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Something New

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Are you in need of a refreshing change, something totally new?  A recharge in the spirit?  I know that I have been, and it seems like others are, too.  Yet, I’ve found myself idle at times while waiting for the change.  This, as I’m sure that you can guess, can be destructive.  When we’re idle, we’re often open to negative thoughts, behaviors, and even depression.  While it is true that there are times when we’re waiting for change to come, we have to be sure that we are moving ahead spiritually, if nothing else; otherwise, our waiting is in vain.

Remember Job, who was gravely afflicted in every area of his life?  He says, “all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change comes.”  It’s interesting to me that although Job was most miserable, losing all that he had and even his health, he still manages to do something big in the midst of his situation.  He says something new and does something new.

Although he seems to have always prayed and been obedient to God, suddenly things don’t make sense.  He cries out to God in despair, asking God a flurry of questions.  After he gets done asking questions and pouring out his heart, he listens for the answer. 

Even though his situation does not change immediately, he is changed by how God responds.  Job’s spirit seems to be renewed by God’s response, which, by the way, does not answer Job’s questions directly.

Still, Job is quieted, focused, and in complete surrender to God’s will for his life.  He says:

I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.  “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”  Job 42:2-6

Most of us know the account; Job prayed for his friends, and God restored him, making the later part of his life greater than before the affliction.  God gave him twice as much as he had before!

Job couldn’t change his physical condition or situation, but he had a renewal of the mind that caused a change in perspective.  He took action by not just asking questions but most importantly, by listening to God in the midst of his most bitter desperation and trials.  His humility, honesty, and right relationship with God made room for change.

So many things are happening, and we don’t know why.  God may never tell or show us why, but we have to position ourselves to surrender to Him and His will because He is God.  People are going through so much, and so much is not because of anything that a person has done wrong.  God knows though.

We are not victims to be tossed to and fro with life’s problems and heartaches though.  We are conquerors and victors!  We are charged to take our problems and cares to the feet of Jesus, and listen as He speaks.  He speaks to us in our spirits, through His Word, and through His people.  Our action items are to draw nigh to Him, study His Word, and attentively listen and do what He says.

There are many things and people we can’t change; only God can.  However, we can change ourselves.  We can renew our perspective.  We can always work on our relationship with God and others.  Quite frankly, I’ve found that in the deepest of trials, the most compelling and productive movement (and change) happens.  So, if you’re in need of something new, try changing YOU!

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Blessings,                                  

MaRita

 

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Never Too Busy

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It’s so easy to get caught up with busyness.  The demands of work, activities, and maintaining relationships can be gratifying, but exhausting.  There’s so much to do, yet so little time.  For this reason, many put their personal time with God on the back burner.  However, I’ve found that doing the exact opposite is the very thing we must do to live a harmonious, peaceful, fulfilled and yes, even joyful existence.

Acknowledging and appreciating God’s presence every day in every situation sets things in proper perspective.  Without this acknowledgement and appreciation for Him, we aren’t centered and see things from our own selfish viewpoint.  When I get up in the morning and don’t pray, read the Word, or simply just acknowledge Him as the Creator with thanks, I am like a reluctant dog on a leash pulled here and there by his frantic owner.  We are misled when we are being led around by the people, situations, and events of the day, instead of being led by the One who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.

It’s a shame that it took me years to realize that my reactions to the exact same circumstances are radically different when I have spent time with Him as opposed to when I have not.  Some days, I read the Bible and pray, spending quality time in His presence.  Other times, I read a devotion or whisper prayers or words of thanks throughout the day.  These are always the best days, and I’d like to say I am totally faithful and consistent with it.

However, I do have days when I don’t do it because I don’t feel like it or some other selfish, silly reason.  These are the days that I’m sure that the driver that just cut me off is purposely trying to engage war, or that, for instance, my children disobeying me about something is a monumental crisis.  Being hypersensitive to small injustices, intolerant, moody, impatient, too controlling, too passive, critical, and mean (and the list could go on and on) are responses that come from not spending time developing and communing with God.

There’s a little exercise I try to do daily that began almost twenty years ago when I was in the midst of a serious trial.  Instead of complaining, I thanked God.  At first, I told myself that I had nothing to thank Him for because the hurt was so deep.  However, when I opened my mouth and began to verbally thank Him for my life, I was overwhelmed with the things that came from my mouth.  I thanked him for my eyes, my hands, my feet, my mind, and I couldn’t stop. My eyes welled up with tears until I sobbed!  I had so much to be thankful for—even in the worst of times. 

Now, I say thank you every day, and I see and feel gratefulness for things I hadn’t seen before.  There are so many blessings that can be overshadowed by materialism, jealousy, busyness, and other vices.  Spending time with God, every single day, removes the blinders that keep us from seeing God’s goodness.

So, even if you have to start by just whispering a word of thanks for what you may think is the smallest of things, it will have a big and lasting impact.  God hears, and He understands.  He knows, and He cares.

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  I Thessalonians 5:18

 

Thanking God for You,

MaRita