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"The Lord will work out His plans for my life." (Psalm 138:8a, NLT)
Little 4-year-old Jude brought me a drinking glass full of blue water and some unrecognizable white gooey stuff. "Come on, Mimi," he said excitedly. "Let's go make some bubbles."
"What is this, Jude?" I queried, raising the glass to my nose.
"Don't drink it! It's bubble sauce," Jude explained.
The glass was clearly full of blue Listerine and something else. I walked to the bathroom and saw lotion squirted on the floor and counter so I assumed the white gooey stuff was lotion. "What are you doing, Jude?" I again questioned, not too pleased that I would need to clean the bathroom.
"I'm making bubbles."
"Big problem, honey. Neither mouthwash nor lotion make bubbles. Why are you trying to make bubbles?"
"I want to freeze the bubbles so they will last forever," Jude responded.
"Well, I will help you make some bubbles in the sink and you can play with them, but we can't freeze them." I proceeded to fill the sink with water and shampoo (that's all I could think of at the moment). We did get a lot of bubbles and Jude had fun for a few minutes.
The thought occurred to me that often I'm like Jude. I think I know what to do about a situation. I think I can come up with a solution or find the answers on my own. Just when I think I've got it all figured out, something inevitably pops up to remind me that I am totally helpless on my own.
I'm so thankful that the Lord has the answer to every situation I face. He will work His plans in my life. He knows the right way to make "bubble sauce"!
I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned,
I only know at His right hand
Stands One who is my Savior.
I take Him at His word and deed.
Christ died to save me this I read,
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Savior.
(written by Aaron Shust, Dorothy Greenwell)
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
As I'm writing this, my youngest child, Jude, and I are visiting my parents in North Carolina. Today, my father needed to visit a doctor and after his appointment, we took Jude (who is 4 years old) to a park to play. On the way back to my parents' home, Jude began to cry. I was surprised because nothing had been obviously bothering him. I asked Jude what was wrong.
"Why did God make officers? I don't like them," he replied, with big tears running down his face.
"Officers? Are you talking about police officers?" I questioned. I was a little confused. No one had been talking about police officers. This statement seemed to just come out of nowhere.
"Yes," Jude tearfully replied, his little bottom lip quivering. "Why did God make them? I'm afraid of them."
I hugged him tight. "Honey, police officers are just people like you and me. They help us. They try to take care of bad guys. You don't need to be afraid of them." Jude nodded, but was still clearly upset.
About 15 minutes later, my mother pulled the car into a gas station. Just as we did, a police car pulled up beside us also to get gas. The police officer got out and he just happened to be very friendly. As our windows were down, the officer called out, "Hey, I see you've got the whole family out." Then he leaned in closer and spoke directly to Jude, "Hi, buddy! How are you?"
Jude responded, "Hi. I'm good!" The smile on his face was big and I could see he was delighted.
I leaned over and whispered to Jude, "See! Officers are people just like you and me. You don't need to be afraid." Jude nodded again, very emphatically.
Thank you, Lord, for caring about the fears of my young son. I believe with all my heart that God sent a friendly police officer to a particular gas station at just the right time to show a little 4-year-old boy that he didn't need to be afraid.
May you rest today in the confidence that your heavenly Father cares for you. He sees every crease of your worried brow. He feels every weight on your mind. He keeps track of every tear you cry.
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
written by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel, Civilla Durfee Martin
Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus…Therefore accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God. (Romans 15:5, 7 - HCSB)
Sometimes, I feel that I’ve been in ministry (church work) my entire life. I was raised in a pastor’s home and then married a pastor. As the decades have passed, I’ve seen patterns in human behavior - the same cycles, the same mistakes, the same outcomes time and time again.
One thing I’ve noticed is that we are not very good at truly accepting one another as commanded in the verse above. As Christians, we banter Christian phrases around, either because they sound good or we feel it's expected. On the surface, these trite phrases seem to project true love for one another. Yet, I’m often amazed at how little we really try to see things from another’s perspective, or to put ourselves in someone’s shoes.
I’m sure you are responding the same way I responded when I began to challenge myself on this issue. I don’t judge others. I’m empathetic. I’m kind. I’m….Really? I was taught good manners by my mother, so I rarely speak unkind words, especially in public, but what about my thoughts? I have hung on to unkind thoughts at times. Then, I am unkind, even if I didn’t utter a single unkind word. (Proverbs 4:23)
If we would apply the same guidelines to our thoughts as we do our public deeds, then I think we would truly be able to love and accept one another as Christ commanded us. Too often, we are too easily offended, too quick to have our feathers ruffled, too fast to assume others have negative intentions.
Psalm 119:165 challenges me: "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Nothing causes me to get offended, nothing causes me to stumble, nothing causes me to get negative. Nothing? That's a high standard! So then if I find myself offended, if I find myself becoming negative, if I find myself harboring bitterness, then I have begun to lose my love for God's Word. I'm certainly not at peace in that state.
Oh, dear fellow believers, let's stir up the passion for God's Word in our hearts. Let's set aside every weight, every hindrance and every distraction that causes us to get off course and re-commit to following His truths in obedience. Then, we will truly be able to live in harmony as our Lord commands us.
I will not forget
Your love for me and yet
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus, be my guide
And hold me to Your side.
I will love You to the end.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path. (written by Amy Grant, Michael Smith)
My name is Lynn Pauley. I'm just a normal woman, with normal struggles. Any success I've found comes from following the Scriptures. I'll update this blog as time and inspiration permit.