Posted in Devotional Musings

Flashback: Like it or not Change Happens

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12

I am a creature of habit. I like things occurring in a way that makes sense to me.  When something slips out of place and forces me to re-arrange my routine, or when I come to a fork in the road where I have to decide where I am supposed to be, I don’t particularly enjoy the process.  This happens even when I am prompted by God to try something new before I feel I am ready.  It’s at these times that I feel like I am back at square one, starting again, just like a baby taking their first steps.

You know, I think that this is a big reason as to why change causes discomfort for so many of us.  When you are well into your journey of life and like to think you are an expert in your field, to have to start something new, when tragedy occurs or when you have to go somewhere that was never in your “life plans”, it is an uncomfortable and at times humbling experience. I have had to do this many times and it has taken me quite a while to be able to ignore the internal voice which starts making me doubt.  You know that tape recorder that plays in your subconscious making statements such as – “Have I chosen the right path“, “Was it really God speaking to me?”, ”Can people see how uncomfortable I am?”, “Does it look like I know what I am doing?”,  “Why me?”, “I am just going to fail or make a fool out of myself!”.

To drown out this internal voice I draw on God’s truth, repeating one of my favourite passages in the book of Jeremiah which cuts through this doubt with words of reassurance:- “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NIV)

What a comfort it is to know that when I stumble across hurdles on my path, when unexpected detours come my way, the God of the universe knows the plan, my life has meaning and I am not alone.  What peace it brings in the midst of troubling or changing times in my life to know that I can call on God and He will listen. I pray that the next time change comes your way you will remember this truth and that it will bring you peace and reassurance.

(original post 26.1.2015)

                                                                                                                                             

References:

Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). GrandRapids, Mich.: Zondervan;                        Image: http://www.lovethispic.com/image/236429/isle-of-skye

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Posted in Devotional Musings

Flashback: The Value of a Moment

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory” – Dr Seuss

It’s 5am and I toss and turn trying to go back to sleep.  I focus, craning to hear a sound or a voice calling me to see what brought me out of my slumber.  It is still dark, the moment just before the birds awake.  The world outside is mostly silent apart from the odd car engine grumbling as the shift workers head out to start their day.

My mind is calm but curious as to why I am awake so early. Naturally I raise my internal voice to sing the bridge of the song still resonating with my spirit from Church the night before:-

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me.  Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Saviour” (Hillsong United)

 “Speak Lord your servant is listening” I say to my Creator and wait. Flashes of memories come into my mind, they are memories of my father’s parents.  I see my grandma giggling in delight as she gives me her “squidgy” hugs. I see my grandpa showing me how to spin honey out of the honeycomb in the back shed. I remember….. I feel the delight of just being in their presence as a child, the love. The memory moves on to when I had to say goodbye, the last time I saw them before they died.  What sadness and yet what beauty knowing that they had a relationship with Jesus.

Have you ever had moments like that?  Where you have allowed yourself to remember, let in the sadness, relived the happiness and re-processed the confusion?

Have you ever allowed yourself to see the value in that moment?

Over the last 6 weeks I have been reliving moments of significance as I complete the study “Undaunted” by Christine Caine. Some of the memories have brought me back to a time in my life where my world was turned upside down and I was asking “why me?”. It has been a challenging and enriching process even though some memories were painful.

I wonder if we stop ourselves from looking back as an observer because all we see are bad moments….

Can bad moments have value? Yes! I firmly believe that they often have greater value than the good moments because it is in the hard times that we tend to dig deeper into God and is the time of most growth. I know that sometimes it is easier to avoid certain memories but let me reassure you with something I know to be true. 

Every moment in your life can be overcome with Jesus.

God’s power is present whatever storm we are going through as true as it is when the sun is shining.  Every moment had and has value.

God’s Word is full of His wisdom about our moments. His truth contains words of comfort, instruction, healing, praise, correction and encouragement.  You name it and there’s a verse for it! Even the questions – just look at King David pouring out his anguish in the book of Psalms:-

“Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.  Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.  My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?” Psalm 6:1-3.

I encourage you to take time to listen for your Creators voice in those moments of silence. To wait to see what He wants you to learn moment to moment. I encourage you to remember – not to hold on to the past but use what you learn to move forward into what God has planned for your future.

You have a purpose, a calling that God is eager to move you towards.

Just remember even taking one small step moves you forwards.

(original post – 19.8.2015)

                                                                                                                                               

References:         Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan; Hillsong United – Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Flashback: Waiting Well

 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in his word I put my hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning.” Psalm 130:5 – 6a

Sometimes I find waiting extremely difficult.  In fact I don’t recall ever meeting a person who enjoyed waiting.  Whether the waiting is for something exciting or potentially life changing in a negative way, either way, it’s during these moments that time seems to slow down.  Every second feels like forever and every tick of the clock is as loud as the sound of banging a hammer.

While I find waiting difficult (most of the time) in this current season I have discovered that waiting can be a joy no matter what the circumstance.  How do I know this?  Because more often than not waiting is not the problem, it’s what we do while we are waiting that’s the make or break of the situation.

I have found that one of the biggest hindrances when waiting is our underdeveloped fruit of the spirit also known as patience and that inner voice that questions everything, you know the one, the one that asks things like the following:–

Why is it taking so long? Why aren’t there more people manning the counters? Why can’t my child get ready quickly?  Why can’t my life be like her life? When will I get to sing from the platform? When will it be my turn to preach? When will people see the value in me?

We build up layer upon layer of “why’s”, “where’s” and “when’s” feeding our impatience rather than developing the ability to patiently wait upon the Lord

When waiting is a struggle, how do we ensure that we are waiting on the Lord and resting in Him as we wait? (I’m glad you asked) – one of the best things to do is declare God’s truths over each situation.  Seek God, ask Him to guide you to Bible verses that can be declared over each situation – This will ensure that there is less room for our frustrations and impatience to surface fully.  More importantly, this leaves no room for the enemy to speak into any insecurities or fears we may have.  Some examples are as follows:-

  • If you are waiting to hear about whether you still have a job“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
  • If you are waiting to see if you have enough money to pay the bills“So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?” or “What shall we wear” For the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31 – 33
  • If you are waiting for reconciliation/resolution“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins…….If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:8 -9; 11

Every situation you find yourself in has a verse that you can use to speak life into that situation and each one of God’s truths combats the enemy’s lies.

Waiting well means learning to refocus by resting in the knowledge that “God has got this”, He is in control, His timing is perfect and He knows what’s best for us – he uses everything to draw us closer to him. So instead of seeing waiting as a negative thing, how about we use it as the “prime time” to dig deeper in his word – spend more time in prayer, learn more about where God is going to take you.  Be still and listen.

This week I encourage you to spend time in God’s word seeking verses to declare over whatever you are going through.  Feel free to expand on this blog by sharing some verses you have declared during the week – I would love to see where God is speaking into your life.

(original post: 25.1.2016)

© 2016 by Tracy Thompson. All rights reserved.

                                                                                                                                                           

References:       Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, Mich.:                                               Zondervan; Image: http://www.lovethispic.com/image/200497/waiting

 

Posted in Devotional Musings

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Psalm 139:13-16

Do you ever find yourself looking at someone who you hold in high esteem and think “I wish I had their life” or “Why can’t I have their talents”? Do you ever find yourself ticking off all the items on the “Areas where I am a failure” mental checklist you have made? If you do let me reassure you, you are not the only one!  For me it is a constant day to day tug-o-war between how I feel and what I know to be true.

I remember one day when I was newly married my mother rang to tell me that she had something to give me for my house. So off I went to look at this treasure that was soon to be mine.  By the time I reached my parents’ place I had visions of beautifully restored antique furniture, my grandmothers wooden blanket box, maybe even a rocking chair. When I walked in the door my stomach dropped, there was this tatty cupboard which looked like something that should have been on the firewood pile.   Overwhelmed by disappointment I thought “How can I tell my mother that I would rather have nothing than have that cupboard in my house”.  Much to my relief it turned out that the cupboard wasn’t meant for me.

You know, I can’t even remember what I was given that day because what is ingrained in my memory is what transpired with the cupboard.  You see, my mother has an amazing gift of being able to see beauty in the forgotten pieces that society would take one look at and turn up their nose in disgust.  She took that tatty weathered cupboard, sanded the outside until every face was smooth, shelves were affixed to the top to transform it into a display buffet, a coat of paint was added and beautiful white stencils were carefully painted as the final touch.  This once tatty cupboard destined for the woodpile was rescued and transformed into a thing of beauty reflecting the vision of its creator.

What a perfect picture of our relationship with God this memory is.  Even before we were formed and took our first breath our Master Creator had a vision of our potential and His works are wonderful.  By His grace alone, God sees past our failings, our feelings of inadequacies and our brokenness to the heart of who we are.  He is waiting to smooth away the rough edges, add a coat of paint and transform us into who He destined for us to become if we allow it.

All we need to do is make spending time with Him a priority, meditate on the truths of His word and practically apply them to our day to day life. Doing this will allow our Master Creator to mould, prune and transform us.  It is a journey which will take the rest of our lives but I can assure you precious friends, there will be no regrets.

QUESTION TO PONDER:  What do you need to give up or release in order to make spending time with God a priority?

MORE VERSES TO EXPLORE:                                                                                         

Psalm 139:1-24; John 15:1-5

© 2016 by Tracy Thompson. All rights reserved.

                                                                                                                                                                             

References:                                                                           http://www.lovethispic.com/image/1901/fearfully-and-wonderfully-made                       Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, Mich.:Zondervan