Don’t handcuff God

HandcuffsIt drives me nuts when people say, “God is in control.” News flash… He’s not in control unless we put Him in control. If God were really in control, He’s not doing a very good job. Sacrilege! Crucify her!

No, seriously, we are the ones that are not doing a good job. We are the ones that don’t have our crap together. We are the ones who miss it and screw things up and get ourselves in trouble.

God can only do what we let Him do; He can only take over where we invite Him in. The Bible says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Do you see that there’s a qualifier in that scripture? He directs our paths if we acknowledge Him in all our ways. It doesn’t mean we only communicate with God on Sundays. It doesn’t mean we only seek God when we’re in trouble. It means ALL OUR WAYS. It means we must make God a part of our everyday life. It means we must seek Him in good times and bad. It means we must allow Him into all our situations. It means we must listen to His voice. And sometimes that means close our own mouth and ask Him to do the talking. That’s called having a teachable heart. And that’s the best kind of heart you can have.

An unteachable heart handcuffs God. The God of the universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth can be handcuffed by His people. Don’t handcuff God. Invite Him in. Call on His Name. Stand on His Word. Relinquish control. Unlock the handcuffs and let God come in and transform your life. You are His beloved child. Let Him be your Father.

Idiots abound

ChillWhere idiots abound, grace doth much more abound. Oh wait, that’s not quite the scripture, is it? Well, idiots do abound, that’s the truth. But another truth is that we are all idiots from time to time. Some more than others.

I willingly confess to being an idiot on occasion. But what might appear as idiocy, might actually be blamed on many other things. The truth is, we don’t know what’s going on in other people’s lives. We don’t know what crisis they are facing or what terrible loss they are feeling. How often do we think about what the idiot is dealing with?

Yesterday I was stopped at a red light and there was a brand new, beautiful white Suburban in front of me. Suddenly the driver’s door opened and a well dressed man stepped out and headed toward the back. I could tell he was trying to shut the back door which perhaps was being blocked by his multitude of grocery bags. The light turned green and he was still fiddling with the automatic door which stubbornly refused to shut manually. He gave me a quick “I’m sorry” wave and finally managed to hit the button and the door slowly closed. By this time, several cars had honked, swerved, gestured, and Lord knows what else, and I just sat there thinking, “Poor guy, he must feel like an idiot.”

But was he? No. He was just a guy dealing with a new-fangled door. For all I know he was in the middle of some saintly act like taking those groceries to a homeless shelter. He may have been bringing them home to his wife who had been wrangling 14 children all day. Who knows?

We don’t know. And those people who huffed and puffed at him… well, I think they might be the idiots.

Have a little mercy today. I’m quite sure we have all received plenty of it from our Father God who loves all of us idiots.

Wash off that turkey

Have you ever painstakingly set a lovely table only to see the dog jump up on it and start licking the turkey? Is the day ruined? Do you scream bloody murder, beat the dog, and sink into a puddle of disastrously dashed dreams?

Or it is possible you could wash off the turkey and stick it under the broiler for a few minutes? I mean really, we don’t have to let things get destroyed. We can fix what we can fix and we can enjoy the rest of the meal. Why let those lovely mashed potatoes go to waste? Why let the perfectly seasoned stuffing for which you chopped onions and celery for an hour be spoiled? And what about the lovely cranberry sauce that only makes one sensational appearance a year? Does it have to be trashed too?

I say, wash off the turkey and keep going. Crap happens. Such is life. We don’t have to let it conquer us.

God has mercy on us, shouldn’t we have mercy on ourselves? God gives us second chances, why don’t we extend that grace to ourselves? I think we beat ourselves up far more than our loving Heavenly Father ever does or would. Jesus already died for our sins, He doesn’t need to punish us to make His point.

But what we do have to do is repent and accept His forgiveness… even if we know we don’t deserve it. And let’s face it, we really don’t deserve it. But the good news is, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, and great is His faithfulness.

He is faithful, even when we’re not. He is there when the dog licks the turkey. He is there when we drop the gravy boat and it shatters and we drop a verbal bomb. He is there when we burn the biscuits.

He is always there, lovingly picking us up and pushing us along, making our crooked way straight and wrapping us in His tender mercy. He doesn’t throw us out when we mess up, let’s try doing it His way.