An Uncertain Life; A Certain God

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Recently it has been on the news about how there was a shooting at a congressional baseball practice. Thankfully there were no fatalities, but in just a moment lives changed. A place that was considered safe was no longer safe; the future that seemed certain in a moment became uncertain. I have family that could have been there and in the moments between seeing the news and being able to contact them, I was worried.

This incident got me to thinking.  You never know what the day will bring.  One moment we are planning the future and what it will hold, the next it is drastically changed. Throughout the bible we are told that we don’t know what tomorrow will hold.  James 4:14, Proverbs 27:1 and Ecclesiastes 7:14 are just a few of the places that we see that we are not in control of our future. I think that Tim Tebow said it well when he said, “I don’t know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future.”

This whole perspective can be scary: that everything can change in the blink of an eye.  But there are two ways that we can respond.  We can live in fear or we can live in freedom.  Why these two drastic positions? When we look at our uncertain lives, we could be paralyzed by the fact that we don’t have control of our lives.  For me, there is a pendulum effect; at times it is so freeing to know that I cannot mess up God’s plan and at other times I really wish that I could control my life.

How we live our life is a choice!   We can choose to live it in fear or freedom.  Choose to be scared about what every minute holds, or trust that every minute and our whole life is being guided by the One who made the world.  When you think about our finite life, what do we have to worry about?  God placed the sun in the sky, He knows the past, the present and the future.  There is nothing that surprises Him.  He has known us before we were born and He knows the number of hairs on our head.  When we have a God that knows all the details of the world, how can we worry that what we are doing is going to throw Him for a loop.

In this uncertain life, I have certainty.  Certainty that God loves me, that I can trust in Him for everything.  Certainty that He has a plan and that while I don’t see it, it is something amazing.  Certainty that my life is in His control and that He is my protector.  Psalm 23:4 talks about how we should live our lives, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Also, the whole of Psalm 91 describes how protected we are by our God.

We should live every day of this uncertain life in the certainty of Christ.

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Happy Oblivion

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We live in a world of happy oblivion. We don’t know what our neighbors are going through and we would rather it that way. To know would be a burden… A cloud on our otherwise easy life. 

Now before you write me off and before you stop reading, let me explain. Today on my way into the grocery store, I was stopped by a lady asking if I could help her buy some food. She was in a car with her family of 5 including a newborn. My first reaction was to tell her I didn’t have time or money to do so. But the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 25:40 went through my head. “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” This was followed quickly by the words of Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  She wasn’t asking for money or anything big, just some kind of food. 

After I returned with some food, I was able to say a prayer for them. I don’t know if it meant anything to them, if they had even ever heard the name of Jesus, or if knew who I was praying to, but then again, maybe it could change their life. 

I was walking away when I realized, we live world of oblivion… Happy oblivion. There are people all around us in need of help or just a kind word. We rather not know, because then we have to make a choice. Ignore or take action! 

Whether you see it or not, I am telling you now, your neighbor is in need. Now it is your choice ignore it, or take action, but no longer is oblivion an option

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Digital Insanity

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Prayers

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The Kindness of Strangers

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 Pop!!! No… DING! It is. 

These were the sounds and my thoughts on the way to work yesterday morning.  Apparently there was something sharp on the road and my tire found it. In a matter of seconds the pressure gauge went from 35 to 1. This was not the way I had wanted to start my morning. 

  After finding a place to pull over, I started the process of changing the tire.  Being in my work clothes did not make the situation easier. Something that was easy in jeans and a t-shirt was made difficult by heels and the fact that I didn’t want to get dirty. 

  When I was about half way through the process God sent me a blessing… A gentleman stopped and helped me.  I did not know him and I doubt that I will ever see him again, but he showed kindness

Events of the day reminded me of two things that I was thankful for:

  • I am thankful for the men in my life making sure I could change a tire. 
  • I am thankful for the kindness of strangers. 
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Headline Goals

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What are your goals in life? How long will they last? Can they disappear? Can they be lost? 

  One of my professors was teaching about decision making and what he said stuck with me. “Is the action you are taking something you would want or at least be ok with being headline news?” Wow!! I am not sure that I would want some of my actions put on the front page. 

  I have also realized that this does not just apply to action, but inaction too. If would I want to world told what I did not do?  What might the headlines say. Haley Failed to Help Another In Need. Haley Too Preoccupied to Be Greatful. These may not be “earth shattering”, but they are not wonderful either. 

  I think everyone seeks validation and notice from others. We want people to see what we are and think we are something wonderful, talented, beautiful, smart… So many things. But what if we focused more on character. To be worth knowing, not well known. Sealing each day to set goals and live a life worthy of the headlines. 

 

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Challenged 

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  Life is not always easy, but that does not mean that it is bad. I am thankful for the challenges, thankful for the people who push me.  It is not during the easy parts of life that we become better people. It is through the struggles and the triumphs that we become more. 

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Far better it is to dare might things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” 

It is when we are challenged that we rise to the occasion. It is when we are challenged we find what we are capable of. It is when we are challenged that we see something new. To never face a challenge is to never push ourselves, to never find our full potential.

Challenges are not just physical things that get in our way. It could be a word from a friend, a word in a book or a line in a song. Challenges are what motivate us to change. To be challenged is to live and to live is to be challenged. 

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Seeking

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A Call Away 

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   No matter where you are. No matter what you are going through. God is always there for you. Many times I have thought Why didn’t God do something? It could be Why was I afraid? Or What couldn’t I do it?  Most often I realize that I didn’t even ask God to help. 

While God is always there for us, watching over us, ready to help. We still need to call out to Him. Tell Him our needs. A conversation is a two way street, both parties talk. The same is true of our conversations with God. To get an answer we have to ask. 

In every situation, God is always present, but sometimes His answers are a call away. 

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Little Pieces 

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One little piece… Only one? Please? Why does it have to be only one? 

No, I am not talking about cake. I am talking about seeing the path the my future, my life. Through everything that I have done, I know that God is guiding me. However, often He only shows me one little piece. That does not make it easy. I am a planner, I want to know what I have to do today, tomorrow, this week and the next (that is a minimum!). The things is…

GOD DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!!

I have just gone through some major life changes. In the past two months I have graduated school, moved to a new city, new apartment and have a new job.  See the connection? New!! There have been so many changes in my life. 

During the months and weeks heading up to graduation I had no clue what I would be doing afterwards.  For me, this was a scary fact. I wanted to know where I would end up, what it would be like, EVERYTHING. 

I have found that while God knows the whole plan as He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11, He does not always explain the details of that plan. I don’t know that this will ever be easy for me. But I also realize that my finite mind cannot hold the infinite plan of God. 

This quote by Martin Luther King really is something that I have to live. 

 

I don’t know where the staircase leads or even the next few steps, but all I have to do is have faith and take the step I see. It is when I look back that I see how far God has brought me and how I could not have understood everything He was and is doing for me. 

The song Step by Step by Rich Mullins summarizes my life right now. “And step by step You’ll  lead me, and I will learn to walk in Your ways!” Jesus is leading us forward. He knows the perfect way, we have to allow Him to lead to walk after Him. 

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