Saturday, July 20, 2019

Lacking Nothing~

I'm sure you've heard
the old saying
"waste not, want not".

My mother was as dependable as a rock
about quoting this particular saying
whenever I sat at the table
with a plate of liver and onions
in front of me or
anytime my plate was home
to some sort of creature
that used to reside in the sea.
(Hmm....looking back on it,
 the fact that I'm now a vegetarian
isn't that odd, after all.
But, I digress).

The point then and now is simply this.

It you don't use something in its entirety,
if you fail to
guzzle the very last drop,
swallow the very last crumb,
squeeze out the very last bit,
you may later find yourself
coming up short
and wishing you had.
You might find yourself  "wanting".

One day as I was driving home from work,
listening to my favorite Christian radio station,
a short, simple, to the point statement,
by the DJ got me thinking.

"Nothing is wasted in God's Kingdom."

The word nothing
always gets me thinking.
When used in conjunction
with God's Kingdom,
my mind simply had no choice
but to whirl this thought
around and around and around.

Nothing.
If nothing is wasted,
then everything must be used.
Right?

As this idea tried to wind its way
from my head to my heart,
I thought about one
of the most quoted scriptures of the Bible.

And we know that all things 
work together for good 
to them that love God, 
to them who are the called 
according to his purpose.
~Romans 8:28

All things.
Everything.
Nothing wasted.

God has a purpose
for every single thing in our life.
The good.
The bad.
The happy.
The sad.

It is God's desire
to use them all for good.
Sometimes, though,
I wonder if I thwart His plan.

Sometimes,
when I go through a heartache,
instead of allowing God
to use it for good,
in bitterness or anger,
I turn up my nose,
push it away,
and turn my back on the whole thing.

Sometimes,
when I don't want to suffer,
I waste the heartache,
because instead,
I willfully choose to
detour around the purpose in the pain,
miss out on the lesson in the tears,
and sadly,
forgo the blessing
that is waiting to be squeezed out.

I want what I want
and in my wanting
I end up in want.

As a child,
I didn't want to eat
my liver and onions -
no matter how many times
my mother told me
they would give me iron
or assured me
they were "good" for me.

And, because I didn't want to,
sometimes
(when my stubbornness won out
and my mom was wore out)
I didn't.

Instead,
I went to bed hungry
and in want of something
to fill my stomach
and ease my hunger pains.

It's the same spiritually.

There is nothing wasted
in God's Kingdom
UNLESS
you and I choose
to waste the blessing
God has placed before us.

You and I won't walk away
from the table of God's will
hungry and still in need
of spiritual nourishment
UNLESS
we choose to refuse
the feast God has served us.

Now, as an adult,
I am mindful of mindlessly
throwing away that
which can be salvaged,
recycled, or re-used.
I try to be a good steward
of the money and the possessions
God has lavished upon me.

Shouldn't the same be true
in my spiritual life?

A chance to comfort others
with the comfort I've been given,
an opportunity to learn from the pain
and grow in the strain,
an invitation to become
more like Jesus through it all -
all these are too priceless
to throw out the backdoor of my heart
and into the dumpster of life.

How I (and possibly you, too)
need to glean all I can
from the ALL of my life.
How I (and possibly you, too)
need to reach out, embrace, and guzzle up
every last drop of the pain.
How I (and possibly you, too)
need to reach down,
pull out all the stops,
and squeeze out every last bit of blessing
from each and every teardrop.

How we need to
endure,
persevere,
press on,
so, in the end,
we won't be found in want,
but rather,
we will be found in Him,
in Christ Jesus,
complete, and lacking nothing*.

* James 1:4



~Stacy



Friday, July 5, 2019

Because I Failed Her . . . ~

She sits beside me
as I sit beside my husband.

We are there
waiting for our order.
She is there
waiting for attention.

As my husband
moves toward the counter
to answer a question
about our order,
she reaches for a jacket
as she looks at me and says,
"I love this shirt.
I really do.
It's one of my favorites,
but I hate the way
it is always
inching down in the front,
and I have to keep
pulling it back up.
It makes me uncomfortable,
ya know?
Don't you hate shirts
that do that?"

The shirt she is
referring to
is a low cut,
spaghetti strap style top -
v  e  r  y low cut.

Before I can answer,
she laughs,
and then this precious girl,
no older than
fifteen or sixteen,
continues.

"So, how is your day going?"

"Wonderfully well," I answer.
"And yours?"

"Good. Just hangin' out here
cuz there's not much else
going on, ya know.
I'll probably walk home
in a little while."

"Do you live far from here?"
my husband asks,
as he rejoins us.

"No, not too far.
And my dad might
come pick me up -
if he's not still
mad at me.
If he is,
he'll make me walk.
That's just the way
it goes with us.
It's not bad -
it's just us."

She laughs another laugh,
then turns to talk to one
of the young male workers
who is now on his break,
sitting on the other side of her.

And, I hear God's Spirit
telling me to tell her.

In a quick spin on her stool,
she turns to me again.

"So, since you ordered
a hamburger without the meat,
you must be a vegetarian.
How's that working out
for you?"

This time,
I laugh.

"It's working out ok.
I really don't miss meat at all."

She continues with small talk.

We talk about the way
she loves steak
and how her dad
makes the best
out on the grill,
marinated in his
special garlic teriyaki sauce.

We talk about my purse
and how she loves
the black, white, and tan
print pattern.

We talk about everything
except
what God is telling me
to talk to her about.

Our number is called.
We pick up our order.
I walk out of the door
and out of her life.

As we drive home,
my husband oh so gently says,
"You should have told her.
I thought about telling her,
but it wasn't
for a man to say."

I know what he's talking about,
and he is right -
so
v  e  r  y
right.

"She probably doesn't
have a mother
or anyone in her life
to tell her.

It was obvious
she wanted attention.
And, it was obvious
she felt comfortable
talking with you.

You should have told her -
honest and straightforward,
but wrapped in love,
like you always do.

Don't let those opportunities
slip by, Stacy.

God placed you next to her
for a reason."

As I sit here now,
writing this,
I see her face.

I see
the innocence,
the loneliness,
the beauty,
the struggle,
the reaching out -
and I know
I failed her.

I know
I failed God, too.

I know
I was given
a divine appointment
and
I missed it.

And, my heart hurts.

I long to go back.
I long to hit rewind
and do it
all over again.

But, I can't.
The moment is past.
The door closed.
The opportunity missed.
The words unsaid.

And because
I failed her,
I am pouring these words
out to YOU here.

Everyday
God places
one divine appointment
after another
smack dab in front
of me
(and
in front of you.)

Sometimes I listen
to His prompting
and speak His words.
Sometimes, like tonight,
I don't.

And, as I think back
to the way God leads
and the way
I choose to follow
or not,
I know one thing
to be true.

The only time
I have regret,
the only time
I leave a divine appointment
heartbroken,
the only time
I feel like
I feel right now,
is when
I don't listen,
I don't speak,
I don't step
through the door
He has opened for me.

Don't be like me.

Don't miss His
divine appointments
in your life.

Don't hear His Spirit
telling you to speak
and then choose
not 
to listen,
not
to obey.

Don't miss a moment
to speak a word -
HIS WORD -
that can
turn a life around,
draw a heart closer to His,
completely transform a life.

Listen.
Follow.
Speak.

Don't find yourself
in my heart's shoes -
wresting with
regret and sorrow
because
I failed her.


(Note - this is a post I wrote on my Heartprints of God Facebook page on May 13, 2014. God placed it in front of me again today - and upon hearing His voice  - "tell them" - here it is.)

~Stacy