Tuesday, August 18, 2009

But I'm Unqualified!

I'm unqualified for anything else. I'm barely qualified for this.
- Catherine Keener

Recently I've been studying the life of King David and today came to the moment he became king of the entire Hebrew nation. At this point he had been king over Judah for several years, but finally he realized the fullness of his calling - somewhere around 15 years after he was called!

Then I was reminded that he had been a lowly shepherd boy when he was called. Beth Moore, the author of, "A Heart Like His - Intimate Reflections on the life of David," reminded me that God did not call David in spite of the fact that he was a shepherd, rather because of it. In 2 Samuel 5:2 we read, " The Lord said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their leader.'"

I've shared several times that I not only feel unqualified for the calling God has put on my heart, I am severely unqualified. This confuses me and causes me to doubt myself. I don't doubt God but I do sometimes doubt if I've heard from Him what I think I did. It's at those times the Holy Spirit brings to my remembrance the things that I know about God - He loves and uses those who are weak and lowly, so the He will be lifted up.

If you a parent who has lost a baby, maybe several babies, and God is calling you to something, I would encourage you to ask God to help you take your spiritual eyes off yourself and your limitations and think about the things you know to be true about God. After all, it is He who will accomplish His good and perfect will in your life. It often feels like you're climbing an overwhelming mountain, to be sure, but it's really God who is doing the climbing and He's giving you the faith to hang on! I would encourage you to read Psalm 18 to remember who God is and what you mean to Him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Life Well Lived

The most important things in life are not things.
- Anthony J. D'Angelo
In the last week I have been moved by learning that three incredibly brave souls finished their fight here on earth; two missionary pilots in Kenya and my son's mother-in-love. Their loss leaves a heavy sadness on those who love them, but the mark they've left on the world around them is a cause for celebration. Any life that touches and changes other lives is a life well lived. May we follow their example.

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, than should be brought to pass the saying that has been written: "Death has been swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"
I Corinthians 15: 54-55 (NKJV)

When it's all been said and done
There is just one thing that matters
Did I do my best to live for truth?
Did I live my life for You?

When it's all been said and done
All my treasures will mean nothing
Only what I have done
For love's reward

Will stand the test of time
Lord, your mercy is so great
That you look beyond our weakness
That you found purest gold in miry clay
Turning sinners into saints

I will always sing Your praise
Here on earth and in heaven ever after
For you've joined me in my true home
When it's all been said and done
You're my life when life is gone.
- Robin Marks

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Making a Difference?

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that
the only thing one can be sure of is changing oneself.
-Aldous Huxley

Please allow me to give you a tour of my little oasis in the middle of life's busy-ness. The patio swing in my front yard provides a quiet, peaceful place outside where I can tune out our high tech world for a short while evey morning to have some one-on-one time with my God. It's really not much in comparison to many yards but it is special to me.

Besides providing respite, I enjoy my yard and garden because of the excitement I feel when something actually grows there! You see, I wouldn't exactly say that I have a "green thumb!" The label, "light gray thumb," would probably be a more accurate description of my gardening talent. That is clearly evidenced by these hanging baskets which were filled with beautiful little white, yellow, and lavender flowers on the day they were purchased. In my own defense I must say that I try, I really do try, to nurture these lovely baskets. But it seems that by mid-July each year my poor baskets make me wonder if it might be an act of kindness to put them out of their misery!

This morning as I was having my devotional time something caught my attention and just wouldn't let go! In fact, I had to get up from the swing to get a closer look...sure enough; some buds from the baskets had fallen onto the ground, taken root, and were blossoming! Even though my baskets have seen better days, their flowers had given of themselves and made a difference in the much larger and already blossoming garden.
As I looked with amazement at these flowers I felt tears welling up in my eyes. How many of us have felt like those hanging baskets look - standing alone, hardly worth noticing, not making much of a difference in the world around us? But God desires to take the little that we have to offer and breathe His Holy Spirit into it to touch and even change someone near us, maybe even someone we would consider to be lavishly florishing without our influence.

Like these poor baskets, may we obstinately refuse to give up in the face of discouragement. Sometimes appearances really are deceiving!