Have you ever heard the line that girls are easier to potty train than boys? Who ever said that was definitely speaking something not true (at least in my household). Because my son was a breeze to potty train, and my daughter could care less. She is almost 3 and we have been working on potty training all summer to get her ready for school. She doesn't care, and she isn't phased by rewards... like the Anna and Elsa doll she wanted... that is until we told her that she couldn't get it until she went potty. And she kind of lost interest. (side note: I actually ended up giving her the dolls a few weeks later, because I mean, she is cute, and she adores them) Yeah, girls being easier than boys is a myth in my house. And while we are on the topic of myths, I wanted to address a spiritual myth that I have come across over the years. That God won't give us more than we can handle.
What does it really mean to "be still, and know He is God"? I used to think that the verse meant to spend time with God, read my Bible, and write in my prayer journal. And those are all good things, and I am not saying those things are not important, because they are vital! So, please keep reading your Bible, keep praying, keep finding those quiet times with God. I want to take this a step further though, because lots of people read their Bible, pray, and don't really know God.
Grace came at a cost, but I wasn't treating it like that. I treated His good grace like it was “plan b” for my life. A door prize that you threw away right when you got home. I am so thankful that I don't live in Old Testament days, because I am pretty sure that I would be in exile. Instead He meets me with breakfast on a beach.
What lead a grown man to sob uncontrollably in my arms, while saying over and over I want my mommy, I want my mommy? Forgiveness. I met him in Rwanda and walked him through forgiving his mother for leaving him and his siblings in the genocide for her own safety. Years he had held on to the pain, but he was in a place where he wanted to forgive her, and try to reconcile with her as well. Before we get there though...there is something else we need to address.
Which is harder, to say "your sins are forgiven?" or "get up and walk?" Can I take a moment and answer that? The forgiveness of sins part has definitely got to be harder. Like by a long shot. And I say this because I will tell people all day to have faith that to do what Jesus says, but for me forgiveness is not as easy as telling people to "just have faith" that what He says is true. Following Christ isn't easy my friends. And this is one of those acts of obedience that I can easily forget about, until I am confronted by the truth. And that is what happened Saturday morning, when someone called me out on it. The truth felt like a truck hit me. I was holding onto hurt from 20 years ago. 2 decades is a long time to hold unforgiveness, and carry it in your heart. But that is what happened, for more than half my life.
My daughter is fearless. She is 2 and a 1/2 this year and has been loving being in pools this summer. She has loved it so much that she has taken a love to jumping into the pool (sometimes off the diving board...yes all with a puddle jumper). She will jump when we are there right next to her, and she will jump when we are not, almost like she doesn't know the danger of the water. And this can leave me thinking "Can't you have a little fear? Just a little? Just enough to know that there are dangers in the world, like that this water can hurt you...kill you?"
Quick question. What are the two words that you would never want to see next to each other in the Bible? Take a minute to think about that. I am not sure how I would have answered that a few days ago, but one of the words that I don't want to see is a word that I won't pray for. And the second word is something that I prayed for a little over a year ago, and then asked "Why". Find out what those two words are by reading this week's post.
Last week I flew to visit a friend in Texas, and I ended up getting into the topic of beliefs with a guy in my row. He shared with me what he believed, and why. I realized quickly that he knew what he was talking about. His beliefs hadn't been spoon fed to him. He had thought a lot about them. We talked about his desire to please God to get to heaven, and to have his sins atoned for by getting right in the eyes of God. So at the end of the conversation I said Why not Jesus? His answer was eye-opening.
Do you remember the moment you first decided to follow Jesus? For me, it seemed pretty simple. Maybe like Peter. Jesus really didn't tell Peter much. Just that he would be a fisher of men. When I decided to follow Jesus, I didn't really know a lot either. And looking back, and even reflecting on Peter, I have to wonder that if Jesus had told me, if He had told Peter everything that would happen, would we have still decided to follow?