Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Remember Erma and Forrest Gump? Life is full of Pits

Sometimes I laugh when things so crazy happen in our life, such as tonight as I presented my husband with a beautiful piece of Key Lime Pie right before I dumped the remaining pie upside down in the floor! He was delighted it was right AFTER he had received his slice of pie.

Erma Brombeck was a wonderful author that put life into perspective in her book "Life is a bowl of Cherries and I live in the Pit." Sometime I am in total agreement with her, because it seems no matter how careful we can be, the pie gets dumped or something goes wrong.

Right after I thought of Erma's book, I thought about Forrest Gump (my mind bounces often) and what his mother always said, " Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get."

It made me think about all the choices we have in life, just like in a box of chocolates, we never know what we are going to get, or how it will turn out, until we bite into it. We make a choice and then we must eat it or spit it out. Just like life itself, it could be that gooey cherry filling, which I think is awful and must get it out of my mouth. If we look closely at the candy, we may make a wise choice and get one with a wonderful, crunchy nut filling. Oh my, how sweet it is!

Sometimes we make a choice and it is not the best and we must stop, before it is too late and get it out of our life. But here is where I think we mess up, for several reasons. 

In Romans 7:15-20 Paul said it best:

15 For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. 19 For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me.

Sin can be so relevant in our lives, we no longer care, or not disciplined (in Christ) enough, to hold on to what is right. Often times we allow ourselves to be deceived by Satan to make the sin enjoyable enough that we make excuses to ourselves. When I get ahead of God and try to make my own decisions, I usually mess up big time. There are many reasons we cause our own lives to be disruptive, but not focusing, praying and waiting on God is probably at the top of the list. We must always pray and ask forgiveness, even when we know He already has forgiven us. 

God the Father loved us so much, He sent His own Son to die for us and our sins. This is where we decide about sin. Do we realize we have so many choices everyday in life? What if before we opened the box of candy, taking the plastic paper off and opening the lid, that we decided to only eat the good chocolates? Then we could toss the box and the bad candy in the trash and never look back...could you do it? That is the way should be everyday with our choices. We should wake up and decide right then to focus more on Jesus and make good decisions for the day. We should never wait until the choice is before us, Satan is a professional tempter! 

Bottom line here, don't be like Forrest's mother, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get." I am telling you that you can know. You can live the life God has planned for you. Make wise choices in life by starting you day with Him and the Bible. Don't live in a pit, for Satan will be there! 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Has God Messed Up?

When we look into the Bible, we see several instances where things happened and we wonder why God didn't 'fix' it. 

We look at our own lives sometimes with illnesses, finances, death, divorce and many other troubles we go through, and wonder why God hasn't 'fixed' it. It sometimes makes me wonder, "Has God messed up?" I know He hears and answers prayers. 

1 John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us."
  • When God put Jacob's hip out of joint and left him with a permanent, painful limp 
  • When Jesus caused a minor panic among the disciples by telling them to feed a hungry crowd . . .
  • When three times the Lord refused Paul's request for healing....

When reading in the bible, I have often wondered why things happened the way they did, I see no immediate benefit. 

For instance, there are things we have read where we are not sure 
exactly what happened or specific details of 'the rest of the story' as Paul Harvey would say.

Was it to keep Jacob in pain, so that as he walked he would praise God? I don't think that was why he had a limp.  

Was He trying to pull a trick or embarrass the disciples in front of the crowd? I do not think that was it at all.

Did he not hear Paul's request the first time, so he had to ask over and over? No, I am sure He heard Paul, loud and clear. 
However, we often have things happen in our lives and wonder, "What is going on here? Is God not seeing this? My world has just turned upside down!" 
First, let me assure you there is nothing that surprises God. He knows what is coming into our lives, He is aware of the troubles we are going through and He walks with us through them. 

Sometimes we come out humbled, like Jacob, and continue in life with scars (or limps) to remind  us of those troubled times. 

Maybe we see God perform a miracle in the middle of our panic, like He did with the disciples and the fish and bread, and we can praise and give Him glory immediately. 

He hears our repeated prayers and requests, but His timing for answers is not always our timing. 

Some answered prayers may not be completed until after we are gone from this earthly life. 
In any event in our life, God never messed up. He knows right where you are, hurting in pain, hungry for answers, or pleading with Him over and over.
Luke 12:28 "But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O  men of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. 30 For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well. 32 Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom it is not hid from you."
God 'fixed' us completely when He forgave us and we received Him as our Lord and Savior. We need not worry about anything else, period. 

We should focus on Him and serving Him. If we do that, start everyday focusing on Him, He will take care of any needs we have that really matter. We should allow His priorities to become our priorities. 
We may mess up our priorities, but thank goodness, our God never messes up!!