious… if you are watching out for them. On my first official day as my husband’s employee, we set over twenty posts for a deck. I didn’t fall into a hole that week, but it was only by the grace of God… believe me. I learned quickly to put all of my ladylike upbringing on hold to get the job done in a safe manner.

In life though, holes aren’t that obvious. A hole of depression can be easily fallen into by watching the latest news. A hole of discontentment can be fallen into by scrolling Instagram a little too long. A hole of gossip can be fallen into by going to a friend instead of God first. The list can go on and on, but Psalm 116:8, assures us the Lord can keep our feet from stumbling. I love that about Him. I love that in the middle of the day with dirt all around me, dotted with holes freshly dug, God can remind me that He continually rescues me, dries my tears and keeps my feet where they need to be.

http://www.seekinghearts.org

Termites, Traps and a New Perspective

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

My husband travels a lot… A LOT.

You would think this makes the time we are together fun, happy and exciting.
What actually has started happening though is a ticking time bomb.

Expectations you try not to have develop anyway.

Stressors you try to eliminate rear their head anyway.

Conversations you wish you could keep putting off must happen anyway.

Get the idea?

All of this played into a really bad weekend in the recent past… a REALLY bad weekend. It was so bad that on Sunday I almost stayed home from church because I just didn’t want to have to fake smile at people and I certainly didn’t want to vomit all of my emotions on friends who had innocently come to church to worship Jesus. I truly wanted the focus to be on the Lord.

I did end up going to church. Yes, I was still mad. I didn’t even want my husband to bump into me accidentally. I didn’t want to deal with him, but I still wanted to worship.

Towards the end of my pastor’s sermon, he stated that God will even break the traps the enemy sets for you. He said it was in Psalm 91, but didn’t give the exact verse. I wrote down the thought in my notebook and decided to look it up later.

A few minutes after the service, my husband and I were on our way home when I asked him if he could give me a few days to be alone with Jesus so He could teach me how to not put up walls in our relationship. I was asking to not have to text, video chat, etc. while he was travelling that week …at least for the first few days. We talked a little bit more about how things were going in our relationship and went home to have pizza in the bed. Yep, you read that correctly. As stated before…it was a pizza in bed kind of a day.

About an hour into the afternoon, a swarm of termites decided to make their presence known. As we were scrambling around trying to take care of things, I told my man I may end up in a hotel that week and he asked me to travel with him instead. I calmly…ahem…explained that we had not scheduled for our dog to be boarded… and it was Sunday. There was no way we could find a place to board Brutus.

He asked, “If I can find a place to board Brute, will you go with me?”

I said, “Sure.” Not thinking for one minute it would really be possible.

That man of mine made one phone call and had our dog boarded within 40 minutes. I started packing and spent the week near Indianapolis. So, instead of a week of turmoil, anger and frustration, we were able to reconnect and set things on a better path. All I could think of for days was the verse our pastor had shared. God had truly broken the trap the enemy had set for my husband and I’s relationship.

A few days later I had a further epiphany. If I had chosen to not go to church that Sunday, I would not have been reminded of Psalm 91.

If I would not have been reminded of Psalm 91, my perspective would have been completely different. When the termites swarmed, I would have thought I was being punished for not going to church. I would have thought I was being punished for not sucking up my emotions. I would have thought I just needed to put my wants and needs to the side when in reality God still would have been breaking the trap the enemy had set for us. Everything would have been the same beautiful miracle, but I would have felt condemned instead of loved. I would have actually fallen into a different trap the enemy had set for me if not for the right perspective of God’s Word.

It really made me wonder how many times I have looked at a miracle, at the breaking of the enemy’s trap, and seen punishment instead of protection. How many times have I seen a trap of the enemy be broken, but I fell into another trap right beside it because I simply forgot to remember what the Word of God had to say about it.

How many times?

I pray in the days ahead we can hear the breaking of the traps easily and realize the miracle it is, realize the love it shows and see the perspective God’s Word shines on it.

Hear the breaking of your trap today.

http://www.seekinghearts.org

Here is the link to the sermon I mentioned… it’s so good….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrIAS8n3sVs

Chasing Perfect

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

I’ve had the privilege over the last few weeks of leading my local small group through my first book Worshipping God in Every Sense.

Has it been fun? Yes.

Has it been humbling? Yes.

Has it made me cringe at times? YES!!

I have had this study edited and proofread multiple times and there are still errors that embarrass the life out of me. I still believe in the content, but the delivery oftentimes has made me gag. What I am learning though is that I must write to get better at writing. It’s just the way it is.

Perfectionism would have me believe I could never publish a blog, or write a book, or teach a Bible study without everything being “perfect”, but the fact of the matter is perfection doesn’t happen without practice. Actually, I think the better phraseology would be getting better doesn’t happen without practice. I’m beginning to realize perfection is a myth. But I digress…

We know practice is necessary in sports, but I’m not sure we remember this as much in creative endeavors.

Have you heard of James Audubon? Actually, his name was John James Audubon. He was an ornithologist and painter (The Audubon Society is named after him). What I want you to know is that for many years on his birthday he would destroy all the paintings and drawings he had finished during that particular year. Every year on his birthday he would start fresh. Why? His work had not reached perfection.

Wow.

Can you imagine what those images would be worth today? How much would an early work of James Audubon go for at auction? I can’t even imagine.

More than that though…how much encouragement did James miss out on by destroying earlier works?

What do I mean?

What if James had simply placed all of the year’s work on each birthday in a special storage area? Year after year he worked, but instead of destroying his earlier pieces, he simply put them away. What if after five, or six years, or maybe when he was discouraged about not getting a certain bird’s wing exactly right, he went to his earlier works, removed a painting from storage and was able to see how far he had come?

Can you even imagine how encouraged he would have been to keep going by seeing how much he had improved? Instead, he kept looking at his flaws and burned them.

Wow.

I’m realizing sometimes we have to look back to see how far we’ve come.

That’s been the thing with going back to my earlier work… the content I have in my mind about a subject is basically the same, but the way I convey those thoughts on a page now versus then varies. It’s shocking to me, but if I had never written that first study, I would never see the growth like I see it now.

Am I embarrassed by the earlier work?

Some, but I am refusing to take it off the market because I believe in the content, I believe in vulnerability and I believe in not allowing the chase to perfection mar the path I am currently on. When I look back, I am able to see how far I’ve come.

Perfection is a myth that keeps us from practicing.

I must write to get better at writing.

Others must paint to get better at painting.

Others must speak publicly in order to become better at speaking.

And yes, others must dribble a basketball to get better at dribbling a basketball.

Chasing perfect is a good endeavor unless it impedes our progress.

When I think of Mr. Audubon, it makes me so sad, and I actually remember gasping when I heard of his birthday practice. I have to ask myself though… we have to ask ourselves… how many imperfections have we thrown away (either physically or mentally) because of the image we want to portray?

Do I want others to think the first Bible study I had the honor to write is amazing? Of course! That’s why it’s so hard to leave it alone, but if I get bogged down in making the first study “perfect”, I will never move on to the other studies God has in store for me to write.

Will I ever go back and re-write the first study? Maybe, but I am not re-writing it for several years. Purposefully. I think it’s important for me to leave it alone and let God remind me it’s about His perfection… not mine. It’s about chasing the Perfector of our faith, not perfection.  

http://www.seekinghearts.org

Announcement

Tags

, , ,

Hey, Everyone!!

I have some super exciting news!!!

Book two has just been released!!!!!

https://tinyurl.com/3wek854f

I’ve included the link so you have easy access. 🙂

This book is a little different than the first study Worshipping God in Every Sense https://tinyurl.com/yac9ztz8 . It’s more of a personal study versus group based. Yes, you can use Worshipping God in Every Sense as a personal study, but 30 Days of Refinement is definitely desigend for you and God to have a more intimate time together. Refinement can be hard enough without sharing it with 10-15 other people. Am I right?

So… here you go… here’s your chance to be one of the first to snatch a copy.

Give it a go and please circle back and tell me what you think. It really does help.

https://tinyurl.com/3wek854f


					

Am I Treating God Like a Jack-in-a-Box?

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

The other day I heard a testimony that hit me to my core.

The visiting pastor at a church where I was also visiting explained how he is sometimes guilty of treating God like a Jack-in-a-Box.

Whoa.

That hit me right between the eyes.

He went on with his sermon, but I stayed right in that moment, right in the question of… “Do I treat God like a Jack-in-a-Box?”

Well, it really wasn’t a question. It was a knowing. I knew immediately that I often do treat God like a Jack-in-a Box.

I pack Him around and set Him in a situation. I wind the handle. Meaning, I pray. I quote Scripture to prove to Him I’m right. I pray some more…and some more…and sometimes a little more, but God doesn’t pop out when I think He should …and I get mad.

So, I change tactics. I try harder. I pray some more. I may even add fasting. I quote Him more Scripture. I use my essential oils. I check every box I can think of…winding, winding, and winding … waiting for God to pop out. Waiting for God to keep His end of a bargain I assume we had made.

The more I wind, the more frustrated I become. The more frantic I grow into being.

The more I wind, the more I expect God to pop out at my request.

The more I wind, the more uptight I become.

1 Kings 18:21-29 describes an amazing account where Elijah has a showdown with Baal worshippers. It’s really worth reading, but what I want you to see now is how the Baal worshippers tried to get Baal’s attention. Here’s what the book of Kings says,So they took the bull that he gave them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound; no one answered. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made. At noon Elijah mocked them. He said, “Shout loudly, for he’s a god! Maybe he’s thinking it over; maybe he has wandered away; or maybe he’s on the road. Perhaps he’s sleeping and will wake up!” They shouted loudly, and cut themselves with knives and spears, according to their custom, until blood gushed over them. All afternoon they kept on raving until the offering of the evening sacrifice…”

I think this is what I must look like when I am winding the handle on my Jack-in-a Box god. I think I’m right, so I assume I will be able to prove it. I don’t actually cut myself, not on the outside anyway. But, on the inside? On the inside, I torture myself with what-ifs.

What if I had prayed more specifically for my kids as they were growing up? Are the choices they are making now my fault?

What if I had given 5 days a week to church work and not four, would I still have been the subject of gossip?

What if I had tried harder, accomplished more, dug a little deeper… would God have popped up as I expected?

This is what happens when I treat the God of the universe like a Jack-in–a–Box.

I go, go, go instead of being still and knowing that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)

I wind the handle and wind the handle and wind the handle as tears flow wondering how long I can keep this up.

Sounds like I’ve been worshipping an expectation instead of a Savior.

Sounds like I’ve been worshipping a box and not God.

Sounds like I need to breathe and stop winding the handle on the Jack-in-a Box…now.

So…where do I go from here?

How do I stop the obsession with the handle on that stupid contraption that has no place in my life?

First off, I set the box down and remember who God is… who He really is.

Psalm 18 says, “I love You, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold… “

Secondly, I quit picking verses out of the Scriptures to suit my own agenda. I read until God places the Word He has for me deep in my soul.

Jeremiah 15:16 says,Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became a delight to me and the joy of my heart, for I am called by Your name, Yahweh God of Hosts.”

Third, I quit praying just to get needs met and instead pray simply to be close to Jesus. I pray in order to stay in close connection with my Best Friend. I remember it’s about relationship.

 Fourth, I fast only when I get a direct call from God to do so and not just for financial gain.

I choose to worship instead of wind the box.

I choose to leave the handle alone.

I choose the connection of the Vine (John 15) over the expectation of the pop up.

I’m taking my Jack-in-a Box to Goodwill and leaving it there.

Our God deserves to be worshipped for Who He is and not what we think He should be doing.

Our God deserves complete trust and faith in His plan and the timing of it.

Our God deserves to be adored and loved not accused of not keeping the end of a bargain He never made.

God is not a Jack-in-a Box who comes and goes at the whim of our attentions.

God is God.

He is faithful.

He is true.

He is perfect.

He is love.

He is Savior.

He is Lord.

Let’s worship Him and throw the Jack-in-a-Box in the trash where it belongs.

*image by depositphotos

http://www.seekinghearts.org www.seekinghearts.org

Going a Little Farther

Tags

, , , , ,

A friend of mine on Facebook posted this beautiful picture with this caption: “Sometimes you have to walk a little farther to get a better view.”

Isn’t that so true? We can be in a place of discouragement, but as we keep hanging on to our Savior’s hand, we eventually end up in a place of beauty.

Why are we surprised? After all, it’s exactly what God says will happen. Isaiah 61:1-3 says, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mournto provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the LORD to glorify Him.”

When we go a little farther, our God exchanges a bad view for a great view, a muddled outlook for clarity, mourning for festive oil, captivity for freedom…the list goes on and on. All we have to do is just go a little farther.

As many of you know, my husband and I love to hike. Put some dirt under our feet and we are happy people. I especially love when our destination includes a waterfall.

This past summer, my man and I decided to take a 9 1/2 mile hike that included a massive waterfall. Trekking in, all became worthwhile when we started to hear the roar and then see the utterly spectacular view of this incredible creation. Trekking back out? Well, that didn’t hold the same appeal. Going in, we could say, “Just a little farther and we get to see the Falls.” Going out, all we would see was the parking lot…which eventually began to have its own appeal.

On life’s journey, we don’t know what’s around the bend. We don’t know what the year, or even next month will bring, but when we are abiding in Christ, we know sometimes we have to walk a little farther to get a better view. We know when we hold the hand of Jesus, whether it’s a waterfall, or a parking lot, an even better view is coming.

Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.”

Psalm 27:13 says, “I am certain that I will see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living.”

How could the Psalmist be so sure? He was sure because he had walked just a little farther. He was certain he would see the Lord’s goodness on this earth because he simply kept taking the next step of faith. He was hand in hand with His Savior, straining to see the better view that he knew was coming. He had faith that God had come to him to set him free and change all his despair into realized hope. He just had to walk a little farther.

So, if your year is starting out great, or not so great, you can know that when you go a little farther with Jesus the view will always get better.

 Keep hanging on to Him, dear one, strain to see the better view, knowing that you “will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.”

** Thank you Cindy Osborne for the picture and caption.

Seeking Hearts Ministries