Reflect Christ & Love Wins…

reflectChrist
Can you believe that the year is almost over? I don’t know if the year has flown by for you or slowed down. It seems like it was just a month ago when we were told we would have to take precautions because of some virus that may soon impact our organization. At first, I remember thinking it was blown out of proportion due to other things going on in the organization. I think that may have been the end of February. Besides, I had plans. My wedding anniversary was coming up in March. I had decided to leave a job I loved in anticipation of what God had in store for me next. I had plans!


If only I had known that the world was about to change and there would be nothing I could do about it. Well, the world did change. A shift occurred almost a week after leaving my old organization to sit it out for a while. Not only did I go home, everybody ended up going home and staying there for months. During that time, people experienced trauma also. Companies had to shut down businesses, learn how to teach their kids at home, spend money to work from home, some lost jobs because of shutdowns, and the ultimate trauma happened when we found out that this virus was deadly.
If there was ever a time that we could complain, it was undoubtedly during this season. I don’t have to remind anyone of all the craziness of 2020. The virus, killing people of color, and the racial protests all happened this year. When I watched the news, I feared we were about to experience some of the same demonstrations and riots I saw on television from the 1960s. I don’t know about you, but I could not help but think what had our world come to?

Many times throughout the last months, I have prayed regularly for the USA. In fact, I don’t think I have ever prayed for a country so much than this year. The world, I have thought repeatedly, has gone wild. Why? What triggered the hate and fighting? What caused the absolute worst to come out in us? Are we really that divided? What grew even scarier to me as I watched myself evaluating the attitudes and actions of people I have cared for many years. People who worked together, worshipped together, played together, and cared for each other seemed to turn on each other. To my surprise, none of us stopped and said, this is enough. God did not make us like this. Stop the madness. No, instead, lines were drawn, and it became us versus them.


What I have asked myself is this: Would God be pleased with what He sees in you? Would He recognize His Son in your actions? When I stopped and carefully evaluated my thinking and, ultimately, my efforts, I have repented and asked for forgiveness on several occasions. During September and October, I believe God gave me Galatians 5:22-23 to focus my attention. Each week, I began to read about and consider scriptures that tied directly to one of the Fruits of the Spirit and discuss it with my staff. Also, during October, a full week was dedicated to a conference that focused on Luke 10.

Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, joy, peace, Galatians+5_22-23forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” I believe the reason this scripture has been one to stick to through dark days is so we remember God has called us out of that darkness and expects us to live as a shining example for others to see. We are supposed to live for Him. The Word of God tells us in Matthew 7:19-20, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, they will know us by our fruit.”


Amid the chaos, Christians, we are standard-bearers for Christ. Even when we want to scream and yell and insist on our way, we need to return to the scriptures and find the strength to do what Jesus would do and exercise self-control. In the end, I believe, Love wins. I think about Galatians and the very first fruit listed in Love. Why? I think it is because when we act in Love, God can transform hearts, including our own. Self-control is another fruit that can keep us out of many problems if we would quiet down, walk away, and simply pray.love-wins-cursive_u-l-f8ek710


There is too much I can write on this subject, but I will stop here and say, I believe, in the end, Love wins. I don’t have to fight with those I disagree with and don’t have to associate with them either. I have been charged to pray for them. That’s what I will do, and I hope they will pray for me

Wait on the Lord…

In my early years, I did everything to achieve my goals. I always felt destined to be great, so I was going to do everything possible to attain that greatness. As the years pass, I find that I am not as aggressive as I was in earlier years, but I am still a go-getter. However, recently, I was wondering why, in this stage of my life, do I always go after goals I had dreamed of when I was younger.

I have concluded that what I have been saying for years about God calling me to something greater, is really what I believe. I have always said that I think God created me for something bigger, but I wondered, as the years passed and some things happened, and some didn’t, that maybe I “thought” I was destined for something bigger, but I was wrong. I thought God told me that I was going to achieve certain things, but He didn’t, and the things I thought came from Him were all my ideas.

This brings me to the topic I want to discuss this month, trust your instincts, keep striving and wait on the Lord. Just because God hasn’t done what you thought He would do in your timeframe, doesn’t mean that He won’t.

When we pray and ask God for something, believing that we are asking in faith, considering that He will answer our prayers, we expect that He will do it right away. When He doesn’t, year after year, we finally say to ourselves that He won’t. Or we say, it probably wasn’t His will for me. Or we question whether something we claimed as a promise was ever really a promise at all.

Recently, I listened to a sermon about David. The speaker took me back to 1 Samuel 16, when David was first called by God. I loved how he brought David’s calling into perspective for me. I have read my Bible many, many times. I know the stories of David, inside and out, but this time, I really reflected on how long it took for David to get what God had promised. If you remember, David was called and anointed by Samuel as the future King of Israel. Yet, once David was anointed, he didn’t go right to the throne. In fact, David went back to his sheep. Many things happened before David became King. Most of all, David continued serving; he served his father, his brothers, and his sheep. He continued playing and practicing with his slingshot (polishing his craft) and one day, as he took food to the “real” soldiers, he had the opportunity to meet a part of his destiny, Goliath! Where others were fearful and weary, David was perhaps a little naive, yet courageous. You know the story, David killed Goliath with that slingshot. Fast forward, 1 Samuel 24, the reigning King Saul, was getting worse mentally and trying to kill David, but David, who could have killed him, spared him. I won’t preach because the many things that happened to David along the way to the throne, are hills and valleys, frustrations and pain, ups and downs, but God still did what He had anointed David to do. Also, remember, how long David waited. Look at all the things he went through before he took the throne.

When I reflect on my life, I think about how I had to face the hills and valleys. I think about the jobs I have held, and how angry, sad, or disappointed, I became when someone did not give me what I felt I had earned. I recall the highs when someone would notice my value and reward it too. I know how let-downs feel. But let me share another perspective when you let go and trust. The farther you move away from the disappointment, you can look at it more objectively. What I found, looking back 10 or 15 years, is that what I wanted to be was much smaller than what God wanted for me. Going through the lows, prepared me for the highs. Waiting, also allowed me to develop and cultivate my skills, getting ready for something I never imagined years before.

I wanted what I wanted, which would have amounted to crumbs compared to what He finally gave me. I tell you this because if you are about to give up, don’t. Wait on the Lord. He will exalt you in due season if you remain faithful. He never reneges on His promises. They may be later than we want but trust His timing. It is perfect.