May 23, 2017 – Control
“I control my own destiny”. You’ve probably heard this said most of your life by many family members, strangers and co-workers. “I decide how my life is going to be”, is another famous saying among those who believe that they have control of their whole life, that they decide how and where they will live, how much money they will make, what they will own, how many children they have and so on.
While this is partially true, there are many things that can happen that can upset the plans of the most intelligent planner. Sudden illness, acts of nature, the sudden loss of a loved one, relationship issues, the loss of a job, depression, economic down turns and so many other factors can contribute to how these best laid plans come to fruition.
At one time I wanted to be a nurse, at another time I wanted to be a librarian, at another time I even thought about devoting my life to God and becoming a nun. None of these plans ever came to fruition. My parents didn’t teach me about people. They didn’t warm me about users and abusers. They didn’t warn me about drunkards, drug users, pimps, pushers, liars and cheats. There main conversations were mainly about me being out of the house when I was 18.
So, through running into the wrong kind of people, getting mixed up with the wrong crowd and naively believing that everyone was honest with me, I ended up in a 20 year abusive relationship that, on several occasions, nearly took my life. I’d like to get into specifics but that will eventually be a whole book, so I’ll let the specifics ride for awhile.
I never became the nurse or librarian. I never married the man of my dreams and had a whole bunch of kids but I finally did make it to college when I got away from my abuser. Now I know there are those who will wonder why I didn’t get away sooner, let it suffice to say that he made that impossible and if you haven’t walked a mile in my shoes, don’t judge.
One day I remembered to pray, and from that day forward I continued. When I look back I can clearly see the steps that were taken, the doors that were opened by God. He had seen my suffering, he had known from the start when and where I would become free. Since then, he has directed my steps down many paths and today I am thankful to know that he is still in control of my life.
Mathew 4:1“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
May 24, 2017 – Faith
Being faithful seems to be a very hard thing for us humans to do. How many friends and family members do you know who have cheated on their spouse, or had their spouse cheat on them? How many “Christian” acquaintances do you have who seem to only show faith to God on Sundays but the rest of the week they break almost all of the ten commandments, and the main commandment of Jesus “love others as you love yourself?
How many times have you, yourself lost your faith, doubted God because so many events happen to disrupt your peaceful life? Did you slip from faith when a prayer went unanswered? Did you lose some of your faith when someone you loved and cared for suddenly passed away?
Maybe so much happened in your life that you started questioning the very existence of God or you got angry with him because he didn’t take care of a situation the way you thought he should, or maybe he didn’t answer a prayer at all that you really wanted him to answer.
Being faithful is not always easy. We are pushed this way and that by the way society is today. We are encouraged to drink, to entice or be enticed sexually by others. We are encouraged to forget all of the morals and good habits we were raised with.
The news media promotes all the personal and less than healthy habits of all the famous people. Movie stars, musicians, politicians, teacher, preachers and even families considered to be among the rich and famous have their lives splattered all over the televisions networks and every news media outlet that exists.
Being faithful takes practice. You have to learn to ignore all the outside influences that may bar your way. You have to teach yourself to think in the positive even when the negative seems to drown it completely out. You have to believe, not just for a minute, not for a day, but for your entire life, and while you are teaching yourself to believe with all of your heart, you have to remind yourself to cling to your faith. Today I am thankful that the Lord helps me in so many ways to keep and build my faith in him.
2 Corinthians 5:6-7 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
May 25, 2017 – Strength
We all are weak at different times in our lives. Physically, mentally and spiritually weak. Life is so full of enticements, disease, peer pressure, and draining events that it is hard to always remain strong. Disease and illness zap us of our physical strength which in turns zaps us of our emotional strength and continues to zap us of our spiritual strength. We can often times become as weak as a new born kitten.
Life matters, life continues on, but when you are weak in any area, it is hard to continue with the daily physical, emotional, spiritual and mental functions that keep us safe, sane and happy. It has been medically proven that emotional distress can cause medical and physical ailments and most of us know that a continuing disease, illness or physical handicap can cause us emotional and spiritual problems.
Some people use meditation as a means to balance themselves during times of emotional stress and illness. Others turn to medications, alcohol and illicit drugs, and some look to the lord to draw their strength, praying continuously for his touch, for his healing, for his direction.
I much prefer the latter. I don’t do drugs, I don’t drink and don’t participate in “recreational drugs”. I meditate, but I don’t meditate on an object or a point of light, I meditate on God, you could actually say I pray more than meditate. I have conversations with him. I thank him. I point out all he has done for me and others I care about and yes, sometimes I question him. I draw all my strength from him.
I’ve had many people tell me how surprised they are at the emotional strength that I have. When others would crumble under some of the stress I occasionally am buried in, I stand strong, I hold on and I keep on going, for God has made me strong. Today I am thankful for the strength he gives me, the physical when it is needed and the emotional and spiritual strength that has become a part of my daily life.
Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.