Light for the Path...
What does patience look like to you? Is it waiting to be called in for an appointment? Is it anticipating your grade on an important test? A letter of acceptance from your favorite college? Or perhaps, patience is waiting for someone special to come home, or a word of hope from the doctor.
Regardless, it is hard to be patient. Love requires us to wait with expectancy and hope, trusting God all the while that whatever it is we are waiting for will work out for the best. People don’t always react in our time, in the way we expect, or with the attitude we are looking to see. Accept every test of your patience as a small, but mighty lesson from God. He is watching to see how we treat others while we are waiting.
Kindness is not the norm these days, but you, my friend, can be kind. You know the One who has been kind and good to you! You know the One who has been patient and loving every step of the way with you! When you react with anything less than patient understanding and kind words, remember that your God has never responded to your mistakes in that way. Look to Him to guide your response.
So, on this Monday morning as you are hurrying to get ready, take a deep breath, knowing that your day will have some bumps and bruises. It’s OK. God is right there to help you cope, with patience and kindness. You certainly might not be able to do it in your strength, but you definitely can do it in His!! Know that you are filled with His understanding spirit, and go forth to embrace this day!
Jealousy, envy, pride, and arrogance cannot live in a heart where God’s spirit lives. When He resides in you, your reflection of His love must be the opposite of these negative emotions! We have all experienced them at some point – being jealous of a friend’s new car when you got an old clunker on your birthday; feeling bitterness and resentment because your best friend is thin and lovely while you feel awkward and
overweight; boasting about your perfect score, when you know your classmates didn’t do as well… It’s human nature.
But, it’s not God’s nature! He is none of those things! What you look like, down to the last bulge, wrinkle, and wart, your gifts and talents, your family and your circumstances – they are not a surprise to God! In fact, He chose each and every part of your life especially for you! He wanted you to be unique, but He also wanted you to honor His choices.
Don’t wish to be someone else, or want what someone else has – we simply can’t question God! Instead, love who you are and cherish the life you are living as yourself!! Thank God for his many blessings, take a deep, confident breath, and go forth to embrace this day!!
When you truly love someone, it is important to show that love at all times. God does not change from day to day. He doesn’t get mad when we make a mistake, cry when we falter in our walk with Him, or throw a fit and stop speaking because we have chosen not to do His will. No, He lovingly and patiently nudges us back on track, forgives our willfulness, and guides us in our future decision making.
He is all about showing love. When we walk in His spirit, we need to ask ourselves how He would react in this situation, or how He would see that opportunity. There are instances in the Bible when Jesus was angry – righteous anger is sometimes necessary. But anger at our family and friends for their faults and poor choices only hurts the bearer of that anger – you. That’s where forgiveness comes in.
Make your thoughts known in a kind way, realize you are not the most important person in your world, and refuse to get angry over trivial, small-minded things. Remember that a fire will only continue to burn if more fuel is added. Don’t keep the fires of anger burning. Either throw the water of reason and kindness on it, or walk away. Your heart
will be better for it!
So, as you think about those close encounters, make an effort not to argue or speak harshly. Choose an attitude of grace and mercy, take a deep, peaceful breath, and go forth to embrace this day!
When someone makes you angry or hurts your feelings, does your mind immediately call up all of the past hurts and hard times you have experienced with this person? Does that make your anger level rise?
Love forgives and moves on. Simple as that. Although, truthfully, it’s NOT that simple, is it? We want to say we’ve forgiven, but we don’t want to forget. Unfortunately for our worldly selves, God wants us to forget. Who do you know that has spent a long time suffering with resentment, anger, and pain, because they have harbored all of their
sufferings, and refuses to let them go? It’s a terrible waste of life’s joy!
If you have to forgive someone every single day, do it. The Bible says “if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” And, since we are all sinners when we least expect it, we need His forgiveness!!
Erase all of those big and little issues you have been saving in your heart. Clean it out, dust away even the smallest hurts, and move on! Life is so full of exciting, joyous, wonderful happenings! Why on earth would we choose to savor the hurts instead of the celebrations??
So, on this first day of the rest of your life, take a deep breath, banish any thing or any memory that is even a pin prick of pain in your spirit, and go forth to embrace this glorious day!!
Have you ever found yourself feeling happily satisfied that someone has been put in their place, or gotten what you think they deserved? Have you ever accepted or given a reason or excuse you knew that wasn’t quite truthful? Have you been secretly smug because a classmate who constantly gets good grades, didn’t know the answer when called on in class, but you did??
Evil is just anything that is ugly, sinful, or wicked in the eyes of God. We face decisions every day that allow us to choose which we will honor – the evil of this world, or the glory and goodness of God. Sometimes there is nothing really wrong in what you do or say, it’s just not the best choice for one of God’s children. It might not look bad in the eyes of your friends, and “everybody else is doing it,” but it is still wrong for you.
Make your decisions based on what you know God wants for your life, not on what you think the world wants from your life. You belong to God! And, there is always more than one choice! One choice will make God smile and nod His head with pleasure. It will be the voice of truth and reason. The other, will cause God to bow His head and
feel shame, because you have compromised your integrity and hurt His feelings.
When you know Whose you are and where you are going, you will look for the Truth in every situation, and turn your back on evil. Stand tall, take a deep, secure breath of His Truth, and go forth to embrace this day!
The word “always” means “for ever; for all time.” We know that God is Love. We also know that the Bible tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. Jesus says, “And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” As we rejoice in Him and believe He is love, that belief should allow us to transfer His love to those we love.
We should protect them, trust them, hope in them, and do all of this with steadfast determination. That’s what God does with us. Sometimes, however, the people we love make that a very difficult thing to do. The very ones we care about and love unconditionally will betray us, hurt us, anger us, and use us.
Sad as it seems, and as much as you want to return the feelings with a vengeance, that’s not how it works. The word is “always,” not sometimes, or when things are going well, or when friends and family are being nice to us or when we get something in return. We don’t live in a perfect world. God doesn’t tell us not to be hurt or betrayed.
He simply tells us to love our way through it. Always.
Your capacity to love will surprise you! On your own, it’s hopeless. With God, it’s endless! If you find your feelings hurt, or feel that anger welling up, look to Him for an “always” reminder! Pray your way to forgiveness, know His love is there for the asking, take a deep, loving breath, and go forth to embrace this day!!
What a wonderful gift! God’s love NEVER fails!! And, if He lives in us, that love should be visible in all we do. It’s hard to imagine the phenomenal power of true love. We saw it when Jesus died for us on the cross. His love, given freely to those who believe, washed over us and took away our sins. It is timeless, forever, and always.
The song says, “Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me…” Oh, that we could be the living reflection of that love! How easy it is to run headlong into circumstances that steal our joy, our focus, our strength, and our ability to rest in Him. He will never let us down, but we have to be willing to admit we have failed, and call on His endless supply of love to refill and refuel us. WE may fail, but His love never does!
Think about the frailties of your friends and family. Think how many times you have seen them falter. Think how many times they have watched you lose your way. No matter where you go, what you do, or what you are facing, speak the words quietly…”Jesus, fill me with your love.”
So, on this Sabbath day, remember that you can’t give away more love than God can provide. It is the ultimate recycling plan!! Choose to love with abandon, take a deep breath, and go forth to embrace this day!