Friday, February 26, 2016

Broken Stuff

Last weekend my purse strap broke while I was out shopping.  How convenient that I could shop for a replacement at the department store!  I had not planned to buy a new purse but the one I had simply wore out.  My budget was not happy.

This afternoon, at the end of a very long and tiring week, when I was already feeling a little spent, the interior handle on my driver's side car door broke off.  As much as I love my old station wagon I tire of having to repair it.  With a tax bill due and a vacation to pay for, this was the last thing my budget needed.  Thankfully it is pay day and I have money set aside in savings to handle this latest emergency.  More than that, I have a faithful God who has promised to work all things -- even broken things -- together for my good (Romans 8:28) and to supply my needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).

I don't know why I can't seem to go two weeks without something breaking.  It's really quite frustrating.  But at least these events are not life-altering.  I can give thanks that I still have my health (though my sanity is in question at the moment) and a trustworthy mechanic who will fix my old station wagon so that I can take that vacation that I've scheduled.

Even though I'm not necessarily thankful for the broken stuff in my life, I can be thankful in spite of it. After all, "everything in the heavens and earth are yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor are from you alone, and you are the Ruler of all mankind. Your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength" (1 Chronicles 29:11-12, TLB).

Lord, give us the strength to handle our challenges and to take joy in the knowledge that you are in control of all things great and small.

Copyright © 2016 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Amazing Race

The Daytona 500 is one of the highlights of the year for race enthusiasts.  Although not a huge NASCAR fan I found myself riveted to this year's race, cheering on a local favorite and celebrating with glee when he took first place in the closest race in Daytona's history.

As believers we are in a truly amazing race, one full of adrenaline rushes, pit stops, and even an occasional spinout.  Our journey of faith is one that is never dull, so long as we walk hand-in-hand with our Savior and live in obedience to His Word.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV).

One day, after we have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith the Lord himself will award us the crown of righteousness, which is laid up for us and for all who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8).  No trophy or winner's circle can surpass the joy of entering into our Lord's presence on that day and hearing Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21).

Copyright © 2016 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 19, 2016

This Bud's for You

Bet you thought this blog would be about beer, right?  Not a chance, but at least it got your attention.  I have another "bud" in mind.

For many months I have prayed that God would take me deeper in my walk with Him, knowing that as a result of those prayers I might experience some pain along the way.  Generally I grow more when I am challenged somehow.

As I come to the end of another work week and contemplate the reasons why I suddenly seem so busy, it dawns on me that God is answering my prayers.  He is taking me to a deeper place of intimacy with Him and in the process of doing so, pruning me for more fruitfulness.

In John 15:2, we read that God prunes the vines (His followers) that bear fruit in order that they may bear more fruit.  Pruning involves sheers.  Sheers inflict pain, or at least a little discomfort, right?  While I may have stepped out of my comfort zone, biting off more than I can chew perhaps, buds are beginning to appear on the vine and the prospect of bearing more fruit -- of making a difference in the lives of others -- suddenly makes it all worthwhile.

If you are experiencing the sensation of being a little overwhelmed right now, consider whether God might be pruning you for more fruitfulness.  Pray your way through the pruning.  "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).

Copyright © 2016 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.