When I am Weak…

 

whenI am weakMost days I am happy. I wake up thanking God for another day to be alive. I honestly don’t take my being here for granted. Over the last year, I have experienced close and personal losses and they made me consider my own mortality.  There have been days that I sit back and say to myself, “God is still on the throne. Don’t lose heart.”

Most of you know I run each morning. The other morning I was outside, pushing through my run, when I promise you, I heard the voice in my head say, “When I am weak, You are strong. ” For many of you, I don’t have to explain what was happening.  Anyway, I kept running and I continued to hear that phrase.  At one point, I said it out loud. I knew that I needed to say it to God.

I have thought about why that statement came to me. Perhaps I was supposed to share this with someone else.  Not too long after that spiritual interchange, I spoke with a person who had contacted me and her actions suggested that she desperately needed to speak with me. I was on my way out of town, so I said to the person, “if you need to see me, you have to do it today because I fly out tomorrow.” The person made it a point to get over to see me too.  As we sat down to catch up, all of a sudden in the midst of our conversation, I thought I saw her eyes tearing up.  At first I tried to tell myself that I was imagining things, but after a few seconds, it became apparent that she was tearing up and finally crying. I walked over to her, gave her tissue and wrapped my arms around her. After more than an hour of conversation and her sharing some of her deepest frustrations and fears, we parted ways. As I walked towards her to say goodbye, I wrapped my arms around her again, but this time, I would not let her go without praying for her.

For days, I thought of this young woman. I left for my trip and thought about her on the plane. I got back home and thought of her again.  As I recalled all that had happened between us the day she came to see me, the phrase “When I am weak, YOU are strong” came back to me.

I am strongYou see, even the best of us will encounter days that are frustrating and disappointing. We will encounter people who will count us out, not take us seriously, reject our dreams and goals and even tell us that we will never be something that we have always dreamed of becoming. That’s why we are hesitant to share our hopes and dreams with others; we are afraid of their judgment and rejection as this young lady was. As I said to her that day in my office, I will say the same to you.  If you have dreams, go for them. It does not matter what other people think; it matters what you do.  If you don’t go for it, you are saying that they are right about what they think of you. If you go for it and fail, you don’t have to be embarrassed, trust me, the next time you will do better. One thing is certain, if you don’t pursue what’s important to you, you can count on never getting it.

Don’t let others rob you of what God has placed in your heart and mind.  Don’t let them stop you from being what you want to be. When people say things that hurt you, remember, “when you are weak, He is strong.”  He will carry your burdens and He will lift you up above the negativity, the fear and the doubters.  Let the doubters doubt you, but don’t you dare doubt yourself or Him. He believes in you and so do I!

2 Corinthians 12: 9 says, “…But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Stretch Out Your Hands!

stretching forth your handsI am an animated worshipper of Christ. Sometimes I can be in my car and feel the Spirit of God move on me and I raise my hands in praise. I have to be so careful when I am driving,though.  Some days I can be sitting in my office listening to a praise song and can be overcome with joy!  I feel the Spirit of God so strong at times that my emotions take over and I have to remind myself that I am at work. My eyes fill with tears for nothing more than I am in the presence of God.

I was recently sitting and working, and I kept hearing the words of a song that said “Spirit Move. Come and do what only you can do.” As I mentioned, I was quietly working away but all of a sudden, I felt my hands stretch out towards heaven. I heard my voice say “thank You for Your presence.”  For the longest time, I could do nothing but sit and contemplate.

As I sit here now, I think about all that has happened in my life recently. One was that of loss. The loss of my sister-cousin hit home. She was one year younger than me, and we were raised as sisters by our grandparents.  We both grew up in that Pentecostal home of our grandparents. We were both Believers who ended up still Pentecostals even after we were long gone from that environment. We both went to college and got advanced degrees, both married military men, although her husband of 35+ years was her high school sweetheart. We both had only one child, and both loved God with all of our hearts.

It is hard to swallow that she was taken away too soon. In the middle of my sadness. stretching forth your handThere is one thing I know for certain, she would be the first to stretch out her hands to worship God no matter her circumstances. That is something I can rejoice about and so can her beautiful daughter and granddaughters. Their mom was a warrior, a fighter, and a bold Born-again Believer.  In their sadness, that’s what I want them to remember. I want to think about how passionately she praised. I want them to think about how much she would want them to do the same. She would want us all to miss her, and we do, but she would want us to know that she is with Jesus and she is shouting and praising her way through heaven.

Look, I know there are those who don’t believe in heaven or hell. I do. I even know that there are those who don’t believe in Jesus. That’s ok, that does not stop me from believing in Him. I know some even think that once we are gone, that’s it. Hey, I don’t. I look forward to a day that my cousin and I will see each other again. I look forward to joining her in the presence of God and Jesus with outstretched hands praising Him.   In the meantime, I will stretch out my hands towards heaven in praise. I will stretch out my arms to my niece and my grand nieces and love them like their mother did. I will assure them that they are loved and adored. I will remind them to stretch out their hands too and worship because strength comes through worship. Finally, I will remind them to be “strong and courageous” for the Lord our God will be with them where ever they go. And where they go, their mother, my cousin, will be there with them.

Father, I pray that you will pour out your Spirit on us now. You said you would, and I lift my hands as a means of saying I receive Your Spirit.

Your Dreams are Important…

you-are-gifted-encouragement-and-inspiration-at-www-abettermedaybyday-comHave you ever seriously considered the gifts that God has given you? Have you ever just sat quietly and contemplated what you have and why you have a particular gift?  Do you honor God by doing something with what He has given you or do you find yourself sitting, looking or comparing yourself with those around you?  Do you look at your friends and secretly resent that they seem to be achieving every single goal that they set?  Do you feel a little jealous when a co-worker seems to be able to accomplish one thing after the other? Do you look at yourself and feel inadequate?  Well, stop! You are gifted too. You have your own road to travel to get to where you want to be just like the person you are comparing yourself  to.

When they achieve their dreams the process isn’t any easier or harder for them as it is for you. The difference is they are focused on achieving their dreams and using their gifts. Are you? Or are you sitting on the sidelines watching them?

I always say that one of the many reasons why dreams aren’t met and success isn’t accomplished, is a real simple one; we are too focused on watching what someone else is doing,  comparing ourselves to them and then worrying about what they have accomplished compared to what we have accomplished.

Hey, God gave you your own dreams. If He hasn’t given you the talents to accomplish them yet, you can bet that He will; He’s probably preparing you right now. In fact, Hebrews 13:21 tells us that He has given us gifts that are special. Did you know that? I believe the Bible!

I also believe that just as we have spiritual gifts, God has put dreams in our hearts that are just for us.  When we pursue those dreams, I think we are pursuing a destiny designed in God’s  grand plan.

Here is some news for you; you can choose to pursue those dreams and do so with an attitude that what God has begun in you, He will complete it or you can watch others pursuing theirs and comparing what they are doing versus what you are doing and just stay stuck where you are. I don’t think that pleases God though and watching others certainly does not do anything to keep you on a forward movement path.

My Journey is mineIf you aren’t careful, you will become consumed with what others are doing. How does that fulfill your own purpose?  It doesn’t.  Watching others and comparing yourself to what they have accomplished and what you haven’t, only causes you to question your abilities.  It stresses you out. You can become obsessed with their achievements and begin to doubt if you are even capable of achievement. Yet, we can agree based on scripture, that God has given you the ability to do just that; achieve His divine purpose for your life.

Look, your dreams were given to you for you only.  My dreams were given to me for me only. You can decide that you will pursue yours and I can decide that I will or will not pursue mine. The point is simple, your journey is yours to travel just as mine is mine to travel. We can trust God to give us the strength, talents, gifts and abilities to achieve our dreams and goals and to finish the race or we can sit back and be distracted by all sorts of things that won’t help us finish our race at all.

One thing that is sure, true and constant and that is, God is God. Whatever gifts He has given is ultimately for His glory. Choose if you intend to honor Him by trusting what dreams He put in you and believe that He is able to help you accomplish them.

Yes, your journey is yours and mine is mine, but all has been determined by God.  The question is, what do you intend to do about it? Will you simply watch and compare or will you move forward trusting and obeying? Remember, the choice is yours…