spiritualsnippets.com

Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

What To Do In That Little Slice of Time Between the “Question” and the “Answer”

Romans 15:4- For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

 

We were among the thousands of people in airports this past week.

One of my favorite things about traveling is people watching. There are a lot of little jewels to be observed…and beyond the observations are often things to be learned.

In line at the ladies restroom, I overheard a grandmother as she prodded a toddler to hurry up and get in line; then, she encouraged him to be patient as he waited.

Isn’t that the way life seems to be sometimes?  Hurry up. Wait. Hurry up. Wait.

There are plenty of situations in which we must practice the art of patience. The dictionary definition of patience is:  “The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting upset or angry.” My definition is: being content while waiting. A Bible Study leader once linked patience to the Biblical concept of “resting.”

Resting…hum…not struggling against…but, instead, taking a deep breath and just allowing oneself to be in perfect harmony with the “in between.” That often annoying and sometimes unbearable slice of time between the question and the answer.

I think of laying my head back in a swimming pool and relaxing—simply floating. Not treading water—no, that requires expending effort to just stay afloat in the same spot…But, floating, with my eyes closed…letting the water support me…Can you just see it? Feel it? The sheer peacefulness of it?

After all these years of me asking my prayer partners to pray that I would learn patience, could it possibly be that God didn’t want for me to just “tread water”—He might have wanted to teach me to float?

To be supported by Him, His love, His Word, His promises?

Not struggling.

No expending energy.

Just simply resting

In Him.

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Giving Thanks for Future Blessings

Romans 8:28- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Occasionally, I find myself missing my days of teaching elementary school. This is especially true around Thanksgiving.

Each year, my little kindergarteners would choose to be Indians or Pilgrims, making Pilgrim hats or headbands with colorful feathers. They would use brown paper grocery bags to make Indian vests or black and white butcher paper for Pilgrim attire.

Mothers would come to school and help us prepare stew, cornbread, apple cider, and spice cake and/or cookies for our customary “feast.”

The faces of those little ones were so precious as each child stood and told the class what they were thankful for… their families…their homes.

I know several families who are currently suffering from health issues. I know one going through a divorce. I know one dealing with broken relationships with siblings; another saddened by the estrangement of adult children.

It’s easy to be thankful for blessings like wealth, wisdom, newborn babies, and good health. It’s quite another to be thankful for the trials in this life, isn’t it?

But, many of us know that it’s in the hard times that we learn to trust God…that our relationship with Him deepens as we depend on Him for the strength to get us through.

It’s possible, that years after a hurtful event, we are able to see the good result(s) God brings about because of our dire circumstances. In fact, there are times when we can look back on what we once viewed as tragedies and see that they were actually future blessings—in disguise.

Which brings me to this point: If we, as Christians, believe the truth of Romans 8:28, shouldn’t we be able to trust God now?

Even if we never see the future?

Even if He never answers our question, “Why?”

Because that is really what faith is, isn’t it?

According to Hebrews 11:1, “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

We may not be able to see what God is going to do with a tragic circumstance, now, but we can have faith that those “things not seen” will someday come to pass.

Thanking God for the blessings in our lives, today, and for those in the future,

Brenda

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Things They Are A Changin’

Numbers 23:19a- “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

I noticed a website selling white heels and matching purses last week. Don’t they know you’re not supposed to wear white after Labor Day?

I saw a commercial for mascara that “clumps”—on purpose! It seems my search for the perfect mascara is over!!!

Profanity is not always bleeped out, nowadays!

Girls with blond hair are dying their roots black!

Teenagers—even adults—frequently wear their underwear on the outside.

People are often seen wearing their pajamas in grocery stores and shopping malls…

Things are changing. Unwritten societal “rules” are being replaced at a rapid pace.

Is there no end to the changes possible in the future?

I can say without apology, that I liked things the way they used to be. Predictable. I could count on the fact that if I knew the rule, I’d be doing the correct thing.

We can be sure of some things, though. Like the fact that God never changes.

We can count on His Word, His truths, remaining the same throughout all eternity.

In this world of uncertainty, we can have the assurance that

He will not change course…

He will not change His mind…

He will not check out…

He will not abandon us…

He will not stop loving us…

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Flourish!

John 10:10b-“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Last month, I attended a Ladies Retreat. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with other women from my church.

Just like all other retreats I have been to, we had a theme that gave direction to each “session” and guided our worship time together.

Our theme:  FLOURISH: Grow! Thrive! Multiply!

The following thoughts are my interpretation of our speaker, Annie Kingrey’s, message to those who attended the retreat-

If we spend time in God’s Word, it will be of great comfort to us when trials come in our lives. We won’t be uprooted. In fact, we can thrive!

Said another way:  If we will stay in The Word during the in-between times (the lulls) we will put down deep roots. Then, when the storms of life come along, we won’t be uprooted. 

When we hear of the death of a loved one, when we receive an unfavorable diagnosis, when our job is in jeopardy, God’s Word will take us far beyond merely “coping” or “making it through.”

He says we can FLOURISH—amid the storm-tossed seas of life.

God isn’t just in the business of helping us get by. He wants to do far more than that.

This may be a radically new perspective for many of us, but God wants us to live a VICTORIOUS life…here…and NOW.

When the seas are calm.

When the tempest is churning all about us.

On the good days.

On the bad days.

EVERY day.

“It’s time for us to more than just survive. We were made to thrive!

(Words from our theme song, Thrive, Mark Hall and Matthew West, 2014). 

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He Defines Me

Galatians 2:20- “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Starry-eyed, she shows her engagement ring to her friend and says, “He completes me.”

Somewhere across town, he has a conversation about her. “She defines me.”

I’ve heard these phrases. Have you?

They sound profound, don’t they? Ah, true love speaks such things.

But, what do these phrases actually mean?

Maybe the person means that the other one compliments them…brings out something that was missing in their life…fills a void…is the last piece in the puzzle of their life… is their “Soul Mate”…that they need nothing more…

What about those who say, “I am a cancer survivor, I am a rape survivor.” Or, on another level, “I am a wrestler, basketball star, celebrity, opera singer…” and on and on.

Do these seemingly innocent statements say more about the person than they really intend? Or, do these things represent the reason they wake up each morning, their internal drive…to golf…to write music…to watch television?

Whatever they mean, exactly, I can only guess that the object of their affection is of upmost importance to that person. So much so, that their own self-identity is wrapped up in the other person, sport, hobby, profession, etc.

As Christians, we know that our identity is in Christ.

If we really believe that, He should be the reason we wake up every morning…He should be that internal drive that gives us purpose.

And, since He has promised never to leave us, we know that our identity will never change or wear out like a garment or won’t be eaten up by moths (Isaiah 50:9)

In life, there will be deaths, divorces, break-ups, and disappointments, but because Christ lives in us, we will always be redeemed…beloved…complete.

Because He defines us.

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