Can We?

Can we give thanks for opportunities to forgive? Can we give thanks for the times we’ve felt the loneliest? Can we give thanks for the times we’ve been betrayed and felt the most hurt? The ultimate thanksgiving.

For the joy set before Him, Christ endured the cross. (Hebrews 12:2) Mentally, physically, spiritually, it took all He had and He did it for us.

God is the Giver of all good things. (James 1:17) He is also with us when things and people are taken away. (Joshua 1:9) When we can see these difficult situations as times to deepen our relationship and increase our dependence on Him, we can view them through different lenses. The lenses of thankfulness. Thankful that our God never changes. Thankful that our God is the same God in the good times as in the bad. Thankful that He still died for us. And thankful that He is coming back to take us home.

Can you, like me, look back on your worst times and think, “Wow, I lived through that and I came out closer to Christ. Leaning on Him harder than ever.” I have different trials now. We all do. Can I look at each of these and say “Thank you, Lord.” “Thank you that You hear me and although You have the Power to remove them completely, You may not. You may walk beside me instead.” Either way, Lord, I say thank You.

Those “opportunities” to forgive mean someone has wronged us. That’s never pleasant. Can we, instead, view them as opportunities to catch a glimpse of how much grace God lavishes on us? How often we let Him down and how His love never fails or wavers? Can we forgive someone and say thank You, Lord, for forgiving me…?

Can we say “Thank you God, for what you give. And, thank You for what You do not.” It takes great faith that God IS love to do that.

Be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (GNT)

When our child turns away, runs away…..When our spouse leaves, when our health fails, when our job is uncertain, when money is tight, when tension is high. As tears roll down our face, can we say, “Thank You, Lord, for never forsaking me.”

Because, no matter what, I have this blessed assurance that Jesus is mine…’O what a foretaste of glory divine’…

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Stay In Your Lane!

What do you feel the Lord calling you to do? Where is your passion? What are your interests? How can you glorify Him in those? This is your lane. The friends God has blessed you with will cheer you on. They will run alongside you, pick you up when you trip, and bring you water when you’re parched.

When we look around at what others are doing, we increase our chances of tripping. When following our God given purpose, remember that rejection is imminent, obstacles are par for the course, and distractions will come out of nowhere. We aren’t supposed to run our race like others, run it like God wants you to. Our yesses and nos should be formulated around our whys.

Why are you doing what you’re doing? Then adjust, avert course, or run with all your might. Run like you’re running for the Lord.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people. Remember that the Lord will give you as a reward what he has kept for his people. For Christ is the real Master you serve.  Colossians 3:23-24 (GNT)

Eyes on your lane, following the passion given to you by God, is running in His will for your life. People pleasing and comparing can slow us down. It can stop us completely, if we let it. But, if we ask our Father in heaven what He wants for our lives and sense His “Go, I AM with you.” Run. Run like there’s no tomorrow. Only then, will we feel the peace, exhilaration, and excitement of a life lived in adventure with Him. Life with Him is surely an adventure. He is quite the Master Guide in this safari we call life.

I am here to urge you on when you’re exhausted, cheer you on when you succeed, and hug your neck in the defeats. Only with failure can we succeed. Getting and staying honest with God and our motives will direct our hearts towards His lane for our lives. And, we all have a lane He wants us in.

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

When God changes your life, gives you a testimony, reveals your gift, and gives you a purpose. Run. Run your race. You never know the hearts you may touch along the way, so run. God is with you.  At the blessed finish line, your gold medal will be the blessed words “Well done, good and faithful servant.”