The Question of the Day

My devotional reading posed a question that I could not answer in the limited space given! How do you sum up in only a few words such an all-encompassing question as In what ways has God shown you patience?

Oh my! Well. For starters, God has been so patient with my lack of consistency. It effects so much! I have struggled with inconsistency most of my life. Being the personality I am, I think I naturally have a compelling need to be accepted. We all do to one degree or another, right? But coupled with being raised in a home where one of my parents was a firm and sometimes harsh and demanding perfectionist himself created a deep and often times unfulfilled need in me. I so very much wanted to meet expectations, to “measure up.” Yet being inconsistent undermined and often eroded away the road that could take me to that goal.

Being inconsistent has led to a lifetime of not meeting expectations of my own, much less the expectations of others. Whether the expectations of others were real or only perceived would be another great question of the day! Suffice it to say I have not been consistent in prayer, in fervor for attending church, in housework, in quiet patience with my husband, in Bible reading…the list could go on and on. That is why one of my favorite and dearest attributes of God’s love for me—and He is the same with each of us — is His patience and being longsuffering. To me, longsuffering is the combined properties of His great love added to His great patience. Yes it is patience– it is His loving patience. It is God’s selfless love seeing the potential in this weak human and waiting for it to bloom.  Thankfully there has been some maturing through the ages, some improvement, and He certainly blessed me when He gave me the breakthrough of being daily in the Word.  It has been two years now of very few days missed spending time reading/listening to scripture.  What a blessing that consistency is!

I believe it grieves His heart so that He hurts when we do not live in all He has provided for us. After all, look at what it cost Him and His only Son to provide abundant life for us. They went through the agonies of the cross together, yet separated. God the Father cannot look upon sin. Yet to purchase our forgiveness, Jesus, who knew no sin, had to take upon Himself the sins of the entire world. So in the most agony-filled moment of Jesus’ life, God the Father had to turn away from and not help, not support, not show love to His only and dearly loved Son. What agony for both!

This was a horrific, painful separation of Father and Son. Yet they both were determined to love each other and us through the pain because they knew the death of Jesus on the cross was the only way to redemption from ALL sin, for all who would accept that wonderful gift of salvation. All this was done so that we might thrive in Him. All this was endured so we might know the joy and the fullness of the Holy Spirit operating in our life, of faith, hope, peace, joy, health, gentleness, strength…. that list too goes on and on. His selfless love forgives and draws us, forgives and challenges us, forgives and stands by us. He loves. He LOVES us. Oh what boundless love He has for us! I am grateful, thankful, and loving Him all the more for His patience and being longsuffering with me.

Thank You, my Father, my Lord, my Savior, my Comforter, my Guide, my Deliverer, my Healer, my Wisdom….my all in all. HOW GREAT THOU ART!

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Traveling Light, or Packing a Load?

A large but light and cushy pillow lay doubled over on our couch. Wanting to spiffy up some, I took it in one hand and lifted it. Hmmm…this should have felt a lot lighter than it did. Laying it back down and unfolding it revealed a good-sized rectangular rice-filled neck pillow. Ah! That explained it.

It also made me think. Many times we could have had a better, easier and more productive day, but instead pack around unneeded, unnecessary weight. It may not be intentional at all, but there it is, making the task a strain rather than simply and easily done.

Negativity can bring us low! We need to keep a watch, be on the alert, and block what is not in harmony with God’s will. He tells us “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬. http://bible.com/1/php.4.6-8.kjv

We pick things up unintentionally, unaware even and pack an extra burden. Some things that come to mind that we take on are the stresses of the day, anxieties, fears, what ifs, rejection. We get loaded down by feeling we don’t or can’t measure up, the fear of failure… the list goes on and on. These are added, unneeded loads we carry. They don’t add joy, peace, comfort, grace nor strength to us, but actually the opposite. They drain us, sapping our strength, pulling us down, making life hard. This is not a picture of the victorious life our Heavenly Father wants for us. What He wants us to carry is not difficult! “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew‬ ‭11:30‬ ‭KJV‬‬. http://bible.com/1/mat.11.30.kjv

It pays to stop and inspect our load every now and then! We are not in this alone. There is help and we need to access and use that help. God tells us to not carry our burdens but throw them onto His broad shoulders and let Him deal! “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬. http://bible.com/1/1pe.5.7.kjv. We must lay aside some things, cast off some attitudes, choose carefully what we allow to influence us.

Not all that we carry around is bad, but just too much! Do you take on more than you should? When we have too much ‘stuff’ in our hands and our arms are full, we are limited in what we can accomplish, and tasks become far more difficult and time consuming. Some are flat out impossible to do when we are packing that extra load! Just yesterday I had so many bags of groceries, totes, keys and my purse in my hands that I literally had to set some down in order to open the door. All that stuff, those good and wanted items prevented me from access to where I needed to go and from what needed done. I had to lay aside some things and get them later.

Dear Lord, I ask that You reveal to me the unnecessary weights that I am carrying and allowing to settle in my spirit that are not good for me. Help me notice and take care of my attitudes quickly, leaving angst, fear, irritation and dismay behind me. Open my eyes to see what is good and dwell on those things. Show me what is needful for me to do and what is to be left for another day, another person, or just plain left! Thank You for Your tender mercies, grace, wisdom and strength day by day. In Jesus dear name I pray, Amen.

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:30‬ ‭KJV‬‬

http://bible.com/1/mat.11.30.kjv