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Food for the Soul Monday: Don’t Be Like Me!

*A little nourishment for your soul to get you going*

Graduation season has come upon us and I can’t help but feel elated when I see my Facebook timeline filled with caps and gowns and diplomas! The genuine joy on the faces of those who spent years working diligently to get to this point is a blessing!

And for many, they now have the expectation to be rewarded for this diligence by attaining a job…as any of us would.

This takes me back to when I graduated undergrad and how the elation of graduation gradually wore off as I spent my summer applying for jobs. I applied. Applied again. Applied some more until fear and doubt started to take a comfortable seat within me. Why wasn’t anyone responding? Didn’t God know that I had gone to a good school, received great education and now it was time to work?

I started drifting into a place of what felt like depression. I felt hopeless and purposeless.

God forgot about me.

Or so I thought.

Little did I know at that point that behind the curtains, God was working away—orchestrating the timing of the story He had already written for me.  The story that would have the job I didn’t apply for, nor was even looking into be the one that found me. The story that would take me to another state where I knew no one and would have me rely on Him to show me why I was there. The story that after 7 years of seeing His purposes and plans really become higher and greater than what I could have ever imagined, I now trust in a way that I didn’t even know I could.

What am I saying? I’m saying don’t be like me. I’m saying that I have learned and seen Him work in a way that urges me to let others know…He really knows what He’s doing. Don’t let fear and doubt take residence. Trust in His ways. When the jobs you’re applying to don’t accept you, I promise, it will be OK. In fact, it is OK.

He is the one writing your story. The sooner you come to understand that, the freer you will be. You aren’t on man’s timeline. God’s timeline and His purposes will prevail for your life if you keep your gaze on Him. He will blow your mind!

May this verse be your mantra:

Many plans occupy the mind of a man,
but the Lord’s purposes will prevail.”(Prov. 19:21)

Peace, love and blessings,

Yodit

Food for the Soul Monday: Because He had to…

*A little nourishment for your soul to get you going*

We’ve all said it at some point in our lives, “I was at the right place at the right time.”

To some it’s the philosophy that when preparation meets luck, good things happen. However, to us who believe in God, we know that neither preparation nor luck match God’s intentionality in ordering our steps. It’s beautifully seen in the story in John 4 that we are all familiar with, the Samaritan woman at the well.

At this point in His ministry, Jesus had been winning the hearts of people through the signs, miracles and wonders He gracefully performed. Many were getting baptized and coming to the knowledge of God and the religious leaders couldn’t stand it. So Jesus decides to leave where He was in Judea, and head to Galilee. And here is where things get interesting. The scripture says,

“He had to pass through Samaria.” (John 4: 4)

Here is the thing; Samaria was located halfway between the straight shot journey between Judea and Galilee. However, during that time, the enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans ran so deep, both spiritually and racially, that Jews who would travel between those two locations would intentionally go around Samaria because they wanted nothing to do with the people. This would add days to their trip but it was so deep that they thought to get near them would contaminate them.

But Jesus HAD to pass through there. In reality, by the cultural norms of that day, He wasn’t supposed to. It was looked down on. But He had to… He had to because before the foundations of the Earth, God had a plan for this lady whom we would come to call, The Samaritan woman. He knew she would be drawing water at the hottest time of the day because of shame. He knew she would have a thirst greater than Jesus’ question for a cup of water. He knew she would need living water that would quench her thirst for eternity. And so He risks His reputation to meet her. He knew the right time and He knew the right place.

No kind of preparation or luck would cause this woman to be at this place. In fact, it had nothing to do with what she did. It had everything to do with what Christ wanted to do for her life. He met her where she was. He wanted to rescue her. He knew that because of her testimony, many would come to believe Him. (John 4:30). What great love!

Be encouraged today that this Great and Sovereign King who loves us beyond our finite comprehension, holds our times in His hand. He loves timing but more so because He loves His purpose in and for you. That thing you are waiting for, He knows the right time and the right place and He will keep meeting you where you are until you are where you’ve prayed to be. There are people that have to be sent. There are circumstances that have to happen. There are places that you have to go. Simply Trust.

 

God isn’t a Formula…

16 years ago, I sat in the pews of chapel at my boarding school and struggled to understand what the preacher was talking about.

 My mind hadn’t grasped who Jesus was. I had heard the stories of what He did for us and how He died for us.   But if you were to ask me then what they really meant for me, I couldn’t tell you.

I sat confused.

16 years later, I live amazed by Him and I live for Him. Not that I have figured Him out completely, but within those years, my eyes, my ears, my heart and my life opened up to know God. His love. His grace. His mercy. His ways. His word.

Someone recently asked me how  I manage to stay this committed? How did I get to where I am in God?

I had asked myself that question once before, but I think this was the first time I received such a deep revelation about God and what a relationship with Him means.

I could have easily answered my friend by saying it was through reading my Word + praying + going to church+ going to conferences+ worshiping + doing good deeds + [whatever fits] equaled a closer relationship with God.

But that would be FAR from the truth.

As I sat to think about this question and reflect on my journey, one simple truth resonated in my heart:

 There is NO formula to a relationship with God.

God is far from a formulaic equation. He goes beyond that kind of limitation.

 Formulas are predictable. Our lives are NOT.

A relationship with God isn’t a 1-2-3 step program, nor is it a check off the list kind of task.

You don’t arrive because you followed a tutorial.

I don’t know if you have read the bible, but if we have an honest look at those whom God chose to tell us about, they don’t have pretty and primped stories. No. They were messy. Complicated. Dramatic. Gut-wrenching stories.

Consider David, whom God called a “man after His own heart.” Committed adultery. Committed murder. Committed rebellion.  Yet he captured God’s heart.

Consider Peter, who denied Jesus 3 times. Not at different points in his life. No, it happened one after the other, in one setting. Yet, Jesus said He would build His church upon the fact that Peter had the revelation that Jesus was the Son of God.

Consider the woman caught in adultery. Brought to Jesus by the teachers of the law because what she had done was damnable. Yet, Jesus spoke these words that would forever change the trajectory of her life: “Neither do I condemn you…” (John 8:11)

I don’t know about you but the way God responds to each of these lives is outside of any formula. It’s within the heart of that person. Unique. Tailor-made.

His love doesn’t respond to formula. It responds to desperation. It responds to hunger. It responds to the cries of our individual and unique hearts for the more that we didn’t even know we needed until our eyes were pried open to this light, this love, this touch that felt different from any other thing we had ever chased.

He responds to our everyday mess-ups. Failures. Disobedience. Rebellion.

Jesus responds to those who are looking for an answer. Not to those who think they know HOW to find that answer.

So how do I stay committed?

I keep living. I keep walking. I keep waking up every day in NEED of Him. I keep running back even when I want to run away. I keep seeing and experiencing His love for me and that has made me run faster and faster back to Him.

I think the great philosopher and theologian, Augustine of Hippo, said it best when he wrote:

 “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.”

I have fallen in love with my Savior. And that has made all the difference.

So BE FREE with your Savior. Remove the formulas and receive the Free Love of God.

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