Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Uncertain Futures

Today heralds the first days of fall with the trees showing signs of change.  I can now look out on the deck and see the multiple shades of colors beginning to reveal themselves in the beautiful tapestry of fall.   What a wonderful world we live in, and we are given the command by God to care for this world, much the same way as we do for our families.  In today's world, we find that many of us are struggling to do both, the cares and worries of work and paying for the lives that we have made for ourselves, we now find are overwhelming to say the least.  Job uncertainties along with the devalued dollar create for us stress that is sometimes incomprehensible.  What is the answer to these complexities of life, are we to continue worrying about all these things, or is there a better way?  

For our family, we have gone through these things.  Not to long ago, we were looking at the possibility of losing our home due to the lack of income coming in.  On top of this, Anne is to lose her status as full time instructor at the end of this school year, due to policies set forth many years ago by Winona State University for staff with a Master's degree.  We initially fretted over the possible outcomes and then we gave it the Lord.  I remembered the analogy about the swimmer who struggled with staying afloat.  The rescuer waits until the swimmer's strength is almost gone, he then is free to save him, otherwise both the swimmer and rescuer will drown in the swimmer's panic to stay afloat. 

 God does the same for us, doesn't he.  When we as a couple had quit struggling and asked for help, we noticed that God was free to open up His storehouse of possibilities.  Work started to come in with teaching online and the chance to teach enough classes to meet our needs was given with an online university opened up for Anne.  This will, in the future, allow her next year to be at home, (answer to prayer) and be with the kids and I.  One person once told me that God is never early, but he is never late either.  I recall in Revelation 3:20 the passage that has Jesus standing at the door knocking.  This scripture verse has been used many times in messages to us saying that he is calling the unsaved to be Christians, but in reality, Jesus is knocking at the door not of unbelievers, but of Christians like us, asking them (and us) to hear his voice, to invite Him into our lives.  He knocks gently at our door and we only need to listen for his gentle presence, so we can invite him into our hearts, and help us with our individual needs.  Jesus talks to us about not worrying about such things as the world does.  He says that even when a sparrow falls from the sky, he knows.  Jesus reminds us in Luke 12:27 that even Solomon in all his glory could not compete with the beauty of the lily's of the field that he (God) provided for us.   So, if Jesus provides for nature around us, He will give to us what we need.  We as his children need to remember, if we give to Him our cares and worries, and believe that he will provide for our individual needs.  God "will" open his storehouse to us.   

There have been times in my life I have struggled to believe that there is a way out.  I have had to admit that I lacked the faith to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I saw it only as a train coming at me in retrospect.  During those times of unbelief, how I struggled to find a way out of my circumstance.  When looking at all my options and finding only a wall, I was faced with the fact that I could not find a way.  Oh how much easier it would have been for me to lay my cares before Jesus in the beginning.  It is difficult at times to know the responsibilities that we are given versus that of God's.  Sometimes I see people waiting in the harbor to see God act for them first before going out to sea.  I once read that in a storm, the harbor is sometimes not the best place for a ship, it must get into the storm and face it directly in order to be saved from shipwreck.  But, sometimes like Jesus' disciples in the stormy waters, we struggle with all our might to beat the tumult of waves around us, and find that we are sinking.  Jesus walked on water to save his disciples, and He waits for us to invite him into our boat, to save us as well from our overwhelming problems, he does care for us.  

Are you feeling a lack of faith right now, ask Jesus for it.  There have been times that I felt that I did not possess the right amount of faith to believe. During those times, I remembered the passage in Mark 9:24 where the father said to Jesus, "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief."  Jesus doesn't expect us to be complete in our faith, but through these challenges we face, we have the opportunity to grow if we allow Jesus to teach us.  I recall a passage from the book, Brother Andrew Behind the Iron Curtain, he talks about his faith or should I say, lack of it.  He believed that Jesus was leading him to deliver his word to a world of unbelievers and that God would help him.  What Andrew didn't know that God would be teaching him how to walk in a greater faith.  The people that he was reaching answered his questions about how they met each week for Bible study.  They told him that they could not write to each other with the times and places because the mail was monitored, the same was true with phone calls.  This amazed Brother Andrew so he asked them, "How then do you know when and where to meet?"  They told him that they prayed as individuals, waited for Jesus to speak to them and tell them times and places to meet.  Every time the location was right.  They also told Brother Andrew that that is how they were meeting him in this dark alley to collect Andrew's Bibles, Jesus told them the location and time to where to meet meet him .  They told Andrew that he was the answer to their prayers for Bibles.  Andrew realized how much more his faith needed to grow, God was giving the opportunity for Andrew to believe that God cares even in the minuet details.  

For each of us God does not always give us the complete picture of what is to take place, sometimes it is only in bits and pieces.  We struggle at times in wondering why, "Why can't I see the whole picture?"  Why must I trust daily for my needs to be met when so much rides on the
outcome?  Sometimes I have felt, "Well, it might work for some to have that formulaic faith, trust and then you will get what you need, but I am not that way."  During these times I have found that it is so important to take the time and talk to Jesus, share your frustrations and He will listen to you, for He cares.  Talk to him in your car, your walk, your work place, wherever you are at, Jesus will listen to you and help you.  Be honest with your feeling with him, God is the best listener in the world.  He wants you to be honest and to be yourself.  He truly cares about you.  

Have a wonderful weekend!  Augie
Post a Comment