My last posting was on a Spoonful of Sugar Teacakes! And truly we have learned in our many (and I do mean many) years of life, that sugar seems to always make the “medicine go down” so much easier. Sugar is that special little ingredient that makes even the worst of medicines or some vegetables, easier to swallow.
In this new Season of retirement, Randy and I are seeking what would the Lord have us do. Sometimes, we (ok, I admit, mostly me) try to get ahead of the Lord trying to figure out where the next path will lead and what will be our place in serving. After all, we tend to think that sometimes we might “deserve” this time Just because we are retired, doesn’t mean that life should be all about us, or that all our time is our own. God leaves us all here for a reason. It is up to us to use our time for His glory and to remain faithful, even when we might not feel like it. Sometimes we might be focusing on excuse; that we try to say are “reason’s” keeping us from serving others. If we had more time, or money or talents, or friends, we could be more useful. But what if the real reason that we aren’t being used is that we are lazy, or self absorbed? What if our focus is wrong? Am I being thankful for what God has given me? Am I thankful for the life that He is allowing me to live?
After attending a Women’s Retreat, the speaker, Debbie Stuart, who is so special to our family, told us that sometimes, we can be in the middle of God’s will, even though we feel like we are in the wilderness, just like when God left Moses in the wilderness for 40 years. This past year, I felt many times like we were in a wilderness. There have been days when we felt that maybe we heard God wrong and He didn’t really lead us back to Texas. That maybe we were suppose to be someplace else. But even though there have been days that seemed to feel like wilderness to us, there has been an underlying peace that we know we are suppose to be here. That His plans might not unravel as quickly as we would like, seems to tell us that maybe it’s our faith that He is trying to grow. Maybe He leaves us in the wilderness to teach us that we need to lean on Him more than ourselves; or our motives need to change, maybe our character. Whatever the reason, and there always is one, may we learn whatever He is trying to teach us and then grow into the person that reflects Jesus Christ to others.
This morning, I turned the page to a devotion in Jesus Calling and this is today’s reading.
“Bring Me the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Take nothing for granted, not even the rising of the sun. Before Satan tempted Eve in the garden of Eden, thankfulness was as natural as breathing. Satan’s temptation involved pointing Eve to the one thing that was forbidden her. The garden was filled with luscious, desirable fruits, but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn’t have rather than being thankful for the many good things freely available. This negative focus darkened her mind, and she succumbed to temptation.
When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, your mind, also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from Me. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is “fixed. ”
When you approach Me with thanksgiving, the Light of My Presence pours into you, transforming you through and through. Walk in the Light with Me by practicing the discipline of thanksgiving.”
My prayer is that I will become more thankful each day, even when life takes us in paths that lead to the wilderness for a season. May I use the wilderness days to grow my faith and service to God. That I won’t focus on what I don’t have but on what we do have and serve out of thankfulness and love for God’s love, mercies and His gift of salvation.
Psa 116:17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call upon the name of the Lord.
A spoonful of sugar and thankfulness, a great recipe for wilderness days!