Today, I am thankful for two important reminders from the Lord:
- It is generally an ill-advised idea for me to post to this blog first thing in the morning, shortly after I have awakened (please forgive the typos in my post from yesterday – they have since been corrected). I’m more of a night owl by nature, and I do better when I post in the p.m., rather than the a.m. 😉
- The perennial truth and hope found in this picture:
In fact, if I reflect on my recent past – even though there have been some painful experiences that things I’ve had to work through – I can see that slowly and surely, the bears have been getting bigger. It’s like some sort of divine exchange: when I release and let go of what I think is best for me and rest in the knowledge that only God is sovereignly in control of my life, He invariably exceeds my expectations. His answer may not be what I expected, but it is incrementally more valuable in both quality and scope – always.
And so I wait. I can see now that earlier, I was prepared to settle for smaller bears because – from my limited perspective – they were an improvement on the situation as I understood it then.
As time has passed and the bears have continue to grow, I recognize that I actually want the biggest and best bear blessing that God is willing to give me. Ephesians 3:20 all the way!
So this means that I need to hold onto my bears very loosely, and be ready to relinquish them at a moment’s notice. I’ve learned that – even in the midst of hard times – God has been showering me with [bigger] bears of blessing that I never before imagined:
- connecting with really positive, encouraging people who have entered my life (including you – my WordPress family);
- enjoying some truly delightful and uplifting experiences that have been great fun;
- challenging myself in several new and unexpected ways; and
- experiencing a couple of spiritual and emotional breakthroughs that have helped me better understand past decisions that I’ve made, and identify and begin to rectify some of the sticky life patterns into which I had unwittingly entered.
These have been some really big bears. So big, in fact, that they have been heavy and sometimes burdensome to carry (I only have two hands!). However, these experiences have always helped me grow in important ways, so I find myself grateful for the bears I’ve carried, in all shapes and sizes: little bears, big bears, and everything in between.
Here is my prayer for today: Dear Lord, I thank You for this important reminder about patience and waiting on You. I ask You to forgive me for wanting to assume control of my life, as I have done in the past. I confess that, deep down, this desire still exists, but through the power of your Holy Spirit, I can overcome it. I must remember to hold onto my bears very loosely. Help me to remember that there will always be a bigger bear waiting for me – some area of my life where You want me to grow and mature.
Remind me also to keep my focus on You, the Author and Finisher of my (sometimes shaky) faith. Therefore, I will wait in joyful expectation for the next “bear exchange” with You. In Your name I pray, Amen.