March 31, 2019
Living in western New York, I know that March sometimes goes out like a lion. This morning, the soft mounds of snow seem more like a lion cub than a lioness. The mourning dove outside my window proclaims the changing season, and my heart stirs to welcome the warmer temperatures. I long to take a leisurely walk in the sunshine. I make plans to put away my winter clothes and take out the light-weight skirts, tops, and dresses. But not today.
Today, I am weighed down, not only by the weather, but also by my responsibilities as a high school English teacher with only ten weeks of instruction time remaining before final exams. Committed to doing my best, I forget how important rest is. Each day, I work until I am too exhausted to do one more thing. Is this peculiar to Americans? To the 21st century? Like many of you, I know that I can’t allow myself to burn out because others are depending on me. But I have learned the hard way that I cannot balance work and rest, no matter how determined I may be, without divine help.
Jesus said, “I am the vine and ye are the branches … without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5 KJV). Many plants, including grape vines, reproduce only if a close relationship exists between the male and female counterparts. Our fruitfulness depends on an intimate relationship with Jesus. He is the Bridegroom, and we are His bride.
Utter exhaustion is not God’s plan for you or for me. When we are weighed down by responsibilities, we are tempted to work harder, when what we need to do is make time for rest and relaxation. Slowing down, we can remember that God is working in us and through us to bless others, at work and at home. If we are faithful to do our part, He will do His. He will multiply our efforts the way Jesus multiplied the loaves of bread and the fishes to feed the multitude.
March 24, 2019
Good morning on this chilly March day. I don’t know about you, but I am longing for spring. Even though several different species of birds sang to greet the day as I waited outside for my German Shepherd to do her business, I chaffed against the cold. Patches of snow reminded me how untrustworthy March can be.
I certainly believe God knows how much I crave the sunshine that is so rare during long western New York winters. I do trust His plan for me, but I am often impatient for circumstances to improve. On more than one occasion, someone has told me, “You are exactly where you are supposed to be.”
Many of us have heard this—often when we feel as if the opposite were true. Rather than bringing comfort, these words trigger a flood of regrets, what ifs, and I-can’t-believe-I-did-thats. The devil swoops in, condemning us, telling us we deserve whatever hardship we are facing. Satan put this spin on our situation with one goal in mind—to drive us away from God’s presence.
At such times, we can cling to the promise that “all things work together for good to them that love God … called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 KJV). But do we really grasp the awesome wonder of God’s sovereignty? We are right where we are supposed to be at any given moment because God makes it so. We are on His potter’s wheel, and He turns everything—even our willful mistakes and sins—into tools to bring about His perfect purpose in us and through us.
While I am waiting to see God’s plans unfold in my life, I often find strength in other people’s stories. If this is true for you, you may find strength and encouragement in Carly’s story, Scarlet Tears.
March 21, 2019
Good morning, readers. “Something to Think About” is my blog, an opportunity for us to reflect together on how our perspective impacts our daily lives in ways that help us become the best version of ourselves.
“… be careful to maintain good works …” Titus 3:8 KJV
The remedy lies in discovering where and why our resolve breaks down, so that we may seek God’s specific help. Our heavenly Father does not want His children to be blindsided by the enemy’s efforts to derail us. So let us be careful, laying our plans and our hearts at His feet, tapping into His strength and wisdom, for “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works … ” (Ephesians 2:10 KJV).
It’s been said that it takes three weeks to form a good habit and three days to break it. Sustaining a good habit clearly requires care and maintenance. Otherwise, no warning would be needed. When we think our lives are in order, we are in danger of becoming complacent. An onslaught of immediate responsibilities can deflect us from worthy plans, no matter how sincere our commitment may be.