"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
June 13, 2018
Happy Fathers Day!
It seems as if this is a season of transition for many people that I know; more so than usual. I have several family members who are in the process of changing jobs, a nephew and his wife who are preparing to leave this fall for training to go into deaf missions, family either moving and buying/selling their home or contemplating moving, a nephew going from teaching to becoming a full time youth pastor, a cousin who lost his job and is looking for a new position, kids who will be changing schools for the upcoming school year, etc. Lots and lots of changes for so many loved ones.
Sometimes transitions can be fun and exciting; sometimes scary with worries about the unknown; or both -- exciting about the potential of what lies ahead, with a bit of trepidation about all the what ifs.
The truth is, we all have experienced seasons of transition, and have lived to tell the tale. God was with us, helped us make decisions and directed our steps. Even those times when we may have missed God and made choices that were not the ones that He wanted us to make, He still was with us and helped guide us back to where we needed to be.
Change is harder for some than others. Some seem to thrive on trying anything new and see life as an adventure to be lived to the fullest. They relish new experiences and easily adapt to whatever situation they find themselves in. They enjoy trading vehicles, moving, changing jobs, meeting new people, and readily adjust to whatever life brings their way.
There are others who are resistant to change and would be perfectly contented if everything in life always moved along in the same steady rhythm, with nothing ever rocking their boat or upsetting their comfort zone. They like the security of knowing what to expect and not having to deal with the unknown. This makes them feel safe.
The truth is, neither type of person is wrong in how they feel. But there will be times when both will have to do things that are out of their comfort zone, if they truly want to follow the path that God has prepared for them. You can't always be continually moving and doing and busy, because there may be times when God is using you where you are and needs you to be content where you are; without looking for some new big adventure to embark upon. But you also can't always stay in your comfort zone, never willing to make changes or leave for the unknown, and follow the path that God has set before you. There are times when we have to change, move, leave our place of comfort, and be willing to adapt to the place where God is calling us.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Psalm 37:23: "The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives."
Proverbs 16:9: "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."
Proverbs 20:24: "The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?"
Jeremiah 10:23: "Lord, I know that people's lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps." (The NLT says, "I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.")
These scriptures make it very plain that the Lord is the one who directs our steps! He delights in every single detail of our life. Our lives are not our own, and we are not going to understand everything along the way. But we can trust Him with all of our heart and acknowledge Him in all our ways.
What does "in all your ways acknowledge Him," mean? Other versions say, "In all your ways submit to Him;" "Seek His will in all you do;" "In all your ways know Him;" "Remember the Lord in everything you do;" "Think about Him in all your ways."
Whenever life brings about changes and transitions, our job is not to try and figure it out and plan our own course or understand everything along the way. Our job is to trust God and acknowledge Him! Period.
He is a good, good Father and always only wants what is best for us. He DELIGHTS in every single detail of our lives. That's pretty amazing and should bring us a great sense of peace. We don't have to figure it out; just trust God and allow Him to direct our steps. Don't resist those times when God brings us to times of transition; but rejoice in knowing that He is directing our steps. We don't have to know the details, just trust.
I am personally one of those who typically prefers to avoid change. There have only been a few times I've chosen to make a big change.
I left high school, for college. It wasn't much of a choice. I couldn't chose not to leave high school. But I did pick the school to go to. Honestly, though, I basically followed my father and sister. I didn't really pray for guidance, but didn't really think I needed to.
After I finished there, I moved to another state, far away from any family. I made that change without looking for any help from God. To keep this shorter, I'll just say it didn't work out well.
Eventually, I chose to come back home. This time, it was with God's blessing. And it worked out great.
Finally, I chose to get married to Loretta. I prayed a long time about that one, and it has been amazing!!
My point is that big changes should be avoided like the plague. At least the big changes that aren't blessed by God.
I'll probably still try to avoid big changes, even if God ordains them, but I probably shouldn't.
1 cup Countrytime Lemonade Mix
3 cups cold water
1 can (46 oz.) of chilled pineapple juice
2 cans of Sprite
Mix all ingredients together.
Happy Fathers Day!
I was blessed with a great daddy. He was a hard worker, took good care of our family and was a wonderful provider, a godly example, well respected by all who knew him, and loved his daughters well. He rarely said the words, "I love you," nor was he a big hugger. But we knew that we were greatly loved. He didn't send us to church, but we always faithfully attended together as a family.
Recently, one of my sisters and I attended a funeral, and there was a man in attendance whom we had attended church with when we were all teenagers. Later, after he got married and raising his family, he attended church where Daddy and June went. He told us, "I sure do miss your dad!" That meant a lot that ten years after Daddy passed away, someone mentioned him to us and remembered him.
This Fathers Day, if you still have your father with you, say the words "I love you", even if it's not something that is easily spoken between you and him. Spend time with him, and if you can't do so, call him and talk to him.
If your father has already passed away, take a few moments to think about the good memories you have of him.
As you grow in your relationship with God,
you will find that His desires become your desires. - Dr. James Dobson
We love you!
Loretta & Jon