It probably seems like I’ve been MIA for a while. And sure, I have to agree with you. I have been missing from blogging and social media BUT to be fair, I have been communicating EVERY Monday with all of the subscribers of the Monday Manna Newsletter.
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Now, for your regularly scheduled blog =)
In Matthew 6:9-13 we find the Model Prayer that Jesus taught. Today, I want to share it with you in the Message version.
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
1 Peter 5:10 NKJV
Heartbreak, extreme debt, financial issues, loss of a loved one, loss period, bad health diagnoses, bodily harm, assaults, abuse are just a few of the things that happen in our lives that cause us to feel as though we are suffering. Pain, aching, excruciating moments whether mentally, spiritually, physically, or all three make it easy to look up and say, “God, why me? Why us? Why?”
While I believe that God doesn’t plan to harm us I do believe that He always has a plan to bring us back to a desired calm (Jeremiah 29:11). Whether it’s life’s choices (of self or others) that have brought you to this place of suffering or life challenges that you can’t explain, God has made us a promise…That after we suffer a little while He will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us. We serve a God that can take anything and flip it so it works for the good of all. The word says, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV
You child of God are purposed, God knows you love Him, and He will turn this suffering into something that will
casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 NKJV
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7 NLT
If I could be honest, the last 16 hours of my life have been far less than stellar. Almost debilitating. It’s in moments like these that we must come to the throne room of our Heavenly Father and lay bare…naked before Him.
Our key Scripture for the day is one of my favorites. A couple of years ago I started using an activity called Cast Your Cares. Before starting our study we would write down everything bothering us, put it in an envelope, and cast them to Jesus so that we could properly receive Him that evening.
This activity is something that I have to constantly employ in my own life. Early this morning it was nothing different. I woke up from my very short sleep, short of breath because of the weight of my cares, teary eyed with the reality of life fighting against my faith, and just purely exhausted.
I pulled myself from bed and into a position to give my heart’s cries to my Father, the lover of my soul, my protector, my redeemer. I just so happened to write them out to Him because I couldn’t formulate the words any other way. This honesty with Him was something that had been lacking the last week as I tried to handle things myself and deal with these weights alone. As a result the words on my paper surprised me. The way I was feeling surprised me. The pain
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 NKJV
Summer rain is not an expected occurrence in Southern California and sometimes it leaves people walking down the street drenched in flip-flops and tank tops. Some people allow for the rain to keep them from their plans for the day while others continue on as if nothing changed. What kind of person are you?
When it rains in your life do you stop everything you are doing in order to find shelter in one place or do you go about your business and make sure that you take your umbrella with you?
This morning I was driving down the 405 freeway and at one point on my short trip it started sprinkling fairly heavy. I chuckled at the weather’s complete disregard for my outfit choice but when I got to my destination the sun was breaking through the clouds and there was definitely no rain. Score!
This reminded me it can be raining with trials and storms in some areas of our life but there are other parts of our life that definitely have clear skies. It's super easy to get caught up in what's going wrong and not focus on the things that are going right, regardless of how small those things going right may seem. We shut up in a building somewhere as to not get hit by the drops and we begin to neglect the other parts of our lives. As we isolate ourselves into the box of “oh no life is raining on me” we fail to tend to the parts of our lives that are working. We give up on other hopes and dreams in the moment. We begin to neglect the working friendships and partnerships. We lose consistency in ministry and in our workload. And then we are surprised when those things start falling apart too.
We have to be the kind of people that can keep moving even when it starts raining unexpectedly. That we keep pressing regardless because we know that Jesus can and will work it out. If we continue to praise God for the things that He is doing in our lives and we continue to focus on the positive it makes those rainy patches in our lives seem just a little bit smaller and easier to cope with.
Having balanced insight as to what's going on in your life will help you to deal with every situation you're facing whether it's something that may appear negative or if it's something that’s positive. Either way don't give up and make sure to look on the bright side! Everything is not going wrong! There is something always working in your favor even if you don't see it, understand that God is always working for your favor! Make sure you arm yourself with your umbrella (God and all He represents) and keep walking yourself right into the place where the sun/Son breaks through the clouds =)
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 NKJV
Look, the reality is that we know why we are living this Christian lifestyle. Eternity is the goal. You know, spending the rest of our spiritual life with our Creator in Heaven. It's the main goal and purpose we have in life: Get to heaven and take the homies with us.
The problem often comes when the pressures of life hit. Schedules are crazy at home, work, church, the kids school, your school, everywhere else. Trials and tribulations can be straight up disrespectful at times and relationships seem to fall to pieces more often than we would like. It is hard to keep an eternal perspective all the time like Romans 8:18 talks about. It's hard to remember that at some point all of this will be over and we will live gloriously with constant rest, peace, strength, and joy. And when we forget sometimes we don’t work very well. Not with self, others, or our God.
Yesterday I talked about us sitting still so that we can hear God. Well, sometimes it's awesome to sit still and see where God is giving you space to enjoy this life. Sure ministry can be fun, work can be rewarding, your children can be wonderful joys, but sometimes all those things can be overwhelming. There is a need for a balance. The writer of the text tells us that being able to eat, drink, and enjoy the good of our labor is a gift from God. Now of course we don't want to go totally of base and fall back into the traps and addictions of times past but we do want to take the time to enjoy life.
If you haven't had fun in a while take some time to pray and ask God to blindside you with the absolute best day of your life! Then let Him work it out. If someone you have a healthy relationship with invites you somewhere, go. If you have a chance to try something new, try it. If you have a day you can take off from all work DO IT.
Burn out and compassion fatigue are for the birds and we don’t have time for it. Enjoy life so that an enjoyable you shows up for work, school, family, church, and life for the remainder of the week!
God bless! Receive your gift!
So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:15 NLT
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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