Yikes! It’s time to make a change: How to find the strength you need

Feet overlooking waterHave you ever known that there is a change that you need to make in your life but you have absolutely NO desire to execute that change? Have you ever wrestled with the impossibility that you will be able to follow through or be successful in making the change you know is needed? Maybe you know that you need to start an exercise regime, but you’re completely overwhelmed by the prospect of all that is involved with getting to the gym, going out for a run or walk on a regular basis or of sticking out the commitment to be physically fit.  Or maybe there is a habit that you know-that-you-know you need to quit but the thought of living without “…” is daunting and totally unappealing.  You hate the habit but you NEED the thing you’re attached to, and it makes you almost panicky to think of life without it. Or maybe you want to add healthy choices into your life like better ways of eating, being a more connected friend or serving in your community, but the thoughts of what the cost will be and everything in your life that will have to adjust in order to make room for this new lifestyle is keeping your feet in the blocks.

If any of these life challenge screen shots describes you, I GET IT!! I have been there in each and every one of those tight squeeze places where who I am and who I know I am supposed to be are as far apart as the edges of the Grand Canyon.  But I have a word of encouragement for each of us.  The good news is that God knows that we cannot traverse that chasm in our own strength.  He sets the vision for the next place that He wants to take us and He is fully prepared to get us there.  The problem is that since we’re locked in these things called “Time” and “Space”, we get freaked out when the change doesn’t happen overnight.  We would prefer that the moment the revelation hits that we should start to exercise, cut out sugar, stop cussing, turn our gossiping and critical mouth into a thankful and praising mouth, or start being faithful in reading the Bible and prayer, that the desire and the ability to execute would also be there.

But it doesn’t work that way. Unfortunately, I have found that the Preview of Coming Attractions comes way before either the desire or the ability.  And even once the desire comes, it can be quite a while before the strategy or the ability come as well.  And that can cause a lot of frustration (What is wrong with me? Why do I still fall short in this area? Why can’t I quit “…”? Why can’t I start “…”? and so on).  But from this frustration is born the moment of choice that God needs from us. He will never shove His will down our throats.  He simply pulls back the curtain and lets us see the better way but at the end of the day, it will always be our choice whether we want to go down the path that will bring life and freedom or remain in the place where we are.

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The Voting Booth: Our heart reveals who and what we place our trust in

voting-booth

One month ago, I entered a voting booth and closed the curtain behind me to cast my vote for the next president of our country.  I took my pen, found the name I was looking for and colored in a little circle.  My single vote was cast in the privacy of that booth. As I placed my ballot face down in the ballot counting machine, I trusted that my choice would be recorded.

Our heart is like that voting booth: Every day, we have choices about what we believe and who we put our trust in.  Back in the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve a choice.  He put a tree in the garden that was forbidden. Some may ask, “Why would God put that tree there if He knew that Adam and Eve’s free will would cause Humanity’s train wreck?”

The answer is simple: Without choice, there is no relationship.  If my husband was hardwired to love me and do everything I wanted and needed like a robot, I wouldn’t feel loved and cherished. (I can hear some women saying, Are you kidding?? That sounds amazing!)  My husband loves me and serves me out of his free will and because he chooses to, I am deeply blessed by his love.  He could choose to put himself first.  He could choose to put his needs first.  He could choose to put his ambitions and hobbies first.  But he consistently shows me by his words and actions that he puts me first, to the best of his ability.  And as a result, I feel deeply loved and cherished. Why would God the Father be any different? He doesn’t want robots; He wants children. So there must always be a choice – a vote.

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Words in Red: John 6:35 – Spread too thin and not enough time

Words in Red are excerpts from my journal as I have been taking the words of Jesus and letting them speak directly to my own heart.

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John 6:35: “I am the Bread of Life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry; and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

I once heard someone say that we’re all as full of God as we want to be.  Jesus, You are the Bread of Life – the food my soul craves – and I can partake of your nourishing, life-giving Presence any time I want.  You are the pure water that refreshes my parched soul that dries out so quickly in the pressure and activity of this life.

Lord, You have made a way for all to enter into Your rest – that rest which is elusive to us any other way but through You.  Every other attempt to nourish and hydrate our souls is a cheap substitute that doesn’t bring true life.

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