Monday, February 3, 2014

Grateful For His Patience

Patience is an infinite attribute of God. But make no mistake that there is also a side to Him of righteous anger.

Today, I'd like to expound on His patience. Where would we be without it? I know in my own life I have tried and tested His patience over and over again....

Things I should have learned long ago, at times I still struggle with. I relate it to the endless Emmaus walk.

Learning to live a life of grace is not easy, and many times I don't fully understand it. More than likely, never will in this life.

I'm definitely a work in progress! But I'm making strides with Jesus by my side. I couldn't live without the patience of my God.

His patience is long suffering. He is not a miserly dictator waiting to find a reason to crush the human race.

He loves the human race so much that He sent His Son to die a horrific death for it. He desires for none to be eternally lost. (2 Peter 3:9)

Then there's 2 Peter 3:15, that tells us that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation.

God doesn't inflict His wrath impulsively (like we do), but He demonstrates patience and long suffering toward those who deserve punishment.

Paul called himself "a chief of sinners," but he was given the opportunity to be saved because of Gods love and patience towards him.

I am so grateful for His loving forbearance and forgiving attitude that leads us to repentance.

Gods generous patience extended to us should motivate us to obey Him. Gods patience is always balanced by His perfect justice.

We couldn't be in better hands!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Little Girl Inside

I'm not the same on the outside
As I am on the inside.
I smile, I laugh.
But I don't know joy.
Where is my joy, O my God?
Why have You forsaken me?
Everything was once so free ...
Once grass was green,
And hills were pretty.
Now I see them through
A veil of gray.
Inside is cold and tight and sad.
I cry and ache. Most days
I long for eyes to see me.
I know it's me, but then I think,
They don't care-- He must not care.

But too long I have known His Love,
And I know this is not true.
Yet, I am unable to get above,
And I am sinking slowly in the sands.
"Help," I say-- inside I scream--
But on my face , I smile.
Only my eyes express-- the well
Of pain in me.
I'm careful not to look at those
Who might strip, away my mask.
But I want it to come down at last.
Reality to grasp.
But I cannot do this for myself.
Am I ready for You at last?

"Honesty," we cry,
"Transparency', and the like.
But who will brave this scary turf?
I've been brave, I've tried.
But from openness came pain, from
Those who want to close my door,
Who trample my little girl.
So light and gay is she, but oh so sensitive,
And too many times others have driven her in.
"Come out little girl", I coax,
But she just sits and mopes,
No longer can I coax her out.

Are you sleeping, little girl?
Lord, send someone to love her to life once more.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Perfection Is Not Expected!

How many of us have the tendency to place extremely high expectations upon ourselves? I am guilty of that. Are you? Why do we do this? God doesn't put these expectations on us, we do it to ourselves. Many times we do this because we have a performance based mentality. Say for instance, that you grew up in a home where you very seldom ever got compliments or encouragement unless you performed at a level that met with your parents expectations and approval. When you performed everything within the specifications or guidelines of what your parents thought were acceptable they gave you positive reinforcement.

Looking at this from a learned behavior perspective, we can agreeably conclude that as we proceeded through life, school, friends, activities, sports and social gatherings we incorporated this mindset, not only into our way of thinking but also into our way of life. In other words, we allowed this to be a learned perspective and not simply just a learned behavior. Cause and effect. We can also become so bent on doing everything the right way that we lose sight of having any balance in our lives. Whatever we do, we go to the extreme of it because our motivation is driven by our performance. The height of our performance is comparable to the height of our success.

Our sense of accomplishment, our well-being and our high assurance in our capabilities becomes the driving force behind all we do and say. We become so engorged in doing everything right that we fail to see ourselves through the eyes of God. God sees us a forgiven, God sees us as accepted, God sees us as His children and He knows full well that we are far from perfect. Now, having said this, I also want to clarify something else for a moment. This also doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for the excellence. We very well should indeed! Here's my point though, don't beat yourself up when you make a mistake, fail or make a wrong decision. See, when we live our lives built upon the foundation of performance = success, we can become very demonstrative in ushering in condemnation whenever we miss that invisible mark that says it's "perfection or nothing."

The key is balance. This gives us the grace to be less than perfect. Here's the truth, we will make mistakes, we will make wrong decisions, we will have failures in our lives at some point and time and we will bounce back. Why? Because God said so. His grace is sufficient for us all, His love is unending and He's patient and long-suffering. What are we? Just the opposite, we are judgmental, we are impatient, we don't approve of people making mistakes or having faults and we certainly don't have unconditional love towards anyone. Do you see the difference? Major difference! How many of us give people the benefit of the doubt? Not very often. What do we normally do? We base acceptance off of compliance.

If a person is compliant then we will give them our acceptance. However, if they travel outside the boundaries of what we have designed for them to stay within ... we can become extremely unreceptive to anything they say or do. Why do we do this? I believe it's due to the fact that we have immersed ourselves so deeply into being performance driven that we don't understand any other concept. Nothing else makes sense to us. It's been ingrained within our minds and we have been programmed to respond to things on the default of "if you cross over my boundary I have established for you, then you will lose my acceptance."

I learned alot from writing this post ... and my hope is that you've learned something reading it. God bless!
Staying In His Grace,
Tracy ;)