Love Conquers Hate

 

I heard the news about White Supremist’s group gathering in America in Charlottesville, VA  and the tragedy of a person’s reaction to those standing against the ideology of white supremism.

 

This is a quote from Reclaim Our Republic blog on WordPress.com at the address:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/693245/posts/1559598312 : “Some have suggested that the violent atmosphere and lack of police presence was a factor in the decision and ability of 20 year old white supremacist James Alex Fields to drive his 2010 Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32 year old paralegal Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.”

 

Some time ago, then-President Obama said that America is not a Christian nation any longer. Our country has never been perfect even when considered a Christian nation, but it is becoming increasingly worse since many are trying out new philosophies.

 

The New Testament of the Bible in 1 John 4, (GNB), says this,

“1John 4:7  Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God.

1Jn 4:8  Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1Jn 4:9  And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.

1Jn 4:10  This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.

1Jn 4:11  Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another.

1Jn 4:12  No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us.

1Jn 4:13  We are sure that we live in union with God and that he lives in union with us, because he has given us his Spirit.

1Jn 4:14  And we have seen and tell others that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

1Jn 4:15  If we declare that Jesus is the Son of God, we live in union with God and God lives in union with us.

1Jn 4:16  And we ourselves know and believe the love which God has for us. God is love, and those who live in love live in union with God and God lives in union with them.

1Jn 4:17  Love is made perfect in us in order that we may have courage on the Judgment Day; and we will have it because our life in this world is the same as Christ’s.

1Jn 4:18  There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.

1Jn 4:19  We love because God first loved us.

1Jn 4:20  If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen.

1Jn 4:21  The command that Christ has given us is this: whoever loves God must love others also.

 

There is no racism in God’s kingdom. God made every person in the image and likeness of God. See the beginning of the book of Genesis.

 

Also, God is no respecter of persons, it says in 1 Peter 1:17.

 

Here are verses with 1 Peter 1:17 included, in the CEV version of the Bible, a little easier form of writing to understand:

 

1Pe 1:13  Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how kind God will be to you when Jesus Christ appears.

1Pe 1:14  Behave like obedient children. Don’t let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be.

1Pe 1:15  Always live as God’s holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy.

1Pe 1:16  That’s why the Scriptures say, “I am the holy God, and you must be holy too.”

1Pe 1:17  You say that God is your Father, but God doesn’t have favorites! He judges all people by what they do. So you must honor God while you live as strangers here on earth.

1Pe 1:18  You were rescued from the useless way of life that you learned from your ancestors. But you know that you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don’t last forever.

1Pe 1:19  You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb.

1Pe 1:20  Christ was chosen even before the world was created, but because of you, he did not come until these last days.

1Pe 1:21  And when he did come, it was to lead you to have faith in God, who raised him from death and honored him in a glorious way. That’s why you have put your faith and hope in God.

 

God loves variety. He may have created different skin tones and types of hair that differ from one group of people to the next, but nowhere does it show that one race is superior or inferior to another. I’ve blogged about George Washington Carver. He sought God about knowing things in the universe and supposedly God said it was too big for any human to comprehend. So God chose to answer Mr. Carver with lots of information about the peanut. I’ve heard it said that God tells us in His Word that he gives people witty inventions. Professor George Washington Carver came up with a multitude of uses for the peanut–some in food products, many for businesses, with paint thinner as one example.

 

Neo-Nazis, KKK members, all who say they are Christians had better read their Bible. God is against hatred and Jesus said in John 10:10, (KJV):   The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 

God, please help our country to be unified by love and kindness and graciousness towards each other, I pray in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Practicing Good

Gal 6:9, (ISV):  Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.

Gal 6:10  So then, whenever we have the opportunity, let’s practice doing good to everyone, especially to the family of faith.

These Bible verses came up in our Ladies’ Bible Study at church today. Then I got treated by a Christian friend to high tea in a small city in the Southern Tier. They’ve been open about a year and a half our waitress told us. They had beautiful artwork on the walls. Muted colors for the tablecloths caused the pink and blue flower-patterned china setting to sparkle in contrast.

I really like tea and I’ve heard about Darjeeling a lot lately so I ordered the never ending teapot of the Darjeeling Autumnal variety.

We decided we liked the chai tea the best. I ordered ginger orange second and my friend ordered a white tea whose name escapes me. It’s picked when one leaf and one bud open and is preserved for the customer’s use. She said the flavor was light and delightful.

We chatted over the various courses. It was a bit of a drive. There were three courses altogether and a lemon sorbet to cleanse our palate before the sandwiches and sweets arrived at the end.

I got home four hours after we left. My husband asked, “What can you possibly find to talk about for four hours?”

I told him we didn’t talk the whole time. We spoke to the waitress and the owner. I got to view some art and hear the history of the young girl in one of the paintings.

Somewhere between 1850 and 1910 at age 16 she got shipped off to marry a 47 year old man. She looks grumpy in the picture and the owner said, “Who can blame her?”

My friend and I talked about the Bible, politics, pets, fashion and available stores, shoes, nutrition, exercise, computers, Wonder Woman and other stuff. It doesn’t take long to fill the hours with good conversation when there’s listening and thoughtful responses.

I have another friend I drive 20 minutes to see and we spend hours, too. The times are spread out, but so far we’ve never run out of things to talk about.

I appreciated the high tea today because my schedule is about to become more structured and I don’t want to sabotage it once I begin.

When company comes to visit this summer, I’ve warned the groups that I host that someone else will have to lead. They’re very accommodating.

The second treat of the day, two mourning doves near our front door.

 (photo found on http://animals.mom.me/care-baby-mourning-dove-6968.html and tagged Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

 

The second one didn’t fly away immediately. After some time my husband drew closer, calling softly and then the young bird flew to avoid the perceived danger. Such beautiful creatures, I love their gentle cooing and their exquisite coloring. The little one blended into the bushes and the dirt with its camouflaging feathers.

How kind our God is to disguise animals to protect them from predators. I lost the little fellow for a few moments before he took to the air.

May God bless you.

Rich or Poor

The other day I spoke to the volunteer at the local Historical Society and the subject of wealth came up. Many of our town’s philanthropists over a century ago made lots of money through banking or through medical practices and businesses.

I could be wrong, but I got the impression that the man didn’t think highly of those who accumulated significant wealth. This is the second time in my many years here that I have run into people with good retirement incomes, enough that they can go on cruises or take other vacation trips, yet they seem to disdain the acquisition of lots of money.

I pointed out to the man that these rich folks built hospitals,  the library, homes for orphans, invited government institutions to settle here, which provided jobs for the inhabitants, supported churches, and gave land and hired landscapers to fashion parks for everyone to enjoy, etc.

As I read through the book of Luke today, I came across Jesus telling the story of the rich young ruler. It can be found in Luke 18:18-27, Matthew 19: 16-26 and again in Mark 10: 17-27.

My husband told us this past Sunday that the reason there is more than one telling of the same story is because each individual has their own perspective. They’re all seeing the same thing from different angles and all is true.

When I read in Matthew about the rich young ruler asking Jesus what good deed should he do to inherit eternal life, He told the man to keep the commandments. The young man said he’d kept them since his youth. Then Jesus said if you wish to be perfect then go and sell your possessions, give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me.

The young man went away sorrowing because he owned many things. I’ve heard it preached that if he had given all his money to the poor, the Lord would have blessed him with even more earthly possessions, but I don’t see that here. What I see here is a young man being allowed to follow God the Son, to learn from Him and to experience first-hand the love of God. What a privilege he walked away from. Jesus didn’t say he wouldn’t go to heaven, He tells the disciples that it’s difficult for a rich man to get to heaven, but nothing is impossible with God.

In Matthew 6:24 of the Word of God Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters. Either we will hate one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. Man cannot serve God and mammon (money).

If a believer becomes rich, it would behoove that person to hold on to the money very loosely and to be willing to let God direct the wealth. Even King Solomon with all his wisdom used riches for selfish reasons and to placate his wives. He built their gods buildings to be worshiped in and began to follow those gods and incurred the wrath of God.

I think God wants us to be good stewards of whatever He gives us to use. If we consider money as a tool, then we’re not in danger of letting material goods become an idol. Money is not to be greedily sought after or abhorred. It’s necessary at times in life to have resources. God is our provider, that’s the thing to remember. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto us.

May God bless you and watch over you.

Keeping One’s Peace

Lately, I’ve determined to stay quiet, as much as possible, and listen to others sometimes. Today, I spent some time with the Lord and I thought he said to listen to a friend when I saw her in the afternoon. She didn’t show up to walk and I missed her text message saying she wouldn’t be able to walk and when she did arrive so we could go to our reward for organizing our homes, she had words of wisdom that blessed me.

When she didn’t show up I began to wonder if I really heard from the Lord. Yet, as she spoke about feeling resistance from the enemy of our souls and to her that was proof that these changes we’re making must be close to being accomplished, I felt a whoosh of joy almost like a whoosh of air but inside of me!

Thank you, Jesus.

I have been going to the two doctors that I usually go to when I’m wondering if something is up with my body. The last time I went she suggested I have a scan at the hospital so she’ll know if I need medicine. She’s young enough to be my daughter. Usually we talk about my writing or some other subject for a little bit. Not this last time. I’m telling her I don’t want medicine and she’s telling me the risks of not taking the medicine and of course, she tells me it’s my choice. If I don’t, I may just DIE! A horrible death, I’m sure, so I meekly say, okay, I’ll take the test. Okay, I’ll stay on the medicine. Brother.

Now that I’ve had the test, I think I’ll exercise more and eat a little bit better. I had two kinds of soup today, one our leftovers, the other at a friend’s home. We did not walk either – this is another friend – because of the rain. Healthy soup should help, shouldn’t it? I believe food makes a difference in people’s health. I told that to the dermatologist last week. He doesn’t think so. If I ate blueberries and apples and broccoli and red cabbage every day, I think my dermatologist would see me less often. When I juiced carrots two-three times a week and drank carrot juice every morning, my eyes improved – small cataracts disappeared.

I thank God for doctors, I really do, but I don’t think they spend enough time on the benefits of good nutrition in their studies, from what I’ve heard over the years. God made our bodies with healing properties inside us, but if we sabotage them with unhealthy foods and drugs and excess alcohol and bad habits they will age more rapidly and get sick.

One day we will all die and we can impact that date and the quality of our lives to some degree. God talks about us disappearing like the lilies of the field and that we should live our lives to the fullest while we have the opportunity to do so. Unlike the devil and people that live for themselves and Satan, God wants us to do good to orphans and to widows and to the poor.

Jesus spoke here:

Luke 14:12, (ESV):  He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.

Luk 14:13  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,

Luk 14:14  and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

John 14 talks about eternity and our heavenly home, but the verses near the end of chapter 14 are of Jesus teaching His disciples about love and obedience and of His mission to return to the Father for our benefit:

Joh 14:24  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

Joh 14:25  “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.

Joh 14:26  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Joh 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Joh 14:28  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

Joh 14:29  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.

Joh 14:30  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,

Joh 14:31  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

 

My prayer for all of us is to reside in God’s peace. He stands ready to help us and to encourage us and to strengthen us no matter what comes our way if we will call on Him and then wait patiently for Him to show Himself strong for our defense.

I’m also learning to “hold my peace,” as my parents used to say back in the day. “Keep quiet.” Holding onto my words as one of six children surely gave them a measure of peace and quiet. 🙂

God bless!

Glorious God

Sometimes, not often enough, I get caught up in the wonder, the beauty of God. Today was such a day. I gathered with many Christian women to meet old friends and to make new friends and to sing to our glorious God.

I listened to a speaker as she shared her dreams that she had handed over to God and then released them and forgot about them and found many years later that He did not forget. As a human being and as a writer, I needed to hear her message today. I can hold on to my dreams and rest in the arms of the Great “I Am,” as He called Himself for Moses’ benefit in Exodus 3:14.

He gave her the desires of her heart twenty years after she first expected to see them come to pass. Ten years after she decided it wasn’t for her; she must have misunderstood God’s plan for her life. Then God seemed to say, “Now that you’re forty years old, I’m going to give you a baby from your innermost being.”

She and her husband adopted three children over the span of ten years and they were perfectly content. Yet, the tiny germ of desire for a child with their DNA which laid dormant inside uncoiled as the seemingly impossible occurred. She, the one doctor’s called “highly improbable” to ever have children, twenty years after her wedding, finally got pregnant. She now has a three month old baby and I can’t tell you her name because I didn’t take the time to get the information from the brochures that came my way.

Some people, not having read the Bible, might not understand why God doesn’t give us our way or respond to prayers in our timing. She sounds like an incredible, normal mom. I’m sure she would have loved her baby if she’d had him at age 21 or 22. When she first showed pictures of her children spaced apart, we didn’t know she had adopted those kids. She said in her heart, they feel no different to her than the one she gave birth to. Yet, I think the very fact that she calls this little baby a miracle begs the point that she probably will appreciate him and the other three children more than a mom that didn’t agonize over ever having the opportunity to hear the cries and laughter of children for ten long years.

That’s my opinion, anyway, for all that it’s worth.

This mom and her husband, from the sounds of it, are in total agreement that it is worth praising God and learning more about Him through the trials and the sunshiny days. She exhorted us to go about our business in life and in the faith while waiting for our answers to prayer.

So many people don’t understand how beautiful and loving and kind and just and merciful our God is because they haven’t had the opportunity to read the Bible or people in authority disdained God or withheld permission from their children to search for God.

It’s too bad, really. As it says in 1John_4:16, (ESV): So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

God is love and love is beautiful. God is worthy of our praises for so many reasons.

May God bless you.

Did He Consider the Consequences?

When I read 2 Samuel 23 today I wished I knew President Trump well enough to have him read the following verses: 2Sa 23:1, (ERV):  These are the last words of David: “This message is from David son of Jesse. This message is from the man God made great. He is the king chosen by the God of Jacob, the sweet singer of Israel.

2Sa 23:2  The LORD’S Spirit spoke through me. His word was on my tongue.

2Sa 23:3  The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me, ‘Whoever rules people fairly, who rules with respect for God,

2Sa 23:4  is like the morning light at dawn, like a morning without clouds. He is like sunshine after a rain that makes tender grass grow from the ground.’

Anyway, then I read to the end of the chapter. David recounts his chief men and tells of their exploits. At the end of the list of thirty-seven heroes that fought valiantly for David and their country, I read Uriah the Hittites’ name.

Now whether Bathsheba bathed on her roof hoping to be seen is not clear in the Scriptures. It does say in 2 Samuel 11:2 that David got up from his bed, went up on the roof and then saw a beautiful woman bathing. Perhaps it was hot and very late, so she thought no one would be out and about to view her at home.

When David asked one of his officers who she was, the man told David her name and the name of her husband. Then he sent messengers to her to come to him. When the most powerful man in the country summons a person, that person goes to see him. If she hadn’t, what would have happened to her and/or to her husband?

David was known for being a godly man. He stayed home from war that Spring. Perhaps he was in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Maybe he felt lonely and was at odds with his wives. Possibly the tempter kept at him and when the enemy of his soul realized he was vulnerable, the evil one set a trap and David fell victim to his desires. He chose to sleep with another man’s wife. He chose to try and cover up his sin and it didn’t work. Then, he chose another sin. He asked his captain to set Uriah in the most dangerous location for a soldier and in doing so, other valiant soldiers died along with him so Uriah’s death didn’t stand out as a plotted event.

Do you ever think God isn’t watching what you’re doing with your life? Somehow, David got so involved in all this, that I think he actually forgot that God knew the intents of David’s heart and that God watched him acting on those intents.

2Sa 11:26  Bathsheba heard that her husband Uriah had died, so she mourned for him.

2Sa 11:27  After her time of sadness, David sent servants to bring her to his house. She became David’s wife and gave birth to a son for David. But the LORD did not like what David had done.

The next chapter in 2 Samuel starts out with Nathan the prophet telling a story that relates to David but it’s hidden from him until David reacts. Then Nathan tells him what the consequences are going to be. When the consequences finally hit, David is so humble as he loses many things that are important to him. It’s no wonder God calls David a man after His own heart, in 1 Samuel 13:14, (KJV). David saw the wrong that he did and he repented before the Lord. He accepted the punishment.

2Sa 15:25  Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place.

2Sa 15:26  But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.”

He totally surrendered to God.

When I totally surrender to God, day by day, my life goes better and I’m less stressed.

The Case for Christ(photo from Christian Book Distributors website: https://www.christianbook.com)

My youngest brother told me he picked up Lee Strobel’s book, A Case for Christ just lately and then another book on quotes from famous Rock ‘N Roll musicians to keep things balanced. 🙂

I’ve been praying that he’ll find Jesus as his Lord and Savior so he’ll be less stressed for now and for eternity. It’s hard to imagine that God made us so we could be in His family and talk to Him and learn from Him.

As I thought of the opening to this blog and President Trump, I looked for verses in Proverbs about God setting kings into places of power. I found the surrounding verses too good to ignore. So to read Proverbs 8:15-16 in context, I included the verses from Proverbs 8:12-24.

Pro 8:12  “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.

Pro 8:13  The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

Pro 8:14  I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.

Pro 8:15  By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;

Pro 8:16  by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.

Pro 8:17  I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Pro 8:18  Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.

Pro 8:19  My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.

Pro 8:20  I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,

Pro 8:21  granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

Pro 8:22  “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.

Pro 8:23  Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

Pro 8:24  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.

God gave David and Bathsheba’s son, Solomon more wisdom than any man on earth. Solomon asked God for wisdom to rule God’s people in a dream and that pleased God. It’s found in 1 Kings 3: 5-15.

I pray for wisdom because we are living in perilous times. I heard on the news yesterday that robots are being made to act as security guards at shopping malls and they should be in service in a year. They weigh 300 lbs. What consequences of that invention will Americans find?

God help us.

I didn’t expect this blog to go this route, but, “it is what it is,” as the saying goes.

May God bless you and protect you. I have some friends that absolutely love Ps. 91, as did my mother-in-law. She was a smart lady.

Revenge Handed to God

I went to the library this afternoon and expected to do about five different things there, but only finished a few. When I got reading the Bible to catch up on a “read the Bible in a year” plan I got so intrigued with the content I kept going. When I got home I realized I didn’t read the list right, so I’m still two chapters short. I’ll catch up tomorrow.

I’ve read 1 and 2 Samuel before, but I kept noticing how often David left revenge for God. David’s followers wanted to kill King Saul for him or urged him to kill the king so they could quit hiding from Saul in caves and forests and in the wilderness.

Once David cut off the corner of King Saul’s outer garment and then he showed it as he told King Saul that he could have killed him.

Over and over again David explained, “I will not touch God’s anointed.”

I have a friend who owns a business. When other associates steal her fees that she’s due to collect she doesn’t sue them. I asked her once why she doesn’t try and get her money from them. Many years ago she told me, “God watches over me. I leave it up to Him.”

Not that I’ve ever needed to sue anyone, for which I thank God. But I remember the first time she told me that, I was flabbergasted.

Her business puts her into shark-infested waters, so to speak. She’s experienced others grabbing her commission at least once.

God takes care of her. She’s thinking of writing a book and I’ve encouraged her to do so. I’ve seen tremendous answers to prayer which came about from big trials in her life and in those close to her.

A Christian cliche is, “You can’t have a testimony without the test.”

I’ve heard it said that the Bible continues to be a best-selling book year after year in many parts of the world.

It’s filled with human interest stories, battle plans, history, geography, genealogies, insight into God’s character and His opinion of us, the keys to God’s kingdom, poetry, love, death, common sense, financial advice and more.

It must be because it’s God-inspired as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16, (KJV), “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” that I keep gleaning more and more from it even though I’ve read it almost daily for decades now.

May God bless you!

Barak and Deborah

Yesterday I read the story of Barak in the first half of the book of Judges. Deborah told him God said to take other warriors and go claim the land.

When the judge and prophetess, Deborah agreed to go with Barak to battle Israel’s enemies, she told him Sisera, the armies’ general for King Jabin of Canaan would die by the hand of a woman. He wouldn’t get the glory.

Barak was okay with that and had even told Deborah he wouldn’t go if she didn’t go with him.

In Judges 5, the song of Deborah and Barak, son of Abinoam records the greatness of God and the recent history of their victory over the Canaanites and more. I’ve heard it said that the Old Testament is written as an example for us, so we can emulate the right choices and avoid the bad ones.

When I think about the goodness of God to those who obey Him and even to those who don’t, I wonder why I don’t thank Him more often. I need to remind myself not to take Him for granted.

May God bless you.

God Loves You and Me

 

4 Keys to Staying Full of God: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Andrew+Wommack+four

This site showed up from my friend today, Part 1 of 4. Whenever I hear something, I try to “eat the meat and spit out the bones” as my husband suggests when there’s a good teaching but possibly a bit off. As I listened to this teaching, there was only one part I wasn’t sure about. Maybe you’ll get a chance to hear it and you’ll let me know what you think.

Pastor Wommack makes a point of remembering that God loves him and has his best interests at heart. Since God is all powerful, that helps him to keep his peace and his joy. I got a lot out of this sermon and I hope to hear the other three parts soon.

The more I read the Bible, the more I realize that God loves people more than I can understand.

May God bless you!

 

Am I Not Enough?

I have a friend at our church who has said to me, “I thought when my children grew up I would stop worrying about them.”

I tell her it’s because she’s a mom. She tries not to worry and prays for them often.

Sometimes I pray about things and other times I picture events happening. I anticipate how I’ll react and at that point I forget to pray. Occasionally I’ll think God is saying, “Am I not enough?”

I tell Him He is more than enough.

I was in one of these, if this happens, then I’ll do that, frames of mind when my oldest daughter called.

The last time I headed north to help out two weeks in a row with six days at home in-between, I got thinking something had to change.

As I left her house I asked if she knew of anyone in her vicinity that might babysit for her children when they got sick and she had to work. With both adults working, it makes it hard.

Our ladies’ Bible study group even prayed with me for her benefit. Yesterday she called me to say a youngish grandmother from her church told her she’d be glad to babysit when the kids are sick. “I rarely catch anything, it’s no problem,” she said.

She also offered to help when she gets overwhelmed and told her to let her know.

I felt tears prickle my eyes as she shared her good news. I couldn’t help think of the kindness of God to answer our prayers. Then I immediately thought, why do I worry about her? God is so good to her.

This relieved my mind and enabled me to quit figuring out plans for future events that may never come to pass.

I know there are kind and compassionate people around, but not everyone has the flexible schedule and the ability to act on their desire to help others. I appreciate her and I don’t even know her. 🙂

I realize that God doesn’t want us to worry. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, (KJV):  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Php 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Php 4:9  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Jesus said in John 14: 1, (KJV): “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

I also love Matthew, chapter six. Near the end of the chapter Jesus says to seek God and His righteousness first and all these things will be added to you. He’d been talking about food and clothing and how God provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field and that we are much more precious to God than those.    Make Ree's Barbecue Meatballs ahead of time for the perfect stress-free, game-day dish.

(photo from https://www.pinterest.com/explore/church-picnic-games/ )

 

My dad worried that my mom would spend or give away any money he’d saved for their retirement when he died. Then she died first and he was totally shocked and unprepared.

My mom knew blindness ran in her family so she learned to read braille and typed on a special braille machine to make books for those without vision. She never lost her sight even into old age.

So I learned that worrying doesn’t do any good and it’s harmful to our health. Also, it’s a lack of faith in God which is insulting to the great “I Am.”

So when I worry, I stop and tell God I’m sorry. Then I pray about the situation.

Jesus spoke about making plans in Luke 14:28-32, (KJV):

Luke 14:28: “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

Luk 14:29  Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,

Luk 14:30  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Luk 14:31  Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

Luk 14:32  And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.”

What He’s saying here as He continues to speak in the following verses is that if you decide to become His disciple, there is a cost. You’ll have to give things up that you used to find pleasurable. You may be called to give up your life or your goods.

God wants us to use our minds and think and plan. He wants us to rest in His care for us and He doesn’t want us fretting. I hope He’ll never have to ask me again, “Am I not enough?”

May God be your strength and your portion in whatever comes your way. Amen.