Thursday, January 9, 2020

Whatever Time I Have Left

"Whatever time I have left"...a heavy thought indeed.  Not because I am dying -- though we are all dying -- but because there is still so much to be done, so much life to be lived and love to be shared.  Time is passing much too quickly -- the month of January is nearly half gone and before you know it, we'll be sitting at the end of 2020 and wondering how it passed so quickly when we were determined to make the most of each day and do everything in our power to slow its progression.

Time is short.  I'm getting older.  So are you.  Opportunities to do good are ours every day, but do we make the most of them?  When I get to the end of my life, this year, this day -- will I regret the things I didn't do, the love I didn't express, and the time I didn't take just to stop and smell the roses?  Or will I lay my head on the pillow satisfied that I did the best I could and lived with a sense of purpose and balance?

There are too many distractions competing for our time -- too many disturbances which burden our hearts, souls, and minds.  Burdens which we are too feeble to carry.  Disease, war, natural disasters, violence, animal and human suffering, moral depravity, political corruption...the list is endless.  Is it any wonder that some days we want to throw in the towel, sink deep into our sofas, and mindlessly binge watch TV?

Wisdom has taught me that I can't fix what's wrong with this world.  Only God can.

Wisdom has also taught me that attitude is everything and that each of us has the power to choose joy -- genuine joy -- in spite of what we see.

Yes, we have the responsibility to do what we can to effect positive change -- to vote, recycle and conserve resources, donate to organizations that fight injustice, contribute to the needs of others, and take care of our physical bodies the best we know how.  But we also have the right to choose joy, the privilege to talk to the God of the universe about our concerns, and the promise of His grace, power, mercy, presence, and peace in the midst of everything we face.

Whatever time I have left, I want to live as one who has hope and to encourage those who are hopeless.  I want to be a blessing and a vessel of God's love to others.

Life is too short to spend whatever time I have left worrying about things God is quite capable of handling.  I know how the story ends, and it's a good ending!
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” -- Revelation 21:3-4, ESV

Copyright © 2019- 2020 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Discouraged? But God...

Today is January 4, 2020, and already I am discouraged.  During a lengthy period of insomnia last night I briefly scrolled through my Facebook feed to see what the Lord might have me pray for, since I was up already.  There was no lack of discouraging, disheartening news.  Honestly, it is hard to read a social media feed or turn on the news and NOT feel disheartened by all of it.  2019 was a hard year for so many, and from what I can see with my earthly eyes, 2020 is not shaping up to be an improvement.  But God...
"He knows the way that  I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold" (Job 23:10, ESV).
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek and find me, when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:11-13, ESV).
"By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life" (Psalms 42:8, ESV).
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28, ESV).
"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, ESV). 
As we step into 2020, we need to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and immerse ourselves in His Word, praying each other through whatever may come our way.  Our very lives -- physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially -- depend on it.

We all have a choice -- to either be defeated and discouraged by the evil and tragedy in this world or to be transformed from glory to glory as we walk in total dependence on the great, loving God whose "divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire" (2 Peter 1:3,4, ESV).

Copyright © 2019- 2020 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Turning Pages -- A New Chapter

Many of us are eagerly counting down the remainder of 2019 and hoping for better things in 2020.  There have been many losses, much stress, and sorrow and sickness in the lives of our families and friends.  Perhaps you too have been touched by tragedy, illness, or financial strain this past year.  I know I have.  But if we look hard enough we can find reasons to give thanks, can't we?

My husband lost his mom in June.  Although it was a sad time for our family, it was one of great joy for Janet.  She finally got her wish -- to leave a world she had grown weary of and join her Lord and loved ones in heaven, where she can see and hear and laugh again.

After five years of renting a modular home in what I call "the swamp," we moved into a darling brick home just off Main Street in the heart of Gloucester County. What a blessing and answer to prayer it is to have a home of our own, just in time for the holidays!  Now we truly feel we have settled in Virginia.  I don't see us moving back to Tennessee since we have grown to love it here, but that is ultimately God's decision.

After months of contemplation I decided to pull the old content from my devotional blog and to start fresh in 2020 with a "this and that" kind of blog since life has become sort of random.  The 2010 decade was one of learning and growing and gave me the opportunity to share many of the lessons I learned in the three devotional books I wrote, two of which are no longer in print.  (If interested, Click HERE for more information.)  People have asked me if I plan to write another book; it is my feeling that the season of my writing for publication has passed.  For now, I am content and busy with a job in full-time ministry and teaching a Sunday school class for young adults, and that's more than enough for me!

So here we are -- at the end of a year that passed much too quickly, and at the beginning of a year that I hope will be good for all those I love, and better for those who had such a difficult year in 2019.

Rather than make a New Year's resolution that I probably won't keep anyway, I plan to focus on one word this year and trust God to have His way in my life.  Truthfully, life is more of an adventure that way -- never a dull moment with Him in charge.  My word for 2020?  RESOLVE.

Rejoice in the Lord always. – Phil. 4:4; 1 Thes. 5:16
Exercise faith. – Heb. 11:6; Matt. 17:20
Serve the Lord and others gladly. – Ps. 100:2; Gal. 5:13
Obey God’s Word. – Deut. 29:9; Deut. 11:1; Deut. 30:16
Love others as God loves you. – John 13:34
Victory is yours – claim it!  -- 1 Cor. 15:57
Expect good things from God. – Jas. 1:17; Matt. 7:11

Happy New Year!

Copyright © 2019- 2020 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.