Even as a kid, I learned quickly that there are times of want and times of plenty, times when I had the world by the tail and times where my world was in a tailspin.
I found myself in one of those situations a few years back. In my grief, I quickly realized that prayer was really hard! Sometimes to put words together seemed nearly impossible. I knew it was crucial that I begin to take my thoughts captive.
It was then that I created a Pinterest board titled, “Inspiration”. I collected graphics of verses that became my lifeline. In the wee hours of the night, I would find myself reading through those verses. I could quickly tell that speaking these words and reading these words was actually opening my heart to begin to feel the truth in these words.
“I can’t believe it! What kind of person would steal pencils from a church?! I saw that little old lady going around and taking the pencils from the backs of the pews and putting them in her purse.”
The pastor smiled. “She isn’t stealing them. She noticed that the pencils had gotten dull and took it upon herself to take care of that need. She gathers the dull ones and takes them home to sharpen them.”
At this part of the story, I imagine Emily Litella (classic SNL) sheepishly saying, “Well, that’s quite different. Nevermind.” LOL!
I remember hearing this simple story years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. I want to be that kind of person.
See a need, fill a need.
This lady saw the dull pencils and decided, “I can help.”
If you look around you, you’ll see need everywhere. We can’t personally solve all that is wrong or broken in this world. BUT there are plenty of things that we can do to make a difference.
Standing in the kitchen after our dinner party had ended, I picked up the beautiful China plate that was my husband’s grandmother’s. We purchased it at her estate auction. I admired the sweet pink roses that patterned the milk white glass as I washed and dried the fragile family heirloom. As I was placing the plate into the cupboard for safekeeping until the next dinner, it slipped from my hands and crashed to the floor. I stood there – frozen – looking at the broken remains of what was once one of the most beautiful treasures. I was upset, and angry at myself. How could I be so careless?
I picked up the pieces and stored them in a box until maybe one day I could fix this plate in some way. My sad attempt, I guess, to make myself feel better.
One day finally came. I sat out back of the house on the picnic table. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping and I felt good about restoring this plate… into something, even if it wasn’t a plate any longer. I just couldn’t let this heirloom be trashed. I just couldn’t.
Instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore, in their land they shall possess a double portion: they shall have everlasting joy.
Isaiah 61:7 ESV
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see what God sees?
I know what I see and I don’t like it. This is what shame says to me…. “You’re an old gray haired overweight woman. I know what you did in your past. You are so ugly. You are not good for anything. You’re worthless and good for nothing, Who do you think you are to lead women? You are stupid.”
My shame list could go on and on!
So, where does those thoughts come from? The father of lies – Satan.
See, he does not want us to influence anyone for Christ – not your family, friends, people in line with you at Walmart! Satan would like nothing more than to render us useless for God. He takes great joy in seeing us wallow in our shame and self-pity – totally unproductive – to keep us isolated from others and God.
They are running together; like a flock of birds. Their manes are blowing. I can see the muscles in their calves move with amazing strength, and the thunder beneath their hooves can be heard a mile away. How majestic they seem!
Until… One of them seems even more spectacular and comes to a sudden stop.
I look in amazement at the beauty set in front of me. She looks like a horse; yet she’s different.
She has a glow about her and has a horn pointing up to the glory of the Lord. She is a unicorn!
I was excited to see Queen Esther at Sight and Sound! I love the smell of the roasted almonds, seeing the rows of seats, hearing the music and seeing the stage ready for the curtains to be drawn.
Hadassah was a young Jewish girl who absolutely loved the Lord. She studied God’s word with her uncle Mordecai after both her parents died. She was beautiful, full of life, and had so much joy because she knew the Lord. Then, one day she was stolen away by the Palestinians where it would be horrific if she let them know she was a Jew. So, instead she became Esther who would eventually outshine all of the other maidens simply by being who she was. She shined differently because of the Lord our God.
I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which isChrist himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments.
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So, you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:2-4,6-10
Have you ever been deceived by a false teaching? Maybe led down a path that seemed good, that appeared to be biblical? I know I have! Early in my walk with Christ, my husband and I were introduced to a teacher who spoke of healings. Christian friends whom we have much respect for and who were leaders in our church, introduced us to this teacher. We were soaking in this teaching when our first son was born. We noticed some developmental delays that soon led us to an autism diagnosis. You can imagine the emotional rollercoaster we were on, especially since the teaching we were soaking in was telling us that he was not being “healed” because we lacked faith. We just were not doing it right. We lacked faith. WE were not enough.