November 28, 2011

Consider Your Ways

"You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes." Haggai 1:6 (NASB)

Have you heard the phrase “spinning your wheels?”  That is the first thing that popped into my head when the pastor read this verse a few Sunday’s ago in church. Perhaps that is how the message was intended when written by a little known prophet named Haggai. 

Haggai – really?  What were his parents thinking when they named him that! I guess they had good intentions as the Hebrew meaning for Haggai is festive. His message was one of completing the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. I imagine that could be a festive task!  But I digress. . .

This verse sounds an awful lot like what goes on today. Especially the part about earned wages going into a purse with holes in it! Never satisfied with what we have, longing for something more and/or something different.

Yet what intrigued me about this verse was the two “thus says the Lord’s” that come directly before and after.  In both verses 5 and 7, we see “Thus says the Lord of Hosts, Consider your ways.”

Most of life’s necessities are made up from sowing, eating, drinking, clothing and earning wages. Nothing strange or unusual there. However, I felt like God’s message for me was to “consider my ways.” How am I getting these things done? What attitude is displayed while pursuing these goals? Maybe I feel like I am spinning my wheels most of the time, because of the way I approaching and carry out these tasks.

Now I can whine with the best of you. No time, too many distractions, too many pop-up circumstances have invaded the realm of my sanity lately. In fact, it took me a month before I resumed writing. Poor baby – consider your ways.

Well, I have considered my ways. Woe unto me! I have a serious undertaking because considering my ways is one thing, acting to correct my ways is another. At least, I proceed to make some headway – as I have put my thoughts to paper once again.

What is it today that you need to consider? What “ways” of yours are getting in your way? Consider your ways. Consider His ways. Ask God for help and spin your wheels no more!

 Love, Barbara

November 21, 2011

This is The Day!

“This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (NASB)

What would it take to make you rejoice today? I guess if I ask you that question, I must first answer it myself. Ummm. . .  what would it take for me to rejoice today? Let me see. I would rejoice if the telemarketer called to GIVE me money instead of asking for it. I would rejoice if the Holiday Inn Vacation club called and truly gave me a free spa weekend WITHOUT having to endure a 90-minute timeshare presentation. I would certainly rejoice if the light company called and said they overcharged on our last bill and we owe them only $2.29 this month! Hey, a girl can dream – can’t she?

Early last week while running errands, the lyrics “This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord hath made, that the Lord hath made. I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it and be glad in it” popped into my brain. It played repeatedly. However, for a fleeing moment a hideous thought cross my mind. Why? I don’t feel like rejoicing.

I haven’t written in nearly a month. My work is piling up. I’ve been constantly going and doing, yet nothing gets accomplished! Let the pity party begin! Brother, did it ever begin! Yet those words kept floating around, “This is the day that the Lord hath made.” After a few more rounds of simple yet powerful tune, it didn’t take long for me to realize how stupid I sounded with my petty complaints. Yes, I said stupid!

That is when I decided to break down Psalm 118:24, the verse that inspired the song. It certainly was better use of my time rather than all my moaning and groaning. My word study went something like this: 

“This is the day.” Obviously, that means today, Barbara!

“That the Lord has made.” Well, that clears up that! God made the day. I guess that also means He knows exactly what is going to happen in this day. Then He must know what distractions and difficulties I am facing. I know others have it worse, but truthfully, that doesn’t make me feel any better about my day right now. Everything is piling up and closing in. It feels like I can’t breathe sometimes. Again, since God made the day – that has not escaped His notice either. I really am not alone in my feelings.

“Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Come to think of it, the verse doesn't mention opting out because of a bad day. God said to rejoice and be glad in this day. Nevertheless, Father, I truly am stressed! Rejoice and be glad, Barbara! Lord, is it possible to rejoice in the middle of blah? While I can do the impossible, I never ask it of you! Good point.

You know, I could be on to something here!

What thrills me most is that God must believe that I am still teachable. I should know these truths backwards and forwards. They are truths that never change because God never changes. Circumstances, by whatever form or name they come in, are powerful. Sometimes, they can cause your head to spin and other times, they knock you totally off your feet. Therefore, even the most determined Believer cannot let their guard down when it comes to praise and gladness in the Lord.

Rejoicing in the RIGHT NOW and praising God for THIS day, regardless of circumstances, pushes all conflict aside. It moves all worry and doubt to the background of your mind. On my worse day imaginable, this verse still carries a command to rejoice and be glad BECAUSE the Lord made the day and everything it contains. The question is will you, will I; trust Him enough to let Him deal with the day He made and we just simply take time to rejoice!

From Bobby and me to all of you: Happy Thanksgiving!

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Psalm 118:29


PS: Once I still rejoicing and praising Him for the day, the rest that followed were spectacular!