enJOY the gift of today

This post isn’t Advent related, but after the crushing news of another shooting in California, I decided to take another path today. All I could do was pray for the victims and loved ones left behind. Let us never become so accustomed to these tragedies that we are desensitized to the consequences.

How was your week? No really. How was your week? Variegated as an argyle sweater, wasn’t it. Some good times, some bad, some when we felt at the pinnacle of joy and others under crushing defeat. That’s life – it’s how it is. One moment happy, filled with hope and we wonder why we were so discouraged yesterday – then ‘it’ happens and we are again thrown into the ring of despair. Sound familiar? Circumstances! Our human emotions are so fickle. Up. Down. Up. Down. I’m glad God doesn’t have mood swings! He never changes. He’s 100% reliable. And even though we can’t see Him, we know He is there, holding us firm. Psalm 75:3 “When the earth and all its people quake, it is I (God) who hold its pillars firm.”

My week was normal – like that variegated sweater with its pattern of dark and light. Each day an opportunity for joy or despair. When everything seems right with our world, we are in awe of our life and pleased with our circumstances, but when we are struggling through the gray areas, we are so easily pulled into the abyss.  We no longer see the pattern; sometimes we scarcely see the path.  It’s in those times we crave the light and marshal all the remnants of our resolve to get back to a place of contentment and a peaceful heart.

Last night I was hopeful about a circumstance in my life. When I woke up this morning, God already began to impress upon me that I needed to be prepared for His answer because He is going to say ‘no’ this time. Isaiah 55:9 says “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God is not in a bad mood.  He’s not in this supreme power play and wants to see me miserable. God reminded me that He is in heaven, watching out for every split second of my life – not just the big things, but even the moments that flash by unnoticed by me. Before I could get my platform out and debate my point with the almighty, He led me to Isaiah 48:17.  Here’s what God said to me before I could even start the argument:  I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.

How can I argue with that? My job is to be still before Him, give back my measly ideas of how my plan is the better plan, and know that He is God. He gives me the gift of each new day, my circumstances come as no surprise to Him, He planned them with His best in mind. Today are you struggling? Do you crave a good day? James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

On their own, our days are not perfect; sometimes far from it. But be encouraged.  God only asks us to keep our faith and believe his words in Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” When it’s dark and stormy outside, we can have the light of life inside. That’s where the joy comes from.  Now let’s get out there and Have a Great Day!

Phil Wickham – This Is Amazing Grace

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4 thoughts on “enJOY the gift of today

  1. What a powerful message that you have shared with me (us all) today, Jane. After days of barely even being able to function on the most basic level without tears, I can feel His strength and I am desperately holding onto Him and my faith in His wisdom. My heart was hurting so badly yesterday (at yesterday’s beginning, around 1:30 in the morning)I finally understood I needed to be on my knees and after that I pushed myself back to my feet I began to read my devotionals and His Words. It is amazing what being away from those powerful Words can do to a heart and soul and it is beyond description how they lift and strengthen us when everything else is falling apart. Thank you for such a beautiful post this morning.

    • Dear Amber-Lee, how I wish you could experience the gentle touch, the comforting word, the loving support you need in these challenging days. I know your burden feels insurmountable. Humanly speaking, there are no answers. Heavenly speaking you know in your heart of hearts that God is your mentor, friend, and spiritual father. While I pray every morning before I put one foot on the floor, I am easily distracted from my quiet time with the Lord. Having been away from home and a guest of relatives, I had been without a real quiet time for 10 days. My spirit craved the Word but my mind was far away. I’m back on track and this morning I writing out my prayers to God and in the process was also reading scripture. I love the book of Philippians where my soul is filled with joy. In chapter 1 alone I read this in verse 6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Verses 9 & 10: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best …” and Verse 27: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” I get discouraged too by the lack of income, health issues, and relentless expenses, but these are so temporal and can suck the joy right out of me. I do the best I can with what I have and pray against the evil of Satan coming near me to steal my joy. I will continue to pray for you to find the help you need and for people to come alongside you with financial support.

    • Thank you, Fern. While I wait for the Lord it gives me extra time to pray for others and be supportive. I have been praying about your new job. Whenever God gives it to you, it will be specially made just for you. Your talents will shine. It might surprise you, what God has in store. I was reminded of that today when I read the Advent scripture. “Give is us a strong, powerful King,” they said. And God sent them a helpless baby.

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