Monthly Archives: December 2014
Monthly Archives: December 2014
Written By: Judy Smith
Matthew 18:2-3 And Jesus called a little child to Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, “verily I say to you, except you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
What are the characteristics of a little child, and how does she live? A little child lives by faith and her chief characteristic is freedom from care. A little child trusts their parents, their caretakers, their teachers, and even people who are unworthy of trust. Trustfulness is a child’s nature. Everything is provided for the child. She lives in the present moment and receives her life without questions as it comes from the parents. The baby does not toil, yet she is fed, and clothed, and loved.
This is the life of faith that Jesus taught: being a child in the Father’s house which transforms every weary burdened life into one of blessedness and rest. 1 Peter 1:13 Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Our hope in the flesh is the hope of a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Biblical hope as a child of God is not wishful thinking. It looks forward to the fulfillment of the promises of God. We were built for an eternal Kingdom of peace and perfection.
As a child of God, we know who He is. He is our rock. As a child of God, trained in biblical hope, we apply His promises to the current situations. Don’t let hopelessness influence your life. It’s a lie of the enemy, and it will paralyze you. We hope in our God because He tells the truth and His promises are certain.
Mathew 18:14 NRSV So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
When we see our children stray we envy others as they share about how successful their children are, how their children are serving the Lord; and we wonder “how have I failed as a parent?” We often get down on ourselves. But then we must remember the promise of God: that if we train up a child in the way they should go then when they are old, they shall not depart from it.
I know this is true. Two of my children had fallen away, but I clung to His promise and they are now serving the Lord. We all struggle. We fall down and He picks us up. God is not only my Father, but He is my children’s Father too.
This is what Jesus says to us: “Rest in Me, My child, forgetting about the worries of the world. Focus on Me- Emmanuel- and let My living Presence envelop you in peace. Tune into My eternal security, for I am the same, yesterday, today, and forever. If you live on the surface of life by focusing on ever-changing circumstances, you will find yourself echoing the words of Solomon, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” As My child, let Me live through you. Cooperating with Me is the way to instill meaning into your days. Begin each day alone with Me. As you spend time with Me, the way before you opens up step by step. Rise up from this time with Me and begin a new journey with Me through your day. Hold My hand in complete dependence on Me, and I will smooth out the path before you.”
O Lord Jesus, my Emmanuel. You are God with me, the hope of Glory! I depend completely on You and You alone. I come alongside of You and put my hand in Yours, and trust You to walk me through my days. As a child depends on its parents so I come to you, depending completely on You. The hope of Glory. You are my healer, You are my provider, You are my peace, You are the joy of my life. Oh how I love you.
I have been an office manager for several years at the same company and I could see that change was coming. So I prayed against it, and I was too scared to pray “Lord, Your will be done”, because I did not know what His will was. Although I suspected that it did not match my will. Instead of seeking His guidance, I prayed for exactly what I wanted, which was that I would be able to continue managing my same location. I told the Lord, “I really can’t handle a transition right now. I have been through this a few times over the years and a transition would simply snuff out my last bit of enthusiasm for this job.”
Lo and behold my boss tells me that they are not transferring me to another center. They are transferring me to two centers! Two centers which I have worked at in the past. Two centers that I do not like. “Ok, Lord we have a problem. Did you not hear my prayers? I specifically asked not to be transferred. Not only am I being transferred to one center that I don’t like, I’m being transferred to TWO centers that I don’t like! TWO! Lord, what is going on?” Within in my spirit I hear “Trust Me.”
Alright ladies, look: I love God, He has been faithful to me, and He has preserved me through some very dark times. Even so, trust is a real problem for me. So when He said trust Me, I was livid. I said, “Trust You? I trusted You when I prayed about this job, and You ignored me. This is transfer is counterproductive, and this does not make me want to trust You. This is the worst thing that could have happened aside from being fired!” I may seem dramatic but believe me this was exactly how I felt.
Then I hear, “What if there is someone there who needs Me? And I immediately shot back, “I don’t care, I don’t want to go!” (If I were, God, I would have struck me dead right then and there) At that moment my pride, selfishness, and immaturity became blatantly clear to me. I repented and decided I would do my best to trust God during the process. However I was still disappointed and distressed about the situation. Ultimately, I decided to suck it up and do my best during and after this transition. I received godly advice from a few friends and I began to pray. A few days later my boss says, “One of the locations is being remodeled soon and I don’t want you to have to go through that again. So for now we’ll just transfer you to one location.” Hallelujah, thank you Jesus, you heard my prayers!
I’m driving to work the next day and I said, “thank You Lord for hearing my prayers.” Then I started mulling over my life and said, “My life sucks.” To be perfectly honest with you, I say this to myself from time to time when life gets rough, but for the first time, I heard something back. “Why do you think your life sucks?” And it is hits me. I’m NOT thankful. Why am I not thankful for my life? Being in a pity party mood, I decided to answer the question. “Lord, my life sucks because my job sucks, my Mom died, I can’t seem to get certain relationships right, I’m not good at this, I’m not good at that.” I listed quite a few other things and then I realized all these things are circumstantial yet, I had allowed circumstances to steal my thankfulness.
Imagine giving your friend a sweater for her birthday and she exclaims, “thank you!” But then, “you know this is really not the color I would’ve chosen for myself, it’s a little long for my taste. Oh and is this Anne Klein?… Calvin Klein is really my favorite.” Can you imagine?! You might be tempted to snatch that sweater back. This is exactly how I was with God. “Lord, thank you for my life…. but my life sucks. My life did not turn out the way that it was supposed to. Yes, God, I’m so grateful for my life… but I really wish I was married, and that I didn’t have to work, and that I didn’t have any problems.”
Does that sound thankful to you? I was NOT thankful! But check out how GOOD God is. He did not condemn me for my ungrateful attitude. He changed my mindset. My Mom is dead. I miss her, I am still mourning, and my heart aches knowing that she will not be at my wedding or see my children or be there for any more holidays. When my Mom died, my world stopped. I wanted to stop. I don’t think anything can prepare you for the death of a loved one. Through all that God made sure that I was surrounded by people that prayed for me and my family during that time. It’s hard, but those prayers have been answered, and by His grace I am able to grieve. Yes, I wish my Mom was here. However it would be a mistake to be so consumed with her death that I refuse to appreciate those who are still here. I still have my Dad, my Grandma, my siblings, and many others.
As for the rest of my woes, well, they are circumstantial. Temporary situations. They may be difficult situations yet God is with me in every problem. I can give God my concerns and disappointments, and I can still be thankful. I do not understand how certain things could possibly be working for my good, but I can still be thankful. I choose to trust Him and be thankful.