The official Thanksgiving holiday ended five days ago, but I don’t want it to stop.
The first year I lived in Chile, it felt odd to me that they didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving there. My best friend Elisabeth loved to tease me about it, saying, “You Gringos are thankful one day a year. We Chileans are thankful all year round.”
She thought she was funny.
Thanksgiving is just two days away, and for many of us Americans, it is a day marked by just as much taking in of food as there is of giving out of thanks. We’re craving now the food we’ll eat on that day. Many of us have our favorites that make our tongues do a happy dance and make our tummies feel full.
Why is it that we rarely have problems craving our favorite food, but we don’t always crave the presence of God, or hunger and thirst to spend time with Him like we know we should?
Is it possible that we want our coffee (or “crunchy” for me) and comfort more than we want God?
My mind finds this hard to believe, yet my actions would often confirm it to be true. So what is it that kills – or at least numbs – our appetite for God?
Unless you live alone on a deserted island, you have many relationships in your life. Whether the relationship is a superficial one-time acquaintance like the one you have with the cashier at Walmart on Saturday, a business-only relationship with a co-worker or boss, or a more intimate BFF or family relationship, there have probably been times in all of our lives in which we have wanted to, and fervently tried to change the people around us.
Some of us have dedicated years to trying to change our co-worker, boss, friend or spouse. Some of us have convinced ourselves that our mission to change them is only for their good.
Yeah, so, changing your friends and loved ones. How’s that workin’ for ya? 😉
Last week, I asked, “We know at least a few things we need to do to make favorable changes in our lives. But we don’t do them. Why not?”
I gave two reasons, and several Bible verses to help us grow and change.
This week’s reason might just be used by everyone:
We don’t change, because we think our comfort zones are, well, “comfy”. And so far I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like to be comfy.
But what if our comfort zones really aren’t that comfy?
What if it’s actually more comfy OUTSIDE your comfort zone?
This past year has been a journey of change for me. Not a lot of exterior change, but change on the inside. I woke up one day a bit over a year ago and thought, “Where did the last decade go?” God began to shine a bright light on the fact that I had not been growing closer to Him, even though I was a staff pastor at a growing church whose job was to help people grow closer to God.
He also showed me that I had not been intentionally growing in the talents He had given me, and I felt like I needed to see if my name actually appeared in the Parable of the Servants found in Matthew 25:18, of course as the servant who took his talent and buried it.
Change is not always easy, and it is often scary, but I never want to go back to the land of Stuckville. I find that the more I learn, grow closer to Jesus and change, the more I love it, and the more I crave it.
Exodus 33:15 Then Moses said to (the Lord), “If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
I don’t know of any Christian friends of mine who intentionally ignore the Lord.
I don’t know of any who say to Him, “Lord, You just stay up there in Heaven until I really need You for something down here.”
In fact, I have a lot of friends who, like me, have the greatest intentions of spending time with God in prayer and in reading His Word every day.
But often times, more than we’d like to admit, it doesn’t happen.
Why is that?
Why do we not wake up every morning, and like Moses say, “Lord, if Your presence does not go with me today, I don’t wanna go anywhere.”
What made Moses that dependent upon God’s presence in his life?
This week in my church’s kids ministry, we covered the story from Exodus chapter 14, where the Israelites were finally let go by Pharaoh after the crushing blow of the 10th plague. Our story picked up where the Israelites had left Egypt, were miraculously guided in their journey by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, and now were walking near the banks of the Red Sea. The plot thickens as evil Pharaoh, who had let them go days before, had changed his mind, and set out after them. In verse 10, the Israelites looked up only to see the Egyptian army – that included well over 600 chariots – closing in on them.
They found themselves between a rock and a hard place, or more literally between a flock (of soldiers) and a wet place, and in their terrified state, they quickly located their “Blame Games” that they had conveniently left at the tops of their suitcases when packing to leave Egypt.
Hey there! Yippee!
It’s my blog’s first birthday! Please celebrate with me! While dancing and eating birthday cake and ice cream, I wanted to take a trip down Memory Lane, and share some insights from my favorite posts this year. I have so enjoyed the lessons I’ve learned in this first year of the journey, and I look forward to greater times of sharing with you and hearing from you in year #2.
Last week, Grover asked us a very personal question:
“Are you near or far from God?”
I love the verse in James 4:8 where we’re assured that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. It sounds like the deal of a lifetime, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always consistent in drawing near to God.
And that bothers me.
It always amazes me how God can really use anything or anyone to grab my attention, and to draw me closer to Him. This week he used a “friend” whom I adored when I was just a little girl. What’s funny is, I don’t remember this friend ever asking me about my relationship with God when I was little. 🙂