Sunday, September 12, 2010

We've Never Prayed For Our Breakfast

Phillipians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs
according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

I read a book to the kids recently called "Granny Han's Breakfast". It was the story of a missionary lady in Taiwan who literally had no food in her cupboards for breakfast one morning. The young girl who helped her around the house asked her what she was going to do. Granny Han said she would pray and ask God to meet her need. This girl was not a believer and thought she was foolish for considering this a reasonable plan of action. Over the next hour she saw God meet Granny Han's need as friends and neighbors stopped by "out of the blue" with fruit, coffee, and other treats. Granny Han rejoiced as her young friend watched in disbelief.

Have you ever prayed for your breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Neither have I. The girls and I discussed how Granny's faith must have been enriched by this experience. How she must have felt so loved and cared for by her Father God. How seeing this must have impacted her house guest. It's almost sad that we haven't had such an experience.

What kinds of needs do we have and how do we meet them? This morning my skin felt dry, I went to the bathroom cabinet and got my lotion and took care of it. If I hadn't had any lotion in the cabinet I would have hopped in the van and driven to CVS and bought some. When I am hungry I get in my pantry, or stop by the grocery, or even go to a restaurant...I don't even have to go in!! I can drive-thru a window and pick something up! If I am in pain, I call the Doctor and he will write me a prescription. If someone is looking for love, they can get on an internet dating sight or go to a club. If we need spiritual advice, we can call a pastor, or attend one of a thousand churches on every corner of this city! We barely look to God even in spiritual matters any more!! We, as a society, have done (and continue to do) our best to meet every single need we have on our own. We have squeezed God out of our lives. Only in desperate circumstances (those we don't think we can control on our own) do we call on Him anymore. Jesus said He would never leave us and never forsake us--but have we left and forsaken Him?

What do we miss in living this way? The opportunity to see His love and personal care for us. The chance for our faith to be built and strengthened. The occasion to bring glory to His Name and His Kingdom. The truth is that most of us spend an awful lot of time daydreaming (or complaining) about how our lives should/could be easier when the reality is that they are already TOO EASY and that is a big chunk of our problem!

God brought this to my attention back in July when our family went on vacation. We stayed in a wonderful place on the beach with a pool and room service and had a great time. Guess what? I hardly opened my Bible and spent almost zippo time in prayer. Why? Good question since the excuse I would use at home would be "time" or lack of. I had nothing but time on vacation; and even some time alone when I would go upstairs for Evan to take his nap. But all was well. Everything was running smooth. Everyone was healthy and happy and all our needs were met. This was an eye-opening experience for me.

I love the song "In Christ Alone" that says:
In Christ alone I place my trust
and find my glory in the power of the cross
in every victory let it be said of me
my source of strength, my source of hope
is Christ alone.
Let us also never forget that our greatest need in this life is to be rescued from the judgment we deserve for our rebellion against the One, True, Living God. And that need can only be met by one, our Savior Jesus Christ. So no matter how self-sufficient we may feel, it is only an illusion when we get to the core of what really matters which is "where will you spend eternity?".

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Workplace

So I'm reading Charlotte's Web to the girls as part of Paige's first grade curriculum, and it is really good! I had forgotten, since I was probably her age the last time I read it and I haven't seen the updated movie.

In Chapter 9 Charlotte (the wise spider) is explaining to Wilbur (the young, naive pig) why he can't spin a web like she does. She tells him this is a talent unique to spiders and that even men cannot build a web, though they will try. Charlotte tells him about a bridge that men have built that is similar to a spiders web.
Wilbur: "What do people catch in the Queensborough Bridge--bugs?"
Charlotte: "No, they don't catch anything. They just keep trotting back and forth across the bridge thinking there is something better on the other side. If they'd hang head-down at the top of the thing and wait quietly, maybe something good would come along. But no--with men it's rush, rush, rush, every minute. I'm glad I'm a sedentary spider."
Wilbur: "What does sedentary mean?"
Charlotte: "Means I sit still a good part of the time and don't go wandering all over creation. I know a good thing when I see it, and my web is a good thing. I stay put and wait for what comes. Gives me a chance to think."
I know my girls think I am nuts when, in the middle of the story, I have to run to find a highlighter, a bookmark, a post-it--something to mark this AWESOME epiphany moment!! But this conversation between Charlotte and Wilbur fit so beautifully with the previous blog about "My Job"!

These statements are so simple and yet so accurate in todays society.
  • We DO trot back and forth always thinking there is something better that we are missing out on!
  • We rarely "hang" and wait quietly to see what the Lord would say or bring our way.
  • We are rushing constantly which causes us to be short-tempered and stressed out!
  • We DO wander all over creation seeking fulfillment, praise, significance.
  • We DON'T know a good thing when we see it!
Charlotte's web is her home and she sees it as a "good thing" and she "stays put". My home is my workplace and God has called me to make it a haven for my family. A place where we can relax, learn, have fun, eat together, and show hospitality to others. I need not go elsewhere to find meaning, there is meaning at home where I love my family, teach, train, correct, cook, clean, raise my children to know Jesus, love my husband, and visit with friends.

I think I'm going to adopts Charlotte's philosophy on life--"never hurry and never worry!" If you are not "catching anything" then maybe you should take some time to be sedentary like Psalm 46:10.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Job

I know a lady who works at Macy's. She hates it when customers take a load of clothes into the dressing room and then leave all of them in there in a heap when they leave the store. She then has to spend a large portion of her day in the dressing room hanging and re-stocking the clothes. My thought is "that's your job!". I mean, isn't that what they pay you for? I understand people are inconsiderate and should be more responsible for cleaning up after themselves, but...this is why they pay her, to hang up and put away the clothes! So when she goes to work-who cares what she does-just stay busy, work hard at whatever needs to be done, and collect your paycheck without complaint.

This is what God brought to my mind this morning as I was complaining in prayer to Him about all the interruptions and corrections I have been dealing with from the kids. We homeschool and as I am trying to teach one child, the other comes over and needs help with something else or needs to be corrected for disobedience...etc. It can be very frustrating to manage the needs and misbehaviors of all 4. I find myself agitated at the "inconvenience" of stopping one lesson/conversation to deal with another. So as I talked to the Lord about my irritation and asked for His help, he brought this lady to mind and made the obvious correlation..."Cristie--that is your JOB!" "You are the Mom and it is your job to help them, to teach them, to correct them and to train them-all day, every day!"

Why am I so surprised that they have to be told something over and over again when I continue to make many of the same mistakes over and over again in spite of the correction God has given me? Why am I acting like I have "other things to do" when being a Mom is my JOB, my #1 priority, my PRIVILEGE! Sometimes I need a change in perspective to get back on track. Just the reminder that this is MY JOB will change the way I view the daily "irritations". I can choose to see them as "training opportunities" instead and be thankful that I am around to witness them and equipped by God to deal with them. After all, what could be more important?

To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.

Why Wouldn't I?