When I look at the devastation all around me –
When I listen to prayer requests about children with brain tumors-
Family units falling apart-
When I hear about family violence-
Kids going hungry-
Kids dealing with adult problems –
When I see depression strangling people-
All my worries seem so trivial. A messy house, a busy schedule, a flat tire, a broken door handle, computers crashing, a to-do list a mile long – of course I can keep going. However, in light of everything going on around me these little problems are pretty petty.
It’s so important to remember that the devil uses these nonessential bothers to work us up in the most un-Christlike way. DO NOT let him win. Don’t focus on these medial issues. Focus on winning souls to Christ. Focus on the hurting. Focus on God.
Lord, please help me to see past these trivial issues. Help me move past these meager problems and focus on the bigger picture. Give me your eyes so that I may see past me. Give me your heart for the hurting and the lost.
“But Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me. For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.'” – Matthew 16:23
Sometimes God asks us to do what we perceive as crazy, radical, even scary. When we are standing down here on little, bitty Earth it’s hard to remember that God is painting a much bigger picture than just our tiny mind can comprehend.
Look at Ananias. God told him to go and pray over Saul. Big deal, right? Well, it was a huge deal. At the time Saul was killing every single Christian that he came across, and Ananias knew it.
But Ananias went. He was faithful. I’m certain he was scared, but his love for God was bigger. If you keep reading you will see that Saul was healed and became one of Jesus’ biggest fans. He went on to write a huge chunk of the New Testament.
So thank you God for people like Ananias who are scared but still walk by faith. Thank you for people who ask, “Are you sure, God?” – but then they go. They go and do what you’ve asked because they trust you and know that there is a much bigger picture than just their own tiny world.
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. – Acts 9:15
I bet Jesus was scared that night. Can you imagine? That night in the Garden of Gethsemane. I bet when the sun fell the cold wrapped around his bones and made him shake from within. I bet he couldn’t stop shivering. I am certain that every noise was amplified. The sounds of crickets chirping and frogs croaking probably sounded like thunder echoing in a valley. I can imagine that the fear and sorrow he endured in that one moment was worse than any single juncture that a human has ever experienced. I would guess that the overwhelming grief crept up His body like a vine. Twisting and turning until eventually the grief strangled the last bit of hope he had left.
I bet his heart was pounding out of his chest. The anguish and anticipation of what he was about to go through had to have been unbearable. I bet he cried so hard that he couldn’t breath – eyes swollen, lungs burning, nose running. It’s really not a pretty story. It’s one of betrayal and excruciating physical and mental pain. He could have given up. He could have given in. But he didn’t. He didn’t because he loved us more.
That love is unfathomable to me.
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” – Matthew 26:39
Preparation. We are all in that mode right now. Back to school has us running around frantically trying to tie up all the loose ends. We want to be ready. We want our kids to step through those doors on the first day confident that they have all the tools they need to learn and to be successful.
God feels the same way about us, but He isn’t frantic. Thank goodness He doesn’t wait until the last minute to take care of business. Currently pointing my finger at myself.
He knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb. Every minute, every hour, every single day – God has His eyes on us. He has watched us grow up, mess up, love, fall apart, and learn all while preparing our hearts and minds for eternity with Him.
Preparing for the upcoming week is so important, but preparing for eternity – don’t let that slip through the cracks. As God is preparing Heaven for us, let’s prepare our hearts for him.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5
Come as you are.
God will be waiting with open arms. He will wrap you up in the tightest hug you’ve ever experienced – even better than hugging your grandma. Let Him.
Come as you are, but let God change you.
The broken can be complete.
The shamed can be esteemed.
The depressed can be comforted.
The angry can be calmed.
The hurt can be soothed.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:19
Don’t discount kids. Don’t discount people period. You may have preconceived notions about others due to their:
We don’t know how God is going to use these babies. We don’t know the direction God is leading them. But I do know this – God is going to take whatever adversity they are facing now, and He is going to use it to tell a story. His story. A testimony. And these kids that are often times moved to the back burner are going to do the most amazing things. They are going to be leaders. Game-changers. They are going to be mothers and fathers. They are going to move mountains.
Don’t discount kids because God didn’t discount you.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. -Matthew 19:13-14
Unexpected circumstances do not constitute a bad day. This is something I have to repeat to myself over and over again. It’s easy to be so set in a schedule that unforeseen glitches in our day can rattle us to the core. We let these snags dictate our entire world.
Jesus, help me to be a more go with the flow type of person. Help me to remember that it is all going to be ok. That it’s all going to get done. And that there are far more worse things then a glitch in my to do list.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:7