Tag Archives: trust

fresh strength

3 Dec

Well its 1:49AM and Star Trek: The Next Generation is on mute in the background. In my defense, it was a total accident. I was watching Scrubs… hours ago… and then I put it on mute and now its Star Trek. I have no idea whats happening on it right now though. However, half-watching it on mute has brought me to the realization that this would be a great show to do hilarious voice-overs on. Yes.

Also, this couch has lost its comfyness and my left leg is falling asleep.

None of this is relevant.

I haven’t blogged in quite some time, and I still don’t have much to say really, so Im not sure where this is going.

I got some new music by a band named Glass Pear. Really really good. So far my favorite is a song called “My Ghost”. Youre welcome.

You know who else I like? Lady GaGa. That’s right. I said it. Sure, she’s twisted and controversial at times, but she is super talented, an awesome performer, and uber creative. A-mazing artist. And Im pretty sure she is only 23 years old. Makes you re-evaluate what all you have accomplished in life so far doesn’t it? Just me?

Its finals week. Well, technically next week is finals week, which just means I have a boatload of stuff to do by then. That’s probably why I feel the need to blog. Haha.

My birthday is coming up. I don’t know where this year has gone. They say the years fly by more quickly the older you get. I am starting to believe them. Oh them.

But seriously, this year has been ridiculous. So many things I went through that I never would have anticipated. I guess that’s the beauty and excitement of it all, the future, the unknown. Who knows what I will have experienced by this time next year. Its crazy.

But I am thankful. Thankful for all the pain and all the insight I have gained through it and because of it. Not that it was all painful of course, many great and wonderfully amazing times were had as well. But this was a hard year. Not just for me, but for most people I feel like. Sure the recession had a lot to do with it, but 2009 seemed to really take pleasure in kicking you while you were down, ya know? I sure hope 2010 isn’t such a bully.

Wow 2010. I can remember 10 years ago – the year 2000! I remember before the year 2000, thinking about how old I would be in the year 2000 and how crazy it would be in the 1900’s anymore. Holy crap I feel old.

Which is nonsense. I am NOT old.  But “young” hardly applies anymore it seems. Guess Im somewhere in between.

All this thinking of time passing by reminds me of all the things I wanted to do that I haven’t done yet. I recently had a nightmare that woke me up in the middle of the night. I can only remember 1 or 2 other times in my whole life that Ive had a dream like that. So, I decided to try to figure out what it meant. But how does one go about interpreting their own dreams, you ask? The internet, of course!

Now, I don’t buy into some random dream website for the end-all be-all in exact dream interpretation, but theres lots of research out there about common symbols in dreams and what they mean or something like that, so who knows. Just thought it would be interesting to try to figure it out.

Turns out that random dream website thinks I have issues with my job, future career, expectations, identity, loneliness, helplessness, frustration, and “unclear” issues.

Well, that sure was helpful. Good to know my subconscious has issues with practically every area of my life.

But really, who doesn’t struggle with these issues on a semi-regular basis? I mean, yes, certain areas of life will go good for a time, but then things get hard. Hardships come and go all the time. Such is life.

We all have dreams. We all have desires and goals and passions and things we want to do… and things we want to do before we get “old”. These things don’t always work out the way we hope, and certainly not as soon as we wish they would. In fact, they hardly ever do.

But do we give up hope?

Do we believe the lies?

I know for me, and I think I have mentioned this before, it is so easy to get caught up in my own life and self to the point where I don’t even realize the many lies I have bought into and started to believe.

Like, (and these are my honest struggles) there’s no way this dream that God has placed in my heart will ever really work. I don’t have the skills or the talent or the know-how. I am not capable. I don’t have anyone who will help me. I have no idea what Im doing here. I don’t belong here. I should just give up, do something easier, blend in with everyone else. Etc, etc, etc…

But those are LIES.

God will ALWAYS give you what you need to do what He wants you to do. – Derrick Scott

So use your passion, focus on your strengths, be willing to learn, and don’t waste anymore time.

Don’t get me wrong, life can and will be disappointing a lot of the time. Going after your dreams is hard freakin work. But everything worth anything is going to cost you something. At times you will fail, but failure is not defeat. It is opportunity and challenge.

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them. – Ann Landers

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. – Henry Ford

I think Im starting to sound like a broken record. Guess I need to keep reminding myself of these things.

It is easy to lose hope.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”?

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

–      Isaiah 40:27-31

God cares. He has not forgotten about you. He is the Creator of EVERYTHING, including you, and He knows you inside and out. He never gets tired – He energizes those who are tired so they can run and not grow weary, soar like eagles, and not lag behind. The Message version refers to “hope” in these verses as “fresh strength” (I like that). He cares for His children like a shepherd cares for his flock, leading them into good pastures. Leading them into GOOD pastures. He has our best interest at heart. He will not abandon us. He wants to give us the future we hope for. He listens when we call out to Him.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. – Romans 5:3-5

His timing is perfect. Trust is the issue. Don’t quit in hard times, it will be worth all the pain. Expect God to come through – He is faithful.

risk

27 Apr

A turtle never moves forward until he sticks his neck out.

 

To move forward, you have to take some risks.

 

Check this out, the Bible is not a book that was written for our information, but for our transformation. When we choose to believe in the promises that God has to offer, when we actually apply those truths to our everyday lives, we will find the reward is well worth the effort.

 

Easier said that done though, right? In this life, it takes a lot of courage to risk everything on God’s promises. Like, when I put my hope in His promises, I’m pretty much betting my whole life on something I haven’t seen or experienced yet.

 

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:24-25)

 

 Which is where faith comes in I guess.

 

 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1)

 

Maybe sometimes we are supposed to do things the hard way. If we constantly do the whole pain-avoidance strategy, playing it safe, never taking chances, never dreaming bigger than what we are now… because we are afraid to trust God, afraid He wont hold up His end, afraid He will disappoint, afraid He wont handle it the way we want Him to (the safe, easy, pain-free way we are comfortable with)… then we actually inflict greater pain on ourselves. It’s ironic. By trying to avoid pain, we end up with more of it.

 

For me at least, I feel like I actually learn more from my mistakes than my successes. Mistakes teach us more about ourselves, more about reality. Pain often does that I think. I try not to see mistakes as mistakes though – as long as I’ve learned something, it was worth it. And I most likely wont make the same mistake again. There’s something about “learning the hard way” that really sticks with you.

 

There are times when God invites us and leads us in a direction that we are scared or uncomfortable going, and we choose not to trust Him. But God has our best interests at heart. He truly, deeply LOVES and cares about you. He created you, He knows you better than anyone, and He wants you to reach your full potential – what you were created for! He wants your life to glorify Him.

 

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

 

If you have God on your side, what is stopping you?? Anything worthwhile is going to be hard to get. It’s worth the risk.

 

Stick your neck out.

 

And don’t stop. Its not always going to work out. Pain is part of life. Embrace it. As hard as it may be. Because if you keep avoiding pain, you’re going to miss out.  Dream big and pursue those dreams. Take the risk to follow wherever He is leading you.

 

Don’t let fear hold you back.

 

And when you come to a painful place, hold fast hope. Hold fast to the hope that you have in Christ, the promises and truth that He has provided. If you walk away from Him when things get tough, you will never experience all the awesome things God can do in spite of your seemingly hopeless situation. That’s what He does best – take the broken pieces and put them back together, even better than before. Beauty from ashes. He wants to bring you out of the dark mess you’re in, and into the bright fullness of life that only He offers.

 

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

 

Sin is reality. Pain is reality. Suffering is reality. Having God on your side does NOT mean everything is easy and pain-free, but it DOES mean that He is your ever-present help in times of need, your comforter, your protector, your peace that transcends understanding. He is love and He is good and He is on your side. He has a plan for you, He knows whats going on, and His timing is always perfect.

 

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. (Jeremiah 29:11)

 

So if you believe it, live like it.

 

In the Bible theres a story where Jacob wrestles with an angel (Gen 32:22-32). Now, I don’t presume to completely understand this story, but here’s the way I see it:  Jacob’s brother, Esau, wants to kill him because Jacob tricked him out of all his inheritance mulah. Esau is a big ol burly hunter with an army of like 400 bandits. Jacob is a little soft guy who likes to play with animals and talk to women. Esau could totally kill Jacob if he wanted to, which he did. So Jacob’s running away with his peeps to stay alive and they’re camping out one night, and Jacob decides to go off by himself to pray and be alone and sleep under the stars. Someone attacks him, they start fighting, turns out its an angel. (Weird.) They wrestle. The angel throws Jacob’s hip out of joint. Its uber-painful. Jacob keeps wrestling. All night. With a wrenched hip. He wont let go until he gets God’s blessing. The angel finally gives in a Jacob is given a new name. He goes from Jacob “the cheater”, to Israel “the overcomer”. The rest of his life he walks with limp. And a smile. 

 

Here’s what I get from this. Even when he is scared and in pain, Jacob wont let go of the angel until he receives a new name. He no longer wants to be known as a cheater, he wants God to give him a new name – he wants to be an overcomer. And God does just that. When Jacob cries out for God’s favor and protection, when he clings to His promise in the midst of a tough painful situation, God is faithful to bring him through. In Christ we are overcomers.

 

It’s a risk to live the life He calls us to. But it’s the only way to truly live. Don’t run from the pain, let God help you overcome it.