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He Understands

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Yesterday, while walking, this weird thing was going on with my iPhone, and the only song I could listen to was one of my favorites, “I Understand,” by Smokie Norful.  After listening to the same song a few times, I struggled to figure out what was wrong so I could listen to other songs on my playlist, but nothing worked.  I was frustrated, but I gave up and listened to the same song over and over again.

After the third time around the track, I meditated on the lyrics and began to realize, as tears streamed down my face, that I needed to hear that particular song—that many times.  I needed to get the message.  The lyrics reminded me that Jesus does understand how we feel and what we’re going through.  This can be difficult for us to realize when the road ahead doesn’t seem clear.  Sometimes it’s painful when others misunderstand us.  It can be heartbreaking when we lose loved ones, get disappointing news, and have to deal with devastating situations.  Yet, He knows it all.  He knows what we need, and He has a way of showing up—if we are sensitive enough to hear His voice.  Jeremiah 19:13 says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”  Psalm 53:2 says, “God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.”

Our understanding of why and how things happen in life can only be opened up by a loving, sincere and wholly submitted life to God, which means we are obedient to His Word.  Nothing else, and I mean nothing else, will give us the lasting peace and true understanding that comes from Him.

When bad things happen, we often wonder why God allows these situations.  If you’re like me, you want to make sure that—even in adverse conditions—that it’s a part of His plan and that you are fulfilling His purpose.  We can be assured that if we are anchored in Him, His purpose will be carried out, no matter what it looks like.

We can’t know our purpose outside of Him.  Gifts and talents are empty if He isn’t directing and hasn’t anointed us on how and when to use them.  He understands that we need help; He created us to be dependent on Him.  So, our success can’t be measured by gifts, talents, and worldly success but by the peace, joy, love and other fruits of the Spirit that we demonstrate.

When life gets crazy, we have to remember that no matter what it looks like, only God knows the master plan, and we can be sure that it all is for our good.  So, if you happen to hear the same song, message, or sermon, don’t be so fast to fast forward as I tried to do.  Stop. Listen. Hear what He’s saying.  I’m sure that you’ll find that He’s got a Word tailor-made to fit your situation.  I also know that no matter what it is, you will find that He knows, and yes, He understands.

I Understand

Lyrics by Smokie Norful

Sometimes I feel like giving up
It seems like my best just ain’t good enough
Lord if you hear me, I’m calling you
Do you see, do you care all about what I’m going through
And then he says, one more day, one more step
See I’m preparing you for myself
And when you can’t hear my voice, please trust my plan
I’m the Lord, I see and yes I understand

But sometimes I feel like I’m all alone
I’m just like a stranger so far from home
I feel like I’ve done all that I can do
Please Lord give me strength, I’m just trying to make it through
That’s when he told me one more day, one more step
See I’m preparing you for myself
And if you can’t hear my voice, please trust my plan
I’m the Lord I see you and yes I understand

He knows how much we can bear
And in the time of trouble he promised he would always be there
I understand
The Lord is telling you yes I understand
I am the Lord I see you and yes I understand

I am the Lord I changeth not
I won’t forget nor have I forgot
You see everything works according to my plan
I am God, trust me, I got the whole world in my hand

One more day, one more step
I’m preparing you all for myself
And you can’t hear me speaking, just trust my plan
I’m the Lord I see you and yes I understand
I’m the Lord I see and yes I understand
I am the Lord I see what you’re going through
Every problem, every trial, every burden, every situation
I understand, I won’t leave you
I understand, understand, understand

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What’s Eating You?

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It’s funny how life can be sometimes.  I shared my love for cupcakes in the last blog and then—I had a physical.  Yep, you guessed it.  I have to slow way down on the cupcakes and a host of other foods on the “naughty” list that, by the way, I’ve overindulged in for the past year.  Okay, well, maybe the past twenty years.  You may wonder why I would do such a thing when I’m so aware of how to eat well, how to fuel my body with the “nice” foods.  I could get deep and explain the underlying reasons why I eat this or that, but I’ve had to face the fact that it’s just not that complicated.  Sweet, fried, buttery, salty foods taste good to me.  As I try to reconstruct my palate, it’s been challenging, aggravating, but also liberating and even spiritual.

While I angrily chopped up carrots and celery, dreaming of my coffee with lots of real sugar and a fried Oreo, I began to reflect on my choices.  It’s been so easy to be a Christian, and I’ve taken pride in not doing things like drinking, smoking, doing drugs, and a list of other “bad” behaviors that are often talked about negatively in church circles.  However, eating poorly is something that often gets glossed over, but yet it can be just as deadly as smoking, drinking, or some of the other vices.  It doesn’t matter whether your overweight, underweight, or in-between, eating poorly is damaging, and if we aren’t careful, we’ll be deceived into thinking that it’s okay.

I remember some years ago, my pastor did several sessions on nutrition, explaining the benefits of exercising, juicing, and taking vitamins.  Deep down, I knew that was my warning to do better.  God gives us warnings, but we have to actively make choices to accept it and act on it because it could mean life or death.  As extreme as that may sound, I now know personally that it is true.  Our bodies aren’t designed to digest and live long with bad fuel.  Just like sugar can mess up a car’s engine, sugar and bad foods can mess up our bodies.

I’ve had to meditate on I Corinthians 6:19-20, which says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”  I’ve known this scripture for years, but I didn’t absorb it, remembering that verse from I Timothy 4:8, which says, For bodily exercise profiteth little.”  The thing about it is that further in that verse it says, “godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”  For us to be godly, we must accept that our bodies are holy vessels belonging to God, our Creator.  It is important what food we put into our bodies.  I honestly believe that for me and probably many others, eating poorly is a trap that the enemy has used to set us up to make us sick or even die.   

As I begin this journey towards better health, I hope that if you’re not eating well, you’ll start making better choices with me.  If you are eating well, please pray for me and others who want to be on the path to good health.  Please don’t condemn or pick, but make loving recommendations.  For example, ask a friend, co-worker, or family member to go for a walk.  Make a healthy meal (that taste good) after church and invite others.  Sometimes you don’t even have to say anything because when people see you eating healthy, clean foods, they just might want to join.

Overall, I’m thankful that the Lord has given me a wake-up call, and I hope that everyone gets a physical, especially if you are like I was and hadn’t had one in a long time.  Please consider getting your blood work done and make sure things are well. 

Remember that you can do more for the Kingdom when you are healthy and in optimal health.  Oh, and if you see me eating a cupcake, don’t knock it out of my hand or say a word—it may start a fight. Instead, just invite me to take a very, long walk.

 

Blessings,

MaRita