When life doesn’t have an easy button…

“It’s so hard, you know?”  I hear this all the time used as an excuse for making bad choices.

Let’s keep this honest. I don’t know what is hard in your story or how hard it is. We all face hard things and I can only live my own story.  Every day I am challenged to choose differently and not use difficult things in my story as an excuse. I often wish I could just push a button and make this situation or that personal relationship easy, or at least easier!

As I get older, what I continue to learn is that sometimes our choices make life harder.  This is because sometimes what we choose is sin. We try to justify our sinful choices with the excuse that making good choices is somehow beyond our reach.

We go left when asked to go right.  #disobedience

We eat junk when our body says, “eat healthier”.  #rebellion

We stay when we are asked to go.  #NotJustJonahAndTheWhale

We spend more time talking about what we want to do rather than doing it.  #procrastinating

Nike had a slogan of “Just Do It” that made them billions of dollars. They chose well, but choosing well is easier said than done, eh?

Not if you have the right tools.

Spiritual Tools:

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength”.

Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these other things will be added to it.”

1 Timothy 7-10, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promises for both the present life and the life to come.  This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance.  That is why we labour and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe.”

Could God’s Word be our “easy button” for choices that lead to strength, peace, patience, endurance, perseverance…whatever you need to make your load lighter?

Physical Fitness Tool:

Finding the right fitness plan for you and your body.  For me, I have learned that I need people with me when I exercise to help me stay consistent.  Not just a gym full of fellow strugglers but one or two people who will come alongside and exercise with me but also push me to get better.  Sadly, I have yet to find such companions.

Emotional Mental Tool:

A trusted friend is great but sometimes we need more than that to carry the heavy stuff up and away from our path.  A counselor, Life Coach or Spiritual Director that will give you a different perspective to help lighten your load.

The Gospel:

The sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for you and for me. I am guessing that having nails pierced through hands and feet and donning a crown of thorns for the sake of another…IS HARD.  Every hard thing I have ever experienced in my life, pales in comparison.

For those of us that claim that “we are hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3), this means we are to take up that cross and follow Him…regardless of how hard the situation is.

I don’t recall hearing that Jesus grumbled or complained about how hard it was to take our sin upon Him.  He prayed.  He obeyed.  He did what His Father asked Him to.  He wanted God’s Will.

Having trouble obeying?

You are not alone! However, choosing to obey (with God’s promised help) will give you the freedom and peace you seek and bring clarity of what God’s Will is for you.  The more you grumble and complain, the further you get pulled away from intimacy with God.

Neil Anderson puts it this way. (RE: temptation)

  1. Lust of the flesh draws us away from the Will of God (destroying our dependence on God; John 15:5) When we give into this lust we trust more in our own ways and ideas than we do the Holy Spirit.
  2. Lust of the eyes draws us away from God’s Word (destroying our confidence in God; John 15:7) We allow the world, the flesh, and the devil to fill us with their thoughts and words instead of God’s truth.
  3. Pride of life draws us away from Worship of God (destroying our obedience to God; John 15:8-10) We embrace our idols rather than find comfort in the presence of God.

*italics mine

Do you want to obey God? Are you struggling with knowing His Will, with being in and understanding His Word, or do you lack Worship? Maybe it is lust and pride that is distracting you.

REFLECTION:

Question is… “what are you willing to do about it?”

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Kinita

Who wants an upgrade?

I never buy myself things when out shopping for Christmas presents.  But this past Christmas something small but significant happened.

We bought a lotion set for someone and the store was running a special deal of “buy 3 get 2 free”.  Although that was more than we needed, I trusted that God would let me know who we were to gift the extra ones to.  He was faithful in giving me two names of people I normally wouldn’t buy gifts for, but I was happy to bless. But there was still one lotion left.

I pondered some more and then my husband said, “why don’t you keep it”.  I reasoned that I couldn’t possibly keep it because keeping it went against my personal policy of “not buying anything for myself at Christmas”.  He then reminded me that I had put lotion on the grocery list and perhaps this was just an “upgrade”.  He did have a point.  BUT was I okay with an upgrade?  Did I deserve it?  There must be someone who needs it more than I do.  These were just some of the questions running through my mind as we paid for the items and left the store.

So, I kept the lotion for myself and felt compelled to look for a greater purpose.  That’s when the Holy Spirit nudged me to ponder the thousands of wishes I have had over the years.  Many of them never came to be and many I have forgotten about.  For a season of my life I carried a lot of regrets in my heart.  I came to understand that some of those were simply wishes and not desires God wanted for me.

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Wishes. Desires.  Dreams.  Fleeting as some of them may be, we all have them.  But maybe God wants to give us a reminder of something better.  An upgrade, perhaps?

At the change of a calendar year I take the “woulda, shoulda, couldas” of the year and lay them at the cross…again…for the last time. Lol!!  I can’t go back and change time, I can only grow forward with what I have learned and try to do a little better.

I wrote the first draft of this post in the last few days of 2018 and now it is officially 2019.  It needed an upgrade, aka editing and now I am ready for an upgrade too – an upgrade of my attitude, my approach to life and situations that it holds, my thought life, my choices the first time and the reminder to keep simplifying and downsizing so there is an upgrade in my faith.

I continue to practice trusting God for the desires of my heart and for His timing.

There isn’t much I deserve in this life.  I believe that “while I was yet a sinner, Christ demonstrated his love for me.” I am not my own.  I have been bought with a price.  It wasn’t a “special” that was running during a particular season.  Christ paid the price with His life ONCE, so I could have mine ETERNALLY forever!  That my friends, is an upgrade no one else can match!!  It truly is a deal of a lifetime. No gimmicks. Just truth…all year round.

Maybe you are entering 2019 with a thousand desires that might be unrealized from years past.  My prayer is that:

  1. You will learn to surrender your desires (if you haven’t already) and embrace ones that reveal God’s greater purpose for you. They might even be one in the same.
  2. That you continue to grow in gratitude for what you do have.

 

May you have a blessed 2019 and enjoy the upgrades God has in store for you this year!!

 

REFLECTION:

What was your favourite gift at Christmas?

What are some wishes, longings, desires that you need to surrender?

Where do you need an upgrade in your story?

Are you carrying regrets from the past? What is God asking you to do with them?

Who in your life needs the gifts God has given you?

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey,

Kinita