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God is Teaching Me About…

From giving Him my all to giving up control, join me this week as I share some things God has been teaching me lately.

Who is Holding Whom?

 

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10, HCSB 

There are verses in the Bible that mention clinging tightly to the Lord:

“Rather, cling tightly to the Lord your God as you have done until now.”
Joshua 23:8, NLT 
“I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.”
Psalm 63:8, NIV

bonding_THURSDAY-247x300I believe it’s important for us to cling to the Lord and seek Him as our Hope, Provider, and Father. At times in my life, my relationship with God has been the only thing left to get me through the day.

But I think it’s also important to recognize it’s not my own power holding me in His arms. Sometimes, I’m so busy managing everything in my life that I start believing I’m also in control of my relationship with God.

Just like a child, I’m clinging to my Father. But when a child lets go, does her Daddy drop her? Of course not.

Because it’s His power and strength holding her there, not hers.

I often forget who is holding whom. I cling desperately, thinking I’m the one keeping my relationship with Him intact and moving forward.

Just like most loving fathers, God must love when his children cling to Him. But even when we let go, He’s just as close. He’s still right there—holding us and loving us the same.

He doesn’t let go.

Heavenly Father, thank You for holding on to us, even when we let go.

Humbly learning these lessons,

Allison

God is Teaching Me About…

From giving Him my all to giving up control, join me this week as I share some things God has been teaching me lately.

 

More than Three Letters

 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV

ALL_WEDNESDAY-300x238I’ve read today’s verse many times and thought, “Of course I should love God with all of myself. Sure, I am doing that. Check. Move on to the next verse.” While reading the verse, I sped through the little word all each time. But I’m learning that all is truly the key word here.

It’s easy to love God with part of my heart, part of my soul, and part of my strength. I’m beginning to understand the difficulty of what He is truly asking us to do. I’m beginning to see that all encompasses much more than three letters.

All means loving God when my world falls apart, when my plans are crushed, and when my dreams are shattered. When circumstances pull me deep into the dark place, where is my all? Buried in self-pity?

When I’m in the pit, do I reach my arms up to God? Or sit in the mud and feel sorry for myself? In the dark places, I usually put all my heart, soul and strength into surviving. When I take a piece of God’s all and keep it for myself, it gets ugly. I grasp onto that slice of self-sufficiency and hide in the corner trying to make myself feel better. Here’s the problem with taking part of God’s all into the corner with me—my hands are clenched tightly and my back is turned. I am not reaching up to God with open hands to accept all He is offering to me.

Jesus didn’t give just part of Himself as payment for our sins. He gave ALL of Himself.

Lord, we tend to hold back pieces of our hearts. We want to give You ALL of our hearts, souls, and strength. Teach us to let go of those pieces that we’re grasping tightly and find our ALL in You. Amen

Humbly learning these lessons,

Allison

God is Teaching Me About… Circumstantial Happiness

From giving Him my all to giving up control, join me this week as I share some things God has been teaching me lately.

 

Circumstantial Happiness

 

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Philippians 4:12, NIV

 

Throughout most of my life, I’ve struggled with what I call circumstantial happiness. I’ve been happy a lot of the time. But things have gone well a lot of the time, too. And when those circumstances came along that weren’t so great, I became anxious, discontent, or grumpy. For the most part, this is our sinful human nature (or maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better).

When I became a Christian, I didn’t suddenly become someone who could look past dire circumstances and have a rosy outlook because I rested in Christ. I wanted it to be that way. I sang the hymn, He Leadeth Me, and desperately wanted to be “content, whatever lot I see,” as the lyrics say. Alas, I’ve always been more of a “murmur and repine” gal.

Recently, though, I’ve noticed a basic level of happiness and contentment that’s present in my life, even when circumstances aren’t particularly going my way. It feels much better when I don’t allow circumstances to give me mood whiplash. I hope it’s a positive trend. I know there will be discouraging times in the future and God doesn’t promise us a life without painful circumstances. However, God does promise to lead us through the difficult times (see Deuteronomy 31:8, Isaiah 43:2, John 14:15-17).

I believe it’s possible to have an inner contentment, even during the tough times. God gives us peace that resides in us regardless of circumstances. I see God’s fingerprints all over this gradual change in my attitude. It has opened up room for a deeper relationship with my heavenly Father, one where I can be centered on God and truly appreciate how Joseph H. Gilmore wrote such beautiful words:

Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,

Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.  

(He Leadeth Me, Joseph H. Gilmore, 1862, Copyright: Public Domain)

Humbly learning these lessons,

Allison