I haven't posted a devotion before... let's see how this goes.
Sometimes I feel like things are stagnant, like every day is the same. On days like that, I feel frustrated and impatient. I have a very good life, a good job, a great family - but sometimes I feel as though I need a change. I hope and I pray and I wait - and nothing seems to happen. Through several attempts at describing this phenomenon to my husband, here is what I've come up with.
A few years ago, every night at some point during his show, David Letterman would pull out a spiral bound notebook and write something to the effect of, "July 30th, 2010. Dear Diary: Today I did not hear from Oprah." And then he would close the notebook and put it away without another word.
Now, I live in Chicagoland. I've never been an Oprah watcher, but I have heard of her power. Second City says that Oprah can part the expressways the way Moses parted the Red Sea. My afternoon radio guy refers to her as "The Pope-rah." And Oprah was giving Mr. Letterman the silent treatment. Sometimes I feel that frustration, and on days like that, when my husband asks me how my day went, I reply, "I didn't hear from Oprah." He knows what I mean: Nothing bad happened, but I had been hoping for something better. Blah.
Well, eventually, David did hear from Oprah, and I'm sure they lived happily ever after. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm building the habit of reminding myself, "Today could be the day." And since I've started doing that, I start my day excited. Maybe I end my day saying, "I still didn't hear from Oprah"... but that doesn't mean that I won't tomorrow.
We begin each day with no idea what might happen - and I've forgotten how exciting that can be. Today could be the day someone finally gets a call about that job; or, it could be the day someone's kid finally gets out of diapers; or, it could be the day someone finally gets an offer on the house they've been trying to sell; or, something completely unexpected might happen. You could get a big win today - isn't that worth getting out of bed for?
When I started writing this, I intended this "devotion" to be about patience - I've been struggling, waiting for "Oprah's call" lately. But I remembered one of my college pastors once said, "Unwrap each day with the veracity of a six-year-old on Christmas morning." How many of us do that? So, I guess this message is really about anticipation and joy in waiting for God's perfect timing - and appreciating the little victories in between.
I never quite found the right verse for this message (open for suggestions) - but for now, let's try this one - it's the one my college pastor used in his sermon on living life to the fullest:
'But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.' --Malachi 4:2
And please, if you get a win, share with the rest of us in the comments! It could be contagious...
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Greetings from your favorite District Dweller! And happy 234th birthday, USA!
Hope y'all had a great Fourth of July. My gal pals I and made a last-minute dash to the National Mall and arrived just in time to watch the fireworks from a picture-perfect spot under a tree, right next to the Washington Monument. You must join us next time!!
Not surprisingly, there's lots of talk about independence and freedom in the capital this time of year, and it got me thinking about a verse that I came across a few weeks ago:
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." ~ Galatians 5:1
I love this Truth. We are free by His mercy, free in His grace. Free from the bonding slavery of sin, from the burden to work out our own salvation.
In Galatians 3, Paul explains the law and the promise:
"19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come... 22 the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law."
John MacArthur puts it this way in his Bible commentary:
"...deliverance from the curse that the law pronounces on the sinner who has been striving unsuccessfully to achieve his own righteousness, but who has now embraced Christ and the salvation granted to him by grace."
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.' He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit" (Galatians 3:13-14)
Jesus Christ hung on a tree so that YOU would be FREE from the penalty of death...the eternal slavery of sin...the work of carrying this world's burdens on your own...
Have you embraced Christ and accepted His free gift of freedom?
It's something to celebrate!
Thinking on these things this week:
"You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." ~ Galatians 5:13
"As a prisoner of the LORD, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." ~ Ephesians 4:1