R.I.P. What If

James 4:13-17

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Proverbs 27:1

Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.

I don’t know about y’all, but I am a planner. Almost every moment of every day is planned to a T. Don’t mess up the schedule. Don’t mess up the calendar, because I have to balance my time wisely in order to accomplish all that I need to accomplish. I’m the White Rabbit rushing around, yelling “I’m late! I’m late” I’m a high school teacher so during the school year I am even more of a crazy person.  Papers need to be graded. Lesson need to be made. Students’ parents need to be called. Meetings with administrators. Meetings with the departments. Meetings with ….. The list just never ends. So one would assume that I would enjoy the breaks I get. Right? WRONG! Oh, no. I over plan every break I get trying to Seize The Day! Just to be exhausted by three in the afternoon. I literally look like a chicken with her head cut off. Running around aimlessly trying to start/finish those things which I think are absolutely vital.

Then the light started breaking through my haze of life. When did I sit an enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend to just be friends? When had I stopped to read a book to my babies instead of plugging them in front of the TV so I could get something else done, like laundry? When had I made time for my amazing husband to actually hear how his day was instead of pretending to listen while I read the newspaper? And when had I made time for God to use me to help others?  My days became so wrapped around my “to do” list that not once did I ask the Lord, “Lord, this is the day that you have made. What would you have me do today?” Let me tell you, He does not want us running around stressed out.

When we allow God to create our schedules, lay out our days for us, we allow God-given opportunities to arise. God has dreams for us as well. He has a calling for each one of us and when we get so busy with our own lives, we forget about the lives we’re suppose to be saving. Yet, I think I over-scheduled my days because it gave me something to control. And if I didn’t hear God’s calling on my life, then I wasn’t responsible for fulfilling it. Right? Possibly. But I was missing blessings and opportunities to grow.

I have thought of a few reasons why we don’t make time for God or to do what He has called us to do, but the biggest one is what if I’m not good enough? Here are some key verses I want to share with you:

Jeremiah 29:11, ” For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

1 Corinthians 1:26-31, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.  27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

I love the last set of verses. “and the things which are not, to bring nothing the things that are”. That is powerful!  Those God-given dreams you have, but have done nothing with them, God is ready to breathe life! But what about my sins? What about my life before Christ? Well, what about them? Read Romans 8:28 again. God can use those for His purpose. Trust me! Look at Moses. In Exodus 3 and 4 is when God called him to lead the people out of Egypt.

Exodus 3:11-14

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”

14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

Exodus 4:1-17

Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’”

2 So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

He said, “A rod.”

3 And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand), 5 “that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

6 Furthermore the Lord said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. 7 And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh. 8 “Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. 9 And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.

10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

11 So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”

14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. 16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”

         This interaction between God and Moses is so real and I see myself doing this constantly. Why am I suppose to write books, Lord? I know you have given me these stories, much like you gave Moses the rod, but how am I suppose to even get the story out? What if no one reads the books? What if people see my past and judge me? What if people really knew who I am? What if? What if? And the “what ifs” end up killing those dreams.

         Moses was an abandoned child, a murderer, and doubter. Yet God chose him to deliver the Israelites. And he is just one of many people who according to men’s standards wouldn’t make the cut, but God doesn’t call the qualified, but qualifies the called.

      So do not let your weaknesses keep you from doing what God has called you to do. Today is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice in the fact that you have been called to do great things. Rejoice that in your weakness, God’s is strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9 states, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  Jesus can use those weaknesses to touch other’s lives. We each have a purpose. Every day God has designed for us to know HIm more and to glorify Him through sharing His freedom and love with those that are hurt and lost.

          You might say, thought, “I am the one hurting. I am the lost. What does God have for me right now in my pain? How do I serve a god that I don’t even know?”  Let me encourage you that Jesus came to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal our deepest hurts. He has not turned a deaf ear to your prayers or cries. I realize that you could be reading this across the country or in another country, but I would love to pray for you. Jesus wants to replace your “what ifs” with power, life, and hope. 2 Timothy 1:7 promises, ” For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” He is waiting for you to come to Him, lean on Him, and live through and in Him.

       Father,

 Thank you that you have not turned a blind eye to our pain. Thank you that you have not forsaken us, but want to draw us nearer to you. Lord, in our pain and in our doubt, I pray you grow. We place our fears at your feet, letting go of those things that hinder us so that we can follow you with abandon. For those reading this that do not know your peace and joy, Holy Spirit I pray they come to you. You have promises and love for them. Thank you again, Lord.

In your Holy Name,

Amen

 

Y’all have a great day and feel free to contact me!

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