I recently finished reading the book, Anything, by Jennie Allen. As I read the book, I wondered...how is it possible for her to know me so well? Since, we've obviously never met. What I realized was that if I believe that the words I write are inspired by God and believe that when she writes, her words are also inspired, then it's not Jennie Allen that knows me so well. It is God.
He is the one who knows exactly what I need to read and hear at any given moment. Because of that truth, I can be confident that the message in Anythingis for me. Especially since it goes along with so many of the other messages I've been hearing and reading lately...
give me everything,
I will take you beyond your dreams
If I am willing to pray anything, Lord, anything, I believe great things will happen. If I let him write my story, instead of trying to take the lead, my life will be extraordinary. And, it will glorify him.
I have said yes to a new project. I have sought opportunities to speak and write outside of this space. I have followed the urging of the spirit and pursued friendships, encouraged and invited. But, anything means everything and some days I'm not sure I can do that. As much as I want to.
I think I will try it for one day and then another. Maybe with each small step, my life will gradually become more of what he wants it to be. It seems to be working so far.
Although I've been a christian for over 30 years, I feel as if I'm just beginning to understand what it means to live for Jesus. Prior to this journey, which God started me on two years ago, I was mostly neutral, medium, status quo. I knew Jesus, but was not always passionate about him. I was familiar with God and the Bible and church and they were a part of my life, but I had not lived for them.
I was generally a mediocre christian, with moments of spark and moderate intensity. I wasn't all in, especially when life was hard. When things got tough, I wanted to quit or strive to create my own alternate story, without stopping to ask God what he wanted.
Hebrews 12:12 says, "So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees." (emphasis added)
Even when we are or have been weary or feeble, God urges us to start again. To push on into victory, so we can experience true freedom.
Disappointment is not an end, but an opportunity for a divine appointment.
One disappointment, or even more than one, does not mean that all the good works
God ordained for you long before you were born are now impossible, ended, defeated.
There are still many ahead of you, beyond the disappointment.
Today is your sixth birthday! It is also Easter. I was worried that you would not like sharing your special day, but you couldn't be more excited about it.
I can't begin to express how proud I am of you. You have accomplished so much this year and have been brave through it all. I am so happy that you have found a best friend and love seeing you enjoy kindergarten so much. Even though life is still unpredictable for you, you are learning how to handle the twists and turns.
This year, my prayer is that I can let you go just a little more. I know that I have a tendency to protect you more than I should. I worry that you will be too scared or uncomfortable and it is hard for me to see you feeling that way. But, I am learning to trust God, knowing that He is with you always, even when I can't be. And, that He loves you even more than I do.
Even though, I know you have so much more growing to do, I can't help but look back at how much you've grown and wonder how you got to be such a big boy. Most days you take life seriously and are eager to learn as much as you can. But, you are also becoming more comfortable with being silly, which makes me smile. Unless, of course, you are talking about gas and boogers, which just makes me say, "EWWW!"
I just began reading Jen Hatmaker's book, Interrupted. Although I'm not sure what kind of passion God is raising up in me yet - maybe it's the thing I already wrote about or something completely different. However, as a result of Jen's honesty and inspiration to move beyond our own walls - figuratively and literally - I know I must do something.
How can I do nothing?
This book tells the story of social injustice and our responsibility to do something - anything - about it. It started with a prayer, which began a journey of discovery and led to action.
After Jen describes some of the reasons why we choose to ignore the poor and oppressed - fear of disappointment or betrayal, frustration, and possible misuse of resources - she says this...
"When Jesus' followers asked him what to do about the weeds in the harvest field, He said to treat them the the same as the wheat...I assure you, for every weed who will take advantage of your mercy, there are fifty stalks of wheat who will shed tears of gratitude for it. There was one Judas, but eleven disciples who were forever transformed by Jesus' broken body. The risk of encountering a few weeds is not sufficient reason to avoid the whole field of human suffering." (p.58)
What did this make me think of? My nine year old daughter who wants to give blankets to the homeless in the winter. Why? Because it's cold and they don't have blankets. Nothing more. Nothing less. She wants to meet a need and doesn't have any fear about when or how the blankets will be used. She doesn't even consider that this won't be appreciated.
Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children,
you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
I know we say that life is complicated. But, maybe we're the ones that make it that way. We over analyze. Over think. Even Jesus expressed the importance of exhibiting childlike faith.