Fast forgiveness

Time-out can work… it takes longer and it’s more agonizing for all involved, but it can accomplish the task. Spanking is biblical and it’s faster. Emotional healing can come with therapy and time… it takes longer and it’s more agonizing for all involved, but it can accomplish the task. Forgiveness is biblical and it’s faster.

I think it’s funny that we all want everything so dadgum fast, but when it comes to getting our souls fixed, we want to take the long way.

We want to get rich quick, we want to lose weight overnight, we even want microwave popcorn and twenty-minutes or it’s free pizza delivery. But we’d rather hold on to a hurt and let it fester and ooze for a few years before we embrace forgiveness and let it go.

God’s way is better, and in this regard, it’s actually faster.

Let’s say you hurt me, really hurt me. I cry about it. It’s that sad to me. I mentally prepare myself to be hurt for a long time. I say, “I don’t think I can ever forgive you.” And I stoically try to move forward with life, but this wound is slowing me down. I’m perfectly happy to move along at a snail’s pace because it feels good to my flesh to hold onto that hurt. But if I took it before the Lord and forgave you, it could be over with and healed up and I could move forward, unhindered.

Why don’t we do this? Why will we do whatever it takes to get our food at the speed of light, but we don’t hurry to get rid of heavy, painful baggage? We need to get things in the right order here.

The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory [is] to overlook a transgression (Proverbs 19:11).

And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).

… Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do (Colossians 3:12-13).

Be quick to forgive. It’s a challenge, trust me, I know. But I also know that some of the greatest blessings in my life have come after I’ve been hurt and I chose to forgive. God is a big God and He can bring beautiful things out of the biggest messes. We just have to give Him the chance.

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Live in the rainbow

I love the smell of the earth after a good cleansing rain. I love to see steam curl up from the hot pavement as the cool drops meet their mark. I love that wonderful vibrancy in the green of the grass as its thirst is quenched. I wish I could live in that vibrancy; but it eventually wanes and the sun heats up again and the cycle repeats. Heat and cold, sun and rain, wind and calm… they all come and go.

Such is this life. Things happen and things change and people hurt and then they get better. And those that consistently and faithfully seek the face of God during those hard times will be saved. They that call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21). I know this to be true. I’ve been saved… saved from harm, healed from hurt, strengthened in crisis, comforted in pain. God has never left me.

In times of ignorance or anger, I have closed my eyes and ears to Him, but He has never turned His back on me. And I know He never will. He does not change (Numbers 23:19).

The rainbow comes after the rain, a display of beauty that cannot be simulated. It is only something God could have come up with. And He did it to signify His promise to us; His promise that He will be faithful to us. Every time we see one, we are reminded of that promise. And even though we don’t get to live in the rainbow every day, God’s faithfulness is still there. It just takes the right kind of light for us to see it.

What do you do in the meantime?

What do you do when you’re waiting on God? How do you fill the time when you’re seeking direction? What do you do in the meantime? The Word of God tells us to occupy until He comes (Luke 19:13), the Word of God tells us to set our hands to the plow and not look back (Luke 9:62), the Word of God tells us to work, be prosperous, multiply, do something!

I have this adorable little rocking chair sitting in the corner of my living room. It is just the right size for a two-year-old. I know this because my precious god-daughter fits perfectly in it. She gets her little sippy cup of milk and runs over to it, sits herself down and rocks. She’s occupying until Mama comes. She rocks in that chair until her Mama says it’s time to go home, or it’s time to eat dinner, or it’s time to go night-night. But in the meantime, she rocks in that chair. She does what she can, she uses that gift. She rocks in the chair, she puts it to use. She doesn’t have all the answers, she doesn’t know exactly what’s coming next, but she rocks in that chair until direction comes.

And when she comes back to my house again, she’ll go straight to that chair and have a little rock.

What is it in your life that you can do? What is it that you are gifted with? What are you especially good at?

Do it.

Do it until you hear further instruction. Do it until you get your answer. Do it and do it well. You never know who is benefitting from your gift.

No gift is more valuable than another. Don’t let the devil lie to you and tell you that you can’t do anything special. You know what? He’s a liar, he’s good at it. He’s done it for eons of time.

But don’t let him stop you.

Are you seeking God in an area of your life? Are you asking Him for direction? I encourage you to occupy until He comes. Do something in the meantime. Use what God has given you until further direction arrives. And while it may come much later than we would like, further instruction will come. God is faithful. Always.

Too hot to blog?

I know that’s ridiculous, I mean what better time to sit in the cool house and write but it’s like the heat has sucked all the creativity right out of my brain. I’m left with a thoughtless head which can’t decide if it wants iced tea or diet Dr. Pepper. Those are the biggest challenges I can manage to tackle. Forget the laundry. It has won the war. I retreated with the white flag and just closed the laundry room door. I’ll face that when it rains and my upstairs temperature drops below 80 degrees. It’s a good thing the British Open is on TV because I have a reason to get up at 5 and clean house before it heats up.

I walked around TJ Maxx yesterday because it was cool in there. I purchased a pair of flip-flops to remind myself to get a pedicure. The lady at the jewelry counter knows me. Not that I buy a lot, but I sure do look a lot. Purses, jewelry, and sunglasses, my favorite section of the store; closely followed by housewares, my next favorite section. No matter how many times I peruse the kitchen gadgets, I never fail to find something revolutionary and I think to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Well, I wrote two paragraphs in the hope of something meaningful coming to my brain, but to no avail. I guess this is the best it’s gonna get today. A blog about absolutely nothing. The Seinfeld of blogs.

Thanks for sticking with me, my friends. To quote myself from 1982, “Stay cool!”

Options

OptionsIt’s so hot here today, nothing should be subjected to this heat with the exception of snakes and scorpions, and maybe tarantulas. It is violently hot. It is hellishly hot. Me no likey. I doubt the snakes even like it. Thankfully, I have an air-conditioned car to take me to my air-conditioned office and back to my air-conditioned house. I have options.

We always have options.

We get to make choices along the way that shape our lives. Whether they be good or bad, it’s the choices we make that define who we are and the kind of life we lead. I’ve made some good ones, and I’ve made some real stinkers. And I’ve been through plenty of storms that have toughened me, and proven to me over and over again God’s faithfulness.

Psalm 57:1 says, “. . . Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until [these] calamities have passed by.”

Do you see the key word there? It’s “make.” I will make the shadow of your wings my refuge. It doesn’t say He will take me under his wings, it says I choose to get under there. I CHOOSE.

Again; options.

I choose to keep my thermostat at 68 degrees. And I choose to pay the consequence each month when the electric bill comes.

I choose to hide under the shadow of His wings when calamities come. And there’s a calamity either coming or going pretty much all the time. It’s called life.

Choose to get under His wings, it’s cooler under there, and there aren’t any snakes.

But then they remembered

They were in a boat out on the water when a sudden storm blew in. The waves were high and the wind got loud. They couldn’t just fire up the engine and power out of there. They couldn’t radio for the Coast Guard to come bail them out. They were looking at drowning in their little boat and they were afraid.

But then they remembered.

They remembered that Jesus was sleeping in the boat and they woke Him and He calmed the storm.

How many times are we going through a storm and fear rises and panic comes and we forget which end is up and we are running around trying to put out fires and stomp on spiders and we don’t remember that Jesus is there? Why is it so easy for us to go to panic mode before we remember Him? Why is our first response fear?

They say when a trauma comes, we either fight or flight. Well, you know what? I don’t want to do either. I want my first response to be peace. I want my first reaction to be to lay it at Jesus’ feet. I want my circuitry to be rewired back to the way it was supposed to be before sin messed at all up.

That doesn’t mean don’t use the brain God put in my head. But focus that brain toward the One who created it and not the nature of the world it was physically born into. You see, I get to choose which way I go. I can align myself to the world’s way of dealing with storms, or God’s way. God’s way to overcome is by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11). If I take what Jesus did for me on the cross and marry it with an unshakeable knowledge of God’s promises to me, then I can’t fail.

But I have to remember.

I have to remember Him when the storms come. I have to remember Him when answers are hard to find. I have to remember Him when the path is dark and the way is rocky.

I want to always remember.