Today is a gift.

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Not even one week out of my junior year of college, and still super busy.

There is so much to be thinking about and planning for. Studying for my certification exams, scheduling when to take them, visiting student teaching co-ops, getting clearances renewed, finding a gift for my mom’s birthday (which is next weekend, by the way), organizing all of the crap that I brought home from school, planning a short-term mission trip for the summer, finishing curriculum for the summer camp that I’ll be visiting on aforementioned mission trip, getting engaged (?!), planning weekend getaways, and working 2 jobs.

There’s honestly probably a million other things I’m forgetting.Life is busy, people!

Amongst the business and running from here to there, I’m finding it hard to focus. I’m avoiding what’s in front of my face and looking forward to getting to the “good parts.”

The problem is, though, that I have a lingering feeling that I’m wrong. Yes, our Lord does promise us a prosperous future […plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11] but that doesn’t give us permission to neglect the gift of today.

I’ve taken some time this morning to look into how to go about being more present, here’s what I came up with:

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him- for this is his lot.

James 4:13-15 Now listen you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on our business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you should say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will do this or that.”

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

As a wise professor of mine says that the time that we spend outside of school with our families is more important than the time we spend toiling away on academics because, “soon, there will be too many empty chairs at our tables.” Every time that I hear him say that, it makes me a little panicky to think that one day too soon the people that I love will be taken from me. It puts it into perspective for me- the idea of being more present, and how important it is that I strive to do that.

Worrying about what is ahead isn’t going to make me get there any faster, and neither is pining for it.

I guess what I’m suggesting is that we all try to take each day as it comes, do what we can with it, and enjoy it while it lasts.

Today is a gift- that’s why they call it the present. (cheesy, I know, sorry.)

#summergoals

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Healing.

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Whoa. If God works and speaks throughout the rest of the semester the way He has been the last two weeks, we’re all in for the ride of our lives.

My heart is so overwhelmed today because of the sheer goodness of my God. His voice is not so still and small as it is roaring from within me lately. Let me try to explain…

In chapel this morning, we had a special guest speaker, Dannah Gresh. Her platform is pretty much all about sex. Sexual sin, temptation, healing, freedom. This woman is so full of passion about her ministry that one can’t help but be convicted. But for some reason, I had a nagging in my mind. Why was this bothering me so much? I thought I was over this whole brokenness thing. I was under the foolish impression that I had somehow surpassed my weakness. Since coming back to campus, I’ve been doing a ton of rejoicing. I thought over break, some miracle had been worked on me. I was cured of my hurt. I was beyond it.

But sin has a way of leaving scars and coming back to haunt us. I decided that I needed to hear more of what she had to say, so I went to her alternative chapel service. Holy heck, did I learn.

God spoke right into my soul through her. He showed me that I am not healed. I am forgiven. I am healing. I know that I am healing because:

1. I can see my own brokenness and I can admit it.

2. I can hear His voice.

3. I am becoming more fruitful.

All of these things are true of my current journey. I am so thankful to God for it! Everything is becoming so clear, so meaningful. His purposes and His ways astound me.

God has also made it very clear that the ministry that He has called me to at this point in my life is going to require growth in the areas where I am currently the most weak. And I am intimidated by that challenge. Honestly, it scares me to death. But I know that God has not forsaken me so far, and I have a promise that He never will (Joshua 1:9)

I have so much farther to go and there is so much more that I could say. But, what I want to leave you with today is the affirmation that God is working through your situation. Whether it is one of rejoicing and fruitfulness or one that feels a lot like despairity. God knows our weaknesses and that is where His grace comes in. It is sufficient and it is overwhelming.

I would recommend that you be bold, be honest (first and foremost, with yourself), and seek God’s will.

Please comment and give me your feedback! 🙂

Wounds.

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James 1:2-4 tells us: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I don’t think that James is saying that we have to jump up and down and clap our hands and shout thanks to the heavens every time something unfortunate happens to us. I think that he is encouraging us to do some soul searching. When we have hard times, it is easy to say “why? why me?” and that’s a bad attitude that I think many take. WHY NOT you? You’ve got some perseverance to build up, my friend.

As one of my previous pessimistic blog posts already informed you, life sucks sometimes. It’s not easy and there are a lot of hard things that make us want to throw our hands up in defeat.

But no matter what you’re going through, whether it’s a financial crisis, relationship meltdown, medical emergency, or even just a bad day, I want you to know that there is a purpose for your pain.

You may be wounded but guess what- one day you are going to be okay again and you’re going to be better for it. I draw your attention to the quote that I posted along with this. I love it because it is so true. How many times do we see people that have been hurt, going around sharing their testimony and saying “yea, it was unfortunate, but if I can help one person with my story, it was all worth it”? Their life and their hurt is their ministry.

We are being prepared for greatness people!

So, while I do still think that it’s a struggle to “rejoice” and find “pure joy” in the midst of a trial, it IS possible. Because God is preparing us for something greater. And knowing Him, it’s going to be pretty freaking awesome.

Hang in there. Find some joy and don’t let go of it.