Let it marinate

Let it marinateLindsay Roberts is an awesome teacher of the Word. She always serves up a thought-provoking message with a side order of pull your head out. I love her. She’s just my style.

Years ago she preached a sermon called, “Go to the throne before you go to the phone.” It’s so simple and yet so profound. We rush off and tell someone our troubles when we’re still all riled up in the heat of the moment and it gets us nowhere… or even makes it worse.

Sometimes you really need to let it marinate for a while before you dive in. Let the Holy Spirit have a chance to soften hearts and bring understanding to an otherwise difficult situation. He is infinitely smarter than us. We may contemplate a thousand scenarios to neutralize the problem, but still He has a better solution. He always does… if we’ll invite Him into the situation and then wait. That’s the hard part.

Marinades take time to do their work, but they can turn the toughest cut of meat into a tender lump of love if we give it time. The Holy Spirit is the most powerful marinade there is.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 NIV)

Whatever tough cut has you tied up in knots, I encourage you to let it marinate. See what wonderful things God can do.

Cool your jets

Cool your jetsI am not known for my patience. I am known to get agitated waiting on my Keurig. If someone doesn’t answer my text message immediately, I tend to FREAK OUT. I think I may have a problem.

What’s new? I seem to discover things I need to work on quite often… daily, if I’m really being honest.

Today was no different.

I was praying this morning, actually praying and fretting, and it occurred to me; I cannot do both. Fret is fear. It sounds nicer, but it’s just fear.

It all worked out and I realized my fretting was for naught, but I continued to think about my little conundrum for the rest of the day. I had two forces working against each other, essentially canceling the other out. I’ve heard many sermons and I know it to be truth, that faith and fear are opposites sides of the same force, but sometimes it’s difficult to see when we’re in fear. We say softer words like fret and try to convince ourselves that we’re in faith. And I wanted to be. I tried to be! But I knew in my heart I wasn’t.

Now it’s night-time and I’m still thinking about it.

I don’t have an answer except, “Cool Your Jets.” Yes, that’s what He said to me. That was His response to my fretting. I prayed, I put the Blood of Jesus on the situation, I cast my care on Him, and that’s where it should have ended.

Cool your jets, Juli.

Next time, I’m going to start with that.

Hurry up and wait

Doesn’t it seem that time either creeps by at a snail’s pace, or races by in a dizzying blur? Doesn’t it seem that there is no middle ground? Why is this? Do you remember when Christmas just could not get here fast enough, and now when we see the decorations start going up, we feel anxious because it’s coming again? Dear Lord, the pressure!

I even heard someone say once that time is actually speeding up. The conspiracy-theorist in me wanted to agree, but the realist in me said, “Not.”

When I’m waiting for an answer or waiting for direction, or waiting for my next move, I am desperately impatient. And life seems to do that to me a lot; I find myself in a holding pattern that I’m just sure I’ll never get out of. Then all of a sudden, things change and my life charges forward into a new phase and it’s exciting.

Being happy right where we are is the challenge. One of my favorite scriptures in Philippians reminds me to think on the good instead of the bad. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy… meditate on these things. (Phil. 4:8)

And this scripture can be applied to so many different things. When I’m impatient, I need to think on the good. When I’m sad, I need to think on the good. When I’m angry or hurt, I need to think on the good.

Whatever curve ball life might be throwing at you, I encourage you to think on the good. When people drive you crazy, I encourage you to think on the good. When you know change is coming but it’s not quite there yet, I encourage you to think on the good. It may not solve any major problems, but it makes the holding pattern much more bearable.