Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Struggle

I am humbled by the number of people that have viewed this page. It boggles my mind to think that people all over the world have stopped to read my thoughts. Whether on purpose or by accident, people have visited this blog and have been very kind to me about my murmurings. 

The biggest struggle I have with this whole thing is when I think, "Who am I to be sharing my thoughts about my faith?" I so often fight with the sinful nature and whether I win or lose, I still don't understand why God has asked me to share my stories through this format. I am far from perfect or a model Christian. 

I'm not alone. In Romans 7, Paul writes of his own struggle with his sinful nature. He tells us:

14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

What do you struggle with today? What is it that holds you back following Christ wholeheartedly? Ask Jesus to help you in your struggle. He will bring you through. 

If you don't know Jesus personally, ask him into your heart by praying this simple prayer;
"Jesus. I acknowledge my need for you. I know that you are fully God, that you died for me and that you love me. Please forgive me of my sin and help me to live my life for you. Thank you Jesus for loving me."

If you prayed that prayer for the first time today, tell someone about it. Even comment below and let me know. I will pray for you as well. 

I'm grateful for all Jesus has done for me. It is by faith in Him that I will one day be with Him. Until then, I continue to fight the good fight as I press towards the goal. 

So, despite my failures, I will continue to share of the things that God is doing in my life. I'm not perfect, but I will trust God with my life and continue to struggle. It's worth it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Learning to Breathe

My family and I are camping in a beautiful park in Ontario, Canada called Bon Echo Provincial Park. It has amazing scenery, great swimming and a demand for calm that is hard to fathom even when experiencing it. 

Today, we were out in my brother-in-law's boat, swimming in the middle of the lake. It was here that I learned to snorkel for the first time. To say that I was the source of my families laughter would be an understatement. I snorted more water than an elephant taking a bath. 

Just before leaving on vacation from work, things have been extremely busy. We have had tight deadlines, large demands and limited staff. Just when you feel like you have one thing accomplished, another large task gets dropped in your lap. It has meant many long days and labour intensive tasks. 

In chapter 3 of Ephesians, Paul finishes with a prayer that truly puts things into perspective:

14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Sometimes in my Christian walk, I wonder: "Will I ever get it right?" and then I read a passage like Paul has written above and remember to take a breath and look to God to help me as my only source of strength and not my own ability. 

At work, I have had to take a step back, breathe and trust the team I work with to get it done and to think outside the box when situations seem impossible. I'm very fortunate to work with the people that I do. 

As for snorkelling, I need to remember to breathe (through my mouth) and just slow down and enjoy the beauty that lies beneath the waters. (That's a whole other post in and of itself). It all takes practice but eventually I will figure it out. Fortunately, I have a very patient and forgiving family that understands what it means to learn to snorkel. (I think they are still laughing though.)

Are you facing a struggle today? Do you have a bad habit that you think you cannot break? Do you have a situation that seems insurmountable? Read through Paul's letter and remember to take a breath. Sometimes, we forget that we serve a limitless God with our limited imagination. 

Take the limits off, breathe and watch what God can do. You will be blown away.