Thursday, February 26, 2015

Work With it Wednesday

I titled this post "Work With it Wednesday" because it flows well with the alliteration.  More importantly, though, is that one of the main things that has stuck with me over these two weeks is to work with what God has given me.

I am a planner.  I like to know what is going on, when, where, and how.  I must have everything all lined up and planned out, and I tend to freak out when things don't turn out that way.  Schedules are my best friend.  However, this world is full of uncertainty.  Take this weather for example.  Just a few weeks ago, the extended forecasts had not a single day in February getting below 40 degrees.  Not only did it go below that, into single digits with negative wind chills, but we have gotten inches upon inches of beautiful snow!  It's easy to blame our weather people (I am guilty) for not knowing what is going to happen, but that's the truth.  They don't know.  Only God does.  He is continually trying to show all of the world that He is in control and we are not.  He is trying to get our attention before He comes back for good.

"He said to them, 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority."  Acts 1:7

As you can probably guess, not knowing whether or not I will be able to leave the house when I wake up in the morning would stress me out a bit.  Will there be snow?  School?  A delay?  Can I drive to the gym?  Will we still have practice?  What if I can't run?  Will I have to workout inside?  Here at home?  Do I have enough pancake mix?  Bananas?  Do I have to finish reading that book?  OH CRAP there's no electricity!  I'm freezing!  My toes are going to fall off!  When will it come back on?  Will we have to spend the night somewhere else?  Where to go?  Is Dad at work?  How can I do my homework and study the extra stuff without electricity?  How long will this last?  Should I run to a friends house?  What if my hands freeze?  I WANT COFFEE..its so warm...

Every day goes by so fast.  I am constantly wondering what is the best way to spend my time?  What is really worth it?

I know all these questions seem to make a lengthy list, but it is true.  I, along with many others, get overwhelmed by all that this world demands of us.

No matter all that we "have to do," there is only one thing that will ease the stress:  back away from "all that" and spend some time with the Lord.  He will fill you with peace and guide you to what you should do.  It may not make sense to take time away from the work to do in order to get more time to do it, but trust me, without having your mind right first, things will only go downhill.
When things are so uncertain (which is one thing I really do not like!), all we have to do is trust in God's plan.  Of course what is happening is part of His plan!  A quote from my small group's Bible study one night several months ago has stuck with me ever since: 
 "Nothing under God's control can ever be out of control."
Continuing on from the verse above, although there is no way that we can ever know God's timing for His miraculous plans or His return, we can be certain of this:
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you..."  Acts 1:8
Mom and Dad fuss at me a lot because I don't go with the flow very well.  And no, I do not like to fly by the seat of my pants.  But that is one thing that I am trying to work on.  I need to be flexible.  Working with the uncertainty of each day these past 2 weeks has really been a blessing! 
Sometimes, we have to take what we can get.  Work with what you've been given.  No, it may not always be what we want, but it's what God wants.  We risk missing so many opportuinites to be witnesses and servants for Christ right where we are when we try to change circumstances to fit our preferences.  When you just go with it, it takes a lot of the stress off.
The Sunday before the snow hit, my teacher Patty made another one of her funny, yet seriously relevant examples.
Don't be like Eore.  "Oh..woe is's going to rain tomorrow.  Oh Pooh, what are we gonna do?"
(If you had only heard her voice and seen her facial funny!)
How much time do we waste complaining?  Not just about things that are, but things that may or may not be, or cannot be avoided, or things that have no relevance to us whatsoever!  So we say time is short and we are always so pushed for time?  How much time could you save by not complianing so much?
"This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"  Psalm 118:24
So what if it's going to rain tomorrow?  What if it's sunny right now?  Take advantage of that!
"...making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil."  Ephesians 5:16
Time is limited.  Our lives are so short in the grand scheme (God's scheme) of things.  We don't have to waste time because the situation "isn't desirable."  God put us where we are for a purpose.
"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity."
Colossians 4:5
Others see the way we react to things.  Are we setting an example that Christ wants for the situation, or do we react with negativity and pessimism?
"Do everything without complaing or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars..."  Philippians 2:14-15
I know it's hard to rejoice and cooperate when things don't go our way.  But if you tell yourself from the start that it will be okay-commit to it, get it stuck in your mind-you're off to a good start.  Well, an even better start if you pray about it!  Another quote from my Sunday school people/lessons:  "Prayer doesn't change my circumstances; prayer changes me."
We all fail and all get frustrated with how things go.  Thank the Lord He forgives and lets us try again! 
 Next time you think that something stinks, sniff around for the aroma Christ has put there.  Accept each day as a challenge.  Embrace the challenges.  Use them as adventures.