Hard things happen. Seasons change. We either mold to the change or we break. I chose to mold. It’s a good thing I am not the one doing the molding. Who know’s what I would look like! God is my potter. I am His clay. “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (NIV)
It has been two weeks since my surgery. As Christmas season is in full swing, I have been listening to life happening around me. I am cozy in my bedroom, complete with cellphone beside me, laptop, piles of books and DVD player.
However, it is day 11 in my bed, I am confined to the top floor of my house (my bedroom is 15 stairs up and I am not supposed to really do stairs). I have to admit, I am going a little stir crazy. I LOVE the Christmas season and feel a bit jipped because I cannot enjoy the Christmas decorations around town, the Christmas gatherings and even the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping (many people dread this but I actually enjoy it!)
I had great aspirations of making progress with a few different writing projects. I would do some school planning for second semester; I would catch up on my reading, write old-fashioned Christmas cards and watch Christmas movies. I was actually looking forward to this quiet rest.
Now that this rest is well into week two, I cannot say that many of those things have been accomplished. I have been reading some but not much. I guess I should have bought Christmas cards ahead of time :). All of our Christmas movies are in a box in the garage and only I know where they are. Plans have not unfolded as I anticipated…..BUT…..
Having a friend drop by yesterday, we were talking about Christmas. She was talking about how Christmas is the opportunity to show Christ-like love to one another. I admit to liking the twinkling lights, Christmas decorations, shopping for special gifts for loved ones, the tree and get-togethers. I believe I have a balanced focus at Christmas with putting Jesus first. I know deep in my heart Jesus is the reason for the season. It is more though. As I watch my family serve and care for me, friends dropping off meals, others coming by to help clean my house, I am humbled. I am touched by their time and generosity during this busy season. I am seeing Christ-like love in action.
Today, I am grateful for this time. God uses everything for good if we allow Him. I look forward to my oldest, Maxx coming home for Christmas from university in a few days. We will have that wonderful family time and we will celebrate with friends. It may look a little different this year; I might not be doing my Christmas baking or going for that walk in the snow on Christmas day, however, I will have everything I want and need around me. I am truly blessed.
As I am separated from my family, I trust God’s plans are higher than my own. We have had a lovely family holiday in Ontario and my husband, daughter and mother-in-law flew back to British Columbia on Wednesday, only to arrive finding out that our home town, Hudson’s Hope had been evacuated due to the raging fires. My older son had set out that morning before the evacuation was known, to pick them up at the airport. Their flights were delayed 5 hours and by the time they got there, the town had been evacuated and they had to sign in a the Fort St. John arena emergency center with the rest of the town of Hudson’s Hope. A friend had picked up our dogs and brought them to Fort. St. John, however our horse, cat and bunny were left behind.
It was a tenuous time wondering what would happen as the fire got as close as a kilometer away from the town. Many prayers were going up for the people of Hudson’s Hope and the people of Fort St. John and surrounding area pulled together and opened up their homes and businesses to the temporary displaced people of Hudson’s Hope.
Last night the evacuation order was lifted and the residents were instructed to return home, and get their things in order as Hudson’s Hope is still was under evacuation alert.
So, here I am, in Ontario with my youngest son, Jonah having a lovely extra week in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. I am feeling a bit helpless, a bit guilty, a lot worried and torn with being so happy and grateful for this bonus time with my parents and siblings, and feeling equally concerned about my family at home.
As the fires rage throughout B.C., I know that there are people around the world experiencing much harder things at this moment. As Jonah is enjoying himself, very much here in Wasaga Beach (he got to go paint balling yesterday and a Bluejays game with his uncles in Toronto tomorrow!), he feels a bit sorry he is missing all the action and excitement back home. When talking and praying with him last night, I reminded him of how we prayed lots about the details of this trip and our summer plans in general. We agreed that God has us here for a reason to have this extra week with his grandparents and family.
As my goal is to read through the book of Psalms this summer, this one is for me today : “But I will trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.” Psalm 14:7. This one is for my family and friends back home: “Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. I said to the Lord, You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Psalm 16: 1.
Have you ever had this thought that triggers a song you once knew from a long time ago? I was reading my bible this morning and came across this verse: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in Him.” 1 John 4:16…Pretty simple. Pretty clear. It got me thinking….
i grew up in the Roman Catholic church. (Today I am a member of the Full Gospel Church). However, I have some fond memories about going to Saturday night “folk” mass with my family, where one of the teachers from my school would bring his guitar and lead us in singing more upbeat, folksie, groovier songs (keep in mind this was the ’70’s where “groovy” was actually a part of the English language!). One of the songs was: “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love”. Does anyone know this song? Have a listen, even you younger followers…it is still a pretty cool song!
This song made me think. If I walk around identifying myself as a Christian, I should BE the message of Christ by being loving to everyone in all I do. To the my family, the gas station lady, the grocery clerk, my animals (and even the bunny I don’t love so much that I am taking care of for my daughter when she is away 🙂 ). Loving with my words, with my actions, with my whole heart. Help me God, that people would know I am a Christian by the love I show others!
Lord, help me to be content in all circumstances today. Please help me to choose joy in all I do! Help me to approach this day with gratitude in my heart. I want to be able to look people in the eye as I speak to them and smile. My schedule is full, my tasks are not important in the eyes of the world but they keep my family household running smoothly. I am an essential chauffeur, admin. assistant, teacher, laundress, gardener, social coordinator, accountant and cook. Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of being able to care for my family. Help me to live this day in the moment and not to be overwhelmed looking into the days to come.
“I have learned the secret in being content in any and very situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither heights nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”~Romans 8:37-39
God doesn’t leave us. We may leave Him but He never leaves us! No matter what we do or what we are up against, God will always there. All you have to do is call out to Him. So much easier when we have God on our side!
“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light; for fear his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” John: 3-20
I am a Christian; I have raised my children to use the Word of God as their handbook for life and they all do. There is no question in their hearts that the Bible has all the answers they will ever need in life. They read it daily, willingly, without me telling them too. This was a habit that needed to be developed but I can honestly say that they are in the Word often more than I am. I know as long as they run to the Word of God in the hard times they will be ok. I take no credit for this….as it is all God’s doing.
To me, and I am no scholar, this verse does not mean that a person who commits sin hates God. This is talking about someone who knows he is sinning and is a partner in it AND does not care that he is separated from God. The desire of our hearts (and I am speaking for my kids and I and I think most believers) is to live by the Truth. We make a conscious choice to be in the Word and to live by it and to align ourselves with the will of God and his righteousness. Sometimes we are oppressed by the enemy of God (Satan…not possessed but oppressed). Sometimes we fight with our human self-will. Whichever the case, we fall can fall into sin. But we know we are there and we don’t like it. We all have sin like that in our lives. Some sin just looks worse than other sin, but in God’s eyes sin is sin. Gossip is on the same scale as stealing or cheating or whatever. We will never be free of sin until we get to heaven. But Jesus came to take the burden of our sin and to pay for our sin. HE paid for it already. We run to Him again. Over and over and over…. always and forever. We develop a life habits of which will safeguard us more. Some safeguards are prayer, reading our bible, worship, surrounding ourselves with like-minded Godly friends and keeping our relationships right with our parents and the level of respect healthy (it is pretty clear in God’s Word when this is broken, that things will not go well for us). We develop habits like guarding our eyes, minds and hearts. We do whatever it takes not to open that door to that sin that plagues us even a crack which will allow the enemy to slip in just a bit because he is really good and swinging that door wide open.
God’s love for us is endless. David, in the bible was a repeated sinner. He knew it. He just kept going to God, crying out for mercy and praising him in the really hard times. God used him powerfully. He forgave him repeatedly and loved him deeply.
God loves you so much that he gave you His only son so you could be free from the condemnation of sin. All you need to do is believe it. That’s it. What a gift.
Chose life again. Chose God’s way again. Chose holiness again and again and again. This is living the truth so that others can see “plainly that what he has done has been done through God” (above verse). God is waiting always. There is nothing more that moves my heart than when one of my children says “I’m sorry”. This is the same for God. There is nothing more that moves my heart than when my child cries. My arms open up and I just want to take away the pain. That is the same with God but on a level we cannot humanly comprehend. Go to Him. Let him hold you and let him take your pain (whether it be sin, sickness or whatever). There is freedom in God’s love and embrace, but there and ONLY there will you be truly free.