Yesterday was another day in God’s classroom.
Now, I’m documenting my take-homes.
1. When you forget, remember.
The beauty of forgetting something is that you will eventually get to that point where you would realize that there is something to remember.
Relationships suffer when we forget – how our parents have gone through all those years of loving and caring and providing for us, how we became friends with our friends and how they have been there for us the whole time, how God brought us (ourselves and the people around us) together to experience how it is to love and be loved in return, how God sent His only Son on the cross to die on our behalf just so He can demonstrate how much He loves us.
Our sinful nature’s default is to keep a record of wrongs. Love does the opposite. And so we do not count the times when our parents failed to understand or provide or be there for us, we do not take note of how many times our friends have wronged us, and we do not count the prayers that we think have been left unanswered.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
2. The Fountain of Unlimited Strength
Here’s another default of the sinful nature (most of it my default as well): We resort to foolishness when we are out of strength. Some blame people, some blame circumstances, some blame themselves, some blame God. Some people resort to vices or just decide to give in to temptation. Some stop worshiping and praying.
Nehemiah 8:10 “…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
This verse has become one of the most common of encouragements there is. Yesterday, I realized there is more to this verse.
The secret to unlimited strength is to choose to please Him in times of weakness. Being transformed into His likeness means that our default should go from breaking His heart to putting a smile in His face and pleasing Him in every way every single day.
His power is made perfect in our weakness. His joy is our strength.
3. When the need for change arises
Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
People will always have expectations – our parents, our friends, the people we work with, even people who just see our lives from afar.
And here’s what I realized, shoving the man-pleasing spirit aside, God allows for relationships to reveal what we lack so we can come to Him and ask Him for the grace to change and be a better person for the sake of our family, our friends, and for those who don’t know Him just yet.
I realized that when people expect me to understand them more or to care for them more or to just love them more, it is God telling me that these are areas I have to build and harness with Him more.
When the need for change arises, it’s not people who want us to change. It is God doing His work in us – it is Him chiseling us, molding us into the person that He wants us to be.
4. The best place to be in
Running, quitting, shutting the world out – these are our defaults when things aren’t going our way, when we get hurt, when things become difficult.
But sometimes, we fail to see how God wants us to stay in that uncomfortable place so we could take a glimpse of His glory and His majesty.
And I would rather be uncomfortable, certain that I am at the center of His will and assured that some time within the process, I will be able to take a glimpse of Him, than be comfortable and yet fail to experience the glory of His grace.