Saturday, October 18, 2014
By: L. Holth
Emotionally exhausted, I crawled into my car and pulled onto the road. Instead of being happy for the newly engaged couple in my Bible study, I was jealous. I wanted a partner, too, someone to walk through life with and tell me I was worth fighting for.
After seven years of singleness, someone like that didn't seem to exist. I felt like I was in the disciples' boat when the storm came up all of a sudden, pouring water into the boat, and threatening to capsize it, and Jesus was asleep, blissfully unaware of the problem (Luke 8:22-25).
I was so tossed around and pummeled emotionally, I didn't know how I was going to make it through another day, month, year, or however long it took for Mr. Right to materialize.
I knew God could fix everything. He's God! But, He seemed to be asleep at the wheel ... again. Mysteriously, conspicuously absent. Why wasn't He DOING something?!
I finally decided God was big enough to take whatever I threw at Him, so I vented every ounce of my anger and frustration: Don't you even care?!
In that moment of absolute honesty, I heard for the first time in my life a nearly audible voice. "Do you believe I know what's best for you?"
"Well, ... of course You do!"
"Then why don't you trust Me?"
"Because You're not doing what I want you to do!"
"Do you believe I know what's best for you?"
We went round and round with these two questions the rest of the drive home. If I believed He knew what was best, why wasn't I trusting Him to take care of it?
I remember that conversation with God so vividly, and periodically those questions haunt me when God isn't doing things my way. As I read the story of Jesus calming the storm in Luke 8, I'm reminded of those questions yet again.
I can just imagine the disciples' thoughts when Jesus accused them of not trusting Him. "Are you KIDDING me?? We're about to get KILLED in this storm, and You're ASLEEP!!"
How were they supposed to know He had everything under control? He didn't even appear to know what was happening! If He wasn't acting, how would they know to trust Him?
The same questions continue to plague believers today. How can we have faith when it doesn't seem like God even knows we're hurting? Or worse, what if He does know and chooses to do nothing?
Two years after that over-the-mountain argument with God, I was again lamenting to a co-worker the fact that no Mr. Right – or any man for that matter – had shown up in my life and that God didn't seem to care. She stopped me and lovingly, but firmly said, "Laura, I really feel like God wants me to tell you this: He has a husband for you. But, he's not ready for you yet."
Little did I realize, God was preparing my now husband during both of those rock-bottom moments. During that late-night drive, Erik was a junior in college, just becoming comfortable in his own skin and learning to be a godly man. When I was crying in my co-worker's office, Erik was fresh out of college, struggling to find God's call on his life. God knew I needed this particular man, but he wasn't ready to be married yet; so He kept working on Erik behind the scenes – and putting up with my tantrums when I didn't understand the incessant delays – until he was exactly the man I needed. How thankful I am God waited to bring my husband until he was mature and perfectly ready for me!
Hindsight is always 20/20, and with this new perspective, I'm learning to trust that God does know what's best for me and is always working behind the scenes, even when I don't see His movements.
If you feel like God's asleep below deck and unconcerned about the frustrating events in your life, take heart. Maybe He's just dreaming up something better than you ever could have imagined for yourself.
Monday, October 6, 2014
By: John L. M.
The starting point of all accomplishment is desire. Keep this in mind: feeble desires bring feeble results just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat. Be passionate about your life.
Deep desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents. Attitudes alter abilities. It's passion that persuades. Does the path you're traveling capture your heart? Learn to be comfortable with being enthusiastic.
Every time zeal and passion are discussed someone brings up balance. Balance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of balance are apathy and weakness. Being balanced is usually an excuse for being lukewarm. Indifference, lukewarmness, and neutrality are always attached to failure.
Enthusiasm can achieve in one day what it takes centuries to achieve by reason. Put a smile on what you do. When your enthusiasm increases, stress and fear in your life diminish.
Passion is powerful.