What Is Bugging You This Week?

015As I age, I have grown to appreciate bugs.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t like them in my house.  However, they fascinate me when they’re outside.  Did you ever stop to think about how they feel being called a bug?  Did you ever look into their eyes and wonder what they’re thinking?  OK, I’m being silly.  Seriously, have you ever taken the time to look at the wonderful design of each one?

Since I love to take pictures, my photography has really given me a chance to examine bugs  up close and personal.  As I look at these, often times beautiful creatures, I am in awe of God who designed each one.  This week as I was reflecting on my latest bug picture—a dragonfly in my backyard—I knew God had a lesson in it for us this week.

As most of you know, I’m still recovering from my treatments for breast cancer.  I have been discouraged because I am still having low energy and other problems that bug me.  However, I know it is a process, so I am taking time to allow myself to heal.  As I was thinking about bugs this week, it dawned on me.  God has taken care to create some beautiful bugs on the earth.  We take them for granted and often look for ways to get them out of our lives.  They bug us and we simply want them gone.

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Just as bugs torment us, so do certain situations in our lives.  We often just want to stop the pain and suffering and get on with the things in life we enjoy.  We don’t want to be bugged by inconveniences of illness, job loss, financial difficulties, divorce, etc.   We simply want to rid ourselves of the problem.  However, could it be that these bugs have been perfectly designed just for us?

If we take the time and lean into God during tough times, there, we find the beauty in the situation.  We begin to see our trials from His viewpoint.  He knows exactly what it’s going to take for us to grow into the person He has created us to be.  Just as He has concerned Himself with every little detail of a bug’s design, He concerns Himself with every little detail of our lives as well.

001So this week, if you’re feeling bugged by life’s trials, relax.  Know that God knows every detail about your situation.  He doesn’t allow us to go through hard times because he wants to bug us.  Rather, He is interested in teaching us to find the beauty in the design.

Matthew 6:25-34   “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This…

mama says
Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today I am heading to Wooster, Ohio to share my testimony at the Stonecroft After Five group.  It seems like the few days leading up to when I speak are always difficult.  Typically my back starts giving me fits.  Then there is always a little chaos thrown into the mix of some sort whether it is mine or someone’s I love.  This time some depression is edging its way in as I am still grieving the loss of my brother in October.  To ride in the car today for over seven hours with my back the way it is I have a good reason to call and cancel.  One might question if I’ll be able to walk by the time I get home tonight. Mama said there’d be days like this.

However, I find that just like anything else in life serving the Lord will have its obstacles.  There will be roadblocks in my way at times and frustrations to the point I want to just give up.  Fortunately I know where all of the trials and struggles are coming from and it’s not from God.  I have never been disappointed when I pushed through and served God despite the storms raging around me.  For instance, the small group of single women I lead during the years I was going through my divorce and doing the single mom thing was one of the biggest blessings I’ve had in my life.  It was also during the most horrific time of my life.  If I would have allowed my sorrows, tiredness and depression to overtake me at that time I know the huge joy I would have missed had I not been obedient and served.

There are some who choose to sit back and give up before they even try.  I’m sure you know who they are in your life as they are the ones who are always blaming everyone else for their shortcomings.  They enjoy having a little pain in their lives so they can wallow around in it saying, “Woe is me!”  You know who I’m talking about don’t you?  Are you one that is going to let a little thing like back pain or chaos to stop you in your tracks?  I’m not trying to minimize pain and its debilitating powers.  I’ve been there and got the t-shirt.  However, pain or no pain…sickness or not…we can all be useful in serving God.  It may not be driving seven hours to go speak.  However, it might be dropping a note of encouragement to a friend or saying a prayer for someone you know needs it.   It’s a choice we all make how we will spend our days.  The last time I checked God was not making my decisions for me, nor was my husband or anyone else in my life.  We are all given the freedom to choose if we will have victory or defeat every day when our feet hit the floor.  As Christians, we are all on an even playing field with the same Holy Spirit ready and able to give us guidance and power for our lives.  It’s just merely up to us to make the decision as to who’s driving…us or Him?

So today I will be found starting my day at the chiropractor followed by singing praise and worship songs all the way to Wooster.  I know God is calling me to speak and tell other women that they too can press on through life’s muck and find the beauty in a life of serving God no matter what chaos rages around them.  Will there be hard times?  Yes.  Will we feel like not doing it sometimes?  Yes.  Will chaos spin around us as we try to stay on the narrow path?  Yes.  Will we be blessed for our perseverance?  YES!!

Life is what you make it.  The choices are yours.  How will you make your life count for today?

P.S.  By the way, please remind me of this blog post the next time you hear me say I’m not doing something I should be because I am too tired or in too much pain.  I’m only human.  Mama said there would be days like this…as my friend Cyndy says, “Unfortunately Mama was right.”  Be blessed and remember…get out there and be a blessing!

James 1:2-4  (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

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