God’s Timing

one-o-clock-12596455I have a confession to make… I still get puzzled and frustrated with God’s timing in my life!  It shouldn’t surprise me that I get puzzled because, as a created being, I will never fully grasp His consummate timing. And, the reason I get frustrated with His timing is because I often think more of myself, the creation, than God my creator!

“Sometimes God will make you wait on purpose, not only so you will know it was His favor, but so all of your critics, friends, relatives and coworkers won’t be able to deny what God has done in your life.”

This quote was recently shared by someone I follow on Instagram and it spoke to me, because most of it is true. I was definitely disappointed to find out that this is something Joel Osteen said, because I don’t agree with much of anything he has to say, but there is truth in this quote and that is what I want to focus on.

I have only two choices possible when God says “wait”. The first is to whine and wimper and act like a spoiled little child whose daddy has told me I can’t have a toy I want at the toy store. The second is to stay on my knees before my heavenly daddy in humbleness welcoming His answer… whether that be “wait”… or “no”. (This is part of the quote that is not truth, because God doesn’t always only make us wait. Sometimes His answer is a definite “no” but even that answer is His favor!)

Favor refers to “an act of kindness beyond what is due”. The creator of the universe, and my creator, take the definition of this word to a new level because His favor toward me is not just acts of kindness, but rather acts of mercy and grace unmerited by me. Sending His one and only son to die and pay the penalty of sin for me is the greatest of all these acts, but He shows me ongoing mercy and grace everyday. Sometimes I am not aware of His favor and other times I am so aware of His favor that I can only cry out “God thank you!”. So, my re-write for the first part of this quote would be “Sometimes God will make you wait, or ask you to accept His “no” response on purpose, not only so you will know it was His favor, but so that…”

The rest of the quote is spot on, but knowing Joel’s teaching I am presuming the focus is in the wrong place. God knows that every part of His plan for your life will be a witness to God’s glory to everyone in your life.

However, to see the glory of God, the focus needs to be on GOD and what HE has done in your life – not on YOU and what he has done in YOUR life.

Last week our pastor spoke of the encounter Mary and Martha had with Jesus after the death of their brother, Lazarus.  In John 11:40, just before He raised Lazarus up from the dead Jesus said “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” The focus at this point in the story was definitely not on anyone except God and what He was doing.

When God is at work in your life “… our critics, friends relatives and coworkers won’t be able to deny what Almighty GOD has done, is doing and will do in your life.”

Glorifying God is our chief mission according to the Westminster catechism. God will be glorified in us, despite us.

Sometimes God will make you wait, or ask you to accept His “no” response on purpose, not only so you will know it was His favor, but so that… your critics, friends relatives and coworkers won’t be able to deny what ALMIGHTY GOD has done, is doing and will do in your life.” – re-written by Carin Hansen

May this bless you as much as it has blessed me to break this apart and digest each part. What A God We Serve!

Life…a steady melody with ever changing harmonies

If there is a theme for my life this past year, it is the title of the post “Life…a steady melody with ever changing harmonies”.  There are many reasons why this has been the case, but as I reflect on the fact that last Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of my mother’s passing from this life to eternal life – this theme just screams at me.  How is it possible that a year has already raced by since we said “goodbye”?

This anniversary will continue to touch me for many years to come, but I want to look at another reason why this theme seems more poignant at this season of my life.

I have, and am, struggling very much with the loss of my youth.  Now, before those of you who know my age – start laughing – let me explain.  In my youth I had so much passion, optimism and dreams filled my mind.  Although my youth is many years past…it has only been recently that I have realized that these passions and dreams are waning and fading with age. My life’s melody has remained one of help, caring, sharing and coaching.  However, the harmony has been changing almost without my knowing it.  What was harmonious with my life’s melody no longer is.  I cannot keep going like the Ever Ready bunny….although once I could.  I also should not do things that I can still do, but they may not be expedient for me.  (When was the last time you wanted to take advantage of some quiet alone time in the house and began climbing around in the kitchen on a step ladder, or countertops, to clean something high?  Once you were up there did you feel like you should have waited until someone else was in the house with you?)

As passions wane the harmony must become simpler so as to not overwhelm the melody.  I am not trying to be negative or depress anyone, I am simply stating a fact.  A fact that in my eternal optimism seemed to escape me until recently.  Perhaps what I am becoming aware of is good because it is, after all, reality.  But, does this awareness make me grab more tightly onto the days remaining, or does it press upon me like a crushing weight?

The answer is both depending on the day!  I know you can identify.  I am so thankful that God is faithful even on the days when I feel pressed in.  I just don’t like it.  I want to be more optimistic and I want to still have all the “gusto” I ever had…and that isn’t going to happen.

My melody still carries along with sweet notes of optimism, passion and dreams.  But the harmony has changed, yet again.  It is a harmony that grabs hold of all the things I have to be thankful in my life yet allows movement that is slower and more predictable.

Father Godimgres
Thank you that I can trust you, the composer of my LIFE SONG.
You have my life melody memorized but often re-write the harmonies as you deem best.
May I, in the midst of changing harmonies that I find uncomfortable, odd or even off-key… Find sweetness and joy in the every changing notes,
So that I can rest knowing my LIFE SONG will be one that glorifies YOU.

One Purpose and Goal

I have long prayed that my actions and words would glorify God…but, in the last several weeks I have realized that this is not, or should not be, my one purpose and goal.  Not because it isn’t a noble and worthy calling but because it is unachievable.  My daily prayer was “Lord may I glorify YOU in all I say and do”.

However, the words to a song I have often sung should have now become my daily prayer: “In my life Lord be glorified, be glorified.  In my life Lord be glorified today.”  You see, glorifying God isn’t something I do, but rather something I am. Over and over these past few years and I get older, I am reminded that it is not about doing, but about being.  We are human beings, not human doings…as some say.

                                                               To emanate means to:
                                              show forth, flow out of, exude, emit, radiate

flower-lightIn other words, emanating God’s glory is not something I am capable of ever doing because I do not have within me the ability to DO anything that would show forth or emit something that belongs only to God.  I am His child – His daughter, chosen and sacred to HIm.  God’s glory lies within me.  And, since I have no glory of my own, then I can only BE emanating God’s glory.  The Westminster Catechism says, in part,  that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”  Unfortunately because I am such a type A personality I read that as “I need to do something, or say something everyday and all the time that will glorify God”.  But that isn’t what it says.  It simply says that my chief end, my only purpose, is to glorify God.  …Glorify God, because His glory is in me.

I know it may sound like nothing more than semantics – but please hear me on this.  If I think I can glorify God by any of my actions or words the emphasis is on “me doing”.  On the other hand if I understand that God’s glory lies within me simply because I am His child and so He is my heavenly father – I am like the rose in the photo above whose petals are being used as instruments to carry the light of His glory through.  I LOVE that difference!

IN MY LIFE LORD BE GLORIFIED TODAY AS I “BE” THE INSTRUMENT THROUGH WHICH YOUR GLORY SHOWS