Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Wow! Good to know…I can do ALL things! Maybe I’ll begin by leaping a tall building with a single bound or establishing world peace by lunchtime or maybe just getting all the closets organized and the crumbs cleaned out of the silverware tray and out from under the toaster! To tell you the truth though, each task seems as daunting as the one listed before it. So exactly what do you think Paul meant when he spoke these words to the Philippians?
I think the key words in this verse are not “I can do all things” but rather “through Christ”. We weren’t created by God to be super heroes, or to live each day breaking our neck trying to do a hundred things to please everyone we know. We were created to be His hands and feet here on earth. I don’t recall a single passage in Sacred Scripture that described Jesus multi-tasking, over-booking His schedule or speaking only to those people with the most urgent needs.
The beauty of this verse is that it is simply calling us to do the tasks that God puts before us each day. He’s not asking us to bear the burdens of the world and do ALL things. He’s directing us to ask Him what His plan for us is each day and then He will supply us with all the grace, mercy, love and strength we need. I think it’s a good idea to take an inventory of ALL the things we’re trying to accomplish in a day and prayerfully sort through them…maybe we’re trying to do a task that was really meant to bring somebody else closer to God! Maybe our greatest task of the day is as simple as stopping to listen carefully to a person who just really needs to be heard.
A Seed to plant: Take a look at your “to do” list for the next few days and ask God for the wisdom to know which tasks are really yours. Then take a few minutes to ask for the strength to be His hands and feet as you accomplish them.
Blessings on your day!
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:11
Still...yeah, right...It's clear the author of this Psalm knew nothing about baseball, car pools, laundry, dinner, staff meetings and the dozen other things we have to cram into a day! I have yet to see "Be Still" appear on my daily calendar right above hair cut, dentist appointment or ballgame...how about you? But I'm beginning to think maybe we should!
A few years ago, one of my little first grade lovelies told the class her grandma taught her that if you're really still and quiet sometimes you can hear God's voice and it's like a soft whisper in your ear! There was simply nothing more for me to say during that lesson...I felt like I owed her my paycheck for the day because her lesson was far more powerful than anything I could come up with!
This weekend we went on a family camping trip and I plopped down in a lawn chair all by myself and something completely cool happened! As I landed in my lawn chair, I tossed up a quick prayer of thanks for getting us there safely and asked Him to bless the family who was gathered for the weekend and also to bless those who couldn't make it. I was completely struck by the almost deafening silence that followed that quick prayer...and then it happened...out of nowhere...I heard one of my absolute favorite sounds...the laughter of little children...ya know the kind...where they giggle so hard they almost fall over! It was a great gift! I'm convinced it was "a quiet whispering" of sorts. I don't think God always whispers, actually when I think about it, He can be really loud and sometimes very funny. The trick to hearing His voice begins with our stillness. It's in that stillness we give Him the chance to send us the gift of an awareness of His presence. Seems pretty simple doesn't it...all we need to do to receive the gift is to be still and connect with the Father who wants more than ANYTHING to connect with us!
A seed to plant: Right now...look at your schedule for the week and purposefully plan some moments EVERY day where you will do nothing but BE STILL and ask God "to come on in to your life." Be sure to let us know what you heard!
Blessings on your day!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope.
Key words..."I have in mind"...meaning God is in charge of the plans not us! News flash...He is a much better planner because His eyes see what ours cannot...His ears hear what ours cannot and His plans for us are sprouted from a love so big we can't even imagine it!
God is a God of surprises and they are quite excellent! I'm from Kansas and every December Dave and I pack up the three little Wohlfert's (although they are all much taller than mamma so little isn't the best adjective but it makes me forget how old I'm getting so I'm gonna go with it) and drive the 800 plus miles to visit my family. A couple years ago as we were traveling back to Michigan on New Year's Eve we were racing against the clock because the boys had suddenly become old enough to have a social life and heaven forbid we missed one minute of fun. I remember stopping at a rest area and hearing a loud hissing sound as we crawled out of the Suburban...YIKES...not a happy sound coming from a tire! The boys groaned and began to see their evening plans turn to mud. I said a quick prayer for our safety and the kids patience and understanding. And...as the God of surprises would have it, we hopped back on interstate 70 and the next exit was only 2 miles away and guess what the first thing we saw was...yup...a tire repair shop. In the time it took the kids and I to walk to the fast food place across the road and order lunch, the tire was fixed and for a surprising cost of less than $15 dollars New Years Eve was once again a happy thought.
You can't plan that kind of wonderful...you can't invent that kind of surprise...only the God of surprises is THAT good. I spent the rest of the trip home wondering how many times had God surprised me and I'd been too wrapped up in my own plans to recognize His work?
A seed to plant: (aka..your homework...man I love being a teacher!)
For the next week, before your feet hit the floor, tell God good morning and then ask Him to plan your day without any help then keep a running tally of all the surprises and blessings that come from living Jeremiah 29:11. Please pass them along so we can all enjoy your surprises!
Blessings on your day!
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Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com