Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving is a state of mind . . .

It's been an interesting kaleidoscope of a week for me.  For those who know me, you know that dates are pretty important to me.  I count forward and backward quite a bit:  "This time last year, I was . . . "   For that reason, while I have been completely enjoying my present, as sun sets and the kids are asleep and the house becomes quiet, the old "date-counter" kicks in and I start to think about where I've been.

Four years ago . . . I was expecting a baby, I knew that something was desperately wrong in my home, and I had no idea what the future might hold.  I spent lots of time in prayer, trying in a true Rapunzel-like fashion, to weave fear and worry into faith.

Three years ago . . . I was a single mother, working really hard to bring up my two children and help them enjoy the holiday.  I was one month cancer-free and celebrating the fact that God had brought healing into my life. 

Two years ago . . . I was settling into a new life, thinking that God had come in and sealed my future.  At the same time, I felt some "cracks" around the edges and was wondering why my miracle felt a little less than perfect.  Back to the Rapunzel-like spinning . . .

Today . . . I am celebrating where I am.  I am a confident mother of two gorgeous, exceptional children who make my life beautiful and full.  While I don't know the details of the future God has planned, I KNOW that He has a definite, complete plan for my life, and I am walking confidently toward it, focusing on Him.  (The spinning finally worked.)

Over the past four years, I've taken a journey of Thanksgiving.  I've learned to life the truth of the verse:  In whatsoever state you are, be therefore content, for this is the will of God concerning your life.  Things aren't perfect.  They aren't even easy.  But I'm not alone - He's with me!  And I am thankful that He is holding my hand. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait . . .

So much of my life has been about waiting - seems like I attend everyone else's life -events while patiently (and okay, sometimes not so patiently) waiting for my own.  Waiting is tiresome.  It is wearying.  It will wear you down.  And it is so much a part of what we must do as Christians.  

The Bible has a long track record of people waiting.  Matter of fact, it seems to be a requirement for anyone who wants to serve Him.  First instruction:  Leave where you're comfortable.  Second instruction:  Go where you aren't comfortable.  Third instruction:  Obey.  Fourth instruction:  Wait.  A lot.  Why all the waiting?  What purpose could there possibly by?  Why not just go ahead and move forward?

This morning, I was reading in James and came across this verse:

 Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord, Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. - James 5:7

Living for God IS like a race, but it's also a lot like growing precious fruit.  It takes time.  So often, what we want we aren't quite ready for.  What we need we wouldn't accept if it were presented to us . . . yet.  We see the early rain, and we jump - "Finally, this is the CHANCE!"  Instead of jumping, we should be waiting - for that latter rain.  It's not just the first blush of excitement and hope.  It's the promise of the fulfillment of something more:  latter rain.

While I know the overall verse is talking about the ultimate return of Christ, I think it applies to our lives and everyday situations as well:  whatever our current situation, we must "wait for the coming of the Lord."  Attempting to modify, change, fix, or otherwise alter our position without His guidance and help will result in abysmal failure.  We MUST learn to WAIT on Him. 

So, like the husbandman, we wait, we pray for the rain of His presence to wash over us, we endure until the time that he comes through.   Waiting isn't just part of living for the Lord, it is part of growing and maturing into the person He wants us to become.   So, learn the lesson so you won't have to keep repeating the class:  wait with joy.