"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 NIV

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Anticipated Surprises

I found the toy for my son at a garage sale. It was something he had been drooling over for months. I knew the excitement that would follow after discovering it outside his bedroom door the next morning. The anticipation made me smile.

Then, while trying to figure out how it worked, I pressed a hidden button that made parts of it light up and play music. How long, I wondered, would it would take my son to find this extra surprise? I did not want to miss that moment.

As a parent, surprising my children with gifts ranks quite high in the "what brings me joy" department. I relish their simple delight and hugs of thanks.  

My Heavenly Father is the same way.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights... (James 1:17a NIV)

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. (Matthew 7:11 NLT)

He delights in my discovery of his gifts. He beams with pride when I stop to thank him for his generosity. He waits in anticipation for me to understand all the wonderful things that are yet to come.

Giver of all good and perfect gifts, open my eyes to see what is all around me waiting to be unwrapped. I love that you love surprises and created me to enjoy them as well. Help me to turn to you in gratitude and refrain from grumbling. Amen.

Monday, October 15, 2012

When God's Answer is "No"

While thinking of a new Bible verse for my kids to memorize this week, I turned first to "God is love." The short, but powerful, truth beckoned me to savor each word, read it over and over.

GOD is love.
God IS love.
God is LOVE. (1 John 4:8)

Each time I read the sentence, new meaning emerged and leaped right off the pages into my open heart.  Then doubt crept in.

What about the times God does not seem like love? What about when my prayers for healing seem to fall on deaf ears?  What about when his answer to my tears continues to be "no?"

Is he still love?

God cannot and will not act outside of love. It is his very nature. I have to stand on the truth that he says "no" because he loves me and knows way more about the situation, my heart, and my true needs, than I can imagine.

Because he loves, he is not healing my body right now. Because he loves, he allows situations into my life which cause me to grow. Because he loves, he places a longing for something deeper within my heart.

God does not cause sin or always prevent it. In his love, he gives everyone the freedom to choose good or evil, and lets consequences naturally occur. 

Does this mean I jump for joy while my tears are falling? Of course not. But I refuse to doubt that God is love when his answers to my prayers are not what I wish they were.

God has been, is, and will continue to be LOVE.

"Praise You in This Storm" by Casting Crowns 

Yes, Jesus, you love me. I choose to believe you act and decide not to act because you are love. Either way, I want to bring glory to you. Amen.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Always Available to Help

I was trying to take a shower. My children were pounding on the door for assistance with one thing or another. I was obviously busy and tried to redirect them while rubbing soap out of my eyes. Not to be deterred, they kept knocking and yelling.

Here's the funny thing - my husband was in the next room. I insisted (in a very loud voice) that they ask their dad to help them with whatever pressing matter they had. What could I possibly do for them at the moment?

Finding the situation both annoying and humorous, I got to thinking: this is how I treat my pressing matters sometimes. I go to my family and friends for help, frustrated that they cannot fix things, when my Heavenly Father is nearby and always available.

I ask others for opinions when I should be turning to God first. His is the only opinion that truly matters. He is never too busy to provide counsel and direction.

As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me. (Psalm 55:16 NIV)

Lord, I want to knock on your door for help first. You are always available no matter how large or small my concern. Give me the courage to release the hold that opinions of others has had on me. Amen.