Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 18- The Source

A source is that thing from which something springs.

How much do you truly depend on God as the answer to your every need- including your desire to be OK where you are?

We're in no hurry God. We're content to linger in the path sign-posted with your decisions. Who you are and what you've done are all we ever want. ~Isaiah 26:8 (MSG)

When our journey gets long we may be tempted to search for other sources of comfort. If you've been in your season of not OK for any substantial amount of time, I know you can relate. In our weariness we may try to find substitutes for Jesus, to which they all come up short.

I love that even Jesus, Son of the Almighty God, was willing to admit He was not the source of His own strength here on earth. He depended on His Father for everything and gave God the glory for what He was given to do. 

Thankfully, God does not leave us suspended in a state of neutrality. He delivers us from sin's grasp and into the grasp of grace! Grace brings contentment. Romans 6:14

This should be all the source we need in our pursuit to be content where God has us. Accepting whatever circumstance God allows is not weakness, or settling for less... It is very much apart of a holy and obedient walk. 

And because we are united with Christ in all His power, He is our soul source of strength to walk through life OK where we are. 

Is HE your source?

Day 17- God's Perspective of our Discontented Hearts

What Christ cares about is our hearts, our complete love and devotion. And He will create crisis in our lives to show us what holds us. ~ Sheila Walsh

God is patient. Long suffering. Merciful. Just. Compassionate. 

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, he had no idea what a long, bumpy ride was ahead of him. Even when God miraculously intervened people still found a reason to complain.

Sound relatable?

Eventually Israel's ingratitude and attitudes of discontent brought some serious consequences. Numbers 11:1 says: The people griped about life in the wilderness, how hard they felt things were for them, and these evil complaints came to the ears of the Eternal One, he was furious about this ingratitude, faithlessness, and lack of vision. His anger was kindled, and his fire raged among them and devoured some of the camp's perimeter.

The harsh truth? 

Those that choose to flaunt their discontent in the face of God will suffer the consequences. 

My son, Harrison, is so unbelievably different from my daughter, Emmalyn. Emme just looks for comfort when she is cranky. She'll clutch her "lubby" and melt into a warm hug. Not my little man. As sweet as he is, he's a feisty one. He'll just sulk in withdrawal until he's over his ordeal. 

I can't help but think that we are so similar in our childlike reactions to our grievances or answer less seasons. When we can just accept (and expect) deserts in our spiritual journey, we can experience childlike joy!

I appreciate this statement from Dale Carneagie: "Feeling sorry for yourself and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have."

Instead of reacting to your season of not OK like the Israelites or a strong-willed child, allow His love to melt away the tension, disappointment, and anger. Remember that when we complain in our season of not OK, we're complaining against God. 

Fall into His comforting embrace and ask Him to cultivate gratitude in you for every season!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 16- Made for Forever

The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of Heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:3-5 (The MSG)

One of the reasons we yearn, long, and crave is because we weren't created for this world. In the end, nothing here can satisfy.

We were made for forever.

Our souls are restless with a longing to see God. Even our greatest experience of Him here cannot come close to eternity... We have a spirit-led urge to seek Him out, but because we are at constant war with our flesh, we do not recognize our discontent as a source of such. So instead we seek comfort, security, and satisfaction elsewhere. Our struggle to be OK with where God has us comes from our inability to see forever as our reality. 

I want more than anything to be in the courtyards of the Lord's temple. My whole being wants to be with the living God. ~ Psalm 84:2 (NCV)

All of the insults and inadequacies of this world will fade in light of Heaven.

After we lost our daughter, Ellanie, I became determined to learn every thing I could about Heaven. I found myself yearning to be with God more than ever, not just because I know she is there, but because through our experience I saw more clearly the inadequacies of the world. 

All of the things that I considered "dreams" worth pursuing before became futile. I only dreamed of Heaven. My heart and mind was truly able to see that any heartaches and disappointments we experience here are designed to make forever our greater reality. 

In our season of not OK we may experience "stuff" we don't deserve, don't want, and can't send back. It's ours. But thanks be to our merciful God, no matter what happens to us in this world, something far better awaits us! 

I have learned to see my seasons of discontent as a gift... Hear me out :) 

Would you really want this ol' broken sinful world to be the fulfillment of your wildest dreams? No thanks. Give me Heaven, please!