It's been a while, but I feel the need to blog today! Even as I start this, I don't have any idea what I am going to say. But I have learned that when the Spirit is nudging me to do something, I should do it! There are always blessings that we risk missing when we don't obey!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Life is hard somedays, who am I kidding... Life is hard MOST days!! Things don't turn out like we hoped. We live in a world broken by sin. It causes sickness, heartache, disappointment, insecurity, death, bankruptcy, etc... the list is truly limitless! So how can we thrive and succeed in a world like this? Actually, forget thriving, most days we wonder how we can manage to survive today? Our country seems to be headed in a direction that is far from God and it's scary! Our economy is horrible, and most of us are just one missed paycheck away from losing everything! How do we get past all of that and live a fulfilling, thriving life?
The situations in my life have forced me to evaluate this over the past few months. God has stretched me in painful, yet beautiful ways! Wait, "Painful and beautiful"...... How can that be? Life is complicated and therefore cannot be viewed or comprehended in one dimension. So what may appear painful and ugly on the surface can be a beautiful blessing if viewed from another angle.
If we refuse to wallow in our circumstances and we decide to keep our eyes focused on Christ, we will see life in a whole different perspective.
Let me give an example of what I mean:
For years I have dreamed of a new house. There's nothing wrong with mine. It has met all my needs wonderfully for the past 8 years and never caused us any problems. But by all worldly standards, its a "starter home". My husband and I bought it when we were 20, engaged, child-free, and it was more than I could have dreamed of then. But now is a different story.... it so easy to forget all of the good things about it and just see that it is a townhouse with no garage (which I particularly hate when I have to start my car at 4am in the freezing cold), no yard for my daughter and dog to play in, absolutely no storage, etc....
Every year as I decorate for Christmas, I can't help but hope that it will be my last year decorating that house! I dream that I will someday have a house with a front porch I can decorate to the nines, a big staircase with a banister that has beautiful garland and Christmas lights sprawling down it, and a HUGE Christmas tree in my large 2-story foyer!! Then I look around at my reality - a messy, cluttered house that I never have time to clean and that feels like it's about to burst at the seams. I shed a few tears and get angry that Jere and I both work so hard, and have sacrificed so much to follow the dream God has given us, and yet my dreams of a new house (and the free time to actually clean it) aren't anywhere close to being my reality.
Or are they.... How do I really know what God has in store for me??? Let's be honest, I don't even know what He has planned for this afternoon..... so why do I place Him in a box and say that my dreams can't be reality! Now, I am not trying to say that God gives us every dream if we want it badly enough.... that's ridiculous! But the bible clearly says in Psalm 37:4 that if we "Take delight in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart".
Dig a little deeper that doesn't say God always gives us the desires of our heart, but if we "Take Delight in Him"... align our heart with His... desire to see His will done. If we are able to do that then the desires of our heart will be the same as the desires of His heart! Instead of focusing on how we can achieve our dreams, we should focus on how we can change our dreams to match the dreams God has for us!
I recently watched this video published by LCBC Church. (It's long, but I encourage you to watch it when you are done reading this.) It's a story of an incredible miracle in the life of a young family. It is truly amazing and even though their story may seem completely unrelated to what I'm talking about, the one thing they said stood out so significantly to me. While being faced with an incredibly difficult situation, they chose to stay faithful to God and pray for the UNEXPLAINABLE!!! That is so powerful! They chose not to wallow in their horrific circumstances, but to focus on God's limitless power!
I was so inspired by this and I realized that my situations are soooo petty compared to what they were facing. And that I am so ungrateful for the countless blessing I have because I am so focused on the one that I don't have! I have decided to pray each and every day for God to do the UNEXPLAINABLE in my life! Regardless of what He decides to do with my life, whether I ever get that dream house or not, I want the circumstances of my life to be "Unexplainable" - that No One can take credit for it except God!
So if I really believe God can do the Unexplainable, then I need to have faith that He will do amazing things in and through my life! I need to remember that truly thriving in this life means dedicating my life to Him! It has nothing to do with a house, a car, or anything else that society tries to tell us we should have. We need to spend each and every day trying to live as Christ did!
I won't always make the right choices, and I'm sure I still have a few pity parties to come! But I will never give up the fight, because Christ will NEVER give up on me!!! And His plans are so much more beautiful and amazing than we can ever comprehend!! So whatever your dream is, whatever causes you to want to throw a pity party for yourself, remember that God knows the desires of your heart! Trust in Him!!! When we align ourselves with Him, His desires become our desires and we begin to recognize the immeasurable amount of UNEXPLAINABLE blessings He has placed in front of us!!!