Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Two Words That Change Everything

Last night, while I was getting ready for bed, I tuned in to my favorite Christian radio station. A woman was sharing a story of God’s faithfulness. I listened as she told of God’s miraculous intervention in her life during a time when all looked hopeless. As she recounted God’s goodness and told of the supernatural way He had worked in behalf of her and her children, she very casually spoke two words. Two small words, and yet this phrase completely captured my attention, transforming my thinking and ultimately, my faith in God.

I don’t know how her story ended. As I tried to truly grasp the implications of these two words, my mind became totally consumed with this new knowledge God was imparting to me through her testimony. I kept repeating the phrase over and over, out loud, and each time the words penetrated my ears, the truth behind them penetrated my heart. I suddenly found myself strengthened in my inner most being. I literally felt the touch of God on my heart. I knew, at that very moment, my relationship with the Lord had entered a deeper, more intimate, faith-filled level.

How could two small words make such a radical difference in my life? Simple. These two words change everything! Most likely, they will change you, too!

But God.

But God.

Say it aloud and let the truth and reality of these words penetrate your own heart.

But God.

No matter what is going on in your life, or what you may be going through, know and remember that all things must surrender to the power and authority of our God. Right now, at this very moment, stop and think about what you are struggling with today. Whatever it may be, I guarantee it is no match for our God. The Bible is living proof of that!

The Israelites had Pharaoh’s army breathing down their neck and the Red Sea in front of them, BUT GOD…..

David had only a little bitty sling shot with which to slay a giant of a man named Goliath, BUT GOD…

Daniel was served as the main course to a den of lions known for their ferocious appetites, BUT GOD…

A widow was out of time and out of money, with only a houseful of empty containers she had collected from her neighbors, BUT GOD…

Jonah was sinking in his sin of rebellion and headed for the bottom of the ocean, BUT GOD…

Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried, BUT GOD…

Time and time again, when all looked hopeless and those in the midst of the situation felt most helpless, God showed up and did the seemingly impossible. Does your situation appear hopeless? Are you feeling helpless? Take heart. God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Instead of ending the circumstances of your life with a period, replace the finality of your thinking with a comma of hope, followed by your declaration of faith! Boldly look your situation in the face and speak the only two words that are able to breathe life into your faith and power into your life.

I am (fill in the blank), BUT GOD…

I don’t see how I can (fill in the blank), BUT GOD…

I don’t have (fill in the blank), BUT GOD…

I am scared that (fill in the blank), BUT GOD…

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead! Let God write the ending of your story. If you do, I have no doubt He will finish all things that pertain to you with a true exclamation of His glory and His marvelous grace!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Wisdom of a Father

Several years ago now, when my father’s health was declining, my mother found herself carrying the heavy load of caregiver along with her other daily responsibilities. Eventually, it became apparent to all in our family, that she was in need of a time of respite. My mother asked my sister and I to return home, care for our father, and give her some much needed time away. We agreed and hesitantly, she packed her bags and headed for the home of my father’s sister.

Each evening, my mother would call to check on my father and to see how things were in her absence. The first few phone calls confirmed that we had made the right decision in “sending” her away. Her voice still sounded tired and she mentioned she was sleeping a lot. Several days into her trip, however, after some much needed rest and relaxation, her phone conversations became more lively, full of laughter and excitement. My aunt, her hostess, was going out of her way to make sure my mom was waited on hand and foot and my mom seemed to be thoroughly enjoying this arrangement. Each day she would tell of the delicious food they ate, the wonderful places they visited, and the lavish attention my aunt was giving her. One night after speaking with my mom, and hearing all about her day, my dad asked to speak to his sister, the gracious hostess. What he told her made us all laugh.

“Don’t be spoiling her too much now. I’m the one who has to live with her, you know!” Of course, he was teasing, but the thought behind the laugh opened my mind to a spiritual truth. Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

More than my aunt wanted to bless my mother, God longs to bless us. He delights in showering His children with blessings. Yet, even something as beautiful as a heavenly blessing, when given to a heart that fails to recognize or appreciate it, can begin to have a very repulsive human stinch. We have all smelled it and it isn't pretty. No wonder we refer to someone in this condition as "spoiled".

Often, when God's blessings runneth over and we find our self in need of nought, we become untouched by the generosity of our Heavenly Father. Blessings pour into our life and we barely take notice, much less offer words of thanksgiving to the giver of all good gifts.

Other times, however, the problem is not that we don't notice the blessings. Quite the opposite. Oddly enough, when we have received so bountifully from the hand of God we can come to a place in our relationship with the Lord where we begin to expect such blessings, then become bitter when they don’t rain down on us as we feel they should. We become spoiled by the selfless love of our gracious God and our actions and attitude attest to it!

Yes, God loves to lavish gifts upon his children, but like my father, He is very wise. He understands what we don’t. The rest of the world has to live with us!