But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I’m beginning to understand the value of having a thorn in my life. I need the constant reminder that Jesus is bigger than that. Once I jumped into the sweet reality that my weakness is something to boast about, the thorn stopped nagging me, albeit for that moment. Thorns will always grow on the stem of a rose or on a vine of a thistle, but I choose to believe that God has transformed my stubborn heart, like thorny weeds choking life, into a beautiful budding rose, a rose that’s noticed more than the thorns because of God’s all-sufficient grace.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses! This week, it dawned on me as I was fighting with that thorn and asking God to please take it away for ever, that I had never thanked him for that thorn. I had never taken the jump into experiencing God’s grace. Jumping into joy by praising God for my weakness.
My conversation with God went something like this:
“Okay, God! Here I am boasting about this junk! Do you hear me? I am so tired with dealing with this again and again. I’ve begged you to take it away for ever but it’s still weighing me down. I need your grace and power because I am about to fail again! Thank you, God for this wonderful trial and constant temptation so I can depend on you for strength to overcome. I’m counting on the truth of your Word. I believe, please help my unbelief. I believe I am more than a conqueror because of Jesus. Show me Jesus, now!”
There is something wonderfully sweet about feeling the prick of the Holy Spirit in my heart. To even feel a sense of happiness for that thorn. It’s there for me to celebrate and jump into God’s sufficiency. He did show me Jesus! Praising God for that!
My heart naturally resists depending on God when I am weak. The noise in my heart, amplified by tough self-sufficiency, can drown out the Holy Spirit’s reminder: “my power is perfect in your weakness.” God meets me at the point of my prideful self-sufficiency and lovingly brings me to my knees in worshipful dependence. ~Tricia Wilkerson
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault
Photo Credit: Leslie Harris Vander Baan
Stay and Wait. Please linger with me here.
Once upon a time I took the little things for granted. Watching you sniff a tulip’s perfume reminds me that I don’t know that fragrance.
I want to stay and wait here. Capturing every detail of you with my eyes, hearing every sound you make, feeling your small hand in the palm of mine.
I had forgotten how much fun it is to swing until we were swinging together and I began to laugh along with you.
Photo Credit: Laura Ann Harris
Here is where I pray for you to stay and wait to see God’s wonder and know God’s grace. That you would stay close and lift up His name. To wait and hold fast to His Word.
Here is where the treasure is. You are a princess, a child of the King. Stay and wait here. You will see the King stretch out His arms for you; to clothe you in royal righteousness.
Here I will stay and wait.
Linking up with everyone for Five Minute Friday, where a remarkably encouraging and loving community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt is: HERE. http://lisajobaker.com/2013/04/five-minute-friday-here-2/
He holds fast to the memory attached to this swing. He would watch his beloved read books in the shade while gently swaying. He would sit beside her in the evenings while sipping on cool ice tea. Friends and family would arrive for visits and race to be the first one to sit on the swing. Folding chairs were hauled out from the garage and placed in a half-moon circle facing the swing. Sweet times and pleasant memories.
There has always been a wooden swing in the back yard or one hanging on the back porch. Pillows were added for a comfortable touch and cozy enough to lay down and take a nap. He would tie a rope on a branch of a tree or from a corner of the porch, long enough to reach the person sitting in the swing. We would stretch out on the swing, give the rope a tug and rock ourselves to sleep.
Things happen and life changes. She was no longer around to enjoy the swing with him. The rhythm of conversation taking place around the swing stopped because she was not there to talk. He never noticed how old the swing was and how badly the paint had chipped around the edges, until after she was gone. He noticed the swing more after the memories began to fade.
He fought back to keep the memories from disappearing. He bought lumber and set out to build a new swing. He created a swing like the original one he gave her years and years before. He built bird houses near the swing because she always loved to watch the birds. He is pleased with his carpentry knowing how thrilled she would have been and so proud of him. After memories fade, he sits on the swing he built for two and is flooded with peace that he will be with her again one day.
Linking up with everyone for Five Minute Friday, where a remarkably encouraging and loving community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt is: CHERISH.
This is my today…my Friday and the events that are cherished.
I wrap myself in the warmth of the sun on this glorious Friday. The cold winter wind slapping my cheeks is suppressed with warmth and tender touches from the sun. This strange and unexpected day in winter is a kiss from God. He knows just what I need. I cherish this.
The laughter of a child swinging higher and higher and a grandmother’s smiles of delight embrace me with soft words, “Cherish this.”
A friend wants to talk about her stuff and needs me to listen and I am there for her. I cherish this.
Children are growing and their world is spinning…with work and family and fun and they call…to face time and I cherish this.
A wise one will meet with me to speak into my life and to show me things that I need to know. Mentor. I cherish this.
My family afar requests that I pray for them. A sadness with frustrating days await them and God’s grace is their comfort. I cherish this.
My husband wants to talk so we meet for lunch at our favorite restaurant to share words of encouragement to inspire and motivate each other through the rest of the day. I cherish this.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” Ephesians 1. I am cherished!
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and our families ventured to a water park complete with large inner tubes to float down the lazy river. Super size slides and water tunnels did not intimate the adults sliding down right after their children. The large swimming area with a few cascading waterfalls and smooth rock side finish gave the effect of a mountain pool. There were a few life guards but with so many children and adults splashing and making happy noises, they did not see a child struggling in the deep end of the pool, very close to the water fall. She was frantically trying to get to the side of the pool and the look on her face was that of fear and terror She went under and kicked herself back up for air and struggled more. I shouted to the life guards to HELP but my voice could not penetrate through the noise.
The only voice that was penetrating through the noise was that of my own voice…in my head that said, DIVE!
And I did. I swam to her and she saw me coming. When I was close enough she began grabbing for me for her safety. She was struggling and I feared we would both go under the water.
STOP FIGHTING ME! I shouted. TRUST ME! She stopped flailing her arms long enough for me to quickly turn her around and slide my left arm under hers and kicked and pulled through the water with my right arm…we made it to the ladder on the other side of the pool. I was breathless. Relieved. She was rescued.
Sometimes helping friends in need is risky. It may cost you something of great value. It may require you to DIVE into their mess and unknown struggles to rescue them from serious consequences. DIVE in and call out for God the rescuer to help you both find peace and safety.
Sometimes we struggle against others helping us. We fight against what is good and right. Sometimes we don’t trust our helper because we are drowning in fear, pain, worry and hopelessness.
Stop struggling against God. You’re gasping for air and Jesus says, “TRUST ME! I am the great RESCUER! I will DIVE in for you. I have already been to the depths for you. Stop struggling against ME…I love you with an everlasting love. I will rescue you!”
A missed opportunity or an opportunity to go for it.
When you think back to the last ten years of your family life, career or personal business how much of what you haven’t achieved is due to missed opportunities and how much is the result of doing tasks poorly? Do you like to play it safe and avoid all the risks that you can?
Be willing to step out of your comfort zone. You have the opportunity right now to trust God to give you strength and courage to do something out of the ordinary. Life is an adventure full of opportunities. You have the choice to go for it or cower in self-doubt and insecurity.
You have an opportunity to do something great for the Glory of God. Your work matters to God. When you perform poorly, you are not honoring Him because all that He does is good and excellent. When you are filled with more of Jesus and overflowing with more of His grace, you will have confidence to go for it…to perform with excellence for His glory.
So jump at the opportunity! Go for it! Meet a new neighbor, volunteer at a homeless shelter, speak out against injustice, defend the weak, get out of debt, finish a degree, pray for your enemies…
Quit waiting for someone to give you permission or to say you are qualified or until you like yourself better. God has already confirmed all of that! He has chosen you. He will give you the strength and courage to go for it.
Here I am writing for five minutes about the topic of Wonder…
I wonder why God loves me so when I continually choose not to love Him so. Sin gets in the way.
I wonder why this huge God would humble himself to the point of becoming our [my] Savior. It is shocking to understand the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The ultimate sacrifice and humility to be all man and all God…just for me. (Just for you) I wonder, why me. (Do you wonder, why you?) I wonder…why not me. (Do you wonder that?)
Am I worth it? Hmmm.
(God must think so!)
And I wonder at the majesty of God to love insignificant me so much.
I also want to have an Elf on a Shelf. Does this sound silly? I wonder if it is silly. My husband and I are empty nesters and I have two sweet and precious granddaughters ages two years and three months. My wonder about Christmas coming and the excitement of the celebration coupled with imagination is to have an elf on a shelf for them and when they discover the elf, the prize is reading a chapter from The Jesus Story Book Bible (a great book!) …plus give them a little treat or bake cookies together or go on an outing, or…endless options!
The wonder of Christmas should be about Jesus. The amazing gift of love and grace from our Heavenly Father. Christmas is knowing what love means…It means that His love is neither conditional, nor changeable, God’s love is constant and faithful. I want to impart that wonder to my granddaughters!
This is my wonder…to ponder the love of Jesus for us.
Five Minute Friday is a challenge where you write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, over thinking or backtracking on a given topic. If you would like to read what others are sharing about this topic jump over to Lisa-Jo Baker :: tales from a Gypsy Mama