Moving to a different continent with three children can have a lot of challenges. For the most part, the challenges have been fun as they push us to trust our Lord more and trust ourselves less. And, yes, it has taken a bit of a journey for me to consider the more of Him and less of me to be "fun".
But, "trust Him more and trust ourselves less"...Yea, that's not too popular in today's society.
I have come to the point in my walk with Jesus where I know that He is always right. His ways are always best. He is always faithful. He is provider. He is good. He knows what I am going through. He hears my prayers. He answers my prayers. He loves me. He cares about even the little things that are bothering me. He is my true comfort. He will never leave me. He does have a plan for me and it is a good, prosperous plan.
Do I ALWAYS remember these truths? Nope. I am prone to wander. I tend to fall. I often accidentally take the wrong path in the following Him. Usually, it is because I am not following but leading...and, good night, hopefully one day I will learn that I was not meant to lead my Savior!
BUT, the Lord in His sweet grace has taught me the above truths in one way or another.
In our challenges we coukd cry out, "God, what are you doing??!!" But the truth is, whatever He is doing in my life is so that His works, the works of God, might be displayed in me.
If my focus is inward, I will be discouraged and frustrated. If my focus is on my Savior, I can release whatever fears, anxieties, anger, bitterness, resentment, etc knowing that I will not be glorified in this situation...and reader, that is OKAY. God is the One who gets the glory and I am, and need to be, okay with that.
I have spent far too many minutes being a glory-thief.
See, too often I look at a challenging situation and wonder what others might think of me. Sometimes it isn't as clearly thought out as that, but my thoughts and actions prove that I am concerned with how others might view my reactions, success, and even my failures.
But, the truth is, I am where I am so that I may seek God. Paul tells me this in Acts 17. I am where I am so that I may seek God.
If a challenging situation comes my way, do I seek God? Or do I question Him and whine about how unfair it is that this was my chosen lot in life? See, I don't want to make this life about me. It's not why I was created. I want, in every situation, to make it about HIM. THAT is why I was created.
I have three children and there was a time in parenting where I constantly felt like the "No-Mom". I mean constantly! You know that stage between maybe age one year and 12 years where the child seems to just not know what is best for them? (Yes, I stretched that out to 12 years because I just realized it does in fact still happen!) They pick up tools that are not toys and play with them, not knowing the harm this can cause them. Sometimes, when they were really little, they didn't even play with the item...they simply picked it up and held it. As a good mom, knowing what is best for my children, I would take this item away from them.
What have you "picked up" that maybe you shouldn't? And, has God taken something from your hands or asked you to hand it over knowing it is best for you? Does your response to His request or His taking leave you more like the 15month old child or the 12 year old pre-teen? Or does your response to your loving and all-knowing Father resemble that of Jesus, "...not my will, but Yours be done."
I titled this post "You Were Made to Thrive" and you were. Do you believe it? Do you believe that you are thriving in this life? Maybe the word "thrive" is not in your everyday language and you miss the point of the question. So, I will word it like this; Do you feel like you are growing vigorously? Do you feel like you are advancing? Do you feel like you are succeeding? Do you feel like you are flourishing?
Or do you feel like you are just trying to survive?
Jesus said He came so that we may have life and have it abundantly. He added the abundantly part and I am thankful for that! He could have left it off, but He didn't. Because we were not just made to survive. We were made to thrive! (Thank you, Casting Crowns, for this amazing song!)
I propose that if we are just surviving, there are some things that we might have picked up that we need to give back to the Lord or just simply put down. Because He knows what is best in order for us to actually live. For us to not get hurt or hurt someone else. What might they be? Oh, I don't know what your "things" might be, but here are some commons things: fear, control, comfort, divorce, death, bitterness, offenses, your house, your job, security, that boyfriend that didn't choose you, anything that you "need" everyday, the size that you wish you were, you get my point.
Perhaps today is the day that you put some stuff down. That you lay aside offenses because, gosh darn it, they just don't push you toward the abundant life that Jesus purchased for you on the cross. If you don't know what you are holding that you shouldn't, ask. Ask Him, and I am sure you will hear what they are.
Be blessed, dear friends. Be encouraged. You are such a delight to our Father! You are so very loved and He wants the absolute best for you!!
Please enjoy this great song:
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