After a challenging time together in the morning services yesterday, God graced the Meadow Family with some robust encouragement and soul-moving worship in the evening gathering. Psalm 126 was our text and we shared some time together reflecting on God’s ongoing ability to turn difficulty on its head and bring sweet relief to those who are desperate for it. I have to say that last night was my favorite service of the year thus far at Meadow and I’m grateful to have shared it with so many who believe in what the Lord is doing in our midst.
Part of the message I shared focused on our limitations as Christians and I woke up with that unscripted theme from last night still churning in my mind. God has certainly enabled you this Monday to do some things while, at the same time, He has fully declined your desire to manage other components of your life. Frustration in your heart can result from your inner desire to mange, control, handle and steer certain things in the direction you deem best. God has other plans in those areas so your desire is met with a denial – what is your response when this occurs? I’m learning to embrace these denials as being a blessing rather than a burden. In essence, I’ve trained my mind to look at things beyond my power and think at least two things each time:
1. The issue becomes one less thing for me to devote my limited time, thought and energy.
2. The issue becomes something to take to the Lord in order to learn His desire so that I can submit my will to His.
Do you remember when Jesus was in Bethany in Mark 14 and the worshipful woman came and anointed Him with the expensive perfume? The disciples grumbled about the cost of what was poured out and Jesus corrected them saying, “Leave her alone for she has done what she could…What she has done will be spoken of as a memorial to her.” Jesus also connected her activity to the preparation of His body before His death and burial. Nobody could prevent the heartbreaking crucifixion which would come shortly, but this woman was heartily commended for doing what she could do. That message resonates with me this morning.
You cannot fix people. You cannot undo the past. You cannot change some things which provoke and anger you. God has not allowed you the power to glorify Him apart from depending upon Him. Perhaps He has not delivered you from frightening circumstances and you feel powerless and threatened. Slow down and courageously face the truth that much of our lives is beyond our fingertips.
But what can you do?
The people you cannot fix you are certainly able to compassionately love. Your past cannot be undone but it may be overcome. God has chosen to prohibit you from living profitably apart from His power and presence – so live profitably with His power and presence! Your circumstances may be reasonably frightening but -look! – you are still here another day and God has vowed to shepherd you through, giving what is required for today. Yes, friend, you will have to turn your attention away from what is not in your power and emulate Bethany’s worshiping woman by doing what you can.
Do what you can do. Place most of your thoughts there and most of your prayers on what you cannot do. As He did in Bethany two-thousand years ago, your Lord will commend you for that today.
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