Sunday, January 22, 2012

Do I have enough courage?

This is something I have been thinking about for almost a year – ever since my daughter went to Honduras.  I had no idea what she was going to experience while she was there and it was a good thing I didn’t know.  I may not have been as supportive had I known that she was going to be going places with armed guards.

As parents we want to protect our children.  In fact, I contend that we overprotect them.  We have been told that real Christians are blessed materially, have automatic protection from God, and are always safe.  Our young people today don’t believe this.  They are not searching for safety.  They are not nearly as interested in materialistic things as their parents.  They are seeking to use their lives to make an impact.  They are aching for a life that has meaning and not just things. 

As a parent, I want my child to live a long happy secure life.  I’m not looking for her to take risks.  However, that is not necessarily how God is leading her. 

Matthew 16:25 says “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”  As a parent, am I able to embrace this truth for my child.  Do I trust God with her care?

I have a biblical responsibility to nurture my child, to bring her up in a godly and safe environment. However, my fear about her safety is not an excuse for not preparing her to be used by God and it is not an excuse for not letting her go in the direction that she feels God is leading her.

It is my responsibility as her parent to pray for her.  I need to pray for her safety. John 17:15 says “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”  Do I have the courage to pray this for my child? Do I really want her “in the world”?  Or, do I secretively just want her removed from all possibility of danger?

What if God is preparing her for great adventures in His name?  What if she feels called fulltime to missions – am I prepared for that?  Is my preoccupation with her safety interfering with what God might be calling her to do?  Am I willing to stand by her and support her in all God has planned for her?

My daughter is preparing for her third mission trip this spring.  She will be spending a week in Guatemala.  I am praying that God will keep the group safe and allow them to complete the tasks that lay before them.  I am also praying that God will use this time in my child’s life to draw her into a closer relationship with Him.  I want her to seek God’s will for her life and then have the courage to follow Him in it.  That’s a tough prayer for me to pray … Do I have the courage to pray for that and to let go and let God work in her life?


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Long and Winding Road

I wrote yesterday about looking back on my life and seeing stepping stones. Seeing all the places God has led me in order for me to get the experiences I needed to be effective in the position I am in today.  God has always been faithful to lead me and provide for me.

What struck me today was the idea that the path has not always been straight.  Sometimes it seems like it was three steps forward and two steps back.  Sometimes the road was very crooked and wound around.  Sometime I took the long way to get where God wanted me to be.  Sometimes the path got rocky but that just caused me to trust God more.  The main idea here is that you have to keep your eye on God and trust that He knows what is best for you.

Habakkuk 3:19  “The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”

Isaiah 40:31  “those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”

Monday, January 9, 2012

Stepping Stones

There have been many times in my life when I’ve been able to look back and see God’s hand on my life.  I’ve been able to see how God led me to different jobs and how each one was needed to move me to the next one.  It is easy to see the stepping stones looking back.

I am now at a time in my life where I don’t know where God is leading me.  I know that my family is packing up everything we have and moving to rural PA when school is out.  I know that I must immediately have a job.  I know that my husband must immediately have a job.  I know that I have a condo and a house to sell in GA before I can think about buying a house in PA.  I know that my daughter is starting college in PA in the fall.

What I don’t know is how it is all going to work out.  As I look forward there are no stepping stones in sight.  I am sticking out my foot and taking a step in faith that there will be stone under my foot when I set it down.

I am confident that the Lord knows what is going on.  I am confident that he will provide for my family.  I know that God loves me and wants the best for me and my family.  I am confident that God is leading and directing us in this journey.

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

We are committed to living our lives in a way that would please God.  We walk by faith in Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:7 

Proverbs 3:5-6  
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. “

Trusting is hard.  I want to see the stepping stones laid out in a path in front of me.

Show me your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths   (Ps 25:4).
Direct my steps by Your Word  (Ps 119:136).
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;   (Ps 32:8).
God's word is the lamp unto your feet and a light to your path   (Ps 119:105)