When Life Feels Like it’s Spinning Out of Control…

We all love being in control, don’t we?  There are times in all of our lives though that it seems like all we do is wander aimlessly and no matter how hard we pray, nothing happens.  When we pray and God doesn’t answer immediately or even for years in some circumstances, we start falling into that “things are definitely out of control” mode and begin to panic.  When in reality, if we are praying and trusting God for answers, things are not out of control at all.  God hears our prayers and honors them–He is in total control once we’ve prayed. Satan would just like for us to think God’s not listening and that things out of control.

Today I was driving down the road following a big white Cadillac.  It was moving rather slowly and my first reaction was to be annoyed with their speed.  I was trying to make it on time for an appointment and they were starting to make it impossible to be on time.  I had an agenda and they were in my way!  However, as I looked closer, it appeared from the back of the car that there was in fact no one driving the vehicle!  There was not one head of a driver or passenger to be seen above the front seat head rests anywhere.  I quickly turned my frustrations of their slowness into laughing. I couldn’t see anyone driving, but I knew since the vehicle was stopping, starting and turning on turn signals 500 feet before they turned, someone was behind the wheel.  I don’t know why it is funny, but it just is because you know there is some little old man or old woman behind that wheel and they’re probably sitting on a pillow!

I realized with this scenario that I could choose to be entertained and laugh or I could be upset.  The one thing I knew was that I was no longer in control of my schedule; rather the person in front of me was.  There was nowhere I could go but just stay in the lane I knew would eventually get me there—the one I thought was going to get me there on time.

How many times are our plans and agendas stopped or slowed down by things we cannot control like slow moving vehicles in our path?  We have all been  in situations where we had a plan for our lives, prayed about it, stepped out in faith, and now things just aren’t working out as we had hoped.  Why is it when we pray about things that God doesn’t just make them happen? He seemed to say, “OK,” when we were making the plans, but now it just seems that He doesn’t care or isn’t listening as nothing seems to be going our way.   Boy this is the time where the enemy arises and puts all kinds of questions and doubts in our minds.  He really wants us to believe that God doesn’t care. If he is allowed, he will turn our focus onto things that really don’t matter in the big scheme of things, while taking our focus off of what God is actually doing in our circumstances.

I have recently been learning how to knit and to say the least, the experience has been interesting.  My goal is to make dishcloths like what my mom used to knit every Christmas for her kids and grandkids to have in their kitchens every year.  As I started following the pattern yesterday to make my first one, it just wasn’t looking right.  It’s supposed to end up square when it’s done but it was beginning to take on the shape of, of, of, I’m not sure what.  I was pretty sure it wasn’t looking like a dishcloth, though!  However, as I continue to work the pattern row by row, slowly but surely, it is starting to take form and I do believe when it is done, I may have a dishcloth!  It might not be perfect, but with a little practice, I bet the next one is wonderful!

Reflecting on today’s happenings, I am reminded that even when I can’t see God behind the wheel of my life, I have to have faith that He is there.  He sends signals here and there with unexpected happenings and/or blessing and we just have to teach ourselves to focus on those signs along the way and trust.  We may look at our dishcloths in life and think it is never going to be right even when we thought we were following the pattern exactly.  The same goes for our lives.  We can read God’s Word and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us, but we have to have faith that the outcome will be what God perfectly designed for our lives, even when it looks nothing like we imagined.

If we could always see the driver and the final outcome of our life’s dilemmas, why would we need God?  God uses these dry times in our lives to teach us and help us grow closer to Him.  Instead of panic and dismay, my prayer for you today is that even when you have that out of control feeling and think that life has thrown you another lemon, I hope you will find laughter instead of the turmoil that comes when we feel out of control and unloved by God. Have faith, He is still driving. As a matter of fact, the outcome He has planned for your situation is going to be a masterpiece.  Perhaps if it were a washcloth, it would win a blue ribbon at the county fair for workmanship!

Don’t allow the enemy to rob you of your joy.  Stay focused and trust that God has things under control.  Rather, laugh at your enemy that he has once again tried to cause you to stray and once again failed.  For when we are able to give up total control and trust, we can once again find the supernatural peace
and joy that only God can give.  Your answers may not come today nor even tomorrow, but rest assured they will come in God’s time. May His peace and joy be yours today while you wait and trust the Creator of the Universe to work it all out!

1 Peter 1:6-9   In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen,you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

What a Compassionate God I Serve!

I have had a lot going on since my last writing as I got a purchase contract on my current home.  This caused me to spend the entire last week scouring our area up and down the highway for my next home.  I was beginning to think we were going to be living in our cars soon, but we were able to find another home in enough time that they both should be able to close in the same day.  This is great since we have to move out of our current home the day before closing.

With all of this on my mind, I haven’t slept most of the as my mind raced with all of the things I have to do before we can move.  I am a realtor and handled our listing for our home as well as wrote the contract for our new home.  So besides being the realtor for both transactions, I am also a buyer and a seller all at the same time.  There have been problems with this and that throughout the process and typically as a realtor, I’d be calm, cool and collected.  However, this week, I haven’t been very calm in light of my circumstances.

All this being said, I began to think about how helpful this situation has been to remind me of what my real estate clients are experiencing when they are buying and/or selling their homes.  Buying and selling homes is very emotional.  I think the experience will certainly make me more sensitive to the needs of those I serve as their real estate agent in the days and years ahead.   Even though I’ve bought and sold houses before, it has been a good reminder.   Let’s say it’s been somewhat of a continuing education or refresher course.

As I have reflected on this past week, I think about how God chose to come to earth through His Son, Jesus.  He could have chosen to stay in His heavenly places and dictate from above.  However, He chose to come to earth and live as a man to show us how this life should be lived and to experience our pains and sufferings first-hand.  Knowing He walked this earth as a man, helps me to understand what a compassionate and loving God I serve.  He’s God and knows all; however, that wasn’t good enough.  He took the time to come here, live real life human experiences, and now He not only has the head knowledge, but He has felt how it is to live as a human.

So just as I have experienced first-hand similar trials of those I serve; God took the time to experience similar trials in this life as well.  I find it fascinating that He would want to do that.  I would much rather be the realtor in my transactions than the buyer and/or seller. It’s much easier advising others versus actually living it!   This life is hard here on earth.  I wouldn’t want to come live here if my home were heaven; however, He is God and He did.  What an amazing God I serve.  He truly does care for me.  When I pray and tell Him my problems, He really does understand!

To end the week’s saga, our buyers backed out of the purchase so we’re not moving after all.  I’m OK with that though because I know that God has my best interest at heart.  He already knows when and where we’re going next and I’m willing to wait on His timing and not mine.  I’m willing to wait because I know I serve a compassionate and caring God who understands my greatest hopes and desires and is waiting to bless me with good things ahead!

Colossians 2: 9-10 (NKJV) 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+2&version=NKJV

One thing no one wants to talk about…

“Honey, can you please come wash my right armpit so I can get ready for work?”  Sad, but true, this has been a recent conversation in our household lately!  Seriously, I don’t make this stuff up!  The truth is, we all have stinky armpits at one time or another…come on…admit it, yours stink too sometimes!

I was thinking about this scenario today in my warped little mind and related it to our Christian walks.  Some of us are walking around with stinky armpits every day and think no one is noticing.   We may have lived stinky for so long, we may not even notice anymore.  Rest assured,  those who pass by us at any given time will notice though!  Some might tell us about our odor and others may hold their nose, look the other way, and run away as fast as they can before taking another breath of fresh air.

Others know their armpits stink, but can’t reach them like I can’t right now after elbow surgery, and are afraid or embarrassed to ask for  some help in getting it cleaned and smelling good.  Therefore, there is a wafty trail of body odor around them that is slightly detectible when you get real close.  Perhaps it’s a hidden sin or addiction they just can’t take care of themselves.  You know it’s there, you just can’t put your finger on it.

Others walk around all week without a bath and on Saturday night right before going to bed, they take their weekly soak and scrub those  pits good so everyone at church the next day won’t know they were stinky at all throughout the week.

And then there are those who religiously wash every day, whether they need it or not to ensure they are clean and fresh all the time!  The ones who take time with God every day to “clean up” the “smells” in their lives, and put on some fresh garments to start their day out right!

Which one are you?  I guess misery loves company so if I can’t wash my right armpit right now without assistance, I want to ensure there are others on this path alongside me!  LOL! Seriously.  Which one are you?  Is your life stinky?  Is someone else’s that you know stinky but you just haven’t wanted to get close enough to help as you just bathed this morning and are smelling good?  Are you a Sunday Christian?  Or are you the one who’s  trying to do the right thing, but just needs a little help?

I’d like to think that we could all be the Christian who is clean and smelling good every day.  A Christian that stands out in the crowd as being different—clean, smelling good, and something everyone else around would want to be.  One that isn’t afraid to get near the stinky people because they understand that if they didn’t wash daily, they’d be just as stinky as them.  Hopefully we’re Christians who know how to clean up, stay clean and aren’t afraid to share our secret with others.

The choice is ours everyday…will we wash or will we be stinky?  It’s all up to you!  Don’t be afraid to ask for a little help if you need it.  God will send someone with His love and compassion to help you through the stinky times, without judging your current condition.

If nothing else from this silly illustration, I would like you to never be able to wash your armpit again without being reminded of God’s  grace–where you were without Christ, where you are now, all while prayerfully considering who you can share God’s hope and redemption with today!  Be blessed and stink-free!

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