Psalm 37:4 –Take delight in the Lord,and He will give you your heart’s desires. (HCSB)
Psalm 27:14 – Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! (ESV)
My husband and I were attending some meetings that required us to stay in a hotel. It had been a long few days with travel, activities, and gatherings and I was exhausted. In the wee hours of the final morning I received two text messages, both were bad news from friends, both involved sick family members who had been admitted to the hospital, one a parent, one a child. I answered the texts, then spent some time in prayer. I was able to fall back to sleep but it wasn’t a restful sleep so I was seriously dragging myself out of bed when the alarm sounded to begin another day. As I was standing in the shower, I was desperately hoping that my husband had gone for coffee. As I washed my hair, I thought of that wonderful nectar that would shore me up to face the day. As I washed my body, I could envision me savoring those luscious sips as I dressed. But, since I had not shared with my husband my intense desire for that magic potent, sadly there was no coffee waiting when I exited the bathroom. I cannot begin to describe my disappointment! A.A. Milne said, “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” Since the coffee had not come to me, I concluded that I needed to go to it and set off on my quest. As I waited for a very slow elevator, I started to think of how much my morning had been like my life. I set my heart on a desire. I desperately hope that my desire will be fulfilled. I am fully convinced that the attainment of my desire will make my days wonderful. I envision myself enjoying the fulfillment of my desire. But, I do not share my desire with God. I neither ask for His assistance nor seek His guidance. Just as with the coffee, sometimes when my desires do not come to me, I go after them, and get very impatient when the journey is slower than I would like. Psalm 27:4 promises that God will give me the desires of my heart if I take delight in Him. Delight in Him means that I take joy in God’s goodness, that I strive to please Him in all that I do, that I trust Him and wait for His plans to unfold. Desires take time, but God delights in giving us our desires if we desire the right things. Psalm 145:15 says “All eyes look to You, and You give them their food in due time.” I think the words “in due time” are the key words in that scripture. James 4:1-3 talks about how we are so desperate to have our own way that we will go to any lengths to fulfill our own desires, but we don’t go to God because we know that our desires are selfish. Craig Bruce said that we usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for. My plans for immediate fulfillment seem so good to me, but God’s plans are so much better (Jeremiah 29:11). Lord, please help me to always remember that You are worth waiting for!
Isaiah 30:21 – “and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.” (HCSB)
Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” (HCSB)
I am in the dark in more ways than one this morning. The house is dark; there is no light to brighten my path into the other room. I am also in the dark about a decision I need to make, and just as with the house, there is no light to brighten my path into the future. The only sound in the house is the sound of the coffee brewing. As I wait for that marvelous beep, I also wait for an answer from You, Lord. I am fully confident that You set my feet on this path, but now I have come to a fork in the path, and quite frankly, it would be so awesome to hear Your audible voice telling me “take this path.” I crave signs and a voice that will provide the absolute-without-a-doubt knowledge that I am headed in the right direction, but I am afraid of only hearing “recalculating”. I have no doubts that You want me to move forward. But which path do I take from here? I don’t want to make a wrong move. Someone recently told me a quote that went something along the lines of “the direction you go in will determine where you end up”. Well, as my granddaughter used to say “I already knowed dat!” I know that if I drive on I-95 North, I will not go to Florida and definitely not to California!! Reaching the desired destination requires being on the right path. Yoga Berra once said “When you get to a fork in the road, take it.” Lord, I desire the destination that You have for me and want to be on the path You have laid out for me to follow. I have desire to reach the path, but I need discernment to recognize the path. Just like David in Psalm 25:4, my prayer is “Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.” Lord, my prayer is that I would recognize Your will for me. Isaiah 30:21 gives me encouragement that You totally encompass me, giving me direction. I know that You have a plan for me. Help me to follow the path that You have planned rather than any path of my own limited knowledge and planning. Psalm 32:8 gives me the promise that You will not only show me the direction I should go but also that You will watch and make sure I stay on the right path. Lord, I ask You to determine my steps, my path, and my direction.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in everything,for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (HCSB
My husband read somewhere that a husband should thank his wife for going out with him when they go to the movies or to a restaurant or whatever. Trust me, at our house he does not need to thank me for going out to eat! He may want to thank me for not running him over as I race to the car, but he doesn’t need to thank me for eating out. Let’s see — looking at a menu instead of planning a meal; telling someone what I want rather than having to cook it; walking away instead of washing dishes – I’m good, no thanks necessary! As I’m enjoying my cup of coffee this morning and remembering last night’s dinner out, I begin to think about the idea of giving thanks. Some people are really good about sending thank you notes, some just don’t do it. It is embarrassing and frustrating to me when I need to know if a gift was received and am forced to ask! I have a friend who believes that if anyone gives her a gift of any kind, it is because God laid it on that person’s heart, so she never thanks the giver for they were just doing what God told them to do. True, but a little thanks goes a long way and people want to feel appreciated. Do You feel that way about Your people, Lord? You bless us in so many ways everyday, and we take the blessing and walk away without even a thought of thanksgiving and no mention of appreciation. Psalm 107:1 says to give thanks to You because You are so good to us, but are we being like those people who irritate us because their lack of acknowledgement seems to dismiss our gift? Luke 17:11-19 tells us about ten lepers. Am I more like the nine who walked away with my blessing or the one who gave thanks? Psalm 105: 1-2 tells us to not only give thanks to You but to tell people how wonderful You are. Do I tell everyone I see about a nice gift a person gave me but keep silent about the amazing gifts from You? Lord, I come before You today giving thanks for all of the ways You bless me and giving special thanks for the gift of Your Son. Today as I enjoy the gift of life, I will not only give thanks to You but also tell of Your wonderful greatness.
Psalm 139:14: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful,I know that full well. (NIV)
Proverbs 31:30: Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting,but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. (HCSB)
Lord, I’m very discouraged as I pull on my jeans. I know my muffin top is my fault. I know that my muffin top has made friends with, well, muffin tops…….and bottoms…….and their good friend, butter. Muffins taste so good with coffee, Lord! I’ve read the magazine articles telling me how to trick myself into not eating the unhealthy foods – carrots to replace the crunch of potato chips, water to make me feel as full as if I had just eaten, even chocolate flavored coffee to replace chocolate chip cookies. Well, apparently I’m not that easily tricked about crunch or solids vs liquids or flavors. My body just screamed at me “This stuff doesn’t taste like chocolate. This stuff doesn’t even taste like coffee”. A full glass of water fills my bladder not my stomach, and my taste buds are well aware that I didn’t eat. And its safe to say there are not enough carrots in the world! I want to make friends with the number on the scale and the number on the tag in the back of my pants, but the numbers I want to buddy up with don’t seem anxious to hang out with me. But, Lord, You tell me in Psalms 139 that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Genesis 1:26 tells me that I am created in Your image. In Ephesians 2:10 it says that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. All of that tells me that You don’t care if the tag in the back of my pants says 2 or 12. I know that I need to keep my body healthy because You tell me in 1 Corinthians that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that it was bought with a price, but You don’t ask me to have a supermodel’s thin body. What You said to Samuel also applies to me (1 Samuel 16:7). When You look at me, You don’t look the same way other people look at me. People look at the outside, but You look at the heart. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. “
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Proverbs 19:21: You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.
(New Living Translation)
I am sitting here this morning with my coffee and a pen and paper. I’m making a list! I love a list. Sometimes I will have more than one list going at the same time. I have a grocery list, a packing list for vacation, and a list of what I need to do before we go on vacation. I love the control I feel by knowing what needs to be done now and what needs to be done next. I especially love checking things off my list. It makes me feel as if I’m accomplished great things, and there are days that I need to know I’ve at least accomplished something, even a small thing would be good! Sometimes I will put something on my list that I have already done just so I can check it off! Lists make me feel accomplished. Lists make me feel in control. Lists let me know that I’m doing things right. The Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-27) also loved lists. He loved to have a list, and he loved to show people how he had checked off the things on the list. He said that he had kept all the commandments, and I believe him because You didn’t call him on it. He probably had the list in his pocket ready to show everyone how many items he had checked. Lord, You were trying to show him that obedience to the commandments would not give him eternal life, that only comes through a personal relationship with You. And a personal relationship with You means spending time with You. You try to show me that too. A list makes me feel in control of the situation, but You are in control of all that was, that is, and that is to come. I like knowing what’s happening now and what will be happening in the future, but Lord, You tell me that worry (or planning or even making a detailed list ) won’t add a single day to my life. I have the opportunity to accomplish great things today – not by working at worldly things that I can check off of a list but by sitting at the feet of the One who created all things and listening to His plans for my day. Your word tells me in Jeremiah 29 that You know the plans You have for me. In Proverbs 19, You tell me that I can make plans, but Your will prevails. Lord, I know that following a plan isn’t a bad thing but listening to You and following Your plan is so much better.